Reflections on the Virtual Pompeii

The project of virtual pompeii basically showed the model of a building within two different ambient backgrounds. One at night and the other in the day time. The building resembles that from a Mine Craft at a distance, but if we get close enough, we find that the building has far more details then previously expected. We can notice the swaying flames on the torch models, and we can distinguish leaves from wigs on a plant. The project gives us a very nice reconstruction of what a building in Pompeii in the long past history may look like. We can observe tons of details including the patterns and painting on walls, the coloring of pillars and the design of religious altars. It is a finely made model, and one may only improve on the texture qualities.

However, this model has its defects in its ability of providing a funny experience. Just like the model of the workhouse we used to explore, this model only allows player to behave like a camera existing in another space. Players can only observe the historical objects, but can’t have any interaction with the observed building. Also, only the aspect of material culture is reflected in this project, but no information of people is demostrated. Players can see religious altars, but they are not able to understand how the ritual goes. In general, players can get a comprehensive view of the past.

Tin-glazed white porringers

The above picture is from the object biography resources folder. In the picture, the second left item, a pair of tin-glazed white earthenware is found to be similar to the described tin-glazed white porringers cataloged in 1789.

In the museum context, to interpret this item using physical tools, we can display this item with some other plain erathenware, plain wash bowls, and the wooden plates used by the paupers to make comparisons. Among the different tableware, we can conclude the common features of tableware used for masters and those for the paupers. Also, we can observe that certain kinds of tableware are more likely to be decorated. Often, if an item is frequently used, it will not be fancily decorated and will be designed to be duable. The same rules apply to the tableware in the workhouse.

To interpret this item using digital tools, we can link much more background knowledge of general tin-glazing technology to the item, and create scenes where the people are simoutaneously eating in different situations with different kinds of glazed tableware. By this tool, we can gain a specturm of scenes that can help us better conclude the significance of the given tin-glazed porringer.

Factory Acts(1802-1833)

Poverty, inequality, and negative externalities proliferated in the industrial economy. Child labor, in terms of child participation rates and starting work at very young ages also increased during the classic era of industrialization. The Industrial Revolution expedited the establishments of numerous factories, yet no substantial laws relating to the running of factories and working conditions for labors were issued until the first decades of the 19th century. As a result, factory workers, including child labor, were often exposed to dangers generated by heavy usage of industrial machines and long hours of working.

Against this background, a series of labor Acts were passed by the UK Parliament to regulate the conditions of industrial employment. The early Acts concentrated on regulating the hours of work and moral welfare of young children employed in cotton mills but were effectively unenforced until the Act of 1833 established a professional Factory Inspectorate.

The first pertinent Act was the “Health and Morals of Apprentices Act 1802”, which addressed the concerns about the health and welfare of children employed in cotton mills and set regulations on the construction of factories to ensure the decent working conditions. Then came the “Cotton Mills & Factory Act 1819”, which required that no children under 9 were to be employed and children aged 9-16 years were limited to 12 hours work per day. The legislation of the widely known “Labour of Children in Factories Act (Althorp’s Act)” was introduced in 1833. The Act required the following:

  • No child workers under nine years
  • Reduced hours for children 9-13 years
  • Two hours schooling each day for children
  • Four factory inspectors appointed


– The National Archives, “1833 Factory Act”, A The National  Archives,

– Wikipedia, “Factory Acts”, Wikipedia, last edited on 8 January 2018, at 16:29

– Jane Humphries, “Childhood and child labor in the British industrial revolution”, Economic History Review, 66, 2(2013), pp. 395-418.