Industrial Revolution- Factory Conditions

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  • Created on: 19-05-11 20:06

Factory Conditions

Content from the Sadler Report is based on extracts, so may not contain all of the information in the full document.

Hours and Breaks
(According to the Sadler Report)

·         Few workers were given enough time to eat

·         Average Shift: fourteen hours, with a half hour break

·         Days could be as long as 19.5 hours, and just as constant and busy

·         Due to the workload expected to be completed, many workers were forced to work through their breaks, or the breaks were ignored

·         Commonly, employees only had the opportunity for four hours sleep

(According to a Documentary)

·         14 hr days

·         The work was regular, and not weather dependant. If it was too hot, the workers could not complain and still had to continue

·         Times were clock regulated, although it was heard of that overseers deliberately changed the time in order to fine late-comers

·         Later, when a law was enforced and children’s' hours were cut, the men’s' were extended to compensate

·         There are no mentions of Holidays

(According to the Sadler Report)

·         Children were employed in large quantities because they were cheap to pay and (if provisions were given) feed

(According to a Documentary)

·         Workers were supposed to be paid once a week

·         Many factories introduced 'family wages', giving families the incentive to all sign up, although the factory owners probably benefitted more from the joint sum

·         Men were paid: 15s       ]

·         Women were paid: 7-9s ] On Average

·         Children were paid: 4s   ]

Children- ages, treatment etc
(according to the Sadler Report)

·         Children were employed from as young as seven and eight

·         They were not allowed to sit, and would (generally) be punished if they did

(According to a Documentary)

·         Many children had to clean they heavy and dangerous machinery, and often were injured doing so. It was their task because of their size and ability to crawl into small spaces.

·         The youngest children became either Scavengers or Piecers; Scavengers had to pick up loose cotton from under the machines (in Textile Mills)

·         The job of the Piecers was to lean over the machines and repair any broken threads


(1) John Brown wrote about Robert Blincoe's experiences in a textile mill in an article for The Lion newspaper (15th January 1828)
The task first allocated to Robert Blincoe was to pick up the loose cotton that fell upon the floor. Apparently, nothing could be easier... although he was much terrified by the whirling motion and noise of the machinery. He also disliked the dust and the flue with which he was


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