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The fact that Happy Jack is wearing a smock suggests that he was a countryman and is English. Railways were an important source of employment for farm workers made destitute by the invention of the threshing machine which took over the hand threshing that was an important part of winter-time employment. A railway surveyor observed that 'one feature which strikingly distinguishes the construction of railways from that of canals is the employment of the surrounding agricultural population'. [i] "Sunday clothes" or "Sunday Best" were a person's best clothes, traditionally for wearing on Sundays, and (in later use) on special occasions. Frequently associated, especially in the 19th century, with the wearing of formal clothes to attend church.[ii]

[i] Lecount, Lieutenant Peter. History of the Railway Connecting London and Birmingham (Simkin & Marshall, London, 1839)
[ii] OED


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