Child Labor

During the Industrial Revolution

Their role

Children as young as six years old during the Industrial Revolution worked hard hours for little or no pay. They sometimes worked as much as 19 hours a day with a one hour break total. To survive in even the lowest level of poverty, all family members had to go to work. Not only were these children subject to horrible conditions, many accident occurred killing or injuring them on the job. They were only payed a fraction of what an adult would make. Orphans were subjected to slave-like labor. The factory owners justified their absence of payroll by saying they gave the orphans food, shelter, and clothing. Not until the Factory Act of 1833 did things start to improve.
The treatment of children in factories was often cruel and unusual, and the children's safety was generally neglected. One common punishment for being late or not working up to quota would be to be "weighted". An overseer would tie a heavy weight to a worker's neck, and have them walk up and down the factory aisles so the other children could see them.