During the 19th century, the Black Country - in particular the Cradley Heath area - became the centre for chain making in Britain. Heavy to medium chains were produced by men in factories, however the smaller chains (often known as 'hand-hammered' or 'country-work' chains) were often hand-worked by women or children in small cramped forges in outbuildings next to the home.
Look at the exhibition at https://warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/archives_online/digital/tradeboard/chainmakers/ and use the following sources to answer the questions:
- Source A: https://wdc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p21047coll2/id/142/rec/39
- Source B: https://wdc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p21047coll2/id/28/rec/27
- Source C: https://wdc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p21047coll2/id/175/rec/24
- Source D: https://wdc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p21047coll2/id/215/rec/70
- Source E: https://wdc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p21047coll2/id/5/rec/10
- What was the purpose of the Trades Board Act 1909?
- Describe the working conditions of the chainmakers.
- What reasons does Source D give for increasing wages?
- According to Source D what should you be able to afford with a living wage?
- Why does Arthur Powell object to the increase in wages?
- Using Sources A and E as evidence, why do you think the strike was successful?
To help you think about these sources in a historical way, use the list of questions to guide your thinking.