Photography

Artifacts from a Filthier Age

October 19, 2011 | by Kevin McMahon

Navigating the city’s streets in the 1800s was treacherous business. Apart from dodging carriages and horse-drawn trolleys, Philadelphians had to deal with a daily onslaught of mud and manure. To get rid of the muck before treading on finely finished floors, men and women used cast- or wrought- iron boot scrapers. Placed at the doorstep of nearly every house, boot scrapers were often finely crafted by expert artisans. Here’s a selection of the hundreds that survive in Center City.

Tags:    

About the Author

Kevin McMahon Kevin McMahon recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an M.S. in Historic Preservation and now works as an associate at Powers & Company, historic preservation consultants. He’s interested in architecture, development and the infinite layers, physical and historical, that Philadelphia contains.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.