"Tickets" the Card-Dealer
From 'Street Life in London', 1877, by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith. This chapter tells of the life of a man nicknamed "Tickets":.."About this time "Tickets" made the acquaintance of a Frenchman who possessed considerable skill as a sign-painter; and the two forthwith entered into partnership. The one paints, the other undertook to travel. "Tickets " is the traveller. From morning t ill night he wanders about, looking into the windows of small shops, till he discovers a ticket of dingy appearance, stained in colour, dog's eared, bent, and altogether disreputable. With eagle eye all these defects are discerned, and "Tickets" enters boldly into the shop, to press on the tradesman the advisability of purchasing a new ticket. He undertakes to supply a precise copy of the old and worn announcement on a better piece of cardboard, freshly painted, or, perhaps, more elaborately ornamented..[…].He hopes that the number of his customers will gradually increase, and that he will be able to save on his earnings. Then, like a true Frenchman, he will return to France, and purchase the goodwill of some small shop. In the meanwhile he observes the strictest economy. He never drinks. His bed costs him two shillings a week. His breakfast consists of cocoa and bread , and butter, the former being more nutritious than tea. For dinner he generally consumes a pennyworth of potatoes, with a herring or a haddock and a cup of tea, while his supper consists of bread and cheese to the value of twopence. I t is only on days of exceptional good fortune that he indulges in a little meat."..For the full story, and other photographs and commentaries, follow this link and click through to the PDF file at the bottom of the description.archives.lse.ac.uk/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&i... ( http://archives.lse.ac.uk/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=SR+1146 )
The project “Street Life in London’ was created in 19th century by the radical journalist Adolphe Smith and the photographer John Thomson. The monthly magazine, that was publishing from 1876 to 1877 included texts and images of people on the London’s streets. That was a new genre of social documentary photography, which preceded the appearance of photojournalism. Their work captured the life of ordinary people who eked out a precarious and marginal existence. There were shoe-blacks, chair-caners, musicians, flower-sellers, and many others. The interest to the urban poverty gives the authors the reputation of the pioneers in photojournalism and their project now considered as a classic instance of social documentary. Later, in 1878, the photographs were published in book form. The verses of this book were scanned and now stored in British Library of Political and Economic Science, which is located in London. John Thomson was a talented and influential photographer, who had spent ten years travelling in, and taking photographs of, the Far East. On his return to London he joined with Adolphe Smith, a socialist journalist, in a project to photograph the street life of the London poor. The volumes were published in monthly parts as Street Life in London, and were an early example of social and documentary photography. Street Life in London, published in 1876-7, consists of a series of articles by the radical journalist Adolphe Smith and the photographer John Thomson. The pieces are short but full of detail, based on interviews with a range of men and women who eked out a precarious and marginal existence working on the streets of London, including flower-sellers, chimney-sweeps, shoe-blacks, chair-caners, musicians, dustmen and locksmiths.