An exhausted sweated labourer; 1890-1910
© Museum of London
Full image caption
This photograph shows a young Mother, exhausted from spending hours making matchboxes, a pile of which can be seen on the table. At her feet is a young, sleeping baby covered by a blanket. For such homeworkers engaged in the sweated industries there was no division between work and home life. Match-box making was amongst the lowest paid work. The industry primarily employed women and children who could expect to work an average of 16 hours per day. For every 144 boxes made they received 2 pennies. This photograph appears in an album with a number of other prints depicting sweated labourers and London's poor. Such albums were often compiled by charities to raise funds and inform the public about the plight of those living and working in London's poorest areas, such as the East End.
1890 AD - 1910 AD