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from Mail Online

Britain's child slaves: They started at 4am, lived off acorns and had nails put through their ears for shoddy work. Yet, says a new book, their misery helped forge Britain

U.K. Industrial Revolution, XIX Century. Child chimney sweeps often had to crawl through holes only 18in wide - and cruel masters would light fires to make them climb faster. Many fell to their deaths


During the Industrial Revolution, children of Britain usually between ages four and eight were trained to sweep chimneys. Parents would sell boys to work in chimneys. Very little girls were employed to work. The smaller the child, the higher the price they could be sold for. This job was full of risk and the conditions were filthy. The children would develop sores and bruises on their knees and elbows from working in the chimneys. Public buildings and big mansions were the most dangerous.


Women's War Work 1914-1918. Mrs Rosanna Forster from Kent is a chimney sweep, carrying on her husband’s business while he serves abroad. Here, she walks along a road, her brooms over her shoulder.