Working in a group with four other people, we made a museum exhibit on child labor in the Industrial Revolution. Our first step was to analyze the six sources we were given and see how each one relates to child labor during the Industrial Revolution. Analyzing the sources helped us figure out where to place each document and which documents supported our theme strongly. Our exhibit has the sources in order by date. Analyzing also helped us understand what each source means. The exhibit includes three pictures, one chart, and two articles. The chart compares age distribution in cotton factories between 1818-1819 and present day. After looking at the chart it is clear that more young children worked in factories then compared to now. One of the articles is about young bobbin girls and how hard they worked in the unhealthy conditions away from their family. The other article states that child labor should be limited in factories due to the disgusting conditions people had to work in. Two of our picture sources showed children working in the very dirty mines and dragging carts of coal. Children were treated like animals and had the carts tied to them by a chain. Our final picture shows a couple of kids working on a machine in an extremely dirty factory. It shows how poor the conditions of factories were. The title, “Work Destroys Children’s Lives,” reflects how awful the lives of children were during the Industrial Revolution. They had to work everyday in terrible conditions, trying to earn money for their families. Children are supposed to enjoy their childhood and play games but that was not an option for kids during the Industrial Revolution. Hopefully after viewing this exhibit people will understand the horrid conditions young children worked in.
Their were four other exhibits that our group got to look at. The first exhibit we went to was called “Cotton Creating Connections.” This exhibit was about the cotton industry expanding to America and the Americans using slaves to work on their plantations. As the demand for cotton grew more slaves were needed and this caused a dramatic growth in the slave population. Next we visited “Change Is Looming” which showed all the different ways created to spin wool. Their were many versions of the spinning wheel and every time a new version came out it was more efficient than the last. The third exhibit was called “All Aboard the Steam Engine, Railroad, and Canals.” It mainly talked about the new ways of transportation that came from the Industrial Revolution such as steam boats and trains and the building of canals. These types of transportation required large amounts of coal and metal. Finally we viewed “Living Conditions in England During the Industrial Revolution.” The conditions were filthy, disgusting, and unhealthy and all people did was work. Rivers and cities were totally polluted from the factories. Every exhibit somehow relates to a fabulous innovation of the Industrial Revolution or an important problem.