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Preparing cloths for the filter presses, Glebe Sugar Refinery, Greenock
© The Imperial War Museum

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Preparing cloths for the filter presses, Glebe Sugar Refinery, Greenock November 1918 (printed 2004)

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
In 1918, the Women’s Work Committee for the Imperial War Museum commissioned a specific series of photographs from Lewis on the women who had worked in the heavy industries and transport during the war. The intention was to offer a positive, heroic view of the womens’ labours – equivalent to the mens’ fighting spirit and endurance. The pictures were designed more for posterity than for propaganda, and Lewis’s photographs present the women as positive and engaging personalities. While the pictures are not evidently political, they are taken against a background of the industrial militancy, in response to the privations of war and the Russian Revolution of 1917, which focused in Scotland on ‘Red Clydeside’.

Glossary Open


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.

Red Clydeside

The era of political radicalism that characterised the city of Glasgow between the 1910s and 1930s, brought about by opposition to the First World War and poor housing and working conditions.

Commission, Red Clydeside


  • Acc. No. PGP 310.3
  • Medium Silver gelatine print
  • Size 26.30 x 34.70 cm
  • Credit Commissioned by the Gallery in 2004 from negatives held by the Imperial War Museum