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How useful are these sources in helping you understand working conditions at mills such as Styal in the period before 1840? Explain your answer by reference to all three sources.

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Introduction

School History Project (SHP) Styal Mill Coursework 4. Study Sources E, H, and I. How useful are these sources in helping you understand working conditions at mills such as Styal in the period before 1840? Explain your answer by reference to all three sources. All sources are useful. Some sources are of limited use however because they don't tell us enough information or because they are unreliable. This is true of sources E, H and I. Source E shows an apprentice being given food by an adult, possibly a kitchen worker at the mill. The apprentice appears to be well dressed, which suggests that the apprentices were well cared for, however, he does not look at all happy, and to me, the woman does not look like a nice person; she ...read more.

Middle

Again, this suggests that the conditions at the mill were not good, and that they were unhealthy for the apprentices. Source I tells us that the mill was a clean place, and that the apprentices were clean people. This suggests that conditions at the mill were good. However, this source disagrees with source H, which says that there is a smell of "dirty water, and human filth" which suggests that the mill was actually a very dirty place. Source E is of limited use because it only gives us limited information. It does not tell us about the work they did, for example, or about the quality of the beds in the apprentice house. ...read more.

Conclusion

Possibly, she has something in her past that makes her biased against child apprentices in mills. Source I is also unreliable as it is evidence given by Samuel Greg, the mill owner, who is obviously biased in favour of the mill. However, using my own knowledge, what Source H tells us was certainly true about some mills, though perhaps not the mill at Styal, and source I may well be accurate also. In conclusion all sources are useful but some are much more useful than others, and we must be careful when using these sources because they are unreliable, do not give us enough information, and may well be inaccurate. We should therefore look at other sources for confirmation of what these sources suggest. Sources ...read more.

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