Dickens Era--Child Labor

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Dickens Era--Child Labor Even though many of you parents out there are in fact opposed to sending your children to work in these textile factories, there are, in fact, many parents who do feel differently. However, there aren’t enough of these kinds of parents to satisfy factory owners, so they went as far as to purchase innocent children from orphanages and workhouses. These poor children are now called pauper apprentices. They are forced into signing contracts that pronounced them the property of the factory. Because these Pauper apprentices are quite a bit cheaper to house and pay than adult workers these types of children labor workers have become extremely popular. These children work and live under terrible conditions. There are even children as young as three years old put into work in these factories. Normally, however they began work at age 5, and generally die before they reach age 25. This leaves them about four years away from working. Many of them are released at age 21. Punishment is a common activity in these factories. Because maintaining the speed the over lookers of these laborers can get very difficult after a while, the over lookers, with their hearts of stone, have no sympathy and punish the children for slowing down. They are either hit with a strap to make them work faster or sometimes get their heads dipped into the water boiler. If late to work or caught talking to their peers, they are punished as well. Runaways are immediately sent to jail as well as suspected runaways. The owners are supposed to supply their workers with meals. The quality of the food isn’t good and the quantity is meager. Often, these children have to eat while working causing dust and other particles to smother the food. I was given the opportunity to briefly interview one little boy from a factory. However, our interview was cut off because he had to return to his duties. He is an eight year old named Jeremy who works at the Quarry Bank Mill. It broke my heart listening to him: How old are you Jeremy? I’m eight How long have you been working here? Since I was 4 years old Jeremy, I noticed that your leg is injured, how long has your leg been this way? It’s been this way for a few years—I think it’s because I never get a chance to really rest it.
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