Local industries could not offer enough work to men from the Lippe region. Hence hundreds travelling brickmakers left their homes every spring to find work elsewhere. Until autumn they worked at brickworks in north and east Germany, as well as in the Ruhrgebiet. What did these men take with them? Where did they live and what did their everyday working life consist of?
Trunks and bed frames – with bedbugs – photos and postcards written by men to their families, give an impression of their life and work away from home. Everyday life at home can be seen in an old cottage with a kitchen garden. Here the wives of the brickmakers had to cope with being alone for most of the year. They brought up their children, cooked and washed, grew potatoes and vegetables, kept hens, goats and a pig. In addition they often helped out on nearby farms during the harvest period in order to earn enough money to pay the rent.