working lives

panaroma view of interior of a supermarket

Self-service: a short history of supermarkets

Supermarkets have been the main way we shop for groceries in Europe since the 1950s, giving us more freedom by allowing us customers to choose our products.

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man in protective work clothing emptying a bag into a machine

Catastrophic collateral damage: asbestos at work

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, once valued because of its insulating and fireproofing qualities, was used for fire-resistant garments and other products. However, exposure to asbestos fibres has caused illnesses and death among thousands of workers across Europe and the world.

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back of pair of Lee denim jeans with label

Denim and jeans: making of a fashion icon

Read about the history of denim and jeans, from their invention at the end of the 19th century through to the popular clothing of today.

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young woman using a singer sewing machine

Singer sewing machines: production on a grand scale

The tale of the Singer company and their world-changing sewing machines is one of industrialisation, emancipation, mass production, mass marketing, and a massive impact on the world.

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Archaeology behind the Iron Curtain – memories of excavations and digs in Lithuania from 1948 to 1968

This blog looks at the memories of those who worked on archaeological digs and projects in Lithuania during the Cold War, with a focus from 1948 to 1968.

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