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Illustration of a baked potato seller from 'London: a pilgrimage' by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Doré. In 'London Labour and the London Poor' (1861), Henry Mayhew recorded that the baked potato season was from mid August to late April. Potatoes were cooked in bakers' ovens and then put into baked potato cans and kept warm by a hot water boiler. 'Outside the vessel where the potatoes are kept is, at one end, a small compartment for butter and salt, and at the other end another compartment for fresh charcoal. Above the boiler, and beside the lid, is a small pipe for carrying off the steam. These potato-cans are sometimes brightly polished, sometimes painted red, and occasionally brass-mounted'. Baked potatoes were not only bought to eat, but also as hand-warmers on cold days.
© Museum of London