The Empire gown is figured in the illustration of a walking dress, 1810. It lasted practically until the advent of the crinoline in the forties, when it finally disappeared.
The sewer-hunters are again distinct, and a far more intelligent and adventurous class; but they work in gangs. They must be familiar with the course of the tides, or they might be drowned at high water. They must have quick eyes too, not merely to descry the objects of their search, but to mark the points and bearings of the subterraneous roads they traverse; in a word, “to know their way underground.” There is, moreover, some spirit of daring in venturing into a dark, solitary sewer, the chart being only in the memory, and in braving the possibility of noxious vapours, and the by no means insignificant dangers of the rats infesting these places.
A meeting of ticket-of-leave men, convened by Mr. H. Mayhew, was held some time since at the National Hall, Holborn, with the view of affording to persons of this class, who are anxious to lead a reformed life, an opportunity of stating the difficulties they have to encounter in their endeavour to obtain a honest livelihood. About fifty members of the body responded to Mr. Mayhew’s invitation.
Convicts who have been sentenced to prison, but are released early under the ticket-to-leave experimental scheme.
Young man standing with his porter basket.
The payments of ticket-porters were settled in 1799.
To or from any of the quays, wharfs, stairs, lanes, or alleys at the waterside, between the Tower and London Bridge to any part of Lower Thames-street, Beer-lane, Water-lane, Harp-lane, St. Dunstan’s-hill, St. Mary-hill, Love-lane, Botolph-lane, Pudding-lane, and Fish-street-hill:
For any load or parcel by knot or hand—
Not exceeding ½ cwt. 0s. 4d.
Not exceeding 1 „ 0 6
Not exceeding 1½ „ 0 9
Not exceeding 2 „ 1 0
Cab driver in winter coat with horse whip.
Excerpt from the book
Of the cabdrivers there are several classes, according to the times at which they are employed. These are known in the trade by the names of the “long-day men,” “the morning-men,” the “long-night men,” and the “short-night men,” and “the bucks.” The long-day man is the driver who is supposed to be driving his cab the whole day. He usually fetches his cab out between 9 and 10 in the morning, and returns at 4 or 5, or even 7 or 8, the next morning; indeed it is no matter at what hour he comes in so long as he brings the money that he signs for; the long-day men are mostly employed for the contractors, though some of the respectable masters work their cabs with long-day men, but then they leave the yard between 8 and 9 and are expected to return between 12 and 1.
Orange Mart, Duke's Place
The commoner “green” fruits of home produce are bought by the costermonger in the markets. The foreign green fruit, as pine-apples, melons, grapes, chestnuts, coker-nuts, Brazil-nuts, hazel-nuts, and oranges, are purchased by them at the public sales of the brokers, and of the Jews in Duke’s-place.
The Irish Street-seller
The fruit-sellers, meaning thereby those who deal principally in fruit in the season, are the more intelligent costermongers. The calculation as to what a bushel of apples, for instance, will make in half or quarter pecks, puzzles the more ignorant, and they buy “second-hand,” or of a middle-man, and consequently dearer. The Irish street-sellers do not meddle much with fruit, excepting a few of the very best class of them, and they “do well in it,” I was told, “they have such tongue.”
The London Coffee Stall
The coffee-stall keepers generally stand at the corner of a street. In the fruit and meat markets there are usually two or three coffee-stalls, and one or two in the streets leading to them; in Covent-garden there are no less than four coffee-stalls. Indeed, the stalls abound in all the great thoroughfares, and the most in those not accounted “fashionable” and great “business” routes, but such as are frequented by working people, on their way to their day’s labour.
The London CostermongerThe number of costermongers,—that it is to say, of those street-sellers attending the London “green” and “fish markets,”—appears to be, from the best data at my command, now 30,000 men, women, and children.
The Lucifer Match Girl
The lucifer-match boxes, the most frequent in the street-trade, are bought by the poor persons selling them in the streets, at the manufacturers, or at oil-shops, for a number of oilmen buy largely of the manufacturers, and can “supply the trade” at the same rate as the manufacturer. The price is 2¼d. the dozen boxes, each box containing 150 matches. Some of the boxes (German made) are round, and many used to be of tin, but these are rarely seen now. The prices are proportionate. The common price of a lucifer box in the streets is ½d., but many buyers, I am told, insist upon and obtain three a penny, which they do generally of some one who supplies them regularly. The trade is chiefly itinerant.
The Oyster StallThe trade in oysters is unquestionably one of the oldest with which the London—or rather the English—markets are connected; for oysters from Britain were a luxury in ancient Rome.
Oysters are now sold out of the smacks at Billingsgate, and a few at Hungerford. The more expensive kind such as the real Milton, are never bought by the costermongers, but they buy oysters of a “good middling quality.” At the commencement of the season these oysters are 14s. a “bushel,” but the measure contains from a bushel and a half to two bushels, as it is more or less heaped up. The general price, however, is 9s. or 10s., but they have been 16s. and 18s.
The Street Rhubarb and Spice Seller
The Street Seller of Crockery Ware
The goods are carried in baskets on the head, the men having pads on the cloth caps which they wear—or sometimes a padding of hay or wool inside the cap—while the women’s pads are worn outside their bonnets or caps, the bonnet being occasionally placed on the basket. The goods, though carried in baskets on the head to the locality of the traffic, are, whilst the traffic is going on, usually borne from house to house, or street to street, on the arm, or when in large baskets carried before them by the two hands.
The Street Seller of Dogs Collars
Two of the most profitable pitches for the sale of these articles are in the neighbourhood of the Old Swan Pier, off Thames-street, and at a corner of the Bank. Neither of these two traders confines his stock to dog-collars, though they constitute the most valuable portion of it. The one sells, in addition to his collars, key-rings, keys and chains, dog-whistles, stamps with letters engraved upon them, printer’s type, in which any name or initials may be set up, shaving-brushes, trowser-straps, razors, and a few other light articles.
The Street Seller of Grease Removing composition
The persons engaged in this trade carry it on with a regular patter. One man’s street announcement is in the following words: “Here you have a composition to remove stains from silks, muslins, bombazeens, cords, or tabarets of any kind or colour. It will never injure nor fade the finest silk or satin, but restore it to its original colour. For grease on silks, &c., only rub the composition on dry, let it remain five minutes, then take a clothes’ brush and brush it off, and it will be found to have removed the stains. For grease in woollen cloths spread the composition on the place with a piece of woollen cloth and cold water; when dry rub it off, and it will remove the grease or stain. For pitch or tar use hot water instead of cold, as that prevents the nap coming off the cloth. Here it is. Squares of grease-removing composition, never known to fail, only 1d. each.”
The Street Seller of Nutmeg Graters
Many of those who have lost an arm, or a leg, or a hand, turn showmen, or become sellers of small metal articles, as knives or nutmeg-graters; and many who have been born cripples may be seen in the streets struggling for self-support. But all who are driven to the streets have not been physically disabled for labour. Some have been reduced from their position as tradesmen or shopmen; others, again, have been gentlemen’s servants and clerks; all, dragged down by a series of misfortunes, sometimes beyond their control, and sometimes brought about by their own imprudence or sluggishness
The Street Seller of Walking sticks
The trade is a summer and a Sunday trade. The best localities are the several parks, and the approaches to them,
The Street Stationer
These street-sellers are a numerous body, and the majority of them show a greater degree of industry and energy than is common to many classes of street-folk. They have been for the most part connected with the paper, newspaper, or publishing trade, and some of them have “known better days.”
The Wallflower Girl
For the flowers of commoner or easier culture, the root-seller receives from 1d. to 3d. These are primroses, polyanthuses, cowslips (but in small quantities comparatively), daisies (single and double,—and single or wild, daisies were coming to be more asked for, each 1d.), small early wallflowers, candy-tufts, southernwood (called “lad’s love” or “old man” by some), and daffodils, (but daffodils were sometimes dearer than 3d.).
The Baked Potato Man
“Baked ’taturs! All ’ot, all ’ot!”
The baked potato trade, in the way it is at present carried on, has not been known more than fifteen years in the streets. Before that, potatoes were sometimes roasted as chestnuts are now, but only on a small scale. The trade is more profitable than that in fruit, but continues for but six months of the year.
The Blind Boot-Lace Seller
The Coster Boy and Girl Tossing the pieman
The itinerant trade in pies is one of the most ancient of the street callings of London. The meat pies are made of beef or mutton; the fish pies of eels; the fruit of apples, currants, gooseberries, plums, damsons, cherries, raspberries, or rhubarb, according to the season—and occasionally of mince-meat. A few years ago the street pie-trade was very profitable, but it has been almost destroyed by the “pie-shops,” and further, the few remaining street-dealers say “the people now haven’t the pennies to spare.” Summer fairs and races are the best places for the piemen.
To “toss the pieman” is a favourite pastime with costermongers boys and all that class; some of whom aspire to the repute of being gourmands, and are critical on the quality of the comestible. If the pieman win the toss, he receives 1d. without giving a pie; if he lose, he hands it over for nothing.
The life of the coster-girls is as severe as that of the boys. Between four and five in the morning they have to leave home for the markets, and sell in the streets until about nine. Those that have more kindly parents, return then to breakfast, but many are obliged to earn the morning’s meal for themselves. After breakfast, they generally remain in the streets until about ten o’clock at night; many having nothing during all that time but one meal of bread and butter and coffee, to enable them to support the fatigue of walking from street to street with the heavy basket on their heads. In the course of a day, some girls eat as much as a pound of bread, and very seldom get any meat, unless it be on a Sunday.
The Groundsel Man
“Chick-weed and Grun-sell!”
Fourteen or fifteen years ago, although seeds, generally, were fifteen to twenty per cent. dearer than they are now, there was twice the demand for them. An average price of good mignonette seed, he said, was now 1s. the quarter of a pound, and it was then 1s. 2d. to 1s. 6d. The shilling’s worth, is made, by the street-seller, into twenty or twenty-four pennyworths. An average price of parsley, and of the cheaper seeds, is less than half that of mignonette. Other seeds, again, are not sold to the street-people by the weight, but are made up in sixpenny and shilling packages. Their extreme lightness prevents their being weighed to a customer. Of this class are, the African marigold, the senecios (groundsel), and the china-aster; but of these compound flowers, the street-traders sell very few.
The Rat catchers of the Sewers
The live animals sold in the streets include beasts, birds, fish, and reptiles, all sold in the streets of London.
The Rubbish Carter
Technologically there are several varieties of “rubbish,” or rather “dirt,” for such appears to be the generic term, of which “rubbish” is strictly a species. Dirt, according to the understanding among the rubbish-carters, would seem to consist of any solid earthy matter, which is of an useless or refuse character. This dirt the trade divides into two distinct kinds, viz.:—
1. “Soft dirt,” or refuse clay (of which “dry dirt,” or refuse soil or mould, is a variety).
2. “Hard-dirt,” or “hard-core,” consisting of the refuse bricks, chimney-pots, slates, &c., when a house is pulled down, as well as the broken bottles, pans, pots, or crocks, and oyster-shells, &c., which form part of the contents of the dustman’s cart.
The Street Dog Seller
The live animals sold in the streets include beasts, birds, fish, and reptiles, all sold in the streets of London.
Nightmen, or those who remove the contents of the cesspools.
Means of Cleaning Cesspools by pump and hose
One of the few remaining climbing sweeps
The “Street Orderlies.”—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.”
Street Seller of Birds Nests
“I am a seller of birds’-nesties, snakes, slow-worms, adders, ‘effets’—lizards is their common name—hedgehogs (for killing black beetles); frogs (for the French—they eats ’em); snails (for birds); that’s all I sell in the summer-time.
The Able-Bodied Pauper street sweeper
It seems indeed, from all I could learn on the subject, that pauper street-work, even at the best, is unwilling and slovenly work, pauper workmen being the worst of all workmen. If the streets be swept clean, it is because a dozen paupers are put to the labour of eight, nine, or ten regular scavagers who are independent labourers, and who may have some “pride of art,” or some desire to show their employers that they are to be depended upon. This feeling does not actuate the pauper workman, who thinks or knows that if he did evince a desire and a perseverance to please, it would avail him little beyond the sneers and ill-will of his mates; so that, even with a disposition to acquire the good opinion of the authorities, there is this obstacle in his way, and to most men who move in a circumscribed sphere it is a serious obstacle.
The Bearded Crossing sweeper at the Exchange
That portion of the London street-folk who earn a scanty living by sweeping crossings constitute a large class of the Metropolitan poor. We can scarcely walk along a street of any extent, or pass through a square of the least pretensions to “gentility,” without meeting one or more of these private scavengers. Crossing-sweeping seems to be one of those occupations which are resorted to as an excuse for begging; and, indeed, as many expressed it to me, “it was the last chance left of obtaining an honest crust.”
The advantages of crossing-sweeping as a means of livelihood seem to be:
1st, the smallness of the capital required in order to commence the business;
2ndly, the excuse the apparent occupation it affords for soliciting gratuities without being considered in the light of a street-beggar;
And 3rdly, the benefits arising from being constantly seen in the same place, and thus exciting the sympathy of the neighbouring householders, till small weekly allowances or “pensions” are obtained.
The Bone Grubber
The Bone Grubbers go abroad daily to find in the streets, and carry away with them such things as bones, rags, “pure” (or dogs’-dung), which no one appropriates. These they sell, and on that sale support a wretched life.
The Boy Crossing Sweepers
The Crippled Street Bird Seller
The Crossing sweeper that has been a maid servant
She is to be found any day between eight in the morning and seven in the evening, sweeping away in a convulsive, jerky sort of manner, close to —— square, near the Foundling. She may be known by her pinched-up straw bonnet, with a broad, faded, almost colourless ribbon. She has weak eyes, and wears over them a brownish shade. Her face is tied up, because of a gathering which she has on her head. She wears a small, old plaid cloak, a clean checked apron, and a tidy printed gown.
The Irish Crossing Sweeper
his man, a native of “County Corruk,” has been in England only two years and a half. He wears a close-fitting black cloth cap over a shock of reddish hair; round his neck he has a coloured cotton kerchief, of the sort advertised as “Imitation Silk.” His black coat is much torn, and his broom is at present remarkably stumpy. He waits quietly at the post opposite St. ——’s Church, to receive whatever is offered him. He is unassuming enough in his manner, and, as will be seen, not even bearing any malice against his two enemies, “The Swatestuff Man” and “The Switzer.”
The London Dustman
Were the collection of mud and dust carried on by a number of distinct individuals—that is to say, were each individual dustman and scavenger to collect on his own account, there is no doubt that no one man could amass a fortune by such means—while if the collection of bones and rags and even dogs’-dung were carried on “in the large way,” that is to say, by a number of individual collectors working for one “head man,” even the picking up of the most abject refuse of the metropolis might become the source of great riches.
The London Scavenger
These men, for by far the great majority are men, may be divided, according to the nature of their occupations, into three classes:—
1. The bone-grubbers and rag-gatherers, who are, indeed, the same individuals, the pure-finders, and the cigar-end and old wood collectors.
2. The dredgermen, the mud-larks, and the sewer-hunters.
3. The dustmen and nightmen, the sweeps and the scavengers.
The London Sweep
Or, to check the estimate another way, there are 350 master sweepers throughout London. A master sweeper in a “large way of business” collects, I am informed, one day with another, from 30 to 40 bushels of soot; on the other hand, a small master, or “single-handed” chimney-sweeper is able to gather only about 5 bushels, and scarcely that. One master sweeper said that about 10 bushels a day would, he thought, be a fair average quantity for all the masters, reckoning one day with another; so that at this rate we should have 1,095,500 bushels for the gross quantity of soot annually collected throughout the metropolis.
The Milkmaids Garland
The Mud Lark
There is another class who may be termed river-finders, although their occupation is connected only with the shore; they are commonly known by the name of “mud-larks,” from being compelled, in order to obtain the articles they seek, to wade sometimes up to their middle through the mud left on the shore by the retiring tide.
Among the mud-larks may be seen many old women, and it is indeed pitiable to behold them, especially during the winter, bent nearly double with age and infirmity, paddling and groping among the wet mud for small pieces of coal, chips of wood, or any sort of refuse washed up by the tide.
The Old-Clothes Man
Fifty years ago the appearance of the street-Jews, engaged in the purchase of second-hand clothes, was different to what it is at the present time. The Jew then had far more of the distinctive garb and aspect of a foreigner. He not unfrequently wore the gabardine, which is never seen now in the streets, but some of the long loose frock coats worn by the Jew clothes’ buyers resemble it. At that period, too, the Jew’s long beard was far more distinctive than it is in this hirsute generation.
In other respects the street-Jew is unchanged. Now, as during the last century, he traverses every street, square, and road, with the monotonous cry, sometimes like a bleat, of “Clo’! Clo’!”
Flushing the Sewers
The next step in our inquiry—and that which at present concerns us more than any other—is the mode of removing the solid deposits from the sewers, as well as the condition of the workmen connected with that particular branch of labour. The sewers are the means by which a larger proportion of the wet refuse of the metropolis is removed from our houses, and we have now to consider the means by which the more solid part of this refuse is removed from the sewers themselves. The latter operation is quite as essential to health and cleanliness as the former; for to allow the filth to collect in the channels which are intended to remove it, and there to remain decomposing and vitiating the atmosphere of the metropolis, is manifestly as bad as not to remove it at all; and since the more solid portions of the sewage will collect and form hard deposits at the bottom of each duct, it becomes necessary that some means should be devised for the periodical purgation of the sewers themselves.
It was in 1751 that Dr Wall, a chemist and artist, completed his experiment in the combination of various elements, and produced a porcelain which was more like the true or natural Chinese porcelain than any ever devised. This was the more remarkable because kaolin had not then been discovered in this country.
Wedgwood's copy of the Barberini or Portland Vase was a great triumph of his art. This vase, which had contained the ashes of the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus and his mother, was of dark-blue glass, with white enamel figures. It now stands in the medal room of the British Museum alongside a model by Wedgwood. It stands 10 inches high, and is the finest specimen of an ancient cameo cut-glass vase known. It was smashed by a madman in 1845, but was afterwards skilfully repaired. Wedgwood made fifty copies in fine earthenware, which were originally sold at 25 guineas each. One of these now fetches £200. The vase itself once changed hands for eighteen hundred guineas, and a copy fetched two hundred and fifteen guineas in 1892.
Wedgwood at Work
He was bound apprentice to his brother Thomas in 1744, when in his fourteenth year; but this weak knee, which hampered him so much, proved a blessing in disguise, for it sent him from the thrower's place to the moulder's board, where he improved the ware, his first effort being an ornamental teapot made of the ochreous clay of the district.
Sir Henry Bessemer says: 'It is this new material, so much stronger and tougher than common iron, that now builds our ships of war and our mercantile marine. Steel forms their boilers, their propeller shafts, their hulls, their masts and spars, their standing rigging, their cable chains and anchors, and also their guns and armour-plating. This new material has covered with a network of steel rails the surface of every country in Europe, and in America alone there are no less than 175,000 miles of Bessemer steel rails.' These steel rails last six times longer than if laid of iron.'
a, a, a, tuyères; b, air-space; c, melted metal
A very important development of the manufacture of steel followed the introduction of the 'Bessemer process,' by means of which a low carbon or mild cast-steel can be produced at about one-tenth of the cost of crucible steel. It is used for rails, for the tires of the wheels of railway carriages, for ship-plates, boiler-plates, for shafting, and a multitude of constructional and other purposes to which only wrought iron was formerly applied, besides many for which no metal at all was used.
This machine enlarged at one bound the whole scale of working in iron, and permitted Maudsley's lathe to develop its entire range of capacity. The old 'tilt-hammer' was so constructed that the more voluminous the material submitted to it, the less was the power attainable; so that as soon as certain dimensions had been exceeded, the hammer became utterly useless.
Standing jumps are either high or broad, the latter being the most common. The secret of making a high standing jump consists in standing sidewise to the bar or tape, and throwing the body over as if vaulting with one hand, arching the back inward as much as possible. The best standing high jumper on record is E. W. Johnson, a Toronto man, now keeper of the Baltimore Athletic Club Gymnasium. He jumped a bar 5 feet 3 inches high, at the Caledonian Games, at Baltimore, May 27, 1878.
You are at full liberty to laugh at the figure, for there is no question that it has strong elements of the ludicrous; but for all that it is not exaggerated, and such attitudes may be seen in every last short-distance match.
In the professional, the weight falls on a nearly perpendicular column through the body, which is in balance, striking the ground midway between the points of support—the feet. If the man were to stop just where he is, he is in a position to resist a shove either forward or back. A smart push from behind would infallibly send our unskilled friend on his nose.
The unskilled amateur, who sets out to walk fast, generally makes several grave mistakes. He leans his body forward, bends his back, lowers his head, swings his arms at full length, and allows his knees to bend. The consequence is that when he is doing his very best his attitude is very much like that in the first cut, depicting the unskilled walker.
There is no question that the poor fellow is doing his best, and very little doubt that he can not last long at the rate he is going.
"A little care at first will save you a great deal of trouble and annoyance. When you begin to shoot, learn at once to stand firmly on your feet, the left slightly advanced, the head easily poised, the upper portion of the body gently inclined forward, and the shoulders neither lifted nor drooped. Hold the bow vertically with the left hand, the arm extended straight. Nock the arrow well on the string, draw with all the fingers of your right hand till you feel your right ear, fix your eyes steadily on the target and let fly. The arrow rests on the left hand, and is drawn to the head. The nock end of the shaft is held between the first and second fingers of the right hand and upon the string, which is drawn to the right ear by all the fingers being hooked stiffly over it. The release must be smart and clear, giving the arrow a strong, even flight.
The first thing that one notices about this figure is its ease, and the absence of all appearance of effort. The professional walker, looks as if he was walking hard, but this fellow seems trying to run as slow as he can. The fact is that, while not actually trying to go slow, he is trying to save himself as much exertion as is compatible with getting over the ground a little faster than the fastest walk. Such a pace is from six to eight miles an hour, and such a pace can be maintained by a well-trained man like Rowell after he is unable to walk over three miles an hour.
Sprint running is only an exaggeration of the system displayed in long-distance work. The arms rise as in fast walking, and for the same reasons, till they are doubled up. The work, being fast, requires that the lungs be kept expanded, therefore the arms are kept stiff and rigid to aid the chest muscles in holding out the walls of the thorax to give room to the lungs. The distribution of weight, on account of the rapid motion, comes to be much the same as in fast walking, but the knees are bent of necessity; because in running the progression is made by springs from toe to toe, instead of heel to heel. The same cause admits of the upper part of the body falling forward, though the elevation of nose and hollowing of back is even more important than in long-distance work, inasmuch as the exertion is more severe while it lasts.
The Nautch Girls are the singing and dancing girls of the East. They are gorgeously attired in robes of embroidered silk and muslin, and covered with jewels. They attend the public and private festivals and entertain the company bu their soft and voluptuous songs, and graceful attitudes.
Poster for the Burns Exhibition
Poster for Rowntree's Elect Cocoa
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Price 16-½ Gns.
Actual value 25 Gns.
New model fur coat
NEW MOLESKIN SET, as sketch, worked from full selected British skins.
Special price, STOLE, 69/6
5 Gns. the set. Actual value 8 gns.
USEFUL FUR COAT, as sketch, in good Seal Musquash, made from reliable skins, lined new striped chiffon taffeta silk.
Price 13-½. Gns.
Actual value. 19-½ Gns.