Second-hand

An old copy of Amateur Photographer advertises equipment described variously as ‘used’, ‘as new’ and ‘second-hand’.  ‘Second–hand’ once appeared widely in small ads, on motor traders’ signs and above shops that sat somewhere between those selling antiques and those getting rid of junk, precursors of today’s charity shops.  Buying second-hand was an accepted way for people on low incomes to get the things they needed or wanted. But it had always a slightly pejorative tone: ‘used’ and ‘as new’ were handy alternatives that at some point morphed into ‘pre-owned’.  In an age of euphemisms and environmental sensitivity goods are now ‘recycled’ and ‘pre-loved’.  Sometimes they have been loved a bit too much.  Who did the pre-loving here? Photo: Parker’s Piece, Cambridge, June 2012

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