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surfing with helen bates - two unusual sagger urls - december

updated thu 9 dec 04


Helen Bates on tue 7 dec 04

5th., 2004


The age at which many children left school and went to work even a hundred
years ago was shocking. Even in 1920, we suspect that my husband's mother
may have been working in a woolen mill at the age of 12. (She never
mentioned this, so it is a guess from an entry in a City of Toronto
Directory for that year. In 1956, a 14-year-old classmate of mine quit
school, on a letter of permission, at the end of grade 8, to work in a
sewing factory.


mailtoandrew@FSMAIL.NET on tue 7 dec 04

5th., 2004


Thank you for the links; the BBC article was absolutely fascinating, and
so terribly humbling. To read of 8 year olds working 14 hours a day, 6
days a week ... an 11 year girl stating =93where I works is very good to me,=

and never beats me unless I do things wrong, and then tis never much.=94

After reading the accounts Im not sure how to look at my collection of old

Further on the subject can be found in the book When I Was a Child by
Charles Shaw. First published in 1903, and still available ISBN
0904573427, it is the autobiography of a child worker in the Potteries
during the 1830s and 1840s ... a different world not so long ago. It can
not be too strongly recommended.

Thanks again,


mailtoandrew@FSMAIL.NET on wed 8 dec 04

5th., 2004

Hello Helen,

Amazing the changes seen in just a generation !

Thankfully child labour has stopped in the developed world but its common
in many countries; something to remember when we grab a bargain at those
large retail outlets