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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hard Times

How do you do your work everyday?  Now, we live in a modern time. We can do things easily because of technology. We can go to other places by cars, planes, or ships. We can wash clothes by washing machines. We can cook by using electric appliances. But have you ever think about how people lived in the past? Here are some stories about people who lived in the past.

Boy, anonymous
When I was ten years old I went to work in a cotton mill. The mill owner used to like children as workers. We were cheap and he paid us very little. We were useful because we could climb under the machines and clean them. At our factory we used to start work at five o’clock in the morning. We never stopped work or sat down until nine or ten at night. Once, when I lost part of my finger in a machine, I bandaged it and went on working.

Janet Cunning, aged eleven
I went down the mine at five in the morning and I came up at five at night. I worked all night on Fridays and came away at twelve in the morning. I carried coal to the bottom of the mine. It weighted seven stones. The distance varied, sometimes 300 yards, sometimes 500 yards. I had to bend my back and legs, and the water often came up to my knees. I didn’t like the work; my father made me do it.

Susy, a domestic servant, aged sixteen
When I was fourteen I started working for a family with nine children. I used to get up and light the fire, bath them and dress them, and get their breakfasts. Then, I had to make the dinner and do all of the washing up; and by that time, it would be teatime again. I had to put the children to bed, clean the rooms and prepare the fires for the next morning, and also the parents’ supper. I wasn’t in bed until twelve, and I had to get up by six.


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