Foundling scraps

In the 18th century thousands of poor women left their newborn babies at the London Foundling Hospital. Theirs and their babies names were not recorded, so that the children could be given a new name and a fresh start, but in case the mother should ever want to reclaim their child they were asked to leave a distinctive token of some kind. This Guardian article details how '5,000 of the infants deposited came with some kind of token attached. And by some lucky chance these tokens, mostly comprising bits of fabric carefully pinned to the baby's admission billet, have survived.'