Shropshire Routes to Roots
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Trade directories: Shopping in 1895
Have you ever looked in the Yellow Pages to find a phone number? The Yellow Pages is a telephone directory - a 'directory' simply means a list of names, addresses and numbers. Telephone directories like the Yellow Pages are very useful, because they let us find the numbers for all sorts of businesses we may need to use - people like builders, plumbers or clothes shops.
But the Yellow Pages is not a modern invention. In fact, the first directory was published three hundred years ago, in about 1700. Of course, telephones weren't invented then, so it gave the addresses of important people and companies. Directories for each county (like Shropshire), and each town within it, have been published every year since then.
They contain lots of information about what trades (jobs) people did. By looking at directories from years ago, we can find out what sort of things people did for work, and what they could have bought.
Your teacher should have given you a list of jobs which is taken from a directory written about your area in 1895. Look at this list, and try to answer the questions below.
Shopping in 1895
Imagine that you are going shopping in 1895. Look at the list of people and jobs. In the table below, write the name of one person and the address you could have gone to if you had wanted to buy:
Look again at the list of jobs people did in your area in 1850. Compare that list with the one written in 1895. Is there anything which you could have bought in 1895, that you couldn't have bought in 1850? List anything you find below - you may have to look very carefully!
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