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What was it really liketo work in a cotton factory?

Categories: ChildCottonWork

The Cotton Mill workhouse was an appalling place to work. The word ‘workhouse’ sent a shudder through any honest 19th century worker. The conditions in the mill were dreadful, just thinking about anybody working there, brought a shiver down my spine. To work in the ‘repressive, soul-destroying workhouse’, was like having their mother murdered on the day they turn twenty-one (in my opinion). Conditions in the cotton mill was of very poor standard compared to today’s specified conditions. But to the standard of the year prior 1800 and beyond it is fairly usual.

There would be rooms withy masses full of dust floating about (from the cotton itself). This would trigger sickness and ill health. The windows were generally shut, perhaps always, making the atmospheric humidity level rise. During their time of work the children were treated badly. Most of the punishments arose because the children were tired. If a child was tired, the overseer would tap the child on the shoulder, say ‘come here’ and take him into the corner of the room where a tank of cold water stood.

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The overseer would grab the child by their legs and dunk him in the water. Another was, when the children got tired they were unable to work hard so they got beaten and strapped. The parents of the child did not dare complain to the overseer for fear of the child losing their job and therefore valuable income. The people who carried out these punishments were the overseers. Cotton factories were in many instances very dangerous places to work.

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There could at times be very severe accidents and at other times more minor issues.

One example of a major accident is being pulled into one of the spinning machines by a hanging tie or a loose apron. The dust in the humid air of the factory would cause sickness, ill health and more than likely choking. Children have to crawl under the machines and risk their lives while working in the cotton mills. The earliest the children start work is at around six years old. Usual hours were 6am – 7pm but could be extended to 5am – 10pm. This is in my opinion torture for a young child.

There have been many people who have suffered from deformities working in the factories due to the weight of things they have had to carry, and the long hours of standing and bending. One overseer is reported to have said that when children have worked in the factory for just a few weeks they become pale, without hope and very lifeless. `A typical factory around 1800 would be pretty much what I described in part 1. I believe the cotton industry around the year 1800 and beyond was a total torture for six and seven year olds.

I hope I have accomplishhed a detailed description of, yes, what I think was a typical factory. There were of course other factories with very different standards and expectations. An example of this would be, not starting working under 10 years so that the child ccould acquire a decent education for five years before starting work. Robert Owen believed that if you put your best into the care of his mill workers he would get the most out of them, in that they would work harder and more efficiently.

But although you readers might like this standard I must say it was not very common at all. Sadly, the typical mill or factory was the inhumane type, which parents of the children would hate, but would be too scared of complaining in fear of losing work and the small income that did come in at all. I think this type of mill was typical because whether you like it or not, it is what happened. And I strongly believe that from the evidence I have gathered this is the case. The evidence for my description comes from the internet, one website being www. cottontimes. co.

uk and other sources being my exercise book and the outline I was given for this essay. I would trust the evidence I based my description on because the reports I took my evidence from were taken from real peoples experiences and they must have been reasonable enough to have been published. I don’t trust the evidence I based my factory on because it is to the definite extreme. The evidence I have taken is trying to persuade children not to work in factories. Therefore the evidence is only stating the bad side of cotton industry and so in that sense, unreliable.

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What was it really liketo work in a cotton factory?. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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