A profession you probably didn’t even know existed…

… and which doesn’t exist any more.


The “Kargadoor” (lit. “Cart-Move-Onward”) would help pushcarts over Amsterdam’s many humpback bridges (photo 1922).

I spotted this photo over at Reddit, posted by /u/lordsleepyhead, and found it intriguing.

Thanks to a friend, I found some further information over at De Jordaan (translation is mine)

High bridges were a source of income for the Kargadoor; these were men who pulled heavy hand carts over a bridge with a rope and hook. Their tool was a long rope with a hook on it. These cart pullers generally had a leather patch on their shoulder to keep from getting hurt by abrasion.
What’s more, this Kargadoor was in turn a source of income for the landlord of the slijterij de Grote Slok (Big Gulp Liquor Store) on the corner.
One of the bridges over the Prinsengracht was the domain of Kiki the Kargadoor. He would leave his permanent home when he had gathered six or seven cents; Kiki would disappear to spend his money on drink, all the while keeping the bridge in sight.
He was a bandy-legged little man who could swear like a champion; children always considered him to be a good language teacher.
Kiki was born in 1865 and had a home in the Boomstraat. He passed away at the Municipal Nursing Facility at the Roerstraat in 1940.

Hoist a glass to Kiki, the Kargadoor!


The caption on the sign reads, “Today Kiki is 75. He’s been a Kargadoor for 50 years.”

The Old Wolf has spoken.

2 responses to “A profession you probably didn’t even know existed…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s