The effects of Industrialization on men, women and children

  • Factory Conditions
  • Ultimately led to the rise of the middle Class

Due to the new concepts of mass production and mechanization (Change), factory work was necessary but often repetitive, boring and did not require much skill.
  • mass production--> Manufacturing many identical objects through repetitive tasks
    • Division of labor
  • mechanization-->The use of machinery
    • Increased productivity and lowered the price of goods
    • Ex) Cotton Industry, Wedgewood
Social Organization
Concentration of production of machinery in factory, Effects of Factory Work:
  1. Moved work from the coutryside to the city
  2. Relocate work from home to a distant location
  3. Seperation of home and work, domestic and industrial, familiy and business
  • Middle-class women did not work but most working-class women did at some point in their life
  • During some periods, 60% of factory workers were women
  • Prepared cotton for spinning, repiared broken threads
  • While working, they gossiped and spent time talking to people outside of their family
  • Sexual harrassment
  • Previously, they worked in the household but were not expected to bring home a proft
  • Worked in mills and factories for shifts up to 19 hours a day with a one hour break
  • Earned small wages
  • Small size made them advantageous for crawling under machines
  • Before 1870, no schools were available in factory cities
Life in the Big City:
  • Hours of labor were long for men, women, and children since the machines ran regardless of the season or time of day
  • Adults commonly worked 14 hours a day and children worked 9
  • Each worker was assigned a place from which he or she could not move
  • Machines did not rest and neither could the workers
    • No breaks, no conversations, and no wandering around the factory
    • Children were subject to beatings for falling asleep over their work
    • Workers were constantly watched by supervisors, constantly monitored
    • Often paid based on how much material the machine produced under their care

Life expectancy: Ranged from 15-19 for a city worker compared to 34-38 for a professional man in the same cities
In 1830, over 560 cotton mills in Lancashire which employed over 110,000 workers, of which 35,000 were children as young as 5 years old
  • Workers often had hands and arms torn off from the machiens
  • Children often had to crawl under machines to gather cotton and were subject to being caught up in the machinery

Change: 1830-1840-->Parliament made efforts to regulate factory conditions (Factory Act)


Sussman, herbert. Invention, Innovatio and the Rise of the Machine. Santa barbara, CA: Praeger, 2009.
"Child Labor in Factories." . N.p., 2002. Web. 15 Feb 2012.
"Factories in the Industril Revolution." . N.p., 2012. Web. 15 Feb 2012.

MacKenzie MacRae