Factory Hazards of the 19th Century

Investigating the working conditions of the distant past

To Work or Not to Work

If you were an immigrant, fresh to the United States, and were left with no other choice than to work in a factory (as per the Contract Labor Act), would you prove yourself to be reliable? Would you put in all 72 hours, every Monday through Saturday? Would you willingly put yourself in harm's way to provide for your family? Working conditions in factories at the dawn of the 19th century were abysmal compared to today's factory working conditions.