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Textiles were so profitable that the factories sometimes ran 24 hours a day, resulting in children as young as six years old working overnight shifts.The work was exhausting and dangerous—one wrong move could easily crush a hand (Horn 21).However, mothers often found it difficult to work outside of the home because of the enormous amount of time required to take care of the house and children.
There were many other jobs for children besides those in factories.
For boys, agriculture and mining were common jobs (Horn 30).
Class was the defining characteristic of one’s experience.
Those from middle- and upper-class families experienced a growing sensitivity in regard to the idea of childhood.
The Industrial Revolution was either a wonderful or terrible time to be a child, depending on a family’s economic status.
Historian Stephen Mintz states, “At no point in American history was childhood as diverse as it was in the mid and late nineteenth century” (134); the same was likely true about childhood in England.
Transitions from hand-powered to steam-powered, from boats to trains, and from the countryside to cities occurred (Montagna).
In England and the United States, these industrial advancements greatly impacted the lives of many children.
Though it had previously existed, child labor during the industrial revolution was harsh and widespread (Mintz 136).
Mothers would sometimes get jobs in order to spare their children.