The Crisis

The years Thirty and Forty of the nineteenthth century were a period of great development for the utopian movements. In England, the most famous was the one linked to Robert Owen, entrepreneur-philanthropist, who directed, among others 'The crisis', whose meaningfully subtitle recites 'or the change from the error and misery, to truth and happines.'

Newspaper, London, published from 1832 to1834

New banner for the NFWW

With unemployment rising steeply in 1920, an expanded Unemployment Insurance Act was introduced. A campaign for equalisation of men's and women's benefits under the Act was rejected. Moreover, women were refused benefit if they rejected work in domestic service. The National Federation of Women Workers (NFWW) set up its own unemployment benefit scheme, offering 18 shillings per week instead of 12 shillings under the Government scheme. This photograph shows the NFWW banner designed by Walter Crane.

Women's Trade Union League badge

Women's Trade Union League badge, 1919 carrying the League's motto 'Lose not those things that we have wrought'. The badge also has initials of the League's leaders, Emma Paterson and Lady Emilia Francis Strong Dilke. The badge was presented at the Annual Conference of Delegates to the TUC in which women were employed. This copy of the badge held in the TUC Library Collections was awarded to Ann Laughlin of the United Garment Workers Union in 1919 because 'women's membership of the union had increased by over 20,000 during the past year'.

Watch case of the IAWM

One of the twelve watch cases believed to have been struck in the 1860s to mark the meeting in London of the International Association of Working Men (The First International) when the eight hours working day had been proclaimed as the Association's objective. Similar watches were struck in Italy and Germany in the late 19th century. Around 1920, Kay and Company of Worcester produced a slightly different version of the original watch which sold for 42 shillings (£2.10).

Tom Mann

Tom Mann (1856-1941) was a skilled engineer who moved to London from the Midlands in 1877. Over the next ten years, he worked in many different jobs in London and New York, joining the Amalgamated Society of Engineers in 1881. In 1884, he joined the Battersea Branch of the Social Democratic Federation, to which John Burns already belonged. He became an eloquent and well known speaker, campaigning in particular for the 8 hour day.

Mechanics' institute, Manchester

Mechanics' Institute, Princess Street, Manchester where the first Trade Union Congress was held from 2-6 June, 1868. Built in 1854 as a centre for working class, adult education it offered a wide range of evening classes in English grammar, writing, reading, music, arithmetic, Latin and other languages. It was also the birthplace of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and the Cooperative Insurance Society.