Flea markets have been around for hundreds of years and come in all shapes and styles. There is no official first one or historical title for the first one. But, it is said in Paris around 1860, the first such stalls were named "Marche aux Puces or Paris bazaars as a gathering of exiles from the slums of Paris. The first American flea market grew in about 1873 in Texas. But, it really started much earlier as a collection of people gathering around to trade, swap or exchange goods no longer needed by some but filling a need for others. Over time, it wasn't so much of who was the first but finding a label for what was going on to best describe the happening. So, now we have a movement of commercial development happening in the streets. But, the name stuck. You may call it a flea market and then there is street market, swap meet, rummage sale, yard sale, garage sale, farmer's market. Formal or casual. Outdoor, indoor. Professional, or hobbyist. Antique or vintage. In Orlando/Kissimmee, there's Visitors Flea Market, air conditioned, indoors, more than 220 professional and hobbyists' oriented stalls along with other services. It is connected to the World Food Truck Park with more than 50 self-operated food trucks having international foods to please international and Latin food tastes, bundled together in Florida's only centralized food truck park. For hundreds of years now, the origin and presence of flea markets has drawn millions into its nest of you'll find it here, referring to where to go to find, hopefully, what you want when you want it. Who would have thought the flea market would have become what it is today. Flea Markets in Europe, a book published by Chartwell Books, in the book's introduction, the author writes "In the time of Emperor Napoleon III, the imperial architect Haussmann made plans for the broad, straight boulevards with rows of square houses in the center of Paris, along which army divisions could march with much pompous noise. The plans forced many dealers in second-hand goods to flee their old dwellings; the alleys and slums were demolished. These dislodged merchants were, however, allowed to continue selling their wares undisturbed right in the north of Paris, just outside of the former fort, in front of the gate Porte de Clignancourt." Hence, from the slums of Paris, the gathering of all these exiles was given the name "Marche aux Puces" or the later translation of flea market. In Israel, it's the Temples, in Rome the Forum, and in Greece, Agora. Each nation has its own flea market translation. If flea market is your thing, then take pleasure in knowing it is estimated there are more than 5000 flea markets in America, more than 100 million annual shoppers and more than one million vendors. That's a lot of commercial business, no matter the name.
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