Ad Blocker Detected

We've noticed you're currently running ad blocking software. The contents of this site are available for free thanks to the contributions of our sponsors. We would appreciate if you would deactivate your ad blocker and refresh the page before continuing to browse.

Thank you.

KEEP SCROLLING FOR MORE GREAT CONTENT

24 Heartbreaking Photos Of What Child Labor In The U.S Once Looked Like

NOVEMBER 12, 2016  —  By Matthew Derrick  
Matthew Derrick

Matthew Derrick

Writer and sassy ginger currently residing in central Pennsylvania. Matt spends most of his free time online shopping for clothing that he doesn't need, perfecting the art of eye-rolling, and indulging in all forms of pop culture.

Did you know that children as young as 14 can apply for their working permits in the U.S.?

Any child worker under the recommended age is considered illegal and goes against the U.S.'s strict child labor laws. Despite these regulations, it might surprise you to learn that over 200 million children around the world, under the age of 10, are still being put to work in 2016. Of that number, more than half of these children are slaving away in hazardous work environments such as factory jobs or other places where they are forced to operate advanced machinery.

While child labor in the U.S. has become an almost silent issue, during the height of the Industrial revolution, putting your son or daughter to work was the only option for staying afloat during tough economic times. Children as young as three put in long days for very little pay. And while schooling was an option for many of these kids, their parents were living below the poverty line and needed them to work to help set off living expenses. These 24 heartbreaking examples of child labor from the early 20th century showcase the struggle of children who were forced to grow up too fast.

1. Most child workers put in 10 hours days, six days a week, and would bring home just $1.50 a day.

Most child workers put in 10 hours days, six days a week, and would bring home just $1.50 a day.

Getty Images

2. When children turned three, they were considered old enough to work in the fields and pick fruit.

When children turned three, they were considered old enough to work in the fields and pick fruit.

Getty Images

3. Most supervisors didn't care if you were a boy or girl, the work still needed to get done, whether or not you were fit to complete the task.

Most supervisors didn't care if you were a boy or girl, the work still needed to get done, whether or not you were fit to complete the task.

Getty Images

4. Prior to being okayed for some jobs, children were required to pass a physical examination.

Prior to being okayed for some jobs, children were required to pass a physical examination.

Getty Images

Read More: 15 Vintage Photos Of Factory Workers That Show Our Jobs Aren't So Bar After All

5. These children spent long hours in the hot, sweltering sun, sorting berries for market.

These children spent long hours in the hot, sweltering sun, sorting berries for market.

Getty Images

6. Once the fruits and vegetables were picked, it was also the children's responsibility to sell the goods at market.

Once the fruits and vegetables were picked, it was also the children's responsibility to sell the goods at market.

Getty Images

7. With very little supervision on the streets, these newsies picked up unhealthy habits like smoking.

With very little supervision on the streets, these newsies picked up unhealthy habits like smoking.

Getty Images

8. Women and children would spend from sunrise to sunset sewing, or until their fingers began to bleed.

Women and children would spend from sunrise to sunset sewing, or until their fingers began to bleed.

Getty Images

9. Newsies paid for their newspapers out of pocket and the price fluctuated based on the day and the distributor's moods.

Newsies paid for their newspapers out of pocket and the price fluctuated based on the day and the distributor's moods.

Getty Images

10. If a paper boy had any remaining papers left over, he was forced to keep them, because most distributors refused to buy them back.

If a paper boy had any remaining papers left over, he was forced to keep them, because most distributors refused to buy them back.

Getty Images

11. This doffer boy and sweeper could not afford shoes, but were still forced to work 10-hour days.

This doffer boy and sweeper could not afford shoes, but were still forced to work 10-hour days.

Getty Images

12. A shoeshiner on the streets of New York would shine shoes on his hands and knees, but was not always guaranteed to be paid for his hard work.

A shoeshiner on the streets of New York would shine shoes on his hands and knees, but was not always guaranteed to be paid for his hard work.

Getty Images

13. This little girl was forced to keep this gymnasium swept to perfection.

This little girl was forced to keep this gymnasium swept to perfection.

Getty Images

14. Some children were forced to carry large packages and boxes that weighed almost as much as than they did.

Some children were forced to carry large packages and boxes that weighed almost as much as than they did.

Getty Images

15. These coal miners from Pittston, PA, breathed in toxic fumes -- sometimes seven days a week.

These coal miners from Pittston, PA, breathed in toxic fumes -- sometimes seven days a week.

Getty Images

16. This doffer boy spent all day squeezed between the machinery making sure everything was running smoothly.

This doffer boy spent all day squeezed between the machinery making sure everything was running smoothly.

Getty Images

17. At this canning company, each child was responsible for shucking three pots of oysters each day.

At this canning company, each child was responsible for shucking three pots of oysters each day.

Getty Images

Read More: These 23 Vintage Photos Are Unsettling In The Weirdest Ways -- No, Thank You!

18. When machinery wasn't working properly, these children were forced to manually push mine cars from point A to point B.

When machinery wasn't working properly, these children were forced to manually push mine cars from point A to point B.

Getty Images

19. What made factory work even more dangerous for children were the confined spaces, and improper ventilation systems in the plants.

What made factory work even more dangerous for children were the confined spaces, and improper ventilation systems in the plants.

Getty Images

20. When not caring for her baby sister, this tiny girl was forced to shuck oysters at a local marina.

When not caring for her baby sister, this tiny girl was forced to shuck oysters at a local marina.

Getty Images

21. Children were allowed to return to schooling once the harvest season was over. That being said, greedy businessmen would try and push back the season each year to get the most profit.

Children were allowed to return to schooling once the harvest season was over. That being said, greedy businessmen would try and push back the season each year to get the most profit.

Getty Images

22. In most factories, the child to adult supervisor ratio was almost 20 to 1.

In most factories, the child to adult supervisor ratio was almost 20 to 1.

Getty Images

23. Working in the fields was so grueling -- if kids even stopped for a break, they were reprimanded.

Working in the fields was so grueling -- if kids even stopped for a break, they were reprimanded.

Getty Images

24. These children flocked to the streets to protest child labor laws and slavery during the early 1900s.

These children flocked to the streets to protest child labor laws and slavery during the early 1900s.

Getty Images

Looking back at some of these photos, I can't imagine doing these jobs as an adult, let alone a small child.

Load another article