The Triumph of Labour 1891
A May Day cartoon designed by Walter Crane
The Second International, an organisation of socialist and labour parties, declared in 1899 that May 1st would be International Workers’ Day. The date arose from earlier activities by the American Federation of Labour in its campaign for an eight-hour day. In particular it became of significance because of the deaths of workers at the hands of the police in 1884 and the executions of the Haymarket Anarchists of Chicago in 1887. Walter Crane produced a cartoon to draw public attention to their plight.
Walter Crane (1845 – 1915)
Walter Crane was a highly regarded and successful wood engraver and designer, especially known for his colour illustrations of children’s books. He was an active member of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
He joined William Morris in the Social Democratic Federation and subsequently in the Socialist League but he lent his design skills to the wider socialist and labour movement.
The original black and white cartoon would have made reproduction possible using the affordable printing methods available to the workers’ movement at that time. We have exploited modern digital tools to create this coloured version. We call this the sepia version.
Colourist - Adrian Hayes. Photography - Alex Mitchell. Designed and printed by unionised labour. www.kavitagraphics.co.uk and www.rapspiderweb.co.uk