Factory interior 1900-1920
Factory interior 1900-1920

Congratulations! You have just inherited a listed factory from the 1920’s. In order to maintain it, you must open it up to visitors. As you do not know much about how an old factory worked, you quickly need to understand what it was like to own and operate a factory. To help you, you have an engineer and a factory worker...


The goal is to find enough facts to carry out a guided tour as it would have taken place in 1924. For example: what the equipment does the factory have? How does it work? What can be done with it? But to make the guided tour interesting and instructive, you must also be able to tell about the period when the factory was operational, how it was to work there and how people lived at the time. Remember to adapt the information to different age groups. What do you think for example that children would like to know?


In groups of three: decide who is the factory owner, the engineer and the factory worker. Find as much information as you can about the respective roles and what the person needed to know to be able to perform their work. For example, the engineer must understand how the machinery works. Make sure to present two angles in some of the subjects; the owner and the workers probably had very different views about workers’ rights, wages and safety...

1, Begin to find information about:

- Year 1924: what happened? Both locally and internationally?

- How were the working conditions? For example, did the workers have any legal rights to paid vacation?

- How much did the employees make? What could they buy for that amount? How many did they have to support?


- Search specific information needed for your role

2, Once you have found the information you need, create a character, ie:

"My name is Taylor Jones, and I inherited this factory last year, in 1923. I am married and have four children. Here - in my factory we manufacture ... I have two employees ... "

Photo: Bolinders mekaniska verkstad, Stockholm 1900 - 1920

3, Find appropriate clothing and learn some popular expressions of the time. This can be done quite easily (and cheaply). A factory owner most likely wore a suit, an engineer perhaps a shirt and vest, and a factory worker had blue overalls. However, it’s enough with a small detail so that your visitors can see the difference between you.

4, Memorize the information, and hold a training tour for a small group.

5, Evaluate after the first group. Were there questions you couldn’t answer? Which questions are most likely to be asked by your visitor? Change script and find more facts as needed.

6, Ensure that the building and the area around it is safe for both you and visitors.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge acquired

  • Knowing how to find relevant information and critically examine sources.
  • Sift the relevant information and adapting it to the target audience.
  • Knowing how to present the results as part of a team
  • Develop teamwork and communication skills.

Skills acquired

  • Knowledge to pass on to visitors.

Competences acquired

  • Information for the guided tours
  • Planning of guided tours
  • Keep guided tours


Now you have learned that, on the basis of a specific building, do the research and put them in context. You should also have received sufficient factual knowledge to be able to hold a guided tour in a historical factory setting for different age groups.