Browse Items (16 total)

This article from Brisbane publication The Worker rebukes derisive comments published by a London journalist mocking Australia’s legislation concerning workers as a reversion to medieval trade laws. Responding to McKenzie’s quip that…

The writer credits the craft guilds of medieval England for the eight-hour system, including the Saturday half-holiday. The latter was supposed to be devoted to archery practice, which eventually ensured English mastery of the bow and arrow and their…

A photograph from c. 1911 of a large crowd lining Argent Street in Broken Hill to watch a Labor Day procession of men carrying union banners. Union banners have a medieval predecessor in the banners used by guilds (an association of craftsmen in the…

Working or labour songs were a feature of nineteenth century (and later) union gatherings and processions. The songs and communal singing evoke peasant or folk traditions. The song gives the workers the high-ground because they resort to moral rather…

‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ (work conquers everything) is a historically significant slogan associated with the American and English labour movements. It was also the motto of the Knights of Labour, a group started in the 1860s in America. The Knights…

Report on the Eight Hours Day procession in Melbourne in 1888. The article describes the vivid and essentially working-class flavour of the skilled trades procession and after-picnic in Melbourne. The tinsmiths’ knightly armour invokes literary and…

This illustration portrays the great fear of the establishment in the late nineteenth century in Australia, an organised workforce. Union organisation and affiliation and the strengthening of fraternities and friendly societies appeared to create a…

This illustration is an early reference to the beginnings of the eight-hour movement. One of the first marches took place in Melbourne in 1856, when the Stonemasons working on the build of the University of Melbourne, marched to Parliament protesting…