Re: What did a Bohemian/Moravian Hausierer have in his Basket? #austria-czech

Ruth Coman <ruth.coman@...>

Celia Male gave voice to a salient fact about our Bohemian and Moravian
ancestors - namely that one of the most common occupations they had was that
of hausierer or pedlar. One must also not forget that women were hausierers

My grandfather, Richard SALUS grew up in Statenice, a village on the
outskirts of Prague where his SALUS ancestors had lived since 1782. His
grandfather Josef SALUS became a pedlar around 1820, when the meagre income
of the family was insufficient to support 2 families. Two of Josef's
daughters, Lottie and Barbie, also took up peddling. My grandfather
explained that there were no large sums to be earned but that with a
combination of hard work and frugality it was possible for both to save up a
dowry - even though they had to contribute to household costs and also one
gulden a month to enable their brother to attend a school in Prague. By the
time Aunt Barbi married at the age of 27 she had saved 1600 florins. One
story Aunt Barbi used to enjoy telling related to a farmer's wife in
Holubice. Normally Aunt Barbie could satisfy all the farmer's wife's needs
from her basket. On one occasion, however, there was a request for a
particular neckerchief that was available only in Prague. In order not to
lose the business - or possibly the customer altogether - Aunt Barbie
hurried directly to Prague, bought the scarves and was able to deliver them
to the farmer's wife at 7 o'clock the next morning. The farmer's wife was
very pleased and gave her an extra 20 kroner making her earnings >from the
sale one gulden. I am not sure how much one gulden was worth, but Aunt
Barbie had walked >from Statenice to Holubice to Prague to Holubice, a round
trip of over 25 miles!

Ruth Coman
London, England
SALUS, Bohemia; SCHUESSLER,Bohemia,Wien; LOEWY,Kolodeje nad Luznici,Kolin;
FISCHER,Kolin; FRIED,Kolin,Praha; MELZER,Zatec; MOC,MOTZ,Bohemia

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