Victorian Carol Singers

Team-Building In The Victorian Era

Whilst doing research on the history of team-building I came across a slew of articles from past eras which shed light on some rather dubious past attitudes towards team-building and human psychology in general.

Please note we here at Culture Games do not endorse or practice any of the following techniques. We simply post them here as a historic document.


Carol Singers On A Street Corner
Christian song raises the spirits even of miners.

Five Ways To Build Morale Amongst Your

Peons Workers

By Lord Alfred Maybury-Twist
On This Date of November 1, 1886

1) Song!

Yes, a good Christian spiritual is great for the spirit! Studies show that if a group of miners sing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” once a day, they yield on average 12 Imperial Hands of coal extra per child per day… The Lord most certainly giveth!

2) Fighting Amongst Men.

Studies show that if working-class men see a bloodlust once a day that they become more excitable, and consequently, more productive. Therefore, schedule a Boxinge Match early in the workday, say 4 or 5am, between your two eldest workers. And none of this Queensbury Rules nonsense. Let them attain honour by fighting to the death.

A boxer from the Victorian era
Working class men love to watch fisticuffs.

3) Eye contact Amongst Women.

Studies show that women (yes, women can work too! Chide me not for being so moderne!) who work in brick factories work 22% harder if they are occasionally allowed to make eye contact with another person!

The most splendid thing about this is that it is a completely free. The eye contact can be combined with the grinding down of the granite that makes the bricks and not a second of productivity is lost!

For men who work in factories it is best to forbid eye contact, for they will only fight.

4) Water-closet breaks.

Yes, we were all raised to believe that a full bladder builds fortitude but the latest in medical research indicates that relieving one’s self once a day can make a person more relaxed and therefore more productive.

5) The Taking of Cocoaine

A tad exotic this one, but scientists on the continent have been experimenting with coca leaves from South America and have finally isolated an alkaloid chemical with medicinal properties. A Dr. Freud out of Vienna claims that this cocoaine causes

Exhilaration and lasting euphoria, which in no way differs from the normal euphoria of the healthy person. You perceive an increase of self-control and possess more vitality and capacity for work.

Although I can’t see this catching on it can do no harm to give it a go, but first make sure to test it out on yourself and your friends.


An old-timey advertisement for tootache drops
Dr. Freud of Vienna really likes this medicine.

[If you liked this report please give the broadsheet to a fellow Captaine of Industry. We’d really like to go fungal – Sincerely yours, Lord Maybury-Twist – Sorry for the brevity, but apparently one must be succinct now. PPS – Has anyone seen my pipe?]

For  a more modern approach to team-building, check out