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Factory Conditions Inquiry

Setting the Stage
What is a factory? Show video clip from PBS Learning Media about a child working in a shoe factory.
 
Supporting Questions
What were the conditions faced by immigrants working in factories in the late 1800s and early 1900s?
 
What was life like for child laborers during the late 1800s and early 1900s?
 
What did labor unions do for the workers?
 
Formative Assessment
List the problems that factory workers had to face during this time.
 
Write a journal entry as if you were a child laborer during this time.
 
List the benefits of belonging to a labor union during this time.
 
Argument
Create a poster that shows the factory conditions from the late 1800s and early 1900s and the problems that faced these workers.
 
Extension
Were there factories in your community during the 1800 and early 1900s? If so, what were they like?
 
Taking Informed Action
Do workers face problems today? Brainstorm ideas on how workers today can solve problems.
Two workers: unguarded machinery, dirty condition, circa 1912

New York State Archives, NYSA_A3029-78_B1_F4

Time card for 117 hours, circa 1912

New York State Archives, NYSA_A3029-78_B1_F5

Cluttered factory room, no. 1, circa 1912

New York State Archives, NYSA_A3029-78_B2_F8

Young boy at work, circa 1912

New York State Archives, NYSA_A3029-78_B1_F7

Telegram from Mrs. Oliver S. Chatfield to Gov. Leham, 1937

New York State Archives, NYSA_13682-53_B16_F4_1

Photo - Look for the Union Label ILGWU, n.d.

Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos, CEN_KaAn_B7F39_1937

Union Label. Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, 1941

New York State Archives, NYSA_12979-79_B2_F56_130