Prague cane merchants #austria-czech

Julia Clarke <juliaclarke@...>

Celia Male is puzzled that there should be so many (10) cane merchants
recorded in Prague in the 1790s but without comparable figures for other
trades it is hard to know how disproportionate that is. Was it an
exclusively Jewish business in Prague?

I did a quick search in a general London trade directory for 1808 (the
earliest I could find online) expecting to find many more given the size
of London but came up with two "whalebone & cane merchants" and five
"whip, stick & cane shops/manufacturers". Of course each of these
businesses would have employed several people. One must also add to that
the many who were not affluent enough to get into a trade directory,
those whose business was importing bamboo, malacca and rattan and also
the very poor like chairmenders who would go round the streets offering
to recane chair seats and backs. I wonder how accurate people had to be
for the Prague census - could a "Rohrhandler" also really be a
chairmender on the principle that rubbish collectors prefer to call
themselves sanitary operatives?

With best wishes
Julia Clarke, London

Julia Clarke

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