How did Booth undertake this study? A team of researchers would accompany policemen on the daily beat through the streets of London; accompany school board attendance visitors, church ministers, and churchgoers; and visit factories and places of work, interviewing extensively at home and in the workplace. Using notebooks to record the interviews, the data was collated to eventually producing the first poverty map in 1889, "Labour and Life of the People." Although the word poverty was used, it was a study of the whole social structure, which showed the living and working circumstances of th population of London. Not only do the surveys give information on the level of income of the family, it elaborates and uncovers at length, both the leisure and religious ways of Londoners. The policemen and school board inspectors knew the people they came across, so local familiarity provided the investigators with on-hand knowledge. Observations on crime and drunkenness, comments on the state of the streets and the conditions people had to live under, were all well noted. Food, clothing, and the deprivation of the qualities of life we expect today were all part of the overall picture ascertained. Nothing like this study had ever been undertaken before, and these notebooks survive in a collection at the London School of economics.
From these notes the map was produced, determining the social class/category of a family from the data collected, the large street map was thus coloured. The colours represented each category:
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