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We hope you enjoy this section of our site featuring the origin's of the Flea Market as we know it today.
Market History Explantion Section
Welcome To Our Section On The history Of "The Flea Market"
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A little about the history of the Flea Market and how it came to be as it is today. An important point is this section is intended to be a brief overview to a very in depth question as to why we know it as a Flea Market today. There are actually a few explanations to this and this is where it gets rather in depth. This section of our site is intended to be a brief overview and of course more in depth views are available for your own research if you desire to do so.
Flea Markets were created in some form outside of Paris, France several Centuries ago dating back into the 1800,s where the disreputable would rummage through garbage looking for wares they could sell. These characters were often thought of or known to be as rag and or bone men, picklocks, pickpockets, thieves or housebreakers and were later coined into the nicer term moonlight fishermen as they made their way through the streets of Paris at night looking for things they thought they could sell.
They began to form street selling areas outside of Paris to exempt and evade the taxes of Paris and to avoid its oversight of their activities. These Moonlight Fisherman banded together outside of the City to sell and soon the people of Paris began to frequent and became in awe of the wealth of goods that were appearing with these Rag Men. It became a major tradition to visit and the elite began to show in their Sunday Best clothing to partake in this new social gathering and shopping wonder. These markets were often operated by the disreputable and as it became more structured and organized and after many negative incidents taking place.
Steps were taken to clean up the markets a bit in the late 1800s with paved roads and reserved stalls to try and make these markets safer. This market was quite popular as citizens of France and neighboring areas began to travel from great distances to attend these markets. The area where these sales were held became about 2 acres and these stalls soon had fabric covers to protect sellers and there goods from the elements. This more organized form of the marketplace occurred in the early 1900s and this was the first of what became our Flea Market of today. It was not quite called this yet though.
How did the term Flea come into this marketplace. There are actually two theories in play as to this answer.
Both theories are just this and in play and both have historic merit. Perhaps both have substantial foundation. This market idea has obviously lasted for centuries and today we are still visiting The Flea Market It might not have the prestige of your major shopping mall. It can definitely beat mall prices though. Like many bargains. You have to look to distinguish between junk and treasure. You will find plent of both without looking to teribly hard.
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