Wednesday, April 18, 2012

journal entry - life at home

I just got a letter from my little brother. he can read and write pretty good, better than I can. he said that our parents took the money they got from making me become a chimney sweep and put him through school with it, and since he's 7, he can't go work in the factory. he says that school is easy, because all they say are important are facts. he says there's no room for singing or having fun and those that are found lollygaggin' are punished severely. doesn't sounds like anything i'd want to be gettin' myself into. at least up on the rooftops I can sing a quiet tune to myself every now and then.

works cited

"What Was It like for Children Living in Victorian Britain?" Woodlands Junior School, Tonbridge, Kent UK. 2010. Web. 12 Apr. 2012.
The Water-Babies." By Charles Kingsley. Search EText, Read Online, Study, Discuss. Web. 5 Apr. 2012.

Sexton, Timothy. "The True Story of the Hard Life of Child Chimney Sweeps in Victorian England." Yahoo! Contributor Network. Yahoo! Voices, 21 July 2008. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.

Working conditions for children in the victorian era

  Children in the victorian period were expected to work from the time they could walk. Child labor was more prevalent among the more lower class families in the victorian period, where the parents would sign away their child's life as a chimney sweep (which could have been considered a death sentence) or sending them to work in factories managing and repairing dangerous equipment. there was many advantages to the employers of children such as lower wages, and longer working hours. There were many dangers to the children as well. a child trying to repairing a machine while it was still running could get his/her hand caught in between moving parts, which usually resulted in serious injury or death. the factor floor was usually incredibly unsanitary as well, which imposed health problems on many children at a young age. this did not pose a problem for factory owners at first, since there were many orphanages during the victorian period, there were many children at hand and could be easily replaced in case of accidents. Child labor did not run rampant throughout the entirety or the victorian period, however. in 1833, the Factory Act was passed in parliament, which prohibited children under the age of 9 from working in textile factories.

this is a picture from a textile mill in the early 1800's.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Water Babies

I just finished reading the book "The Water Babies" by Charles Kingsley. bunch of hogwash if you ask me, kids gettin' killed by their master and turning into sprites free of dirt, soot, and sins. That's just cruel, giving us kids hope for somethin' that doesn't exist. I've heard of master sweeps being cruel, but never killin' a child. I don't think they're as soulless as that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

my master had the "amazing" idea for me to keep one of these journals to pass the time. like it makes any difference, i'm getting the coal lung, and my knees and elbows are so calloused that i can barely move them anymore except to crawl up chimneys, and that's getting hard anyways, seeing as I'm getting older. Maybe I'll make my own business with the small amount of change I have stowed away. I'm gettin' tired of writing, so I'll leave off with a picture of me and my workmates when we were younger.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

living conditions

chimney sweeps in the victorian period were usually small children in the employ of a master chimney sweep. most children were sold as indentured servants and were to work as soon as they could walk. most would scramble up chimneys with brushes and clean the soot from the charcoal from the insdes of the chimney. this was higly dangerous, and the children usually ended up with respiratory infections and other breathing problems. the chimneys were very small in the victorian period, so children would often get stuck in the flue due to their size, or the phsychological factor. in these cases, most master sweeps would light a fire under the children to 'encourage' them.