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Employment of Children in the Button Trade
Other inspections – 1864
The 1864 reports refer to button manufactories in Birmingham owned by various people: Mr William Aston (Princip Street), Messrs Dain, Watts and Manton (Regent Street), Messrs Smith and Wright (Brearley Street West), Messrs J&T Chatwin (Great Charles Street), Messrs Iliffe and Player(Newhall Street), Mr J Cope (Cottage Lane), Mr E Lepper (Aston Road), Messrs Thomas Bullock (Cliveland Street), Mrs S Rowley (Clement Street), J Watson (St George’s Street), William Lane (New Summer Street), Messrs G Layton (Little Charles Street), Mr S Darlaston (Branston Street), Mr J Matthews (New John Street)
The reports of which these are transcriptions were purchased from an excellent historical documents website, www.lightage.demon.co.uk, which no longer exists. If anyone knows where documents like these can now be obtained, please let me know through the ‘Contact us’ page of this website.
I hope to compile a list of the working people named in these reports – watch this space if you have an ancestor who worked in the button trade as their name may be in the list.
It must be said that these reports are more interesting from a social history point of view than for the button-making details they contain! They make very sad reading – children were employed in this industry, as in so many others at the time, in conditions that were hard and with very long working hours. The inspectors pay close attention to the morals of the workers as well as to the provision, quality and privacy of privies in these factories.