From the historical background of the chimney sweepers, we get a gruesome picture. The chimney sweep child or the boys who worked as chimney sweepers had a rough time for sure. A lot of them even suffered numerous health conditions. Considering the fact that chimneys of the times of the victorian era weren’t like the ones that we see these days, things weren’t quite good for the sweepers at all. So, the master sweeper hired boys from orphanages and a lot of workhouses.
People from the villages and other parts came to the cities to earn their bread. Especially after the industrial growth, several people started to build houses. So, it was a fashion of the time to include chimneys. However, those chimneys weren’t straight like we see nowadays. Therefore, it was extremely tough for the little kids to go up there and act as chimney sweepers. A lot of them even died and experienced health problems.
So, in this article, we will talk about the chimney sweep child, and how kids of history had a lot of tough times.
Basic Idea About chimney sweep child
So, it’s worth noting that a chimney sweep clears the ash and other types of residue from the chimney. Moreover, the structure of a chimney can depend. For example, you may see a straight chimney or it can even change direction. During the regular operation of a chimney, it forms a layer of creosote inside it. So, this creosote can block or restrict the flow. Therefore, it’s essential to clean the creosote to remove the soot and that’s something that a master sweeper did.
In Great Britain, the master sweeper hired little kids, from orphanages or workhouses. They guided those kids to climb up the chimneys and clean the interior. This was the beginning of a gruesome tale of a chimney sweep child, who, like other children, had to face a lot of hardships.
The Miserable Time For The Chimeny Sweepers In Victorian Period
While narrating the tale of a chimney sweep child, one has to mention the victorian period. So, as we said earlier, the industrial revolution made a huge change. A lot of people came from rural areas in search of jobs. Naturally, a lot of them couldn’t get one. Therefore, they had to rely on other types of jobs. Moreover, the master sweepers hired little and petite boys from the orphanages and taught them about chimney sweeping. Of course, this is one of the many instances of child labor. According to the sources, the master sweepers and people in general also abused them.
A huge section of people couldn’t earn their bread and children were looking for apprenticeships. So, naturally, master sweepers chose ‘undersized’ and underfed children. They were the most suitable for that kind of job. In fact, they chose the children who, preferably had no parents.
So, in Scotland and other parts of Europe, the chimney sweeping children trained to use gimmick- lead ball and brush attached to a rope. Moreover, the records show that the youngest chimney sweep child was just three and half years old. Most of them belonged to the age group of five to six. There’s a terrible reason for that as well. Since they were tiny, they could fit into the chimneys. Moreover, most of those chimneys had a gap of only nine to twelve inches. In addition, some of them weren’t straight as well. So, we can see the amount of hardship they had to endure.
Poor Health Conditions Of The Chimney Sweepers
Well, the chimneys of the victorian period had a complicated system. So, it built up the soot quickly and you had to clean them around four times a year. So, a chimney sweep child had to clean at least 20 a day. It was, of course, an instance of slavery. The master sweepers picked up poor kids from the streets and taught them the work. So, naturally, a lot of kids had health problems- stunted growth, deformity, and of course, death. Therefore, we can understand the amount of trouble they had to face.