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Old women picking oakum in a Casual Ward
The women's casual ward (vagrants' ward) of a workhouse, thought to be at Lambeth, south London. Three women in workhouse uniform sit on benches. One is picking oakum - teasing lumps of old rope apart into their raw fibres. A heap of picked oakum is at her feet. The two other women are sleeping. An overhead rack stores their own clothes.
© Mary Evans / Peter Higginbotham Collection