The Crossing-Sweeper Nuisance

This cartoon from the issue of Punch for 26 January 1856 (p. 34), shows the presence of crossing-sweepers who swept horse manure and other filth out of the way so men and especially women of the prosperous classes (who wore dresses that swept the ground) would not soil their clothes when stepping off sidewalks. It also provides contemporary context for Jo in Dickens's Bleak House. [Scanned image (from a volume in the Athenæum Club Library) and text by George P. Landow This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

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Last modified 3 September 2007