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Even so, the mandatory schooling laws greatly helped reduce child labor and increased the education of the populace. From farming to fishing to processing to canning, there was a time where practically all foods were grown with the help of child laborers — sometimes working as soon as they were old enough to understand what their family members were doing.

While all of these jobs were dirty, some were particularly dangerous, requiring children to wield blades or operate shoddy machinery. In this family of harvesters working in , the children would start picking fruits when they turned three years old. This eight-year-old girl, working at a nearby cranberry farm that same year, was also held from school until the harvest was over. Work was so constant that her father even scolded her for pausing so the photographer could take this image — hence her look of worry.

This year-old boy lost his hand while operating the mowing machine he is posed on. Despite being maimed, the child still helped his family harvest vegetables with his good hand as soon as he was able to get back in the fields. This five-year-old boy worked at an oyster plant in , running barefoot on cracked shells as he retrieved buckets of shellfish to shuck.

While there are quite a few children in this image of shrimp pickers, the youngest is eight years old and, while not pictured in this photo, the youngest boys employed by the company were only five. These employees would stand over a trough all day shelling shrimp until their fingers bled, and of course the acid and salt water only worsened the pain.

These two berry hullers were only two and three years old, but they worked long, twelve hour shifts, just like the rest of their family members. Hullers at the company would earn two cents per quart of berries finished, but there is no indication of how many quarts would typically be completed in a day.

Eight-year-old Daisy worked on the capping machine in a canning factory in While she was able to put 40 caps on the cans per minute, she still kept falling behind and getting in trouble.

Daisy was still lucky though, as she could have been put on a much more dangerous part of the line where machinery featuring open gears would regularly injure workers. These workers would often be put in dangerous situations and many ended up injured or permanently crippled as a result. These days, coal miners still face a lot of work hazards no matter how OSHA-compliant their employer.

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A German visitor to Manchester in remarked that there were so many limbless people it was like 'living in the midst of an army just returned from campaign'. A doctor who observed mill workers noted that '… their complexion is sallow and pallid, with a peculiar flatness of feature, caused by the want of a proper quantity of adipose substance [fatty tissue], their stature low, a very general bowing of the legs … nearly all have flat feet'. The average height of the population fell in the s as an overworked generation reached adulthood with knock-knees, humpbacks from carrying heavy loads and damaged pelvises from standing 14 hours a day.

Girls who worked in match factories suffered from a particularly horrible disease known as phossy jaw. Fumes from the phosphorous into which matches were dipped ate at their jawbones, leaving them with empty cheeks that oozed foulsmelling liquid, brain damage and eventually death from organ failure.

Children in glassworks were regularly burned and blinded by the intense heat, while the poisonous clay dust in potteries caused them to vomit and faint. Children were often sold to masters as it meant their parents had one fewer month to feed. Supervisors used terror and punishment to drive the children to greater productivity.

A boy in a nail-making factory was punished for producing inferior nails by having his head down on an iron counter while someone 'hammered a nail through his ear, and the boy has made good nails ever since'. But despite the growth of cities, agriculture remained the biggest employer of children during the Industrial Revolution. While they might have escaped the deadly fumes and machinery of the factories, the life of a child farm labourer was every bit as brutal.

The gangmaster walked behind them with a double rope bound with wax, and 'woe betide any boy who made what was called a "straight back" - in other words, standing up straight - before he reached the end of the field. The rope would descend sharply upon him'. Another favourite gangmaster's punishment was gibbeting: And yet, many of these children showed extraordinary resilience and lack of resentment.

Children who worked six days a week spent the seventh at Sunday school, determined to better themselves. But whenever anyone sought to improve children's working conditions, they encountered fierce opposition from the proprietors whose profits depended on exploiting them. They argued that any interference in the marketplace could cost Britain her manufacturing supremacy.

Even when regulations were eventually passed to improve working conditions, with only four inspectors to police the thousands of factories across the country they were seldom enforced. Few people had any concept that children, like those pictured here, were being used to excavate coal. The findings of a report in , shocked many. In Lord Ashley, later Lord Shaftesbury, set up the Children's Employment Commission, interviewing hundreds of children in coalmines, works and factories.

Its findings, reported in , were deeply shocking. Many people had no idea that coal was excavated by young children. But it was the immorality rather than the cruelty of the mines that shocked them most. An inspector described how, 'The chain [used to pull the carts] passing high up between the legs of two girls, had worn large holes in their trousers.

Any sight more disgustingly indecent or revolting can scarcely be imagined … No brothel can beat it. An Act was passed, prohibiting women and children under ten from working underground. Two years later, another Act was passed prohibiting the textile industry from employing children younger than nine. In , the Compulsory Education Act helped reduced the numbers of child labourers, and subsequent laws raised their age and made working conditions safer. But it had come too late for the little white slaves on whose blood, sweat and toil our great railways, bridges and buildings of the Industrial Revolution were built.

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They started at 4am, lived off acorns and had nails put through their ears for shoddy work. Share or comment on this article: New book says their misery helped forge Britain.

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In this article Matthew White explores the industrial revolution which changed the landscape and infrastructure of Britain forever.

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Jun 05,  · Industrial Revolution News. Find breaking news, commentary, and archival information about Industrial Revolution From The tribunedigital-chicagotribune Articles about Industrial Revolution.

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Industrial revolution news, articles and information: Home About NaturalNews Contact Us Write for NaturalNews Media Info Advertise with Natural News Tweet. Industrial Revolution Newspaper Project Opinion Article Industrial Revolution: A Blessing or a Curse Industrial Revolution: Blessing or a Curse. These new industrial inventions put aside the old and domestic weaving and spinning systems and introduced the methods of factory production. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, many.

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