The Infamous Use of Child Labor
19th Century Mackenzie Anderson
Jobs Children did in the Factories
- Many children worked in coal mines where there were very dreadful working conditions including darkness inside the mines, lack of proper venelation, long working hours, and lots of other conditions that caused their job to be miserable.
- Children were expected to help supprot their families so they took jobs like working in factories where they were payed little for hard work.
- Kids also worked as chimney sweeps where they were as young as 3 years old. They were so young because their small size was a good characteristic for this job, so it was easier to fit down into the slim chimney stacks.
- During this time many laws were passed on limitations for child labor, but it wasn't banned in the US until latter on.
These children have just come out of their day of work in the mines.
Hours, Food, and Working Conditions
- Victorian children would work for 12-18 hours a day.
- The normal work week for a child was Monday-Saturday from 6am-8pm.
- Children would be beaten or fined for being late, not working hard enough, or falling asleep on the job.
- The working conditions were awful. Sometimes you would find more children in the factories than adults. But they were treated just as bad as an adult and given the same amount of responsibility.
- Children were not treated well, were overworked, and were payed unfairly.
- They were not fed well, mostly stale bread and food of the sorts were given to them. As little food as possible.
Women in Factory
These women on on their lunch break at work.
Accidents that often Happened
- Many accidents occurred resulting in injury or death of the child while on the job.
- A common injury in factories was getting limbs such as fingers, arms, and other body parts chopped off by the machines you were working with.
- One hospital reported that every year it treated nearly a thousand wounds and mutilations from machines in factories.
- Skin being stripped down to the bone by getting it stuck in machinery.
- Some children were pulled into shafts and pretty much were demolished.
This young man lost his arm due to an incident with a machine he was working with in the factory.
Punishments Children Faced
- One common punishment for being late or not working up to quota was called being "weighted". An overseer would tie a weight around your neck and make you walk up and down the isle, this could last up to an hour.
- Children were often hit with a strap or whipped to make them work faster.
- Some factories dipped the heads of the kids in water cistern if they were too tired to work.
- You could be beat with a stick over the head until you bleed for not working fast enough.
Child being punished
This is a child being "weighted" by his overseer for not finishing his work.
Efforts to Improve/Stop Child Labor
- 1833 Factory Act
- 1836 Registration of Births
- 1842 Mines Act
- 1844 Factory act
- 1847 The Ten Hour Act
This is the front page of the 1833 Factory Act.