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Monday, 2 April 2012

Birmingham Children's Lives

I recently discovered a very interesting new blog about children's lives, a project by Birmingham Archives and Heritage. The blog has historical photos of children and images of documents which give an insight into their lives such as school logbooks, so do take a look if you are interested in exploring your ancestors' childhood records. 

Birmingham was home to the metal trades, such as the manufacture of steel pens. The two biggest factories were Joseph Gillott & Co. and Hinks,Wells & Co. In the 1860s, conditions in Gillott's factory were clean, and few children under thirteen were employed, but at Hinks's works like Jack Parden worked in rags because the vitriol  used to clean the steel strips for the pens splashed onto their clothes. The boys often cut their hands on the metal strips.

I hope to have some exciting news for you soon, so keep checking back for updates! 

Image: Rolling steel for pens at Hinks, Wells & Co., Birmingham. Some of the boy helpers were as young as nine years old. Illustrated London News, 22 February 1851.

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