Nowadays, children of the west are well secured and protected with law of child labor, and is almost a fiction that an American child under 8 years can work at a factory.
However, many forms of Child labor, including child slavery existed throughout American History. However, the child labor peeked to extreme levels during the Industrial Revolution in the beginning of the 20th century.
As a result of industrialization, the workers were moved from farms and home workshops and moved to urban areas to focus on factory work. Children were the most preferably employees by the factory owners, because they were considered to be the most manageable and worked for a minimum wage.
This little girl like many others in this state, is so small that she has to stand on a box to reach the machine. She was regularly employed as a knitter and had said that she did not know how long she had worked there.
A 9 year old boy, Jo Cafarella, 39 Warren Street, Somerville, Mass. His sister Lena, 10 years, and Mary Lazzaro, 13 years old, his cousin, lives on 17 South Street. This is typical of their work. Very few boys worked on crochet, but he has worked for 2 years.
it was estimated that in the 1990, 18% of all American Workers were under 16 year old. Children had worked mostly in factories in terrible conditions for a minimal wage.
Four-year-old Mary, who shucks two pots of oysters a day at Dunbar. Tends the baby when not working.The boss said that next year Mary will work steady as the rest of them. The mother is the fastest shucker in the place. Earns $1.50 a day. Works part of the time with her sick baby in her arms. Father works on the dock
Girls in foreground are 8, 9, and 10 years old. The 10 yr. old makes 50 cents a day. 12 workers on this farm are 8 to 14 years old, and about 15 are over 15 yrs.
Jewel and Harold Walker, 6 and 5 years old, pick 20 to 25 pounds of cotton a day. Their father hadsaid: “I promised em a little wagon if they’d pick steady, and now they have half a bagful in just a little while.”
Her sister (in photo) said, “Yes, she he’ps me right smart. Not all day but all she can. Yes, she started with me at six this mornin’.” These two belong to a family of 19 children
Manuel, the young shrimp-picker, five years old behind a mountain of child-labor oyster shells, had worked for 2 years. Manuel didn’t understand a word of English.
Vance has trapped for several years in a West Va. Coal mine. $.75 a day for 10 hours work. All he does is to open and shut this door: most of the time he sits here idle, waiting for the cars to come. On account of the intense darkness in the mine, the hieroglyphics on the door were not visible until plate was developed.
These boys are all under 14. Back than all of the youngsters who worked smoke cigars.