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The fly paper merchant: 1872

Gustave Doré

The fly paper merchant: 1872
4 0 c m
actual image size: 17cm x 32cm

Full image caption

An illustration of a fly paper merchant from the book 'London: a Pilgrimage' by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Doré, 1872. Henry Mayhew in 'London Labour and the London Poor' (1861) records that 'Fly-papers came, generally, into street traffic, I am informed, in the summer of 1848. The fly-papers are sold wholesale at many of the oil-shops, but the principal shop for the supply of the street-traders is in Whitechapel. The wholesale price is 2¼d. a dozen, and the (street) retail charge ½d. a paper, or three 1d.' [12d = 5p.] Mayhew records a fly paper seller saying that the first time he started out in the business he and a friend bought some papers and 'then got leave of the deputy of the lodging-house to catch all the flies we could, and we stuck them thick on the paper, and fastened the paper to our hats.' Boys would then catch flies and throw them at his hat 'and if they stuck the lads set up a shout.'

Image Details

1872 AD - 1872 AD
Image Number

© Museum of London

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