Edinburgh World Heritage

68 Thistle Street - Ladies Lifestyle

In 1817 this building was home to Robert Low, one of Thistle Street’s many grocers.

Grocery was a skilled trade with a long apprenticeship. Grocers had to know how to grind sugar, blend tea and how best to store and package their stock. Apprentices often ‘lived-in’ and provided an inexpensive source of young shop-assistants.

Probably the most important product for the grocer was tea, which was becoming the nation’s favourite drink. Edinburgh favourites seem to have been ‘Fine Congou’ at 6s per pound, and ‘Congou Finest’ at 6s 6d.

Not far away at No.62 Thistle Street was John Gibson, a hairdresser. Styles for women were fairly simple and inspired by the ancient Greeks. Long curls trailing over the shoulder, and short ringlets framing the face were particularly popular. Hair ornaments consisted of flower wreaths, ribbons, jewelry, tiaras, and combs.

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