CHILD LABOR

Child labor was awful during the Industrial Revolution

Working Life in the Factories

Child labor was the cheapest of them all and that's exactly what the factory owners wanted. These children that worked at least 14 hours a day and only got paid 10% of adult males' wages. In the textile mills the children would work easy operating machines and perform the simple repetitive tasks all day long. At Richard Arkwright's new spinning factory, in 1789, two thirds of 1,150 workers in the factory were children. Some children in the factories had to change spools in the hot humid textile mills and not able to see very well because of how dusty it was. They also got little time to eat their meals and if they were the slightest bit late to work or even working to slow they would get beat severely.


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Working life in the Mines

The mine work that children had to perform during the Industrial Revolution was extremely dangerous. These kids, ages 5 and up, would have to pull a heavy cart of coal weighing about 500 pounds. They pulled them by having a belt strapped around their waste with chains attached while the child behind, also known as the "thruster", had to push. Their clothes would get soaked from the water dripping from the tunnel ceiling. The tunnels were a very dark and unsafe place to be as a child.


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The risks they put children through

In the extremely narrow and small tunnel of the mines, childrens lungs would be filled with thick coal dust as they crawled through. Their knees would get all scraped up from crawling on the rough surface of the ground and their muscles would be so cramped up with pain. Many would die of diseases such as lung cancer before they even reached the age of 25. In the factories the children risked getting a limb cut off or severely hurt by the machines that they worked. They used children in the factories since they were cheaper to have and they were small enough to crawl under the machines and fix them. Everyday these poor kids had to breathe the awful fumes of the factory with little or no fresh air throughout their day. In both the mines and the factories, if the children were to complain about any little thing they would get beat severely.


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Improves in Some Ways!

As you can see Child Labor was an awful practice during the Industrial Revolution. Factory Acts were then passed in the early 1800's to help shorten the hours a child works and to remove children under the age of 8 or 9. Later more laws were then passed that the child workers must be educated.