THE sale of -hand pistols, for to that weapon the street-sellers' or hawkers' trade in arms seems confined, is larger than might be cursorily imagined.
There must be something seductive about the possession of a pistol, for I am assured by persons familiar with the trade, that they have sold them to men who were ignorant, when invited to purchase, how the weapon was loaded or discharged, and seemed half afraid to handle it. Perhaps the possession imparts a sense of security.
The pistols which are sometimes seen on the street-stalls are almost always old, rusted, or battered, and are useless to any except to those who can repair and clean them for sale.
There are men now selling new or secondhand pistols, I am told, who have been gunmakers.
This trade is carried on almost entirely by hawking to public-houses. I heard of no who depended solely upon it, "but this is the way," intelligent man stated to me, "if I am buying -hand things at a broker's, or in , or anywhere, and there's a pistol that seems cheap, I'll buy it as readily as anything I know, and I'll soon sell it at a publichouse, or I'll get it raffled for. -hand pistols sell better than new by such as me. If I was to offer a new I should be told it was some Brummagem slop rubbish. If there's a little silver-plate let into the wood of the pistol, and a crest or initials engraved on it—I've got it done sometimes—there's a better chance of sale, for
|people think it's been made for somebody of consequence that wouldn't be fobbed off with an inferior thing. I don't think I've often sold pistols to working-men, but I've known them join in raffles for them, and the winner has often wanted to sell it back to me, and has sold it to somebody. It's tradesmen that buy, or gentlefolks, if you can get at them. A pistol's a sort of a plaything with them."|
On my talking with a street-dealer concerning the street-trade in -hand pistols, he produced a handsome pistol from his pocket. I inquired if it was customary for men in his way of life to carry pistols, and he expressed his conviction that it was, but only when travelling in the country, and in possession of money or valuable stock. "I gave only for this pistol," he said, "and have refused for it, for I shall get a better price, as it's an excellent article, on some of my rounds in town. I bought it to take to Ascot races with me, and have it with me now, but it's not loaded, for I'm going to Moulsey Hurst, where Hampton races are held. You're not safe if you travel after a great muster at a race by yourself without a pistol. Many a poor fellow like me has been robbed, and the public hear nothing about it, or say it's all gammon. At Ascot, sir, I trusted my money to a booth-keeper I knew, as a few men slept in his booth, and he put my bit of tin with his own under his head where he slept, for safe keeping. There's a little doing in -hand pistols to such as me, but we generally sell them again."
Of , or other offensive weapons, there is no street sale. A few "," some of gutta percha, are hawked, but they are generally new. Bullets and powder are not sold by the pistol-hawkers, but a for the casting of bullets is frequently sold along with the weapon.
Of these -hand pistol-sellers there are now, I am told, more than there were last year. "I really believe," said man, laughing, but I heard a similar account from others, "people were afraid the foreigners coming to the Great Exhibition had some mischief in their noddles, and so a pistol was wanted for protection. In my opinion, a pistol's just of the things that people don't think of buying, 'til it's shown to them, and then they're tempted to have it."
The principal street-sale, independently of the hawking to public-houses, is in such places as Ratcliffe-highway, where the mates and petty officers of ships are accosted and invited to buy a good -hand pistol. The wares thus vended are generally of a well-made sort.
In this traffic, which is known as a "straggling" trade, pursued by men who are at the same time pursuing other street-callings, it may be estimated, I am assured, that there are men engaged, each taking as an average a week. In some weeks a man may take ; in the next month he may sell no weapons at all. From to per cent. is the usual rate of profit, and the yearly street outlay on these -hand offensive or defensive weapons is
man who "did a little in pistols" told me, "that or years ago, when he was a boy, his father sometimes cleared a week in the streetsale and hawking of -hand , and that he himself had sometimes carried the 'gloves' in his hand, and pistols in his pocket for sale, but that now boxing-gloves were in no demand whatever among street-buyers, and were 'a complete drug.' He used to sell them at the set, which is gloves."
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|Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Articles|
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Metal Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Metal Trays, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Linen, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Curtains
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Carpeting, Flannels, Stocking-Legs, &c., &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Bed-Ticking, Sacking, Fringe, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Glass and Crockery
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Miscellaneous Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Musical Instruments
Of the Music 'Duffers'
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Weapons
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Curiosities
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Telescopes and Pocket Glasses
Of the Street-Sellers of Other Miscellaneous Second-Hand Articles
Of Second-Hand Store Shops
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Apparel
Of the Old Clothes Exchange
Of the Wholesale Business at the Old Clothes Exchange
Of the Uses of Second-Hand Garments
Of the Street-Sellers of Petticoat and Rosemary-Lanes
Of the Street-Sellers of Men's Second-Hand Clothes
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Boots and Shoes
Of the Street-Sellers of Old Hats
Of the Street-Sellers of Women's Second-Hand Apparel
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Furs
Of the Second-Hand Sellers of Smithfield- Market
|Of the Street-Sellers of Live Animals|
Of the Street-Sellers of Live Animals
Of the Former Street-Sellers, 'Finders,' Stealers, and Restorers of Dogs
Of a Dog-'Finder' -- A 'Lurker's' Career
Of the Present Street-Sellers of Dogs.
Of the Street-Sellers of Sporting Dogs
Of the Street-Sellers of Live Birds
Of the Bird-Catchers Who are Street- Sellers
Of the Crippled Street Bird-Seller
Of the Tricks of the Bird-Duffers
Of the Street-Sellers of Foreign Birds
Of the Street-Sellers of Birds'--Nests
Of the Street-Sellers of Squirrels
Of the Street-Sellers of Leverets, Wild Rabbits, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Gold and Silver Fish
Of the Street-Sellers of Tortoises
Of the Street-Sellers of Snails, Frogs, Worms, Snakes, Hedgehogs, Etc.
|Of the Street-Sellers of Mineral Productions and Natural Curiosities|
Of the Street-Sellers of Mineral Productions, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Coals
Of the Street-Sellers of Coke
Of the Street-Sellers of Tan-Turf
Of the Street-Sellers of Salt
Of the Street-Sellers of Sand
Of the Street-Sellers of Shells
Of the River Beer-Sellers, or Purl-Men
Of the Numbers, Capital, and income of the Street- Sellers of Second-Hand Articles, Live Animals, Mineral Producions, Etc.
Income, or 'Takinags' of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Articles
|Of the Street-Buyers|
Of the Street-Buyers
Of the Street-Buyers of Rags, Broken Metal, Bottles, Glass, and Bones
Of the 'Rag-and-Bottle,' and the 'Marine-Store' Shops
Of the Buyers of Kitchen-Stuff, Grease, and Dripping
Of the Street-Buyers of Hare and Rabbit Skins
Of the Street-Buyers of Waste (Paper)
Of the Street-Buyers of Umbrellas and Parasols
|Of the Street-Jews|
Of the Street-Jews
Of the Trades and Localities of the Street-Jews
Of the Jew Old-Clothes Men
Of a Jew Street-Seller
Of the Jew-Boy Street-Sellers
Of the Pursuits, Dwellings, Traffic, Etc., of the Jew-Boy Street-Sellers
Of the Street Jewesses and Street Jew-Girls
Of the Synagogues and the Religion of the Street and Other Jews
Of the Politics, Literature, and Amusements of the Jews
Of the Charities, Schools, and Education of the Jews
Of the Funeral Ceremonies, Fasts, and Customs of the Jews
Of the Jew Street-Sellers of Accordions, and of their Street Musical Pursuits
Of the Street-Buyers of Hogs'--Wash
Of the Street-Buyers of Tea-Leaves
|Of the Street-Finders or Collectors|
Of the Street-Finders or Collectors
Bone-Grubbers and Rag-Gatherers
Of the 'Pure'-Finders
Of the Cigar-End Finders
Of the Old Wood Gatherers
Of the Dredgers, or River Finders
Of the Sewer-Hunters
Of the Mud-Larks
Of the London Dustmen, Nightmen, Sweeps, and Scavengers
Of the Dustmen of London
Of the London Sewerage and Scavengery
|Of the Streets of London|
Of the Streets of London
Of the Traffic of London
Of the Dust and Dirt of the Streets of London
Of the Street-Dust of London, and the Loss and injury Occasioned by it
Of the Horse-Dung of the Streets of London
Of Street 'Mac' and Other Mud
Of the Mud of the Streets
Of the Surface-Water of the Streets of London
Of the Master Scavengers in Former Times
Of the Several Modes and Characteristics of Street-Cleansing
Of the Contractors For Scavengery
Of the Contractors' (or Employers') Premises, &c.
Of the Working Scavengers Under the Contractors
Of the 'Casual Hands' Among the Scavagers
Of the Influence of Free Trade on the Earnings of the Scavagers
Of the Worse Paid Scavagers, or Those Working For Scurf Employers
Of the Street-Sweeping Machine, and the Street-Sweepers Employed With it
Of the Cleansing of the Streets by Pauper Labour
Of the Street-Orderlies
Street Orderlies -- City Surveyor's Report
Of the 'Jet and Hose' System of Scavaging
Of the Cost and Traffic of the Streets of London
Of the Rubbish Carters
Of Casual Labour in General, and That of the Rubbish-Carters in Particular
Of the Casual Labourers among the Rubbish-Carters
The Effects of Casual Labour in General
Of the Scurf Trade Among the Rubbish- Carters
|Of the London Chimney-Sweepers|
Of the London Chimney-Sweepers
Of the Sweepers of Old, and the Climbing Boys
Of the Chimney-Sweepers of the Present Day
Of the General Characteristics of the Working Chimney-Sweepers
Sweeping of the Chimneys of Steam-Vessels
Of the 'Ramoneur' Company
Of the Brisk and Slack Seasons, and the Casual Trade among the Chimney- Sweepers
Of the 'Leeks' Among the Chimney-Sweepers
Of the Inferior Chimney-Sweepers -- the 'Knullers' and 'Queriers'
Of the Fires of London
Of the Sewermen and Nightmen of London
Of the Wet House-Refuse of London
Of the Means of Removing the Wet House-Refuse
Of the Quantity of Metropolitan Sewage
Of Ancient Sewers
Of the Kinds and Characteristics of Sewers
Of the Subterranean Character of the Sewers
Of the House-Drainage of the Metropolis as Connected With the Sewers
Of the London Street-Drains
Of the Length of the London Sewers and Drains
Of the Cost of Constructing the Sewers and Drains of the Metropolis
Of the Uses of Sewers as a Means of Subsoil Drainage
Of the City Sewerage
Of the Outlets, Ramifications, Etc., of the Sewers
Of the Qualities, Etc., of the Sewage
Of the New Plan of Sewerage
Of the Management of the Sewers and the Late Commissions
Of the Powers and Authority of the Present Commissions of Sewers
Of the Sewers Rate
Of the Cleansing of the Sewers -- Ventilation
Of 'Flushing' and 'Plonging,' and Other Modes of Washing the Sewers
Of the Working Flushermen
Of the Rats in the Sewers
Of the Cesspoolage and Nightmen of the Metropolis
Of the Cesspool System of London
Of the Cesspool and Sewer System of Paris
Of the Emptying of the London Cesspools by Pump and Hose
Statement of a Cesspool-Sewerman
Of the Present Disposal of the Night-Soil
Of the Working Nightmen and the Mode of Work