Chimney Sweep

Every day lives of Victorian road sellers are revealed in exceptional pictures

The Kent herbalist is pictured selling herbs on the Greenwich High Road in south-east London in the 1880s. This is one of many remarkable photographs from the Victorian era that show the daily lives of adult and child street vendors.

Old Clo' Man, in Greenwich, London, 1880s. During the smallpox epidemics of the 1880s, it was a crime to throw away infected clothing, and the Old Clo' Man was in a risky business.

A chair repairman on the corner of Prince Orange Lane, Greenwich, London

A toy seller in King William Street outside the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, in one of many fascinating photographs commissioned by a priest who wanted to take slides of workmen to use in his sermons.

A level crossing sweeper in Clarence Street, Greenwich

A chimney sweep, Greenwich

Prawn sellers outside Greenwich Park in south-east London in the 1880s, in one of the stunning images showing the daily life of the street vendors (adult and children). On the left is a boy staring into the camera as the picture is taken.

W. Thompson, cake baker, in front of his shop in the alley behind Greenwich Church

Newspaper boy and street sweeper deliver the newspaper “The Daily News” near Greenwich Pier at 7:30 a.m.

A sherbet seller is photographed while a boy drinks from a cup in Greenwich Park. This is one of many photographs commissioned by Charles Spurgeon the Younger, a priest at South St Baptist Chapel, who wanted to use them in his sermons.

A man sells gingerbread in King Street, near Greenwich Park, south-east London. By the end of the 19th century, there were an estimated 30,000 street vendors throughout London, each usually selling their wares from a cart or donkey cart.

A knife grinder poses while cutting a boiler bottom from a sheet of metal, Greenwich

A hokey-pokey boy sells ice cream on Stockwell Street in Greenwich. Various tourism posters can be seen behind the stall. Middle and working class households relied on street vendors who sold their goods at the most competitive prices.

A milk master in his uniform outside the Royal Naval College. Street vendors competed intensely for customers and were not always honest with consumers. One vendor admitted that he boiled oranges to make them swell and look bigger

Young boys watch a blind violinist play outside Crowders' Music Hall – now the Greenwich Theatre. Owned by Charles Crowder, the venue offered Victorian audiences a mix of burlesque, concert and ballet performances each night.

A third-class milkman carrying four-gallon cans on a yoke, Greenwich

A boy stands next to a rabbit seller in Greenwich. The thousands of street vendors were known as “costermongers” or “costers.” Some street vendors shifted their wares from a cart or donkey cart, while others sold their products from stationary stalls.

Fishmonger in Greenwich. The most profitable times for a fishmonger were Saturday and Sunday mornings as recently paid customers wanted to buy their Sunday dinner. The busiest days were Wednesday and Friday as fresh fish was available then.

A child measures his weight on a giant scale that was installed in the 1880s outside Greenwich Park in south-east London. The park itself is a 17th-century landscape with a history dating back to Roman times and covers 183 hectares

A second-class milkman with a handcart and a 17-gallon can in one of many photographs from the 1880s. A journalist from that era documented vendors hawking products such as sheep's feet, baked potatoes, cough drops and even birds' nests.

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