Esoteric London

No. 1148: Commercial Street, E1

Posted in London Labour by esotericlondon on July 31, 2014

©RogerDean_RED_1962 copy

Commercial Street, London, E1. Photo ©RogerDean 2014

Street Life in London – J.Thomson and Adolphe Smith, 1877:

STREET ADVERTISING.

Apart from the legitimate bill-sticking on hoardings for which rent is paid, there is also another and special branch of work called “fly-pasting,” and this is practised principally in the summer. It consists of sending men out to certain distances, either on foot or with a cart and van, to post bills indiscriminately wherever they can find a convenient spot which is not let to, and reserved by a contractor.
The road selected generally leads to a racecourse, or to some other great rendezvous. Now the road to the university boat-race is the scene of extraordinary activity on the part of the bill-stickers. They often start at two in the morning on the day of the race and paste their bills up all along the road. But rival bill-stickers soon make their appearance, and the paste of one bill is hardly dry before another one is daubed over it. Thus the contractors have to send out a fresh batch of men a few hours later to paste each other out. For instance, a firm in Soho assured me that they sent out men on the boat-race day at two in the morning, then at six o’clock, again at eight, and finally at ten, with orders to paste their bills over all other advertisements.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 439 other followers