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Club of Queer Trades. The Club of Queer Trades was created by G.K. Chesterton (Father Brown, Horne Fisher, Gabriel Gale, Mr. Pond) and appeared in six stories in Harper’s Weekly in 1903 and 1904, beginning with “The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown” (Harper’s Weekly, Dec. 19, 1903); the stories were collected in The Club of Queer Trades (1905).

The nature of this society...is soon and simply told. It is an eccentric and Bohemian Club, of which the absolute condition of membership lies in this, that the candidate must have invented the method by which he earns his living. It must be an entirely new trade. The exact definition of this requirement is given in the two principal rules. First, it must not be a mere application or variation of an existing trade. Thus, for instance, the Club would not admit an insurance agent simply because instead of insuring men's furniture against being burnt in a fire, he insured, let us say, their trousers against being torn by a mad dog. The principle...is the same. Secondly, the trade must be a genuine commercial source of income, the support of its inventor. Thus the Club would not receive a man simply because he chose to pass his days collecting broken sardine tins, unless he could drive a roaring trade in them.

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