Small Trades of Salonica
February 13, 2010 2:43 AM   Subscribe

At the American Farm School historical records they have a large collection of postcards. In amongst them are these small sketches of local traders.
posted by tellurian (16 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I miss the days when milkman, fishmonger, and crossing-sweeper were all respectable professions. These days, I meet somebody and they tell me that they're a Compliance Financial Analyst... try to paint a decent postcard of that.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:33 AM on February 13, 2010 [4 favorites]

Come on, there has to be some American School Farm people here.
posted by tellurian at 3:38 AM on February 13, 2010

I know now why I have a crush on tellurian. can I spouse you?

btw, historical Chinese traders and tinkers with beautiful hand sketches
posted by infini at 3:50 AM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Oh my! Nice link.
The castrater is also a vet for cats and dogs. He always rides a bicycle, attaching different kinds of small knives and pliers to his waist as a characteristic of his identity, travelling around the city streests and looking for business.
You win.
posted by tellurian at 4:09 AM on February 13, 2010

Lovely, eloquent hands. (Of course, as we know from John Berger, pictures of working people must show the hands.) So much character in every face. Character in face and hands.
posted by Faze at 4:31 AM on February 13, 2010

I miss the days when milkman, fishmonger, and crossing-sweeper were all respectable professions.

I'm not sure about crossing-sweeper, but fishmongers still exist and many are quite respectable.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:52 AM on February 13, 2010

nothing to win, no competition, we all win ;)
posted by infini at 6:16 AM on February 13, 2010

Actually if I remember correctly, crossing sweepers (at least in London) were actually drawn from the homeless and extremely indigent classes and were considered more of a nuisance (pretty much the Victorian equivalent of windshield-washing street people nowadays) to be paid a pittance and ignored, rather than a respectable professsion.
posted by Chrischris at 6:21 AM on February 13, 2010

Paging hermitosis to assign tarot trumps to each of the professions...
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:36 AM on February 13, 2010

Back when I was a wee tot, we had a milkman. And we respected his profession.

Now we're in the northeast corridor, where the grocery store is just a couple blocks away even in the suburbs. Milkmen make no sense.

The times, they are a changin'.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:41 AM on February 13, 2010

I was going to snark about the lemonade vendor probably making as little money as kids on the corner do these days, but then I clicked the full-size image.

The dude's a pro. If we had guys walking around with soda fountains/beer taps on their backs these days, dehydration would be a thing of the past. Come to think of it, it'd be great viral marketing in cities, and be cool for stadiums.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:47 AM on February 13, 2010

I'm secretly in love with their sample image.

"Okay, time to test the scanner...what do we have?"
"I have a tension square!"
posted by Katemonkey at 11:09 AM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

These are terrific, thanks!
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:03 PM on February 13, 2010

mccarty.tim, vendors who carry liquids like that are still around in Mediterranean countries (example photo of tea vendor in Turkey), though maybe only in tourist areas?
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:08 PM on February 13, 2010

Server is dead now, but living in Salonica, I got to add this tidbit: The AFS sells excellent same-day fresh milk and eggs throughout the city (the proceeds help sustain the school). I always found it ironic that I couldn't get anything like that in actual America.
posted by costas at 11:39 AM on February 16, 2010

Server is dead now
I have them cached here if you want to see them.
posted by tellurian at 2:03 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

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