Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ever wondered why there are never any openings for ragpickers these days, no "ragpicker" section in the help-wanted ads, no ragpicker training courses you can sign up for?

Actually, I always wondered why there was any market at all for rags, back in the days of Nell Trent: What the hell did they do with them?

It turns out that up until the late 19th century, most paper made in Europe was produced using pulp from linen and cotton rags. In the year 1800, Britain alone used a total of 24 million lbs. of rags in paper production. It wasn't until the 1880s that wood pulp became a primary source for paper.

This explains why no one seems to pick rags anymore.

Now, what about costermongers...?

The Swedish verb for the day is att syssla. It means to work with as in an occupation.

- by Francis S.

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