The Bank of England—Matches

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Matches!—buy a box of matches of a poor girl!

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A young barefooted woman wearing a patched-up dress sells matches in front of the Bank of England. The book offers the following information:

Of all the poor itinerants of London the match-sellers are the poorest, and subsist as much by donations as by the sale of their wares. The old match, a splinter of wood, with ends dipped in brimstone, is fast disappearing before the modern lucifer or congreve.[1] The poor creature here represented is appealing to a lady and gentleman, (whose shadows are seen in the picture,) on their way to the Bank of England.

  1. ^ Congreve was the name given, in honor of Sir William Congreve, to friction matches coated with sulphur and tipped with a mixture of sulphide of antimony, chlorate of potash, and gum. Lucifer matches were a variant of the congreves.

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