It’s very easy to forget when reading a website (or playing a computer game) that it takes real breathing people to create it. The same goes for the periodicals we have digitised on this site: the work of real people, with vulnerable bodies and their own likes, dislikes and agendas are behind every word and every image.

A huge variety and number of people were involved in producing each issue of the periodicals: editors, writers, illustrators, engravers, typesetters, print machine operators, advertisers, office workers, cleaners, delivery men (they would all have been men), and a myriad of others. Behind them would have been the servants (often wives), the railway staff, the factory operatives who made the printing machines… We have produced a series of short biographies to highlight just a few of the people that we know were involved in creating and producing BLT19 periodicals. Almost all of the others have been erased from history.

Balfour, Clara Lucas (1808-1878) (Writer, British Workman)

Smithies, Thomas Bywater (1817-1883) (Editor, British Workman)

Weir, Harrison (1824-1906) (Artist/Illustrator, British Workman)