Travelling around on a horse and cart
and announcing their arrival by ringing a hand bell, rag
men were a familiar sight on the streets of Britain
up until the early 1970's. They would collect household scrap which could be recycled and sold. Different types of material were collected, including old rags, (used in the manufacture of paper
s, (used to make bone china
), and scrap metal.
Their demise can be linked to the rise in popularity of recycling bins and landfill sites.
See: Steptoe and Son.