People in History: A factory/mine worker during the Industrial Revolution

A young girl working in a factory.
Main page: Industrial England

In this section, you'll learn about the dangerous working conditions faced by the men, women and children who worked in factories and mines in Industrial Revolution England. With no laws about safety or child labour, many people died at very young ages from accidents at work.

The factory/mine worker is a very common People in History question, and an easy one to prepare for. You only have to pick one or the other - factory workers or mine workers - and focus on learning that one. Both are quite similar anyway, and the advice below applies equally to both of them.

The answer below is written as a male. If you want to write as a female, you may need to switch around some of the points, but they are all still relevant.
  • Introduce yourself. "I am a factory/mine worker in Manchester." Why is your factory/mine important? If you're in a factory, say what kind of factory it is.
    • Talk about your jobs. When did you start work? What kind of work are you expected to do? (if you're in a mine, talk about being a trapper, then a hauler, etc. If you're in a factory, talk about working with dangerous machines, and the rules you have to obey.
      • If you're writing as a boy or man, talk about the kind of work girls and women must do. If you're a girl, mention this in Point #2.
        • What are the conditions like? How much are you paid? What kind of accidents happen? How have people died?
          • What are the biggest dangers? Have there been any safety measures brought in?
            • Finish up by talking about improvements. If you're a mine worker, this will be where you talk about the Mine Acts. If you're a factory worker, talk about how some factory owners are kind, and are treating their workers better.

              So, in short...

              A mine worker in the Industrial Revolution.
              1. Introduce yourself and your type of work.
              2. Your jobs in the factory/mine.
              3. The work of girls and women.
              4. The working conditions (pay, accidents, deaths).
              5. The biggest dangers of working there, and any safety measures there might be.
              6. Any improvements that are happening for workers in factories or mines.


              Don't...

              • talk in third-person. This is a first person answer. (e.g. I am, I will...)
              • name a term (e.g. Davy's safety lamp or ventilation shaft) and not explain what it means. You will lose marks if you don't.
              • talk about anything irrelevant (e.g. the weather). You will get no marks for irrelevant information.

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