Mudlark: a term used to describe a profession of scavengers, predominantly in London during the Victorian era who would search the river mud at low tide for any items of value.
Grubber: a term for a different type of Victorian London-era scavenger; one who searched the (often open) drain systems for a living.
Tosher: a term from the same era as above, but for those who scavenged the sewers, collecting “tosh” (rubbish); also refers to thieves who dangerously stripped copper from ship’s hulls moored on the Thames.
nb. What I find fascinating about the above is the rediscovery of a scavenging, feral aspect to British society that must have been functionally similar to the slum-occupations of waste-pickers throughout the developing world today. Always a profession for the outcast; in India it is mostly the Dalit’s who occupy these roles, in Latin America these are more predominantly made up of indigenous peoples.
“Magsmen” & “Sharpers”: Victorian-era cheats and confidence-men (apparently London was notorious for them).
Cartoneros: A Latin American profession that salvages materials to sell to recycling plants. (Even more interestingly to this writer ~ this is a HUGE small-press publishing movement in Latin America called “Cartonera” which buys cardboard direct from the cartoneros and remakes them into indy books! How cool is that?)