Looking for girl 1840

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Historians disagree about whether the British Industrial Revolution was beneficial for women. Aggregate information on the occupations of women is available only from the census, and while census data has the advantage of being comprehensive, it is not a very good measure of work done by women during the Industrial Revolution. For one thing, the census does not provide any information on individual occupations untilwhich is after the period we wish to study.

Table One illustrates the problem further; it shows the occupations of men and women recorded in the census, for 20 occupational. These s suggest that female labor force participation was low, and that 40 percent of occupied women worked in domestic service. However, economic historians have demonstrated that these s are misleading. First, many women who were actually employed were not listed as employed in the census. Women who appear in farm wage books have no recorded occupation in the census. Source: B. Most of this work was unpaid. Some families were well-off enough that they could employ other women to do this work, as live-in servants, as charring women, or as service providers.

Live-in servants Looking for girl 1840 fairly common; even middle-class families had maids to help with the domestic chores. Charring women did housework on a daily basis. In London women were paid 2s. Since raw materials were expensive, textile workers rarely had enough capital to be self-employed, but would take raw materials from a merchant, spin or weave the materials in their homes, and then return the finished product and receive a piece-rate wage.

This system disappeared during the Industrial Revolution as new machinery requiring water or steam power appeared, and work moved from the home to the factory.

Looking for girl 1840

Before the Industrial Revolution, hand spinning had been a widespread female employment. It could take as many as ten spinners to provide one hand-loom weaver with yarn, and men did not spin, so most of the workers in the textile industry were women. The new textile machines of the Industrial Revolution changed that. Wages for hand-spinning fell, and many rural women who had ly spun found themselves unemployed. In a few locations, new cottage industries such as straw-plaiting and lace-making grew and took the place of spinning, but in other locations women remained unemployed.

Another important cottage industry was the pillow-lace industry, so called because women wove the lace on pins stuck in a pillow.

Looking for girl 1840

In the late-eighteenth century women in Bedford could earn 6s. However, this industry too disappeared due to mechanization. The straw-plaiting industry employed women braiding straw into bands used for making hats and bonnets. The industry prospered around the turn of the century due to the invention of a simple tool for splitting the straw and war, which cut off competition from Italy. At this time women could earn 4s. This industry also declined, though, following the increase in free trade with the Continent in the s.

Looking for girl 1840 defining feature of the Industrial Revolution was the rise of factories, particularly textile factories. Work moved out of the home and into a factory, which used a central power source to run its machines. Water power was used in most of the early factories, but improvements in the steam engine made steam power possible as well. The most dramatic productivity growth occurred in the cotton industry.

Britain began to manufacture cotton cloth, and declining prices for the cloth encouraged both domestic consumption and export. While cotton was the most important textile of the Industrial Revolution, there were advances in machinery for silk, flax, and wool production as well. The advent of new machinery changed the gender division of labor in textile production. Before the Industrial Revolution, women spun yarn using a spinning wheel or occasionally a distaff and spindle. In contrast to spinning, handloom weaving was done by both sexes, but men outed women.

Looking for girl 1840

Men monopolized highly skilled preparation and finishing processes such as wool combing and cloth-dressing. With mechanization, the gender division of labor changed. Women used the spinning jenny and water frame, but mule spinning was almost exclusively a male occupation because it required more strength, and because the male mule-spinners actively opposed the employment of female mule-spinners. Women mule-spinners in Glasgow, and their employers, were the victims of violent attacks by male spinners trying to reduce the competition in their occupation.

Both sexes were employed as powerloom operators. James Mitchell to the Central Board of Commissioners, respecting the Returns made from the Factories, and the obtained from them. While the highly skilled and highly paid task of mule-spinning was a male occupation, many women and girls were engaged in other tasks in textile factories. For example, the wet-spinning of flax, introduced in Leeds inemployed mainly teenage girls.

Looking for girl 1840

Girls often worked as assistants to mule-spinners, piecing together broken thre. In fact, females were a majority of the factory labor force. Table Two shows that 57 percent of factory workers were female, most of them under age Women were widely employed in all the textile industries, and constituted the majority of workers in cotton, flax, and silk. Outside of textiles, women were employed in potteries and paper factories, but not in dye or glass manufacture.

Looking for girl 1840

Of the women who worked in factories, 16 percent were under age 13, 51 percent were between the ages of 13 and 20, and 33 percent were age 21 and over. On average, girls earned the same wages as boys. Beginning at age 16, and a large gap between male and female wages appeared. At age 30, women factory workers earned only one-third as much as men.

The y-axis shows the percentage of total employment within each sex that is in that five-year age category. Wage-earners in agriculture generally fit into one of two broad — servants who were hired annually and received part of their wage in room and board, and day-laborers who lived independently and were paid a daily or weekly wage.

Looking for girl 1840

Before industrialization servants comprised between one-third and one-half of labor in agriculture. Most servants were young and unmarried. Because servants were paid part of their wage in kind, as board, the use of the servant contract tended to fall when food prices were high.

During the Industrial Revolution the use of servants seems to have fallen in the South and East. While servants lived with the farmer and received food and lodging as part of their wage, laborers lived independently, received fewer in-kind payments, and were paid a daily or a weekly wage. Though the majority of laborers were male, some were female. Table Four shows the percentage of laborers who were female at various farms in the lateth and earlyth centuries.

These s suggest that female employment was widespread, but varied considerably from one location to the next. Compared to men, female laborers generally worked fewer days during the year. The employment of female laborers was concentrated around the harvest, and women rarely worked during the winter. While men commonly worked six days per week, outside of harvest women generally averaged around four days per week. Sotheron-Estcourt s, G. D; Ketton-Cremer s, N. The wages of female day-laborers were fairly uniform; generally a farmer paid the same wage to all the adult women he hired.

Women generally worked shorter days, though, so the gap in hourly wages was Looking for girl 1840 quite this large. Enclosure increased farm size and changed the patterns of animal husbandry, both of which seem to have led to reductions in female employment. While women frequently harvested with the sickle, they did not use the heavier scythe. Women had more work in the West, which specialized more in livestock and dairy farming.

During the eighteenth century there were many opportunities for women to be productively employed in farm work on their ownwhether they were wives of farmers on large holdings, or wives of landless laborers. In a village that had a commons, even if the family merely rented a cottage the wife could be self-employed in agriculture because she could keep a cow, or other animals, on the commons. By careful management of her stock, a woman might earn as much during the year as her husband earned as a laborer.

Women also gathered fuel from the commons, saving the family considerable expense. The enclosure of the commons, though, eliminated these opportunities. In an enclosure, land was re-ased so as to eliminate the commons and consolidate holdings. Even when the poor had clear legal rights to use the commons, these rights were not always compensated in the enclosure agreement. While enclosure occurred at different times for different locations, the largest waves of enclosures occurred in the first two decades of the nineteenth century, meaning that, for many, opportunities for self-employment in agriculture declined as the same time as employment in cottage industry declined.

Only a few opportunities for agricultural production remained for the landless laboring family. In some locations landlords permitted landless laborers to rent small allotments, on which they could still grow some of their own food. The right to glean on fields after harvest seems to have been maintained at least through the middle of the nineteenth century, by which time it had become one of the few agricultural activities available to women in some areas.

The diary was an important source of income for many farms, and its success depended on the skill of the mistress, who usually ran the operation with no help from men. It Looking for girl 1840 less common for women to manage their own farms, but not unknown. Commercial directories list numerous women farmers. For example, the Directory of the County of Derby lists farmers, of whichor 4.

During the Industrial Revolution period women were also active businesswomen in towns. Among business owners listed in commercial directories, about 10 percent were female. Table Seven shows the percentage female in all the trades with at least 25 people listed in the Manchester commercial directory.

Looking for girl 1840

Single women, married women, and widows are included in these s. Sometimes these women were widows carrying on the businesses of their deceased husbands, but even in this case that does not mean they were simply figurehe. Women most commonly ran shops and taverns, and worked as dressmakers and milliners, but they were not confined to these areas, and appear in most of the Looking for girl 1840 listed in commercial directories.

Manchester, for example, had six female blacksmiths and five female machine makers in The widow of a tradesman was often considered knowledgeable enough in the trade that she was given the right to carry on the trade even without an apprenticeship. In the eighteenth century women were apprenticed to a wide variety of trades, including butchery, bookbinding, brush making, carpentry, ropemaking and silversmithing. However, the power of the guilds and the importance of apprenticeship were also declining during this time, so the decline in female apprenticeships may not have been an important barrier to employment.

Many women worked in the factories of the Industrial Revolution, and a few women actually owned factories. Betty Hudson built and operated textile mills. Doig owned a powerloom factory in Scotland, which employed 60 workers. Women generally received less education than men though education of the time was of limited practical use. Women may have found it more difficult than men to raise the necessary capital because English law did not consider a married woman to have any legal existence; she could not sue or be sued.

A married woman was a feme covert and technically could not make any legally binding contracts, a fact which may have discouraged others from loaning money to or making other contracts with married women. However, this law was not as limiting in practice as it would seem to be in theory because a married woman engaged in trade on her own was treated by the courts as a feme sole and was responsible for her own debts. The professionalization of certain occupations resulted in the exclusion of women from work they had ly done.

Women had provided medical care for centuries, but the professionalization of medicine in the early-nineteenth century made it a male occupation. The Royal College of Physicians admitted only graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, schools to which women were not admitted until the twentieth century.

Women were even replaced by men in midwifery. Professionalization of the clergy was also effective in excluding women. While the Church of England did not allow women ministers, the Methodists movement had many women preachers during its early years. However, even among the Methodists female preachers disappeared when lay preachers were replaced with a professional clergy in the early nineteenth century.

In other occupations where professionalization was not as strong, women remained an important part of the workforce. Teaching, particularly in the lower grades, was a common profession for women. Some were governesses, who lived as household servants, but many opened their own schools and took in pupils. The occupations listed above are by no means a complete listing of the occupations of women during the Looking for girl 1840 Revolution.

Women made buttons, nails, screws, and pins. Women worked in the mines until The Mines Act of prohibited them from working underground, but afterwards women continued to pursue above-ground mining tasks. For the period the rate fell to 49 percent, but in it recovered to 62 percent. Table Eight gives participation rates of women by date and occupation of the husband.

Because not all women worked, and because children usually contributed more to the family budget than their mothers, for the average family the wife contributed only around seven percent of total family income. Women workers used a variety of methods to care for their children. Sometimes childcare and work were compatible, and women took their children with them to the fields or shops where they worked.

In most factory work the hours were rigidly set, and women who took the jobs had to accept the twelve or thirteen hour days. Work in the factories was very disciplined, so the women could not bring their children to the factory, and could not take breaks at will. However, these difficulties did not prevent women with small children from working.

Looking for girl 1840

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