An unidentified alley in Lambeth, London c. 1860’s.  Uneven cobbles, walls jutting out and leaning as if about to collapse, and is that a costermonger’s barrow at the end of the alley?

[ABSOLUTELY PERFECT setting for Carriage en route to burglary AND Chase Scene!] An unidentified alley in Lambeth, London c. Uneven cobbles, walls jutting out and leaning as if about to collapse, and is that a costermonger’s barrow at the end of the alley?

A group of ‘Pearlies’ from the 1900s. In the 19th century London was full of street traders known as costermongers or costers. In order to attract customers costers would decorate their clothes with mother of pearl buttons which were a common product manufactured in the East End of London. In the 1870s an orphaned road sweeper and rat catcher called Henry Croft took inspiration from this, covered a suit and top hat with pearl buttons and used the notoriety it gave him to raise money for…

vicfangirlguide: A group of ‘Pearlies’ from the In the century London was full of street traders known as costermongers or costers. In order to attract customers costers would decorate their clothes with mother of pearl buttons.

Social trading: Before ebay, small businesses frequently moved door to door, establishing their credibility through the advocacy of their customers much like ebay does today. This photo is from Bishopsgate Institute and shows a street fishmonger whose business was along Whitechapel road in London. Taken in 1876 by photographer John Thompson.

Sweeps, nomads, quacks and crawlers: The exotic down and outs of Victorian London captured on camera in the 1870s

Photographer: John Thomson The Cheap Fish Of St. Giles’s [Street Life in London] 1877 Woodburytype London School of Economics - Digital Library (via Accidental Mysteries, A Street Photographer of Century London: Observatory: Design Observer)

There were around 30,000 street sellers (known as costermongers) in London, each selling his or her particular wares from a barrow or donkey-cart. These goods included oysters, pea soup, pies and puddings, sheep’s trotters, street-ices, as well as 2nd hand musical instruments, live birds and even birds nests. Image: A street seller of birds' nests, 1851

A street seller of birds' nests, from Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor, BIRDS NEST SELLER - sold bird nests collected from the wild complete with eggs which were then hatched by domestic birds and sold as pets

Costermongers were street vendors who sold a variety of fruits, pies and treats. They began to be seen in the 17th century but continued on well through the Victorian era.

Costermongers were street vendors who sold a variety of fruits, pies and treats. They began to be seen in the century but continued on well through the Victorian era.

Joseph Carney, a street vendor or "costermonger", sells fresh herring from a barrow in a street market near Seven Dials. The character on the right holding a white pitcher was known locally as "Little Mic-Mac Gosling", as despite being 17 years-old, he was only three feet 10 inches high.   Picture: 'Dickens's Victorian London' by Alex Werner and Tony Williams.

Photographer: John Thomson The Cheap Fish Of St. Giles’s [Street Life in London] 1877 Woodburytype London School of Economics - Digital Library (via Accidental Mysteries, A Street Photographer of Century London: Observatory: Design Observer)

John Leighton’s “London Cries & Public Edifices” were published in 1851

"London Cries & Public Edifices" by John Leighton "The Costard Monger is an itinerant vendor of garden produce, in the background is a seller of hearthstones in conversation with a Punch & Judy man.

John Leighton’s “London Cries & Public Edifices” were published in 1851

"London Cries & Public Edifices" by John Leighton "The Costard Monger is an itinerant vendor of garden produce, in the background is a seller of hearthstones in conversation with a Punch & Judy man.

Henry Mahew's:  Coster Boy & Girl Tossing the Pieman. To toss the pieman was a favourite pastime with costermonger’s boys. If the pieman won the toss, he received a penny without giving a pie, if he lost he handed it over for nothing.

a penny pieman From Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor, dubious fast foods.

Muffin Man

Muffin Man, c. 1910 Oh do you know the muffin man, That lives in Drury Lane? Yes I know the muffin man, That lives in Drury Lane.in London, England

The Streets-Morning (tea costermonger in the quiet of predawn) by George Cruikshank, Sketches by Boz, 1836. Archives.org

The Streets-Morning (tea costermonger in the quiet of predawn) by George Cruikshank, Sketches by Boz, 1836. Archives.org

Costermonger

Publications - Social Investigation/Journalism - London Labour and London Poor, Henry Mayhew - Street characters (selected illustrations)

Whelk Monger

Vintage : Old Pictures of London in Victorian Era :A Victorian shellfish stall holder selling oysters and whelks. Original Artwork: From 'Street Life In London' by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith (Photo by John Thomson/Getty Images)

Costermongers, 1914    Eric Kennington

Eric KENNINGTON Costermongers (La Cuisine ambulante) 1914 England 1888 – 1960 oil on canvas (h) x (w) cm

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