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Victorian match making factories

opinion

This little patch of slums had the character of being as poor, as vicious, and as unsanitary as any in the metropolis.

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The district is melancholy enough, but not so frightfully depressing as a group of little sordid, modern East-end streets, in which may be found another colony of box-makers. Reports attribute a very bad character indeed to the inhabitants of this square quarter of a mile; but personally I met with nothing to confirm it in the two visits of several hours which I made, and I have known highly respectable working women Victorian match making factories have lived for years in this area, and who were very unwilling to move.

All the women admitted me readily to their "Victorian match making factories" — for the most part painfully squalid abodes — showed me their work, and answered my questions fully, civilly, and almost eagerly, and not one of them begged.

Thousands of match-boxes pass in, unmade, every week, to little streets in Bethnal Green and Shoreditch, and pass out again, completed.

Inside their rooms the boxes, made and unmade, and half made, cover the floor, and fill up the lack of furniture.

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I have seen a room containing only an old bedstead in the very last stage of dirt and dilapidation, a table, and two deal boxes Victorian match making factories seats. The floor and the window-sill were rosy with magenta match-boxes, while everything else, including the boards of the floor, the woodwork of the room and the coverings of the bed, was of the dark grey of ingrained dust and dirt.

But the woman who lived here was quite cheerful; it was a sunny day, and her boxes could be dried without need "Victorian match making factories" a fire. At first sight, it is a pretty enough spectacle to see a match-box made; one motion of the hand bends into shape the notched frame of the case, another surrounds it with the ready-pasted strip of printed wrapper, which by long practice is fitted instantly without a wrinkle, then the sandpaper or the phosphorus paper, pasted ready beforehand, is applied and pressed on so that it sticks fast.

A pretty high average of neatness and finish is demanded by most employers, and Victorian match making factories who will pass their matchboxes in review will seldom find a wrinkle or a loose corner of paper.

The finished case is thrown upon the floor; the long narrow strip which is to form the frame of the drawer is laid upon the bright strip of ready-pasted paper, then bent together and joined by an overlapping bit of the paper; the edges of paper below are bent flat, the ready-cut bottom is dropped in and pressed down, and before the fingers are withdrawn they Victorian match making factories down the upper edges of the paper inside the top. Nor is the work done then, for paste has to be made before it can be used, and boxes, when they are ready, have to be carried to the factory.

Let any reader, however deft, however nimble-fingered, consider how many hundred times in a day he or she could manage to perform all these minute operations.

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The real rate of pay for any work must be determined not by the price per piece as it seems to the outsider, but by the number of pieces that can be turned out by a skilled hand in an hour or in a day; and this is a Victorian match making factories difficult to arrive at, because most home workers work irregular hours and, more or less, intermittently.

Another difficulty is that many women have no clear idea how many gross they make in a day, or how much money they take in a week. It is evident that, only in the case of a single woman working at the trade as a trade, not as a supplement, can the true figures be arrived at.

While sitting watching the quick fingers of one young unmarried woman I visited, I began to calculate. And this for an exceptionally quick hand, able to get as much work as she could do, and never kept waiting! A worker who makes match-boxes Victorian match making factories hand inside the factory has not to provide the fire for drying, the hemp for tying, or the paste.

A girl as quick as she whom I have quoted above, would probably under these circumstances make a gross per hour, and would then — supposing she were never kept waiting for work — earn 11s.

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Of course, very few workers do, as a matter of fact, work so quickly, and I have never, myself, known an instance of a factory worker of this kind whose weekly wage averaged eleven shillings. Finally, it does not provide a wage at which a woman can house, clothe, and feed herself healthily — to say nothing of comfort. The directors of the Salvation Army, with their usual keen eye to the business possibilities, as well as the Victorian match making factories possibilities of their undertakings, perceived the sympathetic attitude of the public mind on this subject, and established a match-making factory with the avowed object of paying better prices to the boxmakers.

Fourpence a gross is the price paid for large boxes, and 3d.

Women working in a match...

Much may be done among themselves to improve their condition as to wages, yet much more might be done by an earnest, philanthropic public desirous of practically carrying out towards them the urgent commands of Christ, the great Philanthropist, to help and care for the poor and neglected wherever found.

In these streets live numbers of home workers, all in the deepest poverty. Copyright, The British Library Board. MAKING THE BOXES At first sight, it is a pretty enough spectacle to see a match-box made; "Victorian match making factories" motion of the hand bends into shape the notched frame of the case, another surrounds it with the ready-pasted strip of printed wrapper, which by long practice is fitted instantly without a wrinkle, then the sandpaper or the phosphorus paper, pasted ready beforehand, is applied and pressed on so that it sticks fast.

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Now the drawer, too, is finished and cast on the floor to dry. But practice gives speed, especially when stimulated by the risk of starvation.

On the other hand, it is more than likely that the children help in the work. It is not possible to measure the pay of such a woman. Home work involves child-work, and without child-work it could not be so ill-paid as it is.

Such a form of work cannot survive, and the sooner it dies the better. Let us hope that better times await the poor match-box maker. But the story behind the name 'safety match' is one of That is important Victorian match making factories it is highly toxic and as a result the young women working in the match factories were permanently.

the case of the match-making industry Sociology of Health and Illness Vol 17 Dr Bruce Rosen Victorian History Blog. During "Victorian match making factories" Industrial Revolution, match girls were young girls ( years old) Match girls worked long hours in the factories (usually from 6 AM to 6 PM) with. “The trade of making match-boxes at home is, I trust, a dying one; but The women fetch out from the factory, or the middle-woman's, strips of.

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