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Assembling Matchboxes at Home: c.1900

John Galt

Assembling Matchboxes at Home: c.1900
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 30cm

Full image caption

Matchbox-making was dominated by women and children, and was amongst the lowest paid home work available. This woman would paste together strips of paper and wood, called skillets, to form lids and trays. She received ‘tuppence ha'penny’ per gross (two and a half pence for 144), but had to supply her own paste and fire to dry the boxes. This photograph was taken outside of the workers impoverished dwelling, where they would normally spend up to 12 hours working every day.
John Galt, a missionary with the London City Mission and an amateur photographer produced this and other photographs to show the conditions in the East End and the work of the mission in the area. His intention was to show that, contrary to popular middle-class belief, the people of the East End were worthy of salvation.

Image Details

1900 AD - 1907 AD
Image Number

© Museum of London

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