WE here come to the practical part of this complex subject. We have ascertained the length of the streets of London—we have estimated the amount of daily, weekly, and yearly traffic—calculated the quantity of mud, dung, "mac," dust, and surface-water formed and collected annually throughout the metropolis—we have endeavoured to arrive at some notion as to the injury done by all this vast amount of filth owing to what the Board of Health has termed "imperfect scavenging,"—and we now come to treat of the means by which the loads of street refuse—the loads of dust—loads of "mac" and mud, and the tons of dung, are severally and collectively removed throughout the year.
There are distinct, and, in a measure, diametrically opposed, methods of street-cleansing at present in operation.
. That which consists in cleaning the streets when dirtied.
. That which consists in cleaning them and them clean.
These modes of scavenging may not appear, to those who have paid but little attention to the matter, to be widely different means of effecting the same object. The , however, removes the refuse from the streets (sooner or later) , whereas the other removes it By the latter method the streets are never allowed to get dirty —by the former they must be dirty before they are cleansed.
The plan of street-cleansing dirtied, or the pre-scavenging system, is of recent introduction, being the mode adopted by the "street-orderlies;" that of cleansing after having dirtied, or the postscavenging system, is (so far as the more or common method is concerned) the same as that pursued centuries ago. I shall speak of each of these modes in due course, beginning with that last mentioned.
By the ordinary method of scavenging, the dirt is still swept or scraped to side of the public way, then shovelled into a cart and conveyed to the place of deposit. In wet weather the dirt swept or scraped to side is so liquified that it is known as "slop," and is "lifted" into the cart in shovels hollowed like sugar-spoons. The only change of which I have heard in this mode of scavenging was in of the tools. Until about years ago birch, or occasionally heather, brooms or besoms were used by the street-sweepers, but they soon became clogged in dirty weather, and then, as working scavenger explained it to me, "they scattered and drove the dirt to the sides 'stead of making it go right ahead as you wants it." The material now used for the street-sweeper's broom is known as "bass," and consists of the stems or branches of a New Zealand plant, a substance which has considerable strength and elasticity of fibre, and both "sweeps" and "scrapes" in the process of scavenging. The broom itself, too, is differently constructed, having divisions between the several insertions of bass in the wooden block of the head, so that clogging is less frequent, and cleaning easier, whereas the birch broom consisted of a close mass of twigs, and thus scattered while it swept the dirt. There was, of course, some outcry on the part of the "established-order-of-things" gentry among scavengers, against the innovation, but it is now general. As all the scavengers, no matter how they vary in other respects, work with the brooms described, this mention of the change will suffice. No doubt the cleansing of the streets is accomplished with greater efficiency and with greater celerity than it was, but the mere process of manual toil is little altered.
In a work like the present, however, we have more particularly to deal with the labourers engaged; and, viewing the subject in this light, we may arrange the several modes of street-cleansing into the following divisions:—
. By paid manual-labourers, or men employed by the contractors, and paid in the ordinary ways of wages.
. By paid "Machine"--labourers, differing from the only or mainly in the means by which they attain their end.
. By pauper labourers, or men employed by the parishes in which they are set to work, and either paid in money or in food, or maintained in the workhouses.
. By street-orderlies, or men employed by philanthropists—a body of workmen with particular regulations and more organized than other scavengers.
By or other of these modes of scavengery all the public ways of the metropolis are cleansed; and the subject is most peculiar, as including within itself all the several varieties of labour, if we except that of women and children—viz., manual labour, mechanical labour, pauper labour, and philanthropic labour.
By these several varieties of labour the highways and by-ways of the entire metropolis are cleansed, with exception—the Mews, concerning which a few words here may not be out of place. these localities, whether they be what are styled Private or Gentlemen's Mews, or Public Mews, where stables, coach-houses, and dwelling-rooms above them, may be taken by any (a good many of such places being, moreover, public or partial thoroughfares); or whether they be job-masters' or cab-proprietors' mews; are scavenged by the occupants, for the manure is valuable. The mews of London, indeed, constitute a world of their own. They are tenanted by class— coachmen and grooms, with their wives and families—men who are devoted to pursuit, the care of horses and carriages; who live and asso-
|ciate among another; whose talk is of horses (with something about masters and mistresses) as if to ride or to drive were the great ends of human existence, and who thus live as much together as the Jews in their compulsory quarters in Rome. The mews are also the "chambers" of unemployed coachmen and grooms, and I am told that the very sicknesses known in such places have their own peculiarities. These, however, form matter for inquiry.|
Concerning the private scavenging of the metropolitan mews, the , of , contains a letter from Mr. C. Cochrane, in which that gentleman says:—
I may dismiss this part of the subject with the remark, that I was informed that the mews' manure was in regular demand and of ready sale, being removed by the market-gardeners with greater facility than can street-dirt, which the contractors with the parishes prefer to vend by the barge-load.
Having enumerated the several modes of street-cleansing, I will now proceed to point out briefly the characteristics of each class of cleansing. This will also denote the quality of the employers and the nature of the employment.
. constitute the bulk of those engaged in scavenging, and the chief pay-masters are the contractors. Many of these labourers consider themselves the only "regular hands," having been "brought up to the business;" but unemployed or destitute labourers or mechanics, or reduced tradesmen, will often endeavour to obtain employment in streetsweep- ing; this is the necessary evil of all labour, for since every can do it (without previous apprenticeship), it follows that the beatenout artisans or discarded trade assistants, beggared tradesmen, or reduced gentlemen, must necessarily resort to it as their only means of independent support; and hence the reason why dock labour and street labour, and indeed all the several forms of unskilled work, have a tendency to be overstocked with hands—the occupations being, as it were, the sink for all the refuse labour and beggared industry of the country.
The "contractors," like other employers, are separated by their men into classes—such as, in more refined callings, are often designated the "honourable" and "dishonourable" traders—according as they pay or do not pay what is reputed "fair wages."
I cannot say that I heard any especial appellation given by the working scavengers to the better-paying class of employers, unless it were the expressive style of "good-'uns." The inferior paying class, however, are very generally known among their work-people as "scurfs."
. — Of the men employed as "attendant" scavengers, for so they may be termed, in connection with these mechanical and vehicular street-sweepers, little need here be said, for they are generally of the class of ordinary scavengers. It may, however, be necessary to explain that each of those machines must have the street refuse, for the "lick-in" of the machine, swept into a straight line wherever there is the slightest slope at the sides of a street towards the foot-path; the same, too, must sometimes be done, if the pavement be at all broken, even when the progress of the machine is, what I heard, not very appropriately, termed "plain sailing." Sometimes, also, men follow the course of the street-sweeping machine, to "sweep up" any dirt missed or scattered, as the vehicle proceeds on a straightforward course, for at all to diverge would be to make the labour, where the machine alone is used, almost double.
. present characteristics peculiarly their own, as regards open-air labour in London. They are employed less to cleanse the streets, than to prevent their being chargeable to the poor's rate as outdoor recipients, or as inmates of the workhouses. When paid, they receive a lower amount of wages than any other scavengers, and they are sometimes paid in food as well as in money, while a difference may be made between the wages of the
|married and of the unmarried men, and even between the married men who have and have not children; some, again, are employed in scavenging without any money receipt, their maintenance in the workhouse being considered a sufficient return for the fruits of their toil.|
Some of these men are feeble, some are unskilful (even in tasks in which skill is but little of an element), and most of them are dissatisfied workmen. Their ranks comprise, or may comprise, men who have filled very different situations in life. It is mentioned in the edition of of the publications of the National Philanthropic Association, "Sanatory Progress" (), "that the once high-salaried cashier of a West-end bank died lately in St. Pancrasworkhouse;—that the architect of several of the most fashionable West-end club-houses is now an inmate of St. James's-workhouse;—and that the architect of St. Pancras' New Church lately died in a back garret in Somers-town. "These recent instances (a few out of many)" says the writer, "prove that 'wealth has wings,' and that Genius and Industry have but leaden feet, when overtaken by Adversity. A late number of the newspaper states that, 'among the police constables on the Great Western Railway, there are at present members of the Royal , and solicitors;'—and the , a few weeks ago, announced the fact, that 'a gentlewoman is now an inmate of the workhouse of that city, whose husband, a few years ago, filled the office of High Sheriff of the county.'"
I do not know that either the cashier or the architect in the workhouses in question was employed as a street-sweeper.
This class, then, are situated differently to the paid street-sweepers (or No. of the present division), who may be considered, more or less, independent or self-supporting labourers, while the paupers are, of course, dependent.
. —These men present another distinct body. They are not merely in the employment, but many of them are under the care, of the National Philanthropic Association, which was founded by, and is now under the presidency of, Mr. Cochrane. The objects of this society, as far as regards the street orderlies' existence as a class of scavengers, are sufficiently indicated in its title, which declares it to be "For the Promotion of Street Cleanliness and the Employment of the Poor; so that able-bodied men may be prevented from burthening the parish rates, and preserved independent of workhouse alms and degradation. Supported by the contributions of the benevolent."
The street orderlies, men and boys, are paid a fixed weekly wage, a certain sum being stopped from those single men who reside in houses rented for them by the association, where their meals, washing, &c., are provided. Among them are men of many callings, and some educated and accomplished persons.
The system of street orderlyism is, moreover, distinguished by attribute unknown to any other mode; it is an effort, persevered in, despite of many hindrances and difficulties, to amend our street scavengery, indeed to reform it altogether; so that dust and dirt may be checked in their very origination.
The corporation, if I may so describe it, of the street orderlies, presents characteristics, again, varying from the other orders of what can only be looked upon either as the self-supporting or pauper workers.
These, then, are the several modes or methods of street-scavengery, and they show the following:—
Under the head of "Traders" are the contractors with the parishes, &c., and the proprietors of the sweeping-machines, who are in the same capacity as the "regular contractors" respecting their dealings with labourers, but who substitute mechanical for manual operations.
Of these several classes of masters engaged in the scavengery of the metropolis I have much to say, and, for the clearer saying of it, I shall treat each of the several varieties of labour separately.
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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