Victorian hours in dangerous conditions without water or

Victorian Era Chimney Sweeper The Victorian Era had many features that made it stand out such as the development of inventions and diverse social structure, but one feature that is associated with this era and stands out the most is the use of Chimney sweepers. A chimney sweeper is a poor man who cleans chimneys to make a living generally, many sweepers were children, mainly boys and not adults. For many children being a chimney sweeper was a nightmare beyond anything for boys many would never able to see their families again. The reason that chimneys needed cleaning during this era was due to the fact that the only material for heating in the early 1900’s was coal fires. The chimneys were fired up for every day of the winter to keep the cold out of houses and keep warm. Chimneys were a crucial part of a home and almost everyday life. Due to the coal fires the smoke would rise and a black powdery substance would stick to the walls of the chimney and it would block the smoke from escaping. The smoke would turn a dark shade of black and fill the room where the chimney would occupy. Thus it became necessary to have the chimney swept once or twice a year. Soon it became apparent that many adult chimney sweepers were not small enough to squeeze through the chimney. So the Master Sweepers would go out and take orphans, steal children, or even buy them from a starving and poor family. The Victorian society was not a classless society, nor was it free from evils like child labor. Children worked long hours in dangerous conditions without water or air. Children were able to do chimney sweeps better that adults due to their small size moving through the chimney was easier. When the children grew up they were usually less opportunities for work. The chimneys were often angular and narrow with dimensions around 9 inches by 14 inches. Chimney sweeping is not only harmful, but dangerous work. A fear that all child chimney sweepers would have is the fear of getting stuck and being unable to breath or falling down the chimney itself. A boy engaged in chimney sweeping first passes through the chimney and descends to the second angle workplace. Then he finds the area blocked by soot which he dislodges usually with his hand or  with their scrapers. The soot would fall down the chimney onto a bag when the job was done. The child would then get the bag full of soot and take it to the master sweep where they would sell it for money.Many children grew up with breathing problems due to the lack of air and inhaling soot for minutes at a time. Sometimes the child would die in the chimney and would have to be extracted by making an opening in the chimney and pulling the body out. Many children who would grow up would have serious health issues such as breathing problems, and weak or deformed bones due to being in the chimney in strange positions. The children would climb using their elbows, back, and knees. The master sweep would scrub their knees to harden them, but before calluses formed. They would also make the child stand near the fire to help harden their skin. Most of the time children were terribly bloodied from the head down on jobs and soot would get in their wound causing serious pain. The common life span of many chimney sweepers was rarely past their middle ages. This use of children did not go on without notice of its cruel and harmful punishment, acts were passed to attempt to help them. The Chimney Sweepers Act of 1788 was a British Act of Parliament passed to try and stop child labor. Many children were taken and put to work by around the age of four, but this act stated that no boy should be bound to a master sweep before he was eight years old. The parents must consent to letting their child go, the master sweep must promise the parents that they will give the child suitable living conditions and clothing. As well as an opportunity to attend church on sundays. An addition to this was that the master sweep would need a licensed to be able to get an apprentice and this was voted down in the House Of Lords.The Chimney Sweepers act of 1834 was another attempt to stop child labor dthis act states that an apprentice must express themselves in from of a magistrate that they were willing and desirous. Master sweeps must not take on children under the age fourteen. An apprentice could not be lent to another master. The Master sweeps were only granted a minimum of six apprentices at a time. Children under fourteen who were already apprentices, must wear brass cap badges no a leather cap. Apprentices were also not allowed to climb flues to extinguished fires. Street cries also became a regulation. In 1840, a revised Chimney Sweepers act raised the minimum age of apprenticeship to sixteen. As with the earlier acts this one was also ignored due to the absence of any means of enforcement. Children younger than ten were still being forced to climb chimneys.In 1836 the publication of a novel called ‘The Water-Babies’, by Charles Kingsley, raised much public awareness about the terrifying and gross mistreatment of children in this employment through a central character in novel and his life as a chimney sweeper. Parliament responded the following year with a new regulation act. This was ineffective due to its humane purpose.