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She Works Hard f o r t h e M o n e y b y M i c h a e l C a n a d a s

O n c e u p o n a t i m e , t h e B r i t i s h i s l e o f E n g l a n d w a s h o m e t o a g r o u p o f p r o f e s s i o n a l w o m e n k n o w n a s p e d d l e r s ( a l s o s p e l l e d p e d l e r o r p e d l a r ) , o r h a w k e r s . I n e x i s t e n c e s i n c e r e c o r d e d h i s t o r y , t h e f i n e , h a r d w o r k i n g b a n d o f l a d i e s m o s t o f t e n d i d t h e i r p e d d l i n g i n r u r a a r e a s a n d c o v e r e d a s m u c h t e r r i t o r y a s a o n e h u n d r e d m i l e r a d i u s . P e d d l e r s b r o u g h t m u c h n e e d e d m e d i c i n e t o t h e s i c k , c l o t h t o t h e f a r m e r s w i f e a n d w h i l e t h e r e , p i c k e d u p t h e t r i n k e t s m a d e b y t h e f a r m e r i n h i s f r e e t i m e , a n d p r o b a b l y i n t u r n s o l d t h e m t o t h e b u t c h e r s w i f e . T h e p e d d l e r t h e n h a n d l e d a n y g o o d s t h a t t h e b u t c h e r s w i f e m i g h t h a v e m a d e f o r r e s a l e a n d m o s t l i k e l y , t r a d e d t h o s e g o o d s . S i n c e t h e p e d d l e r t r a v e l e d t h r o u g h o u t s u c h a w i d e a r e a w h i c h m o s t o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n m i g h t v i s i t i n f r e q u e n t l y , s h e p r o b a b l y b r o u g h t t h e l a t e s t n e w s w i t h h e r , a l o n g w i t h h e r w a r e s . I n m o d e r n t i m e s , i t i s u s u a l l y w i t h g r e a t d r e a d t h a t w e g r e e t t h e t r a v e l i n g , o r d o o r - t o - d o o r s a l e s m a n t h u s t h e p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f s i g n s w a r n i n g N o S o l i c i t o r s . L o n g a g o , a v i s i t f r o m t h e p e d d l w o u l d h a v e b e e n c o n s i d e r e d a n e x c i t i n g e v e n t , a m a g i c a l e x p e r i e n c e G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , t h e p e d d l e r s w e r e o f a c e r t a i n m a t u r e a g e , s o t h e y w e r e a b l e t o t r a v e l a l o n e u n m o l e s t e d , b u t a c e r t a i n p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h w o u l d h a v e b e e n r e q u i r e d i n o r d e r t o h a n d l e a p u s h c a r t o r t o t o t e a b a s k e t f u l l o f g o o d s . M o s t l a d y p e d d l e r s er c h o s e t h e , . l ,

An English wooden peddler of about 1830, this example, considered large at twenty inches, offers a wide variety of goods. Once part of an early New York City doll collection, this darling was purchased for twenty-five dollars in 1925.

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