Advertisement for J Acca, rag & general merchant
Printer: Tilling & Son
Medium: Print on paper
Since clothing was very expensive during the 19th century, few people could afford to buy new garments with any regularity. Clothes were expected to last a long time and were cleaned, repaired and altered to extend their life. Individual items were often remade into other clothes or cut down to fit children.
Traditionally, a 'lady of quality' would pass garments on to her lady's-maid, who would probably then sell them. In his advertisement, the rag and general merchant, J Acca offers a poetic invitation to lady's-maids in this position. The old, unwanted or worn clothing he bought from them was sold on to the poorer classese. Rag-and-bone men passed through the streets on a horse and cart collecting rags, clothing, "kitchen-stuff" and bones, which they then sorted for sale in small stores or on market stalls.