Stories from the Archive – Crumpsall biscuit factory catalogue

If you have a sweet tooth you’re really going to enjoy our second episode of Stories from the Archive.

Cream crackers, pink icing and Princess cakes, all beautiful illustrations in an early catalogue from CWS Crumpsall biscuit factory in Manchester that was posted anonimously to the National Co-operative Archive. Watch archivist Sophie unveiling the story of the first 8 hour day biscuit factory in the country.

Oh, and it goes well with a cuppa!

Dated to 1902, the catalogue contains beautiful illustrations showing the wide range of goods the factory produced. It was a pleasant surprise when the envelope was opened as it is now considered one of the Archive’s treasures!

Crumpsall was the CWS’s first factory, opening in January 1873. It prided itself in being the first biscuit factory in the country where employees worked at eight hour day. The factory is probably now best remembered as making the famous Crumpsall Cream Cracker. The other items in this short film give a window into what it was like to work at the factory, which boasted football and cricket pitches as well as other social activities for its workers to join.

The National Co-operative Archive is open Monday to Friday and can be visited by appointment. Find more about the Archive here

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