Child Labor During The Industrial Revolution Child Labor During the Industrial Revolution Many families were so poor during the Industrial Revolution time period that they had to send their children to work also. Women and children made very low wages compared to men. Child labor was at its peak during this time. The youngest children in the textile factories were usually employed as scavengers and piecers. Children at the age of five and six would work sometimes up to eighteen hours a day under dangerous conditions at factories.Scavengers Scavengers had to pick up the loose cotton from under the machinery. This was extremely dangerous as the children were expected to carry out the task while the machine was still working. They would also would have to take a brush and sweep under the wheels.
The younger children were very terrified of the whirling motion of the machines and the loud noises. They were often very jerky and were injured frequently.The children would inhale dust and fumes from under the machine which half suffocated them. Their backs constantly ached from bending over all day, but if they ever tried to rest of sit down they were severely beaten and whipped. Peicers The peicers, either boys or girls, walk along the machine as it moves back and forth, catching up the broken threads and skillfully putting them back together.
They also would have to clean oil and dust from under the machines. These children were constantly in motion.The quickness of the machines gave them no time to stop and rest even for a few seconds. Children who were late for work were severely punished. They would also have money deducted from their wages. Time-keeping was also a problem for families who could not afford to buy a clock. In most factories workers weren’t allowed to wear watches.
This is how they kept their workers for such long hours and giving them such little wages. Most workers arrived at 5:00 A.M.and didn’t leave until 10:00 P.M. The masters would often put the clock forward in the morning and back at night. Though this was known, many were afraid to say anything for fear of punishment.