August Sander took a methodical approach in photographing the subjects of his ambitious project ‘People of the 20th Century’, which was based on a quasi-sociological analysis of his native Germany. He classified over 500 photographs into seven groups representing the social and professional classes of the rapidly modernising nation. This portrait of a peddler is from the portfolio entitled ‘People Who Came to My Door’ within the sixth group, ‘The City’. The man holds up a box filled with such everyday consumer products as postcards, stamps and shoe polish. His pose – cap in hand – expresses the formal politeness of a salesman anxious to ingratiate himself into the goodwill of those who open their doors to him in the hope that they will buy something from his box of goods.