Advert for W Mills, family butchers
Printer: Falcon Printing Company
Medium: Print on paper
In the London of the early 19th century, animals were driven to Smithfield market and slaughtered on arrival. In 1845 it was estimated that 4,100 cattle and 30,000 sheep, as well as many hundreds of pigs and calves, could be held in the market ready for distribution to the butcher's shops, hotels and restaurants nearby. Some public reformers thought that this massive warehouse of dead livestock and blood was a threat to public hygiene.
The development of the railways changed things, however. In 1855 a live meat market was opened in Islington, and Smithfield market was redeveloped and reopened in 1868 as a market for pre-slaughtered animals.