Two children operating a jigger in a mine, 1842.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Two children operating a jigger in a mine, 1842.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Illustration from the Children's Employment Commision Report. One child is shown with a load of coal, which is being winched up the steep slope of a tunnel by another child. 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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