London Labour and the London Poor, volume 2
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Bed- Ticking, Sacking, Fringe, &c.
FOR there is generally a ready sale, but I was told "not near so ready as it was a dozen year or more back." reason which I heard assigned for this was, that new ticking was made so cheap (being a thin common cotton, for the lining of common carpet-bags, portmanteaus, &c., that poor persons scrupled to give any equivalent price for good sound -hand linen bedtick- ing, "though," said a dealer, "it'll still wear out half a dozen of their new slop rigs. I should like a few of them there slop-masters, that's making fortins out of foolish or greedy folks, to have to live a few weeks in the streets by this sort of -hand trade; they'd hear what was thought of them then by all sensible people, which aren't so many as they should be by a precious long sight."
The ticking sold in the street is bought for the patching of beds and for the making of pillows and bolsters, and for these purposes is sold in pieces at from to as the most frequent price. woman who used to sell bed-ticking, but not lately, told me that she knew poor women who cared nothing for such convenience themselves, buy ticking to make pillows for their children.
is sold without much difficulty in the street-markets, and usually in pieces at from to This sacking has been part of a corn sack, or of the strong package in which some kinds of goods are dispatched by sea or railway. It is bought for the mending of bedstead sacking, and for the making of porters' knots, &c.
is still in fair demand, but though cheaper than ever, does not, I am assured, "sell so well as when it was dearer." Many of my readers will have remarked, when they have been passing the apartments occupied by the working class, that the valance fixed from the top of the window has its adornment of fringe; a blind is sometimes adorned in a similar manner, and so is the valance from the tester of a bedstead. For such uses the -hand fringe is bought in the street-markets in pieces, sometimes called "quantities," of from to
used to be an article of street-traffic to some extent. If offered at all now—and man, though he was a regular street-seller, thought he had not seen offered in a market this year—they are worn things such as will not be taken by the pawnbrokers, while the dolly-shop people would advance no more than the table-cloth might be worth for the ragbag. , now in such general use, are not as yet sold -hand in the streets.
I was told by a street-seller that he had heard an old man (since dead), who was a buyer of -hand goods, say that in the old times, after a great sale by auction—as at Wanstead-house (Mr. Wellesley Pole's), about years ago—the open-air trade was very brisk, as the street-sellers, like the shop-traders, proclaimed all their secondhand wares as having been bought at "the great sale." For some years no such "" has been practised by street-folk.