Photographs of Victorian men and women in occupational dress were less common during earlier stages of photography before 1860. Men with prestigious careers, in the law, the church, education, or the armed forces, tended to be the only Victorians photographed in their occupational dress. Wealthy families did however on occasions have their servants photographed, possibly to show they were part of the family unit, and to demonstrate their social position and prestige.
Photographs of labouring men and women in their working dress are more likely to have been taken by professional photographers who were seeking to record a "picturesque scene" or an activity or trade they knew was fast disappearing as industrialism and mechanisation continued apace.
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