Female coal bearer, 1842.
2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm

Female coal bearer, 1842.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Illustration from the Children's Employment Commision Report, 1842, showing a bending woman carrying a masive load of coals on her back. Child labour was a feature of the Industrial Revolution, with children often made to perform particularly difficult and dangerous tasks, for minimal wages. Succesive 19th century Acts of Parliament gradually raised the minimum age of child workers and limited the jobs they could be made to do. The Mines Act of 1842 prohibited the employment of women, girls and boys younger than 13 in British mines.

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