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Port Sunlight - a workers utopia

Port Sunlight - a workers utopia


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Port Sunlight - a workers utopia

Page from The Illustrated London News with photographs reporting on the model factory village of Port Sunlight on the Wirral, near Birkenhead. Established by William Hesketh Lever, later Lord Leverhulme, the village provided spacious accommodation and numerous amenities for workers at the Lever Brothers soap factory. Images of the schools built by labour, the open air swimming pool, a Sunday School procession and the picturesque houses all testify to the wholesome way of life enjoyed by Port Sunlights inhabitants. Date: 1905

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Media ID 14166011

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Accommodation Amenities Bros Brothers Community Enlightened Lever Leverhulme News Profit Progressive Schools Sharing Soap Sunlight Utopia Utopian Villages


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Port Sunlight: A Model Utopian Village for the Workers of Lever Brothers This image from The Illustrated London News, dated 1905, offers a glimpse into the picturesque and utopian village of Port Sunlight on the Wirral peninsula near Birkenhead. Established by the visionary industrialist, philanthropist, and future Baron, William Hesketh Lever, the village was designed to provide spacious accommodation and an abundance of amenities for the workers of Lever Brothers soap factory. The photograph showcases the enlightened and progressive spirit of the community, with laborers proudly displaying their craftsmanship in the construction of the village schools. The open-air swimming pool, a remarkable feature for the time, testifies to the wholesome way of life enjoyed by Port Sunlight's inhabitants. The Sunday School procession, with children dressed in their best attire, further emphasizes the strong sense of community and shared values. Lever, a pioneer in profit-sharing schemes, believed that by investing in the well-being of his workers, he would reap the benefits in their productivity and loyalty. The model village, with its attractive, picturesque houses, became a symbol of his commitment to creating a better living environment for his employees. This photograph, taken in 1905, offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of Port Sunlight, a unique and groundbreaking experiment in industrial philanthropy and community-building.

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