The present generation of street vendors have had, however, to compete against the great wholesale manufacturers, who employ the powerful aid of steam. The soda- water, lemonade, &c., produced in these large factories has at least the advantage of being clean, though often impregnated with lead.
A most experienced ginger-beer maker, a man who had served in the Indian army, and was accustomed to brew for his entire regiment, explained to me how he lost one of his best customers. He sold to a public-house keeper near London Bridge, about half-a-gross per week. On one occasion, while delivering his usual supply to the publican, there happened to be four gentlemen drinking ginger-beer at the bar, who noticed him. On leaving the public-house, these gentlemen passed by the barrow, on which his glasses and bottles were laid out to attract pedestrians. They had just paid fourpence a glass for the ginger-beer they had seen this man deliver over to the publican; and on tasting what he sold in the street for a penny, discovered it was precisely the same brew. Every one knows, who reflects on the subject, that the ginger-beer publicans sell for fourpence is not worth a halfpenny a bottle; but when these extortionate charges are rendered so apparent to the victims, they are apt to produce an irritating effect. Hence the gentlemen in question returned to the public-house, expressed their discontent in terms more forcible than elegant, and the publican was not a little disconcerted when it was conclusively proved before his assembled customers, that he realized more than three hundred per cent. on the sale of ginger-beer-selling bottles at fourpence which he had bought from a poor man for three farthings! This demonstration produced, however, a disastrous effect, so far as the ginger-beer seller was concerned. The publican, in a fury, not only refused to buy any more beer from him, but would not even return his empty bottles. The ginger-beer man was therefore compelled to take out a summons to recover his empty bottles, but I am pleased to add that the magistrate expressed his sentiments in strong terms, and compelled the publican to pay compensation for the time the ginger-beer seller had lost. Thus this publican ceased to patronize the street vendor, and, like the other members of his trade, ordered his supplies from the wholesale manufacturers, where he obtains the beer at the same price, if not cheaper, and does not run so much risk of being discovered in the extortions he practises.
The most fruitful ground for the sale of ginger-beer, lemonade, and the other summer drinks which can be conveyed on a barrow, is, undoubtedly, the open-air resorts, where on holidays crowds of people seek health and amusement. At Clapham Common - where the accompanying photograph was taken - Hampstead, Greenwich, Battersea Park, &c., &c., on a broiling summer's day, there is a great demand for light, refreshing drinks, and more than £1 may be taken during one day by those who have a sufficient supply of ginger-beer with them, or some friend who can bring a fresh stock in the course of the afternoon. In ordinary times, however, twenty shillings a week net profit is considered a very fair reward for selling ginger-beer in the streets.
I now come to speak of an investigation the labour of which would have daunted most men. I refer to that of the bacteriology of Thames water. This he undertook for the Royal Society in 1892, in conjunction with Professor Percy Frankland. The actual bacteriological part of the work was taken up by Marshall Ward himself. For work of this kind he was well prepared, having already published his views upon the characters employed in the classification of Schizomycetes. It is difficult for an outsider to realise the industry, the constant attention, required for this bacteriological work.
The references that have been made will suffice to indicate the extent and far-reaching character of Marshall Ward’s work in Mycology, and one cannot but feel assured they establish his claim to be reckoned one of the great investigators of our time, who has not only added to sum of knowledge, but opened up new avenues to further victories over the unknown. "