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This article from The Argus newspaper provides a report of an Eight Hours procession through the streets of Melbourne in 1887, during which at least 50 different trades were represented. It makes note of the increasing size and elaborateness of the trade society banners being displayed, and describes in detail four banners that were featured in the parade for the first time. These were the banners of the Masons, the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, the Bricklayersâ€™ Society and the United Society of Painters, Paperhangers, and Decorators. Union banners have a medieval predecessor in the banners displayed by guilds (an association of craftsmen in the same trade), whereby each guild had a banner to identify their trade. Some historians consider trade unions to be the successors of medieval guilds. The author of this article also points out that several of the trades made efforts to demonstrate their handicrafts during the procession, with the Tinsmiths in particular parading two knights outfitted in suits of armour.
National Library of Australia: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7943706
22 April 1887
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