Cartoon of a 'gas monster', 1880-1900.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Cartoon drawing in pen and ink by F Carruthers Gould depicting a monster with a gasometer for a body and a gas meter for a head. The monster strides over heaps of coal holding in his left hand a rag saying 'Gas stokers strike', and in his right hand a rag saying 'bonus'. There was unrest throughout the late 19th century as gas stokers acros Britain protested against long working hours and low wages. In 1889 Will Thorne formed a union to fight the Gas Light & Coke Company's 12 and 18 hour shift demands and succeeded in replacing them with 8 hour shifts. In 1890 the police intervened when a strike by gas stokers in Leeds resulted in violent scenes.