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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHEN YOU SEE A CHIMNEY SWEEP, QUICKLY PULL OFF A BUTTON FROM YOUR
CLOTHING TO PREVENT BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT FOUND THIS AMUSING BUT IMPRACTICAL.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

Keyword(s): CONVERSION ; HOME, DOMESTIC PURSUITS ; OCCUPATIONS: CHIMNEY SWEEPING

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.22

Date learned: 10-08-1971

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Custom

Chimney Sweep:

In Belgium, or Europe for that matter, each house usually had two or more chimneys. Since they needed cleaning periodically, chimney sweeps were common. Some of these were employed by the cities for the purpose. But, in each case, it was good practice to give the sweeper a good tip, for if you didn't he would play tricks on you. For instance, he might come back to clean your chimney at a future date, but not tell you. Then you would be unprepared and the soot would come into the house because you didn't close the soot door in time.

Submitter comment:

Recorded on Tape

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [M848] crossed out and replaced with F534

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): BUSINESS ; Chimney Sweep ; CUSTOM ; Gratuity ; OCCUPATIONS: CHIMNEY SWEEPING ; PRACTICAL JOKE ; TIPPING ; WORK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business

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