Child Labor

19th Century Britain By: Alexa Everhart

🔷 1. Jobs Children Did in Factories

  • Many children were put to work in factories, especially textile mills and coal mines. There were no rules against the dangerous and harsh conditions in those jobs.
  • Girls and women were put to work mostly in textile mills, because they could pay women lower wages than men and also because girls had smaller hands to reach under the small locations necessary to complete the task.
  • Boys usually worked in coals mines because they needed bodies that were small enough to fit in the mines and also the owners could pay children low wages.
  • Children also had jobs like chimney sweeping, street sellers, in railroad stations, farm work, and hat making.
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🔸 Small Children Working In A Factory With Machinery

  • The picture above shows children working in a factory, the jobs are very dangerous and it is easy to get hurt. Many children in the factory lost limbs, especially fingers because of working with dangerous equipment, a child could come to it's death or get badly injured.

🔷 2. Hours, Food, and Working Conditions

  • Children would work very long hours, the average child worked about 64 hours in the summer and 52 hours in the winter. Also, domestic servants worked 80 hours.
  • Children only made 10 to 20% of what an adult male would make. Also, one-third of poor families didn't have breadwinners ( a person who gets the most money to support a family, usually the father), so small children had to work to support their family.
  • Children wouldn't eat breakfast nor dinner, they would only get a one hour lunch break from morning to dusk. They would barely eat any food, the food was not very nutritious and didn't taste that well.
  • Many children were severely injured working in the factories. The jobs were long hours, so the children would get tired easily, also children would get abused by the owners if they didn't do the job correctly.
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🔸 A Child Working in Bad Conditions

  • The picture above shows a child working in bad conditions, getting supervised probably by the owner. If the child didn't do their work they would get abused. The child looks very tired and stressed.

🔷 3. Accidents That Often Happened

  • Per year, thousands of children would have many accidents in the factories, children would lose fingers, hands, and various body parts. If the child got tired, he or she would get dipped in water cistern.
  • The jobs were very dangerous, one thirteen year old girl that worked in a factory, fainted and got her left hand caught in the machine, all her fingers got severely damaged, she was later fired.
  • There were approximately 100 deaths per year working in coal mines.
  • Large and heavy equipment the children worked with or close to, usually caused the injuries.
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🔸 A Child Consulting Another Child An A Factory

  • Children in the factory would get easily hurt, there were no rules or health restrictions. If a child got hurt the owners wouldn't care, they only wanted the money. In the background there is a girl under the machine, she could get easily hurt.

🔷 4. Punishment Children Faced

  • One common, punishment for being late was to be "weighed." Being "weighted" was when the owner or overseer tied a heavy weight to the child's neck, the child then had to walk up an down through the factory.
  • If a child slowed down, the owner would hit him or her with a strap until they were blue and black.
  • If a child got tired in a factory, the child would get its head dipped in water cistern.
  • The parents wouldn't say anything to the owner if the child would had gotten abused, because the parent didn't want their child to get fired from the job, the family needed that money to survive.
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🔸 An Abused Child in the Industrial Revolution

  • This a child who got abused in a factory. The child is bruised and dirty, also his hand is hurt. The boy probably was late to work or didn't work fast enough to have gotten in that condition.

🔷 5. Efforts to Improve/Stop Child Labor

  • One of the first acts that was passed was the Cotton Factories Regulation Act of 1819, it regulated the minimum age of workers at 9 years old and a child could only work a maximum of 12 hours per day.
  • Also there was another act called the Regulation of Child Labor Law of 1833, government inspectors had to go to factories to ensure they were following child work guidelines.
  • One other act was the Ten Hour Bill of 1847, which limited the working day of women and children to ten hours per day.
  • The 1841 Mines Act was another act that said that no child under the age of 10 could work underground in a coal mine.
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🔸 Children Wanting Laws Applied In Factories

  • There wasn't restrictions and laws in factories to protect the children. People probably got tired of getting mistreated, so they started speaking out. In the picture above there are small children with signs that say justice and we want to go to school.