How did a Lambeth working man’s wife with children manage on a pound a week in the years 1909-13? This was the question asked by the Fabian Women’s Group at the time and to help answer it they selected a group of working class women to record their weekly household expenses. The original notebooks used by these women are now available to view online via the archives catalogue.
The notebooks contain:
- the name and address of the woman keeping the notebook
- income details
- weekly expenses broken down by item (such as rent, foods and fuels).
- occasional comments about health matters and family circumstances.
To find out more about the study see Maud Pember Reeves’s ”Family life on a pound a week” (Fabian Tract 162, 1912) and her book, “Round about a pound a week” (1913). The book has recently been re-printed and is available to buy from Persephone Books.