As among the rubbish-carters in the unskilled, and the tailors and shoemakers of the skilled trades, the sweepers' trade also has its slackness and its briskness, and from the same cause—the difference in the The seasons affecting the sweepers' trade are, however, the seasons of the year, the recurring summer and winter, while the seasons influencing the employment of West-end tailors are the seasons of fashion.
The chimney-sweepers' season is in the winter, and especially at what may be in the respective households the periods of the resumption and discontinuance of sitting-room fires.
The sweepers' seasons of briskness and slackness, indeed, may be said then to be ruled by the thermometer, for the temperature causes the increase or diminution of the number of fires, and consequently of the production of soot. The thermometrical period for fires appears to be from October to the following April, both inclusive ( months), for during that season the temperature is below °. I have seen it stated, and I believe it is merely a statement of a fact, that at time, and even now in some houses, it was customary enough for what were called "great families" to have a fixed day (generally Michaelmas-day, ) on which to commence fires in the sitting-rooms, and another stated day (often May-day, ) on which to discontinue them, no matter what might be the mean temperature, whether too warm for the enjoyment of a fire, or too cold comfortably to dispense with it. Some wealthy persons now, I am told—such as call themselves "economists," while their servants and dependants apply the epithet "mean"—defer fires until the temperature descends to °, or from November to March, both inclusive, a season of only months.
As this question of the range of the thermometer evidently influences the seasons, and therefore, the casual labour of the sweepers, I will give the following interesting account of the changing temperature of the metropolis, month by month, the information being derived from the observations of years ( to ), by Mr. Luke Howard. The average temperature appears to be:—
London, I may further state, is degrees warmer than the country, especially in winter, owing to the shelter of buildings and the multiplicity of the fires in the houses and factories. In the summer the metropolis is about degree hotter than the country, owing to want of free air in London, and to a cause little thought about —the reverberations from narrow streets. In spring and autumn, however, the temperature of both town and country is nearly equal.
In London, moreover, the nights are . degrees colder than the days; in the country they
|are . degrees colder. The extreme ranges of the temperature in the day, in the capital, are from ° to °. The thermometer fallen below zero in the night time, but not frequently.|
In London the hottest months are degrees warmer than the coldest; the temperature of July, which is the hottest month, being .; and that of January, the coldest month, . degrees.
The month in which there are the greatest number of extremes of heat and cold is January. In February and December there are (generally speaking) only such extreme variations, and in July; through the other months, however, the extremes are more diffused, and there are only spring and autumn months (April and June—September and November), which are not exposed to great differences of temperature.
The mean temperature assumes a rate of increase in the different months, which may be represented by a curve nearly equal and parallel with representing the progress of the sun in declination.
Hoar-frosts occur when the thermometer is about °, and the dense yellow fogs, so peculiar to London, are the most frequent in the months of November, December, and January, whilst the temperature ranges below °.
The busy season in the chimney-sweepers' trade commences at the beginning of November, and continues up to the month of May; during the remainder of the year the trade is "slack." When the slack season has set in nearly men are thrown out of employment. These, as well as many of the single-handed masters, resort to other kinds of employment. Some turn costermongers, others tinkers, knife-grinders, &c., and others migrate to the country and get a job at haymaking, or any other kind of unskilled labour. Even during the brisk season there are upwards of men out of employment; some of these occasionally contrive to get a machine of their own, and go about "knulling,"—getting a job where they can.
Many of the master sweepers employ in the summer months only journeymen, whereas they require in the winter months; but this, I am informed, is not the general average, and that it will be more correct to compute it for the whole trade, in the proportion of and a half to . We may, then, calculate that - of the entire trade is displaced during the slack season.
This, then, may be taken as the extent of casual labour, with all the sufferings it entails upon improvident, and even upon careful working-men.
A youth casually employed as a sweeper gave the following account:—"I jobs for the sweeps sometimes, sir, as I'd job for anybody else, and if you have any herrands to go, and will send me, I'll be unkimmon thankful. I haven't no father and don't remember , and mother might do well but for the ruin (gin). I calls it 'ruin' out of spite. No, I don't care for it myself. I like beer to a farthing to it. "She's a ironer, sir, a stunning good , but I don't like to talk about her, for she might yarn a hatful of browns— a day; and when she has pulled up for a month or more it's stunning is the difference. I'd rather not be asked more about that. Her great fault against me is as I won't settle. I was time put to a woman's shoemaker as worked for a ware'us. He was a relation, and I was to go prentice if it suited. But I couldn't stand his confining ways, and I'm sartain sure that he only wanted me for some tin mother said she'd spring if all was square. He was bad off, and we lived bad, but he always pretended he was going to be stunning busy. So I hooked it. I'd other places—a pot-boy's was , but no go. None suited.
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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