Chimney sweeps are an ancient profession, and chimney sweeps themselves have always been considered unusual and mysterious people, perhaps because their face was covered with a layer of soot and resembled a mask.It is believed that professional chimney sweeps first appeared in Denmark. Even the name of one of the first chimney sweeps has been preserved in history. In 1639, in the castle of the Danish king Christian IV in Copenhagen, Goodmand Olsen was engaged in cleaning the chimneys.
In 1728, a fire destroyed almost half of Copenhagen, so the state of the chimneys began to be monitored even more closely.
Now in the capital of Denmark there are about 50 chimney sweeps. Their working day begins early in the morning when everyone is still asleep. This profession is considered very honorable in Denmark.
The unchanged headdress of the chimney sweep is the cylinder. The demand for chimney sweeps was very high. As a privilege in many European cities, they were allowed to wear a saber and top hat. Chimney sweeps, most of whom were from poor families, willingly wore these hats, and even said that without a cylinder, a chimney sweep is not a chimney sweep, but simply dirty.
In addition, it was convenient to fold small tools into the cylinder, the cylinder could also protect from objects falling on the head, softening the blow.
Chimney sweeps were said to have washed only three times a year - in the spring, fall and Christmas. The rest of the time they walked around covered with a layer of soot.
Chimney sweeps were usually fragile people, as they often had to go down inside the chimney.
Many signs were associated with chimney sweeps. For example, meeting a chimney sweep on the street is fortunate. Better yet, touching it and getting smeared with soot. In Great Britain it is customary to kiss a chimney sweep before the wedding. According to the British, this will bring good luck to the newlyweds in their family life.
There are 13 buttons sewn onto the jacket of the English chimney sweeps. The buttons are located on the camisole in 2 rows of 6 pieces, and the 13th button is sewn on the collar.
In the small Danish town of Tender, located in the south of Jutland, a school of chimney sweeps has been operating since 1974. The term of study in it is 4 years, and the program includes, in addition to disciplines in the specialty, natural sciences, economics and environmental protection.
In Southern California, it takes a two-year course to become a chimney sweep. A chimney sweep job costs an average of $ 20 an hour here.
In Germany, chimney sweeps, postmen and police use specially equipped bicycles.
In the Soviet Union, there was a chimney sweep union in Tallinn.
Chimney sweeps celebrate their professional holiday on 11 February.