The Salvation Army, founded by William and Catherine Booth, began as the East London Christian Mission in 1865. The Booths, along with a small group of associates, preached in the streets of the East End and in rented halls. In 1878, its mission stations were found not only in London but along the south coast, in the Midlands, and in the north, with 127 paid evangelists and 700 voluntary workers. That same year, it adopted the name Salvation Army. Its distinctive uniforms, ranks, and military vocabulary; its tracts, called Hallelujah Torpedoes; and its prayer services, known as knee drill, followed. Salvationists became stock figures of fun in music halls, popular theater, and comic magazines. These battles are critical to an understanding of working-class religiosity and culture more broadly. A second approach to Victorian religion proceeded from the influential work of social historians E. P. Thompson and E. J. Hobsbawm.
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