Many 18th century Almshouses employed  inmates in attached workhouses in tasks including  buttons and shoes manufacture. This labor generated funds for the institution and was justified as a means of reformation of the the poor, who were seen as morally deficient. Thousands of leather scraps, indicative of leatherworking, as well as  bone discs, a byproduct of button manufacture, were recovered in archaeological excavation of the Philadelphia Almshouse. (Katkins and Allitt 2014). 

 

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