In the late 1700's and early 1800's, power-driven machines began to replace hand labor for the production of nearly all manufactured items. Factories began to pop up everywhere, first in England and then the United States was soon to follow in their footsteps. There were numerous factories and to meet the needs of the owners of these factories they had to get creative and find people of all walks of life to put to work. Sadly, their solution to the in demand workers was putting children, sometimes as young as three years old, to work. Operating the machines did not require adult strength, and children would work for much less than adults would. By the mid-1800's, child labor was a major problem.
Conditions of factories were not safe for anyone, let alone a small child. Due to these conditions many children died before their prime. Many children “began work at age 5, and generally died before they were 25” (www.victorianweb.org), America was beginning to lose an entire generation due to these working conditions that so many had to endure. Children were hired at an alarming rate. “In 1870, the first time census reported child workers, there were 750,000 workers in the United States age 15 and under, not including those who worked on family farms or in other family businesses” (“Child Labor in America”), these numbers were not something that was looked over, it astonished many. “A cotton manufactory of 5 or 6000 spindles will employ those 200 children” (Bremner 232). The workforce would continuously grow, hiring more and more children each day. Factories were good for using children as a means of their productivity. “Textile factories, for the most part […] were in the forefront of this industrial revolution, and children formed an essential component of the new industrial workforce” (Bremner 232). Many times without these children working some of these factories would not have survived through the revolution.
The younger boys who worked at the mines were called breaker boys. They didn’t work in the mine itself, but sat on benches and picked out the bits of rock from the coal. “These children worked in the picking room, a crowded, high-ceilinged vault, crisscrossed with rickety catwalks and crooked stairs, lit only by a wall of grime-choked windows” (Levine, Marvin J. "Mines, Mills, and Canneries." Children for Hire: The Perils of Child Labor in the United States. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. 21. Print.) Within factories, small children had to work fast at the machines, being very careful unless an unfortunate body part happens to get caught in the high-powered, dangerous machinery. For several long hours in rooms without fresh air, ventilation, and sometimes, no windows, the working conditions that the children suffered through were appalling. There are children who work in hazardous industries, risking accident and injury; there are others working in conditions that take a slower but definite toll on the children’s health (Basu, Kaushik, and Pham Hoang Van. "The Economics of Child Labor" The Economics of Child Labor (1998): 412-27. Print.).
On the other hand, because of the establishment of factories by businessmen, the workers ' lives became hard as they faced unfair working conditions in dirty and small working places. They worked long hours with no break. The machines used in factories were also very dangerous and led to workers enduring injuries. Unskilled labor did not even require training. During the Industrial Revolution, child labor became common since it was cheaper to have children working. Instead of earning an education, children started working as early as 8 years old. Also, factories produced pollution within the cities because of all the coal that was being used for power, leading smoke to contaminate the air. People became sick and even
Throughout the Industrial Revolution children were hired for a vast variety of jobs. A lot of kids in the Industrial Revolution were hired to work in factories. In the factories children had to do some very hard and dangerous jobs including A match dipper whose job it was to dip matches in a liquid called phosphorus, this element is deadly if a person inhales too much of it into his lungs. According to Angus Koolbreeze “this chemical caused the children's teeth to rot out and some even died from inhaling the phosphorous fumes”. A huge percentage of child factory workers, work at a cotton mill. Usually Mill owners hired orphans and worked them extremely hard. For
Although many people had jobs, the occupations weren’t very safe or healthy. In Document 8, we are presented with a photo, taken by Lewis Hine, two children working on some sort of machinery. This can be interpreted as a something very risky. The fact that they are children is also
Today we have child labor laws, which prohibit the use of children as workers. During the industrial revolution, there was no such thing. You can see in Lewis W. Hine’s photo that a child is dangerously balancing on a milk crate so he can reach the machine. (Lewis W. Hine) Children worked extremely dangerous jobs for very little pay. This boy in the photo could easily fall from where he is balancing and could cut himself open on the machine.
This is no place for a child, but day in and day out the youngsters of industrial cities would tend to cotton making machines because their little fingers could easily change the spools of cotton. With no safety measures and children sticking their fingers into rapidly spinning machines, injuries were bound to happen. If you got injured, you would most likely get fired, and there was nothing that you could do about it. From 5 in the morning (till) 9 at night (Document 7), this is how long then six year old Elizabeth Bentley would work at a textile factory, children would have no say in when they would work and for how long the could work. One day it may be a ten hour shift and the next a sixteen hour shift. Child Labor Laws limiting the hours that children could work did not come until later in the Industrial Revolution. (Note that this child is not in school. It was not uncommon for children to be working instead of learning at school. The lack of Child Labor Laws was not just bad the children, but also for society. Without properly educated children, there would be a lack of educated people in the world (Document
Mortality rates were decreasing rapidly. This was not only an effect of the poor living conditions, but also of the high pollution that was being created by the factories. Conditions for adult and children in the factory during the Industrial Revolution were unrelenting in its enforcement of tough rules, long hours and its unsanitary and, sometimes, dangerous environment. According to author, the mill work that Sam and the other children did was dangerous nor particularly difficult. Children of the Industrial Revolution perhaps suffered more than the adults also “some of the children had their hands terribly lacerated by the carding machine”. Owners realized that children were easier to train and control and they were forced to work as young as eight years old. They worked for many hours in factories and were denied their education. At such a young age, education and the support of family would have been instrumental in the development of such an impressionable mind. The innocence of what it means to be a child was exploited by the business owners who wished only to gain more
Since there were no work regulations during this time period, there were no standards for safety or how one had to behave towards others. Accidents in these shops were extremely common. The women wanted to get as much done as they possibly could because they were paid by the piece, and in their rush, their fingers would get caught in the machines. Sadie Frowne talks about the time when she was injured, “Sometimes in my haste I get my finger caught and the needle goes right through it. It goes so quick, tho, that it does not hurt much.” Small children were also working in these unsanitary sweatshops. They were especially needed if a machine stopped working and an adult was unable to reach the broken part;
(Miflin, 2014) Health of children in the 19th century wasn’t good; working twelve to sixteen hours a day with hardly any rest would make the children exhausted and would have likely suffered from fatigue. They also would go without food, and would end up falling ill as a result of lack of nutrition. As well as being exhausted, hungry and generally not well, children working over machines would often have bowed legs and their limbs and muscles would be poorly developed. Factories were not the only work children would take on, some children would be sent down the mines and work under ground. Mines were extremely dangerous, and children would work without any sunlight for hours on end, this resulting in a lack of vitamin D. children would be forced to carry heavy equipment whilst traveling on foot through water. If children were not working they would be out on the streets, finding food and looking for safe places to sleep the night, that is if they weren’t at home with families, some families would disown their children kicking them to the streets or to be taken into the orphanage. This would have had major impact on their health as the streets would be riddled with disease, the water wasn’t pure and the food wasn’t easy to find. The cold would have hit them and children would often die after the first week of been on the streets. In 1899 the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded (NSPCC) making children’s live that bit
Children most of the time worked in mines, glass factories, textiles, canaries, and home industries. A lot of these industries are filled with dangers that can easily kill them. In this quote “Children as young as six years old during the industrial revolution worked hard hours for little or no pay” (Child labor in factories). A good number of these kids were harassed and mistreated by the factory bosses. If children didn’t arrive on time to work, they would have to be punished by the factory bosses. The punishment was that the children would have to sprint up and down the factory aisle until they were completely drained out of energy and they had to do this nude carrying a backpack full of heavy objects. This caused a lot of children to develop
It was common for a child to lose some kind of body part during their working shift. For example, a child could lose fingers, toes, eyes, arms, feet, and in extreme cases their life’s. Children were used to crawl into machines where adults could not reach in order to fix the machine needed to get the jobs done. For example, in large machines it was common for parts to get stuck and prevent the machine from working the proper way. An adults body, even their hands and arms were too big to reach inside the machines. A child would go into or reach for the part that was preventing work from happening and if they were lucky enough to pull back on time, some would come out fine. However, if a child would not come out on time it was almost impossible to be safe. If a child was no longer able to work they would simply throw them out and have them replaced by another child who needed money to take food
(Laslett, 1970) Coupled with these innovations was the new concept of applying scientific methodology to industrial processes. (Laslett, 1970) All of these changes, while beneficial to businesses, did little to improve the lot of the industrial laborer. (Laslett, 1970) One of the key complaints of an entirely unregulated labor force in the late 1800s was the extensive use and abuse of child labor. In 1870, nearly three quarters of a million children between the ages of ten and fifteen worked in hazardous aspects of manufacturing, agriculture and street trade. (Laslett, 1970) By 1880, that number was over one point one million, or one in every six children in that age group. (Laslett, 1970) By 1900, that number doubled. The conditions under which children worked were very dangerous. They worked the same shifts as adults (about 12 hours a day, six days a week), denying them the opportunity for school and play. (Laslett, 1970) The factories, mills, mines and other work venues in which they labored were unsafe and unregulated. Children were also often used in the most dangerous aspects of industrial work, such as clearing jammed machines or working in confined spaces too small for adults. (Laslett, 1970) In 1881, only seven states had any kind of regulation laws for child laborer. Desperate for money to survive, immigrants and working-class Americans forged