Seen for the first time in over a century, these are a series of portraits taken around 1900 at the Working Lads Institute, known today as the Whitechapel Mission. After my first visit with Colin O’Brien to take portraits at the Mission on Easter Tuesday, I returned this week to select these glass plates from the archive.
Founded in 1876, the Institute offered a home to young men who had been involved in petty criminal activity, rehabilitating them through working at the Mission which tended to the poor and needy in Whitechapel. Once a lad had proved himself, he was able to seek independent employment with the support and recommendation of the Institute.
The Working Lads Institute was the first of its kind in London to admit black people and Rev Thomas Jackson, the founder, is pictured here with five soldiers at the time of World War I
Stained glass window with a figure embodying ‘Industry’ as an inspiration to the lads
In the dormitory
Rev Thomas Jackson & the lads collect for the Red Cross outside the Mission
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