Poor family making matchboxes

#Picture Number SO179

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Victorian illustration to download showing a poor family, including children, making matchboxes in their shabby home. Two women make the boxes, and a little girl fits the tray part of the matchbox into the slipcover. Two women, a man, and a boy brush glue on the paper labels and stick them to the boxes. Another little girl holds a baby. On the floor is a box and baskets; trays of finished matchboxes hang from the ceiling and wall near the fire so that the glue can dry. This illustration was sketched ‘in the dwelling of a humble family in Bow [and] represents children busied in this useful task, which they are commonly able to begin at less than five years of age … No detail of the work is more suitable for little boys and girls’. The rate of pay for this work was about 2d a gross (144); the wholesale price was 2s 6d a gross.