Flea Market and Tatters Market

Stanisław Lentz. Jewish Dealers in Antiques. Pre-1900. National Museum in Warsaw

If you lived in the 19th century and were hard up for money, you could go to the flea and tatters market where you could sell your used clothes, utensils and even tatters to traders. Tatters were a valuable material at the time – the paper factory of Naujieji Verkiai made paper with them manually. Paper made of cellulose was considered of poor quality and was manufactured only when there tatter shortage. Linen and cotton fabrics, cloth cuttings and worn underwear were of particular value. The latter, in fact, caused various infections among women who sorted tatters in paper factories.

Bones and bristles were also in demand, as they were used for making hairbrushes, brushes, buttons and tableware handles. These goods were also dangerous; at the end of the 19th century, in fear of the approaching cholera epidemic, very strict measures were imposed – it was decided to disinfect the market courtyard and relocate 48 shops outside the city. However, trade did not stop, even after imposition of these measures.

Vokiečių g. 5, 7, 9
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