"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 23 October 2011


I have been reading a lot of Victorian literature of late and quite often have come across the term extinguisher meaning a piece of street furniture found outside the front doorways of the rich and middle classes.

The extinguisher was for use by link men. These were men who carried blazing torches to escort people along the streets. After a party there would be a number of link men waiting at the door for their 'owner'. Once they arrived at their destination they would extinguish their torch on the extinguisher to save it for their next task.

I have looked all over the place in Liverpool but cannot find anthing that looks as though it could be an extinguisher. Were they mobile - bins full of sand or something of that sort? If not I wonder what happened to them all.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, and certainly one of the lesser known details about Victorian daily life.