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Early risers strolling along the Thames would see the toshers wading through the muck of low tide, dressed almost comically in flowing velveteen coats, their oversized pockets filled with stray bits of copper recovered from the water’s edge.The toshers walked with a lantern strapped to their chest to help them see in the predawn gloom, and carried an eight-foot-long pole that they used to test the ground in front of them, and to pull themselves out when they stumbled into a quagmire.Typewriter technicians are welcome to write me with information about their own business. shops are alphabetical by state first, then by city; other countries are alphabetical by city. If there are any antique machines on display, please mention that. other than those listed below, visit and enter "typewriters repairing" as your category. See a collection of Google Street View images of U. Every few months, an unusually dense pocket of methane gas would be ignited by one of their kerosene lamps and the hapless soul would be incinerated twenty feet below ground, in a river of raw sewage.The scavengers, in other words, lived in a world of excrement and death. This world.” Dickens’ unspoken point is that the two worlds, the dead and the living, have begun to coexist in these marginal spaces.Specialists emerged, each dutifully carting goods to the appropriate site in the official market: the bone collectors selling their goods to the bone-boilers, the pure-finders selling their dog shit to tanners, who used the “pure” to rid their leather goods of the lime they had soaked in for weeks to remove animal hair.(A process widely considered to be, as one tanner put it, “the most disagreeable in the whole range of manufacture.”)We’re naturally inclined to consider these scavengers tragic figures, and to fulminate against a system that allowed so many thousands to eke out a living by foraging through human waste. (It was, to be sure, the response of the great crusaders of the age, among them Dickens and Mayhew.) But such social outrage should be accompanied by a measure of wonder and respect: without any central planner coordinating their actions, without any education at all, this itinerant underclass managed to conjure up an entire system for processing and sorting the waste generated by two million people.


Not too long ago, every town had at least one shop that sold and repaired manual typewriters.

But in the cyberage, when even the verb "to type" is being replaced with the verb "to keyboard," typewriter repair is an endangered art. The resurgence of interest in typewriters among creative people has led to increased business for many of the surviving shops, and some young people are learning to repair typewriters.) This page lists businesses around the world that practice the art of typewriter repair. Please contact me, Richard Polt, with information about people you can recommend in your part of the globe that will work on typewriters.

So immense were their numbers that had the scavengers broken off and formed their own city, it would have been the fifth-largest in all of England.

But the diversity and precision of their routines were more remarkable than their sheer number.

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Dickens began his last great novel, Our Mutual Friend, with a father-daughter team of toshers stumbling across a corpse floating in the Thames, whose coins they solemnly pocket. ” the father asks rhetorically, when chided by a fellow tosher for stealing from a corpse. The bustling commerce of the great city has conjured up its opposite, a ghost class that somehow mimics the status markers and value calculations of the material world.