Child Labour in the Industrial Revolution
Gracie! We've been chosen for the job!
Yeah, but hiring us costs our boss less because we're just kids. It's better than nothing... Let's get going. Don't want to be late on our first day!
Why us? Aren't adults supposed to work?
I'm 7 years old and I'm a scavenger. Everyday I work long hours, crawling under running machinery to pick up loose bits of cotton. It's very scary and loud and my arms sometimes go weak while I'm working. Luckily I haven't been hurt yet.
I'm 10 years old and I'm a piecer. I work everyday from 6am to 6pm without a break. I stand in one position all day long and by the end of the day my fingertips are always bleeding. I don't mind because I still get paid.
I am a hurrier. I being coal through the caves by towing it in a truck, attached to my hips by a big belt. I'm only 4 years old and this belt can permanently damage my pelvic bones so I may later die during childbirth.
I'm 8 years old and I'm a trapper. My job is to sit in the darkness all day long while listening and waiting for the hurriers to come past with the coal. Being 8 years old, it's hard to work here because I hate sitting alone in the dark all day only to get paid a tiny amount.
My job is to be a scarecrow. To stand here for hours and hours. Alone, sad and tired. I get paid next to nothing and if I'm lucky a bird will fly by once every 2 hours. It's a lonely job. Any job as a child is not fun, and we all work long hours, sometimes 12 hours at a time with no breaks. We work to support our families and to make our mums proud.
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