This photograph, taken c 1910, shows the occupants of a slum tenement sitting and lying in bed recesses with some basic furniture and utensils.
Recessed beds were a common feature in 19th century Glasgow tenements. Known as "hole-in-the-wall" beds, they would be found in an alcove in the kitchen and in the other room. Originally they were built as bed-closets, enclosed in a cupboard. The Glasgow Building Regulations Act, 1900, recognised the importance for health of adequate ventilation and stated that a bed recess must be open in front for three quarters of its length, and from floor to ceiling. The space below the bed was normally used for storage, often for another folding bed.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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