London Labour and the London Poor, volume 2

Mayhew, Henry


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.

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 Title Page
Of the Street-Sellers of Second-Hand Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Live Animals
Of the Street-Sellers of Mineral Productions and Natural Curiosities
Of the Street-Buyers
Of the Street-Jews
Of the Street-Finders or Collectors
Of the Streets of London
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