Opening up the archive: Photograph housed at the Social History Archive, commented by historian Filipa Lowndes Vicente
In 1911 a photographer from the Silva Magalhães Studio, based in Tomar, goes inside a spinning factory in his city and creates this image. The barefoot girls stand still and look at the camera. In the same year, the national census revealed how women and children were still the main workforce of the Portuguese strongest industry, textiles. Women earned less than men, and children earned less than women, both represented the cheap unskilled labour sustaining the major part of Portuguese industry.
(Filipa Lowndes Vicente – ICS Researcher)