Industrial Revolution

By: K'Leigh

Women and Children during the Industrial Revolution

During the Industrial Revolution, women and children worked in harsh conditions. They worked in factories and were in danger due to all the machines. Children should not have been able to work in factories because they could get injured or even die because of all the dangerous machines. With all the toxins in the air the women and children could get a disease or chronic conditions. Children at age three worked in factories to help their family survive above the poverty level.


Most women and children worked in factories, therefore leaving farms unattended, unless the men that ran those farms worked for harvesting in extreme temperatures.Farming was considered easier and less harmful to children, yet they still worked in factories to make the money they needed. When working on a farm you would not get paid, unless you were a slave. Women and children needed money for food and other supplies they needed, but when buildings were built for the women, children and workers to live in, they had to pay rent for staying in the room and for the meals they ate during the day.


Young children worked 10 to 14 hours with small break during the shift.

The Factory Act of 1819 limited hours worked by children to 12 hours per day.

The Factory Act of 1833 banned children under the age of 9 from working in textile industries and children 10-13 year olds were limited to work 48 hours a week.

The Factory Act of 1844 made a max of 12 hours per day for women.

The Factory Act of 1847 made a max of 10 hours per day for women and children.

The Factory Act of 1850 increased hours for women and children to 10 and a half hours per day, but were not allowed to work before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

In 1874 workers were not allowed to work more than 56.5 hours a week.
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Elias Howe's Sewing Machine

Before Elias Howe, many other inventors tried to make a sewing machine, but some had come very close to success. First efforts were failures for Howe, until the lock-stitch came to him. All other sewing machines were using the chainstitch, except for William Hunt’s sewing machine. The chainstitch was said to waste thread and was easily unraveled. The lockstitch crossed the materials joining together, and the line of stitch show the same on both sides.

Elias Howe’s second sewing machine was an improvement of his first sewing machine. His second sewing machine ran more smoothly than his first. Years after Howe had money issues and later his wife had died. At her funeral he had to wear a borrowed suit because the only other one he had was the one he wore in his workshop.

The sewing machine was created in different ways by different people, but all of these different sewing machines helped people make their own clothes and so many more things. Sewing machines are still used today.Many people don’t use them for making their own clothes, but only fixing clothes that need to be fixed.
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Did the changes during the Industrial Revolution help or harm the society?

I think the new inventions that were created helped the society.The new inventions helped the society by making more jobs available even though some of the jobs were dangerous, like children working in factories. Yes families needed money to survive, but why risk your child’s life? Many children got injured and some even died when working in factories. Then came the Factory Acts from 1819 to 1874. Each Factory Act had a different priority, but they still limited hours for both women and children.

Men got paid more money when working in factories. Women got less money when working in the same factories but worked more hours. Women worked more hours but men got paid more. That is not right! Factories should pay the same amount of money per the hours they work.

Farming was a problem during the Industrial Revolution. When working on the farms people did not get paid unless you were a slave or a person hired to work on the farm. Families moved into the city to get paid only a certain amount of money for a certain amount of hours.