Victorian England: Moving Pictures In Colour

This is one of my favourite finds online. Film images taken in the late 1800s in places around England. Street Parades, funfairs, seaside Towns, as well as shopping districts and markets, public transport, and busy traffic. It also features the many different social classes of the time, from workers to wealthy landowners and dignitaries.

The original 9-minute film has been carefully enhanced for video, providing some amazing detail, and also colourised for full effect.

19th Century Child Labour: Photos

Following the Industrial Revolution almost a century earlier, the use of child labour reached it’s peak in the Victorian Era. Children as young as four worked up to 80 hours a week, in all kinds of dangerous and difficult jobs.
The photos (except one) were taken between 1860 and 1890.

Cotton Mills employed children at just 10% of the adult wage. Families were so large at the time, that they needed the income from all the children, as soon as they were old enough to work.

Young boys were especially valued down coal mines. They were small enough to crawl through the narowest tunnels, those where the adults were too big to enter.
The smallest boys without the strength to pull a cart or wield a pick were employed sorting coal at the surface. They received around 20% of an adult wage, for the same work.

This happened all around the world, not just in Britain. And the jobs were not just in heavy industry.
This girl is employed as a child-minder for the toddler. This was in America, around 1880.

Selling newspapers or matches on the streets was a common job for young children.
As you can see, this boy has no shoes.

Children who had to depend on living in a workhouse were sent out to do a day’s labour to compensate for bed and board.

With every house still using coal fires, slim boys were prized as chimney sweeps. They could actually climb inside the chimneys, to ensure a thorough clean.
This reality was a long way from ‘Mary Poppins’.
(The photo is a recent one, to show what it would have been like)

victorian style chimney sweep, a child chimney sweep,
hulton pic

Sometimes, families worked together at home.
This mother and her children are folding boxes, probably to contain matches.
They received a pittance for every 100 boxes completed.

Something to remember, the next time your kids complain about having to tidy their room.