Things you find when doing a bit of research…

A guest post from volunteer Amber Greenall-Heffernan 

I am a third year History, Museums & Heritage student from the University of Central Lancashire, currently volunteering at the People’s History Museum. For the past couple of months, I have been doing research for the upcoming exhibition, Election! Britain Votes, looking at a wide range of election material such as posters, leaflets and manifestos. I am also currently working with artist Alex Gardner, showing him the most interesting and visually appealing items from the election material in the Labour History Archive to inspire the design of the exhibition.

Whilst doing this research I have come across some very interesting items. These are my favourites so far:

  • Equality of Sacrifice poster (1931)


Equality of Sacrifice poster (1931)This Labour Party poster criticises the 1931 National Government and their ‘Equality of Sacrifice’ policy. This policy was based on the ideas of John Stuart Mill, who believed that tax laws are fair as long as they are applied to everyone equally. The cartoon, by J. F. Horrabin was created in 1929, at a time of economic depression in Britain. Each man on the ladder has a different income, and as each one steps down a rung, the unemployed man at the bottom of the ladder becomes submerged in water, suggesting that the equality of sacrifice would affect the poorest the most.

Mend That Hole poster (1951)Mend That Hole poster (1951)
This Conservative Party poster created in 1951, shows a purse with coins falling out of the hole at the bottom of it. The purse has ‘Cost of Living’ written on it, which implies that the cost of living is increasing and that people are losing money because of it. This poster is particularly interesting as it is not far from issues that affect us today, such as the current debate about implementing a living wage due to rising cost of living standards.

Conservatives and Labour 3D booklet (1950)Conservatives and Labour 3D booklet (1950)Conservatives and Labour 3D booklet (1950)
My favourite item so far, and arguably the most engaging, is this 3D booklet which was created by the Conservative Party in 1950. The booklet folds so that when you put the blue filter over the text, it lists the successes of the Conservative government and what they aim to do in the future, and when you choose the red filter it shows the failures of the Labour government.


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