“Putnia” sellers that carried only a few commodities

Ludwik Langiewicz – a padlock seller from nearby Sukiennice (Cloth Hall), photo from 1932.

Peddling was a typical type of trade in Świątniki. Padlocks were most often sold by a producer of padlocks or by the one who did not want to work. The name putniorze [putnia sellers] in a local dialect derives from a wooden box carried on backs and filled with padlocks. Another often used name was trochorze (from trochę meaning a bit in Polish) because they carried only a bit of commodity with them. Apart from selling, they also repaired broken padlocks and regenerated them. They most frequently walked from village to village and recommended their services. They wore rosaries (leather straps on which the padlocks were hung) and hauzerka with the prettiest products on their necks.
Trochorze visited nearby markets, church fairs, and stood in the Sukiennice [Cloth Hall] and on Sienna Street in Kraków. In villages, they also sold files for which there was always great demand. The highly developed merchant trade and peddling ended in Świątniki in 1918 with the fall of the Austrian monarchy. A high customs duty and difficulties with crossing the border discouraged local salesmen from leaving with their goods. But it did not cause the abandonment of padlock production, which developed and existed until the 1920s.

See putnia box in the collection from Małopolska’s Virtual Museums

 

 

Elaborated by the editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums,
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 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.