Journal – you will have 8 min.
In your opinion, supported with evidence,
what is the most significant technological
discovery for all of humanity?
Example: the automobile
In your answer, please include the following
What was necessary for this breakthrough to
occur? Internal combustion engine
What positive and/or negative effects did this
breakthrough have? Expanded the livable world
for the consumer – greatly contributed to our
current environmental issues
Child labor in the 19th Century
Essential Questions: (Write these down)
What were the negative results of the Industrial Revolution?
How did the Industrial Revolution affect the lives of the
working class? Women? Children?
Context and Introduction
The Industrial Revolution put in place many of
our current economic practices
What are the short and long term effects of
rapid technological change?
How does this affect me/why should I care?
A few short generations ago, you would have been
working in the fields or factories
Given our current economic situation, you are
entering a world of an uncertain labor future
How are wages determined?
What rights do I have as a worker?
Journal – take 7 minutes and
respond to the following…
What rights do you have as a worker?
In other words, when you get hired by a
What are they not allowed to do?
What are you entitled to simply as a worker?
With the rise of factories, there were no
laws governing work requirements for
Children under 10 often worked 14 hours
a day for a penny an hour.
Vocabulary term: textile – anything related
to the cloth or clothing industry.
You will need to add this information into your
notes as it appears.
1. What is a scavenger?
2. What is a piecer?
3. How were children recruited?
4. How can children’s health be damaged?
5. Are there disadvantages to banning child
Fuel for the new factory…
Dangers - Chilean mine accident
33 men trapped for
69 days deep in the
Comfort, West Virginia - April 2010
29 miners killed when
an explosion collapsed
The company that
owned the mine had so
many fines that the
U.S. government had to
close it down – this has
never happened before
Deforestation of England
Effects still exist today
“richest hill on Earth”
Berkeley Pit in Montana
1.5 X 1 mile wide
Connected by 2700 miles of
Closed in 1982 – now a
Currently 900 feet of water
and 30 billion gallons of water
– adds 17-25 feet a year
In its life, it produced over 1
billion tons of ore
The new factories
Reaction - Luddites
Social Implications – the first slums
Impact on families
It was the job of the scavenger to pick up
loose cotton from under the machinery.
Unfortunately, they had to do this while
the machine was still working.
Read this first hand account of the
work of scavengers
(1) John Brown wrote about Robert Blincoe's
experiences in a textile mill in an article for The
Lion newspaper (15th January 1828)
The task first allocated to Robert Blincoe was to pick up
the loose cotton that fell upon the floor. Apparently,
nothing could be easier... although he was much
terrified by the whirling motion and noise of the
machinery. He also disliked the dust and the flue with
which he was half suffocated. He soon felt sick, and by
constantly stooping, his back ached. Blincoe, therefore,
took the liberty to sit down; but this, he soon found, was
strictly forbidden in cotton mills. His overlooker, Mr.
Smith, told him he must keep on his legs.
And another more violent tale
(2) Frances Trollope, Michael Armstrong, the
A little girl about seven years old, who job as scavenger,
was to collect incessantly from the factory floor, the
flying fragments of cotton that might impede the work...
while the hissing machinery passed over her, and when
this is skillfully done, and the head, body, and the
outstretched limbs carefully glued to the floor, the
steady moving, but threatening mass, may pass and
repass over the dizzy head and trembling body without
touching it. But accidents frequently occur; and many
are the flaxen locks, rudely torn from infant heads, in
Stop and Assess
What were some positive effects of the I.R.?
Talk to anyone currently in the workforce and ask
them about safety regulations at their job site. Write
them down as well as the source, the time, and the
place interviewed (please do not interview other
teachers or school employees)
Piecers had to lean over the machine and
repair any threads that broke during the
manufacturing process and which might
cause a delay in production.
Piecers walked over 20 miles a day!
First hand account
(1) James Turner was interviewed by
Michael Sadler's Parliamentary Committee
on 17th April 1832.
The work of the children, in many instances, is
reaching over to piece the threads that break;
they have so many that they have to mind and
they have only so much time to piece these
threads because they have to reach while the
wheel is coming out.
Children were purchased from orphanages
and workhouses and paid even less than kids
whose parents knew they were working
This practice became so popular, most labor
was from this practice.
Children would sign contracts that forced
them to work in a factory until they were
Recruitment Account 1
1) Letter from John Betts to Richard
Carlile (24th February, 1828)
In 1805 when Samuel Davy was seven years of
age he was sent from the workhouse in
Southwark in London to Mr. Watson's Mill at
Penny Dam near Preston. Later his brother was
also sent to work in a mill. The parents did not
know where Samuel and his brother were. The
loss of her children, so preyed on the mind of
Samuel's mother that it brought on insanity, and
she died in a state of madness.
Recruitment Account 2
(2) Sarah Carpenter, interviewed in The Ashton Chronicle (23rd June, 1849)
My father was a glass blower. When I was eight years old my father died and our
family had to go to the Bristol Workhouse. My brother was sent from Bristol
workhouse in the same way as many other children were - cart-loads at a time. My
mother did not know where he was for two years. He was taken off in the dead of
night without her knowledge, and the parish officers would never tell her where he
It was the mother of Joseph Russell who first found out where the children were,
and told my mother. We set off together, my mother and I, we walked the whole
way from Bristol to Cressbrook Mill in Derbyshire. We were many days on the road.
Mrs. Newton fondled over my mother when we arrived. My mother had brought her
a present of little glass ornaments. She got these ornaments from some of the
workmen, thinking they would be a very nice present to carry to the mistress at
Cressbrook, for her kindness to my brother. My brother told me that Mrs. Newton's
fondling was all a blind; but I was so young and foolish, and so glad to see him
again; that I did not heed what he said, and could not be persuaded to leave him.
They would not let me stay unless I would take the shilling binding money. I took
the shilling and I was very proud of it.
They took me into the counting house and showed me a piece of paper with a red
sealed horse on which they told me to touch, and then to make a cross, which I did.
This meant I had to stay at Cressbrook Mill till I was twenty one.
Some parents refused to let their children
work in the factories.
If a factory was far from an orphanage,
factory owners got creative.
An apprentice house was for young
children who were purchased from
workhouses and given pay and lodging to
work in the factories.
Apprentice House Account
(1) John Birley was interviewed by The Ashton Chronicle on
19th May, 1849.
We then worked till nine or ten at night when the water-wheel
stopped. We stopped working, and went to the apprentice house,
about three hundred yards from the mill. It was a large stone
house, surrounded by a wall, two to three yards high, with one
door, which was kept locked. It was capable of lodging about one
hundred and fifty apprentices. Supper was the same as breakfast -
onion porridge and dry oatcake. We all ate in the same room and all
went up a common staircase to our bed-chamber; all the boys slept
in one chamber, all the girls in another. We slept three in one bed.
The girls' bedroom was of the same sort as ours. There were no
fastenings to the two rooms; and no one to watch over us in the
night, or to see what we did.
How was health damaged?
Frequent and horrific.
Workers were not compensated and were
Hospitals saw thousands of injuries and
visitors to England were appalled at the
sight of legless and armless people in the
(1) Dr. Ward from Manchester was interviewed about the
health of textile workers on 25th March, 1819.
When I was a surgeon in the infirmary, accidents were very often
admitted to the infirmary, through the children's hands and arms
having being caught in the machinery; in many instances the
muscles, and the skin is stripped down to the bone, and in some
instances a finger or two might be lost. Last summer I visited Lever
Street School. The number of children at that time in the school,
who were employed in factories, was 106. The number of children
who had received injuries from the machinery amounted to very
nearly one half. There were forty-seven injured in this way.
Because of the events and conditions that
you have seen, England’s Parliament
reacted by setting up a commission to
look into the situation
Michael Sadler heads up the commission
On 16th March 1832 Michael Sadler introduced a Bill in Parliament that proposed
limiting the hours of all persons under the age of 18 to ten hours a day. After much
debate it was clear that Parliament was unwilling to pass Sadler's bill. However, in
April 1832 it was agreed that there should be another parliamentary enquiry into
child labour. Sadler was made chairman and for the next three months the
parliamentary committee interviewed 48 people who had worked in textile factories
as children. Sadler discovered that it was common for very young children to be
working for over twelve a day.
Lord Ashley carried out a survey of doctors in 1836. In a speech he made in the
House of Commons he argued that over half of the doctors interviewed believed that
"ten hours is the utmost quantity of labour which can be endured by the children"
without damaging their health. However, Lord Ashley admitted that some doctors
that came before his committee did not believe that long hours caused health
Children who were late for work were severely punished. If children arrived late for
work they would also have money deducted from their wages. Time-keeping was a
problem for those families who could not afford to buy a clock. In some factories
workers were not allowed to carry a watch. The children suspected that this rule was
an attempt to trick them out of some of their wages.
Children were whipped, or dunked in
buckets of cold water for basic offenses.
Girls were often chained together like
prisoners to keep them attempting to
If you attempted to run away or were
caught as a runaway, you could be put in
prison for your offense.
(2) Jonathan Downe was interviewed by
Michael Sadler's Parliamentary Committee
on 6th June, 1832.
When I was seven years old I went to work at
Mr. Marshalls factory at Shrewsbury. If a child
was drowsy, the overlooker touches the child on
the shoulder and says, "Come here". In a corner
of the room there is an iron cistern filled with
water. He takes the boy by the legs and dips
him in the cistern, and sends him back to work.
Food – Steak and Lobster?
(2) Matthew Crabtree was interviewed by Michael Sadler's
Parliamentary Committee (18th May, 1832)
I began work at Cook's of Dewsbury when I was eight years old. We
had to eat our food in the mill. It was frequently covered by flues
from the wool; and in that case they had to be blown off with the
mouth, and picked off with the fingers, before it could be eaten.
(3) Sarah Carpenter was interviewed by The Ashton
Chronicle on 23rd June, 1849.
Our common food was oatcake. It was thick and coarse. This
oatcake was put into cans. Boiled milk and water was poured into it.
This was our breakfast and supper. Our dinner was potato pie with
boiled bacon it, a bit here and a bit there, so thick with fat we could
scarce eat it, though we were hungry enough to eat anything. Tea
we never saw, nor butter. We had cheese and brown bread once a
year. We were only allowed three meals a day though we got up at
five in the morning and worked till nine at night.
As you can imagine, with all the wool,
cloth and machinery, the air was full of
dust and debris
“Mill Fever” became a sickness that many
workers would get – headaches and
general sickness for no apparent reason
Lung diseases such as tuberculosis,
bronchitis, and asthma were common
(3) Frank Forrest, Chapters in the Life
of a Dundee Factory Boy (1850)
About a week after I became a mill boy, I
was seized with a strong, heavy sickness,
that few escape on first becoming factory
workers. The cause of the sickness, which
is known by the name of "mill fever", is the
contaminated atmosphere produced by so
many breathing in a confined space,
together with the heat and exhalations of
grease and oil and the gas needed to light
Is there a defense for these
Consider these remarks from prominent
politicians and business leaders of the
Weigh their evidence with the previous
slides to help you answer the prompt
presented to you at the beginning.
Look at the data that you have so far in this
What does it tell you about the prompt?
Write a thesis sentence about the prompt.
The next three slides are evidence against
prohibiting children from factories.
Consider them seriously before making a final
For each document, write down how this might
influence your decision (DO NOT DISMISS THEM
OUT OF HAND)
(1) William James, speech, House of Commons
(16th March, 1832)
I have no doubt that the right honourable member
(Michael Sadler) is actuated by the best intentions and
motives, but I think that the course which he pursues
will fail in attaining the object which he has in view.
Undoubtedly the system which is pursued in these
manufactories relating to the working of young children
is a great evil; but it appears to me that the remedy
which the honourable gentleman proposes to apply is
worse than the disease. There appears to me to be only
a choice of evils - the children must either work or
starve. If the manufacturer is prevented working his mill
for more than a certain number of hours together, he
will often be unable to execute the orders which he may
receive, and consequently, the purchaser must go to
foreign countries for a supply. The result will be that you
will drive the English capitalist to foreign countries,
where there is no restrictions upon the employment of
labour and capital.
(1) William Bolling, speech, House of Commons
(9th May, 1836)
I mistrust interference on behalf of the poor which the
poor are themselves to pay for. Let the question be
presented honestly and fairly. Let the parents of factory
children know that the diminishing the hours of daily toil
must diminish the amount of weekly pay. Certainly,
there are cases of hardship and oppression, but I dislike
all cases of legislative interference between master and
man - between parent and child. And, moreover, all such
interference would be unsuccessful. Your laws to
regulate wages, and hours of labour, and conditions of
contract for work - they are merely cobwebs broken
through at will - because it is the interest of master and
servant that they should be broken. Cultivate commerce
with all the nations of the world; this will raise wages
and will prevent the necessity for exhausting labour.
(1) Henry Thomas Hope, speech, House of Commons (16th
It is obvious, that if you limit the hours of labour, you will, to nearly
the same extent, reduce the profits of the capital on which the
labour is employed. Under these circumstances, the manufacturers
must either raise the price of the manufactured article or diminish
the wages of their workmen. If they raise the price of the article the
foreigner gains an advantage. I am informed that the foreign
cotton-manufacturers, and particularly the Americans, tread closely
upon the heels of our manufacturers.
The right honourable member (Michael Sadler) seems to consider
that it is desirable for adults to replace children. I cannot concur
with that opinion, because I think that the labour of children is a
great resource to their parents and of great benefit to themselves.
I therefore, on the these grounds, oppose this measure. In the first
place I doubt whether parliament can protect children as effectively
as their parents; secondly; because I am of the opinion that a case
for parliamentary interference has not yet been made out; and
thirdly, because I believe that the bill will be productive of great
inconvenience, not only to persons who have embarked large capital
in the cotton manufactures, but even to workmen and children
themselves - that I feel it my duty to oppose this measure.
Now that you’ve seen both sides of the issue,
what would you say to Parliament?
Take a look at the initial prompt you were
given and prepare a one paragraph response.
First, decide on your opinion/approach
Next, what evidence are you going to use to
defend your answer?
Finally, what language can you use to
demonstrate your point. Is there an incentive
for Parliament to address this issue or are you
going to appeal to their humanity?
You will produce a speech to be read in
Parliament; one copy will be typed for me to
read, the other will be summarized on a note
card for you to refer to in your speech
Whichever side you choose, you should prepare
to defend both sides (although you are only
writing a speech for the side you will defend)
What do you think and why?
“Parliament should pass legislation making
it illegal for children under the age of
twelve to work in textile factories.”