A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985 by Shelley Pennington

By Shelley Pennington

Homeworkers are typically ladies who paintings of their personal houses for an outdoor organization and are paid on a one-piece foundation. The paintings is generally unskilled and of an uneventful and repetitive nature. the commercial prestige of the homeworker has little or not anything in universal with the self reliant craftsman operating in his own residence sooner than the onset of industrialization; homeworkers paintings with out supervision and feature no actual touch with their employers or sub-contractors other than whilst gathering or returning paintings. This quantity is an research of the commercial and social place of the predominantly lady labour strength of the homework industries from 1850 to 1985. The textual content examines adjustments that experience happened within the composition of the labour strength, the choices open to ladies and the categories and geographical position of homework. The authors significantly review makes an attempt to enhance the location of homeworkers and touch upon the customers for homeworking sooner or later.

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Additional resources for A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985

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And they reckoned, you know, that was a good pay then. 9 It was common for whole families to do homework in the boot and shoe trade. Although sack-sewing was not a branch of the clothing industry it deserves mention here because it was after all, needlework. When we think of the sewing trades we tend to think of clean and light work. For the homeworker this picture was often very far from the truth. A great deal of needlework was on heavy and coarse materials. Certainly sack-sewing was one of the most unpleasant of the sewing trades.

Dad didn't earn very much. lr money if you did anything like that because he used to work ... up Lexden way and they don't pay like we do you see, they didn't in those days and Mum used to do coats at home from the factory. She used to work very hard for the little she got to make ends meet you see'. 'My mother did that bit of tailoring to feed us kids. She didn't do that for a bit of pocket money, she did that to keep us. She had 11 in 12 years, she had, she was having babies every year ... My husband didn't earn a lot when we got married.

It also spared him the cost of storage. One of the most important economic developments affecting the demand for home labour in the nineteenth century was the increase in consumer demand. The working class became important as consumers for mass-produced clothes, boots, shoes and furniture. 40 A Hidden Workforce The nature of production shifted from producing for the individual consumer to producing for a mass market. In clothing and footwear the emphasis shifted from retail to wholesale, from bespoke to ready-made.

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