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The Rubbish Carter

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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.

London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew - Published 1851 - Available from