Thursday, November 3, 2011

When Fairs Were Frequent

Shop-keeping, merely as shop-keeping, is injurious to any community. What are the shop and the shop-keeper for? To receive and distribute the produce of the land. There are other articles, certainly; but the main part is the produce of the land. The shop must be paid for; the shop-keeper must be kept. When fairs were frequent, shops were not needed. A manufacturer of shoes, of stockings, of hats; of almost anything that man wants, could manufacture at home in an obscure hamlet, with cheap house-rent, good air, and plenty of room. He need pay no heavy rent for shop; and no disadvantages from confined situation; and then, by attending three or four or five or six fairs in a year, he sold the work of his hands, unloaded with a heavy expense attending the keeping of a shop.

Quoted from: Rural Rides, William Cobbett, 1830.


  1. This is a good observation. Today, one is apparently expected to drive all across the country to market their wares at "shows". The exception being the local Farmer's Markets which are beginning to allow the sale of more than fruits and vegetables.

  2. If any of those tool rolls or patches are left over... I'd be interested. Very nice. How can we contact you, besides these comments?

  3. Grumpy, shoot me an email to

    I will add setting up a "contact" section to this site soon! Didn't realize it wasn't already there.


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