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A Census record for London from 1901 includes “Folder Work” as the occupation of a 15-year-old boy. (What is possibly the same individual a decade later was occupied as a “Malsters Labourer”.):

Excerpt from 1901 Census

The above is a snip from UK Census Online with further details behind a paywall. I have not found a version on FreeCEN or IGI.

There are fairly comprehensive listings of Victorian occupations at London Census 1891 Transcription Blog, at Obscure Old English Census Occupations, and elsewhere, but I have not found a description for “Folder Work”.

My guess is that it may be the folding of laundry after washing and ironing as I is for Ironer by Amanda Wilkinson for example makes the point that laundry work of various kinds in 1901 kept many occupied:

over 180,000 women were recorded in the census as working in laundries as washerwomen, ironers and manglers

with a hint that though the emphasis was heavily on female labour, some males were employed:

Consequently at the Lower Croft boys and women were dispensed with, and the light labour given to old men and cripples

However, folding laundry Is not what I would have expected a 15-year old boy to be occupied with in 1901 so I would appreciate an authoritative answer to replace my speculation as to the meaning of “Folder Work”.

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    Hi pnuts, not that I don't believe you're reading it correct but would you be able to include a snippet of the record image, so we can confirm it does say Folder Work? Or even the census reference so we can look at the page. Seeing the original text often makes interpretation easier. – Harry Vervet Mar 20 '18 at 2:35
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    My best guess for the original is the 1901 Census in Lewisham, Class: RG13; Piece: 545; Folio: 107; Page: 10. A snippet of that page is here. I can edit that into the Q if needed. The original text is rather obscured, The first word does look like "Folder", but the second does not look like "Worker", rather something ending in "...work". I haven't figured out what it might be yet, though... – AndyW Mar 20 '18 at 11:57
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+50

My best guess for the original is the 1901 Census in Lewisham, Class: RG13; Piece: 545; Folio: 107; Page: 10. Here is a clipping from that page: Bonds family in 1901 Lewisham Census

The original text for Henry's occupation is rather obscured, The first word does look like "Folder", but the second does not look like "Worker", rather something ending in "...work". So the transcriber may have skipped the obscured part and entered just "Work" instead.

As per a comment by the OP, this could be "Collarwork", which may tie in with the "Collar Machinist" entry below and would presumably relate to the laundering or manufacture of shirts etc.

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    @pnuts - Transcription errors may be more common than you think. Most are good, but some errors are inevitable on hard-to-read text, and may even occur on very clearly written records. I didn't keep links, but I've seen whole pages of nonsense names transcribed from fairly legible records before. And my own 3rd great grandmother Penelope was transcribed as Peaslap in the 1851 census on Ancestry... – AndyW Mar 28 '18 at 12:50

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