In the early 1850s, "Punch" journalist Henry Mayhew began visiting London's poverty-stricken East End and documenting the lives and careers of folks eking out their livings on starvation's edge.
These in-their-own-words descriptions of daily toil are all the more fascinating for the ingenius services provided. Want an exotic bird? A clever con-artist will hand paint a drab domestic peeper, which will sing in your window until overwhelmed by its toxic coat. Or perhaps you require chemicals with which to tan leather? Just hire an old lady to come by every few hours with a can full of dog crap, the #1 substance for the job. (This was one of the better paying occupations of the lower classes.)
The University of Virginia has digitized Mayhew's rare and fascinating work, illuminating the secret histories and practices of costermongers, ginger beer men, love song sellers, lucifer match dealers and all their colorful, forgotten peers.
Update: Phil sez, "Further to your post about the University of Virginia digitising Henry Mayhew's excellent 1850s accounts of London's poor... They only appear to have the first volume. Tufts have had the full four volumes available online for at least a couple of years. They also include scans of images from the books -- example.
"In case the full volumes are a bit daunting, I blogged a couple of my favourite extracts a while back, one about a man fighting rats for money (with his mouth!) and one about the hilarious tricks early photographic shops used to get up to with customers who weren't accustomed to seeing photos."
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Today a future without schools. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence. Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon | RedditIn this episode we talk to a computer scientist who developed an artificially […]
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
These days, the vape market is saturated with low-quality products, making it nearly impossible to separate the gems from the duds. The Atmos Rx Dry Herb Vaporizer stands out from crowd for two reasons: its impressive battery life and durable construction. This high-end little gadget is compact enough to fit in your pocket, and packs a powerful punch, […]
If you’re like us, you occasionally get ambitious with your dinner and try to cook multiple sides plus a main dish. These efforts usually end as a cold meal plus a pile of dishes to wash. MasterPan Multi-Sectional Meal Skillet makes it super easy to make multiple dishes at once without the hassle. This heavy gauge bottom pan […]
The Lytro Illum is our all-time best-selling camera and here’s our best deal yet. Apply the code “Lytro10” to save an extra 10% off on this camera’s mind-blowing functionality in this exclusive one day only sale.