British Workman

The British Workman (1855-1921) was a richly-illustrated penny monthly that brought Temperance messages to the working classes. Its founder and editor, Thomas Bywater Smithies (1817-1883), thought that pictures were the best way to communicate improving messages.

In 1863 a magazine was started modelled on the British Workman but aimed at women, the British Workwoman. Many issues of the latter are also available through BLT19 and make an interesting comparison.

Below on this page there are links to the first 43 issues seprated out into individual issues (issues 77-120 can be found here) as well as to the Index to the first ten years of the magazine that came with bound volumes.

Here too are all the issues we have of the British Workman arranged in the Metabotnik software. Metabotnik (a “Browse and Zoom” software) allows us to zoom seamlessly from a single picture of all the issues of the periodical on this site to the very fine detail of one word or picture.

There is a great deal on the British Workman on BLT19. A useful place to start will be the catalogue of the 2019 BLT19 Exhibition, which featured illustrations from the British Workman. Quite a few of the blog posts have been inspired by the magazine too, and the posts in People and Topics are largely centred on it. 

Women in the British Workman are covered here.

Single Issues of British Workman digitised by BLT19 Project

Click here for issues 77-129

BLT19: AK with AMH