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The Matchgirls’ Strike

April 6, 2017

Matchgirl_strikers

It wasn’t a nice life working as a matchgirl at the Bryant & May factory in Bow – work-days were fourteen-hours long, pay was poor, infractions resulted in fines and there were severe health complications of working with white phosphorus, such as phossy jaw. But all that was to change after social reformer, socialist and theosophist Annie Besant led the girls out on one of the most comprehensively successful strikes of the era.

Listen to an excellent In Our Time discussion about Annie Besant here.

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From → 1887-1888

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