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What were factory conditions like in 1700s

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Introduction

What were factory working conditions like in 1750-1900? Before the Factory era people tended to work from home in there cottages. It was a bit cramped and there was hardly any where else to move so you couldn't work as quickly. Inside the cottages it was smelly, due to the open sewers in the middle of the street, next to the house. Generally speaking, the Domestic System was hard, but it could be said that the Factory System was harder. All the factory owners wanted, was profit. They would employ people as young as six to work at the factories, just because they wouldn't demand for more money. Doing so, the factories earned more money because the six year olds didn't get paid as much for the work they do. Everyone who worked at the Factories, worked for 13 to 16 hours a day, six days a week. If you think that's bad try standing in one place for thirteen hours. The kids and adults would have to work the same machine all day every day, which means standing still for all that time. I can barely stand still for more than five minutes let alone thirteen hours. ...read more.

Middle

Not all factory owners treated workers harshly though. The great mill at Saltaire on the river Aire, near Shipley in Yorkshire, was a popular place to work as this was one of the places where workers were treated well within their rights. The great mill was built by Titus Salt and they mass produced weaved mohair. On the opening of the mill Sir Titus entertained 3000 guests at a banquet including over 2000 workers, brought by rail from his factory at Bradford. Publicity helped spread his ideas and ideology and encouraged people to follow his example. If you lived in one of the towns where a factory was situated, it would have been quite expensive, as everyone living there would wish to be close to the factory, most likely for employment purposes. Work began early at 5.30 and everyone walked the short journey to work. If you did not work at one of the near by plants, you would have surely been woken up by the hundreds of other workers that pounded the streets on their way to work. Thousands of people lived under just one roof and at least half of these would have worked at one of the factories, causing a distinct separation between workers and non-workers in the building. ...read more.

Conclusion

What lunch over all ready? It can't be. We are supposed to have 30 minutes, but that didn't even seem like ten. The Factory Owner is probably up to his tricks again. Sometimes he puts the clock forward at lunch to get more working time. And then, when it's about 30 minutes till we get to go home he puts them back a couple of hours. Like we don't work a long enough day already. I'm 13, and I have to work 16 hour a days, 7 days a week, 52 weeks in a year. It took me 4 months to work this out, as I have never been to school, but I think that in a year I work 5824 hours out of the 8736 hours in a year. Back to work then. Oh, no. The loom I have been working on has broken. I Have to fix it but they wont let me turn the machine off whilst I fix it. Right, so under the machine I go. ARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH. My hand. My hand. Why did it have to rip off MY hand? Now, I won't get paid and I will probably get sacked. Yep, I got sacked. My family are going to be so disappointed in me. So, here I go taking the slow and winding road back to the house. Written by Joshua Thompson ...read more.

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