London Jewish Bakers Union banner
This gorgeous treasure is a painted silk banner, made around 1925. It is one of only two surviving Jewish union banners in Britain. It is part of the Jewish Museum London‘s collection and belonged to the London Jewish Bakers’ Union, the longest lived Jewish trade union, which operated from 1905 to 1970.
The banner represents a tangible link with the Jewish labour movement which flourished in London’s East End at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It was commissioned while Michael Proof, a leading militant, was the union’s secretary. The banner reminded shoppers to buy bread with the union label, which guaranteed that it was baked under acceptable working conditions. The other side of the banner has the same slogans in Yiddish, and an enlarged depiction of the union label.
We love this banner for its beautiful colours, images and typography, and because of the light it sheds on Jewish industrial life and activism in London at the turn of the twentieth century.
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