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Clothes sellers

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Clothes sellers

Women selling old clothing and rags in Calton, early 20th century.

Many poor women without jobs or other means of support attempted to make a living by trading in rags and second-hand clothing. Their routine involved travelling round the city during the day collecting old clothes, spending their evenings sorting the materials into bundles and making repairs to any old clothes that might fetch a decent price.

Women with a little ready cash could rent a stall at the city's Clothes Market in Greendyke Street or hire a barrow to sell from. However, the poorest women (sometimes known as rag-wives) simply laid out their bundles of old clothes and rags on the pavements in Clyde Street, Shipbank Lane, Bridgegate and other lanes and streets, and hoped to catch the eye of someone in search of a bargain.

Reference: 140.78.245

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

clothes markets, lanes, rag-wives, rags, second-hand clothing, street traders, women

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