Industrialisation, workforce and labour conditions in 1911, Portugal

Créditos: AHS-ICS

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)

The Arquivo de História Social (AHS-ICS), formerly the Working Class Historical Archive, was founded in 1979. It aimed to retrieve and preserve documentation for the study of the labor and trade union movement. Having acquired other document collections covering a wide range of subjects, it has broadened AHS’s initial objective. Today the AHS is the custodian of significant sources for the study of anarchism, corporatism, feminism, the student movement, African nationalist movements and the Portuguese revolutionary process (1974-1982).