The central image of the British Workman masthead used in the first twenty-six issues is rich with images of nineteenth-century workers and workplaces. The workers that appear to the right and left of the central illustration change each month. This gallery collects all of the side images that appear in the first twenty-one issues. Can you identify the illustrations that appear more than once? Why are the images sometimes replaced with text?
The cover of the British Workman changes between the publication’s beginning in 1855 and the 1860s, when text almost completely disappears from the front page. The eye-catching covers were a marketing tool, and both readers and sellers were encouraged to post the front page on a wall or in a window to attract new readers. The cover also gives a quick impression of the content and messages contained in the British Workman. Can you identify some of the themes and messages from this set of British Workman covers?
Child labour was common in the nineteenth-century, particularly in the wake of industrialisation. Children worked in mines, on ships, in offices, on farms, as servants in homes, and at the workhouse. Images of some of these child labourers can be found in the pages of the British Workman.
Animals are seen on virtually every page of the British Workman. They are companions, workers, sources of food, forms of transportation, and sources of entertainment.
The six issues of the Stationery Trade Review on the BLT19 site were office copies. Here are a few examples of the notes, corrections, ink smudges, blank pages, and other signs of use found within the collection.
Despite its title, the target audience of the British Workman includes more than just men. There are a variety of articles and columns aimed at women readers. Women are depicted in the paper’s pages performing a variety of roles both inside and outside the home.