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The Core Curriculum

Members of the Matchmakers Union, 1888 CE.

Photograph of members of the Matchmakers Union in London, 1888 from Annie Besant, Annie Besant - An Autobiography. 2nd ed. London, 1893.

In 1888, 1400 workers at the Bryant and May match factory in London waged a groundbreaking strike against falling wages, abuse, and dangerous job conditions--one of the first successful mass industrial actions by truly ‘proletarian’ labor. As this picture suggests, the strikers were primarily women, many of them teenagers.


Image via Project Gutenberg at Other sources from the Matchmakers strike available from the UK’s Trade Union Congress at

Contemporaneous Resource
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Licensed for Public Use