Skip to comments.Sweeps, nomads, quacks and crawlers: (shortened - photos from 1870s London)
Posted on 04/01/2012 4:55:44 AM PDT by PhilosopherStone1000
In the frantic pace of modern life, it is often easy to forget what life was once like for those who built the world we now live in.
These fascinating black and white pictures taken by photographer John Thompson show the reality of existence in the 1800s when photography was in its infancy.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
A macabre sidelight to the picture of the Roma in their caravan - the woman on the left was murdered a few weeks later.
I love the little morality tales that go with each one!
The guy in the pic looks like a young Teddy Kennedy.
It made a big difference then. Better for everyone if it still did.
He couldn’t be any relation - the sweep was a noted temperance advocate.
Curious as to why the Street Doctor walks with what appear to be three inch lift soles on his shoes.
Seeing all those carts/wagons reminded me of something from my childhood. In 1950’s Lyons, Illinois there was a guy who pulled his cart around town sharpening knives, scissors, etc., on a foot operated grindstone.
Only one foot, I think. I figured it was due to polio.
Anyhow, the comments by the Brits are maddening. I find them to be one of the most vile people the world over.
If you read the article, he's a newly reformed alcohlic and a temperance advocate.
Was he British or Indian? At the time, even now, many Europeans loved exotic medicine...
Rough living back...the horses looked malnourshed
The children working on the street...bet the smell
of the city would knock a person of today backwards
Correct,widescale Paki immigration got into full swing in the early 60’s and continued thus for 20 years..
Walter A. Wyckoff walked/worked his way across America in 1891-93 as a Social Experiment to see if an unskilled laborer could make it. (Unskilled wages then were 12 1/2 cents per hour for a 10-hour day.) He wrote three books that became best sellers in the 1900s - "The Workers - East" "-West", and "A Day With A Tramp".
His worst time was December-May in 1892 Chicago. He mentioned how the horse manure was ground into a pasty slime and how the women had to raise their skirts "to keep from being befouled" as the stuff was tracked on to the sidewalks. The place must have reeked in the summertime, but he never mentioned it in any of his travels. Must have been so commonplace he was used to it.
He did mention walking in some area that just had boards for a sidewalk and the slime would ooze up between the cracks as he walked along. He ran across two very young girls sifting through a slop barrel outside a saloon and crying with joy when they found a "rancid piece of meat". The "Good Old Days" - weren't - for many working class people.
Now, if one doesn't have a cell phone, tablet and a flat screen, they are "underprivileged".
Child labor was the big things back then.
Poverty was seen as the normal status of human beings. Anyone who wasn’t poor had worked at it.
As a youth in Germany in the late 1800's, my grandpa was kicked by a horse hitched to a parked bakery cart. They didn't know how to set broken bones in those days, at the very least the common folk had no access to knowledgeable doctors. So, whatever happened or didn't happen, grandpa ended up with one leg shorter than the other. For the rest of his life he limped severely and walked with a cane.
Today he would have received a prosthetic shoe.....more scientifically made than the clumsy, more primitive ones of over a hundred years ago.
Your post brought back a memory of my childhood that was completely forgotten....In Detroit we had a man pushing his grinding wheel and walking down the street yelling for anyone that wanted their knives or scissors shapened to bring them out....there were memories of horse drawn ice wagons, sheeny men, horse drawn milk wagons but the knife sharpener guy was forgotten until you brough it up...Circa: 1940’s....Oh yea and the fresh produce truck’s twice a week run....
Just about all the horses you see nowadays are the top end of the scale as far as conformation and build. That's because we don't use horses for general transport any more, so there is no need for cheap, ugly horses.
The people in these photos were at the bottom of the heap, so a cheap ugly horse was all they could afford. Those poor equines are the flesh-and-blood equivalent of the old smoking beater of a pickup truck with busted out windows, rusted-out fenders and a rope holding the hood closed.
Read Anna Sewell's Black Beauty. She was a reformer, so the story is a bit exaggerated and crowds every kind of mistreatment you could see on the streets of London into one horse's story -- but it's pretty accurate.
The other end of the heap:
King Edward VII with his racehorse, Persimmon, who won both the Derby and the St. Leger in 1896.
While big influx of South Asian didn’t start until the 60s, European fixation to exotic Asia had been around for long, at least to the 19th century. Arts, knowledge, and medicine from the East were romanticized as ‘purer’ to the Western counterpart (needless to say, many Westerners still hold similar views). So, street medicine sold by Indian would look more authentic and potent.
Looks like a corrective shoe - maybe a club foot, or maybe the dude has some kind of sympathy scam going on...?
Yes, perhaps I should embrace the America hating, free enterprise hating British folks who frequent so many message boards and who I have encountered over the years.
Thank you for the Wyckoff reference. I have since (reading it this morning) powered my way through both “East” and “West”!
Amazingly well written, insightful and full of real humanity without the slobbering, cowardly leftism that infects so much current “sociology”. I literally could not stop reading those books.
Thanks again for the cite!
I was similarly taken and admired the man so much that my wife and I retraced his travels in 2003. I took pictures of each town as it looks today and compared it to a period post card, along with some snippet from the book.
You can embrace whomever you like.Most Britons don’t hate the USA and to use such language to describe a whole race of whom you obviously know very little,quite frankly shows you to be somewhat of an imbecile.
LOL! That’s the first link that comes up when you google Wyckoff’s name! Congratulations! I’ll get to it when I have some more time for reading.
Really talented dancers getting very little credit from Hollywood (or Broadway for that matter) is SOP. Most are very unsung.
Photos from the 1870s? How’s that possible? That was before cellphones had cameras in them!
Hmm, the numerous socialism loving and defending Brits I have met in my travels, posting on places like the Daily Mail and the Local must be some sort of freak anomalies. I will get an evaluation pronto.
Go with God, my son. :-)
I got pretty windy in the intros, but set up the two maps that covered his East/West books and you can home in to specific states/towns.
Ran across his books in 1966. When I read the bit where he was cold, hungry and homeless in a wintry Chicago, saw an old school chum and knew he'd find warmth and food, and toughed it out instead, I put the book down and thought "I'd like to know that guy", little realizing that he died more than 50 years before that.
When I set the site up, I went and bought the bound Scribners volumes (1897-1898) that had his articles. I got a kick when they had to explain to the readers that the stories were true and not fiction. I guess some back then couldn't believe some of the stuff he saw and went through.
That’s funny. “Weary Willie” was Princeton ‘88. I’m Princeton ‘77. I live right next to the CSX main line.
If your travels continually bring you into contact with socialists and commies,then you are obviously moving in the wrong circles.There are about 65 Million in the UK and yes there are some America haters among them,but there are probably more socialist loving America haters right here in the US,ie the millions who gave us Obama.Leave the Brits alone,they’re doing the best they can with what they have.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.