Punch,  54 (1868), 2.

Workhouse Curiosities



Reportage, Spoof


Utilitarianism, Class, Human Development, Health, Disease, Pollution, Crime, Periodicals

    Lists various 'curiosities' shown at a recent 'Conversazione of the Poor Law Commissioners'. These ridicule poor law guardians, particularly those responsible for the notorious Farnham Poor Law Union Workhouse, for creating such woefully poor conditions in workhouses and workhouse infirmaries. For example, the exhibits include a 'Specimen of an infirmary blanket, warranted not to keep the cold out', 'A bottle of air taken from a workhouse bedroom. In proof of its impurity, a light being placed in it immediately goes out', and 'A few stalactites found in the "Stalactite cave of filth" referred to in the Lancet Commissioners' Report' (a reference to the Lancet's investigation of the Farnham workhouse).

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