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June 19, 2017

53 Fascinating Photos Document Everyday Life of England in the 1900s

At the beginning of the 20th century surveys showed that 25% of the population of England were living in poverty. They found that at least 15% were living at subsistence level. They had just enough money for food, rent, fuel and clothes. They could not afford 'luxuries' such as newspapers or public transport. About 10% were living in below subsistence level and could not afford an adequate diet.

The surveys found that the main cause of poverty was low wages. The main cause of extreme poverty was the loss of the main breadwinner. If dad was dead, ill or unemployed it was a disaster. Mum might get a job but women were paid much lower wages than men.

Surveys also found that poverty tended to go in a cycle. Workers might live in poverty when they were children but things usually improved when they left work and found a job. However when they married and had children things would take a turn for the worse. Their wages might be enough to support a single man comfortably but not enough to support a wife and children too. However when the children grew old enough to work things would improve again. Finally, when he was old a worker might find it hard to find work, except the most low paid kind and be driven into poverty again.

These fascinating photos from Photos of the Past that show what everyday life in England looked like in the 1900s.

Birmingham Council House

Canterbury Quadrangle, St. John's College, Oxford

Church of St John the Baptist, Adel, Leeds

Church, Eastwood

Coast Guard, Canvey

Cottage in Essex

Denham, Buckinghamshire

Dutch Farm at Canvey

Dutch Prison at Canvey

Eastbourne gardens and seafront

Hadleigh Castle ruins

High Street and St Mary the Virgin, Oxford

Holy Trinity Church and the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon

Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon

Houses of Parliament, London

Lynmouth, Devon

Magdalen tower and bridge, Oxford

Market Street, Kings Arms pub and hotel, Woodstock

Mason Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon

Newgate Gap Bridge, Margate

Newgate Gap Bridge, Margate

Old Sun Inn, Market Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex

Oyster Saloon and Norton & Turton warehouse, Lincoln

Pulls Ferry, Norwich

Radcliffe Camera, Bodleian Library, and Hawksmoor's Codrington Library (All Souls College), Oxford

Rye, East Sussex

Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon

Sheldonian theatre and the Clarendon building, Oxford

Southend pier

St Katherine's church, Canvey

St Lawrence church, Lechlade, Gloucestershire

St Lawrence Church, North Hinksey, Oxfordshire

St Mary Magdalene, Launceston, Cornwall

St Mary's Catholic Church, Great Yarmouth

St Mary's Church, Bampton, Oxfordshire

St Marys Church, Fairford, Gloucestershire

St Michael and All Angels Church, Clifton Hampden, Oxfordshire

St Peters Church, Filkins, Oxfordshire

St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford

The beach at Dover, Kent

The Dove, Hammersmith

The Island Hotel, Eel Pie Island

The Keep, Kenilworth Castle

Tom Tower, Christchurch College, Oxford

Victoria and Albert Museum, under construction, London, 1906

West Pier, Brighton

Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

Windmill, Rayleigh

York Hotel and harbour, Salcombe

3 Lombard Street, Margate

59 Maxse Road, Knowle in Bristol, 1906

All Saints Church, Bisham, Berkshire

Bampton, Oxfordshire


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