David Livingstone Birthplace
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4 - What Kind of Mill Owner Would You Be?

When David was growing up, it was legal to send children to work in unsafe conditions for long hours. This had long term effects on some children’s health and could mean that they were unable to work later in life, resulting in lifelong poverty and health problems. Watch this video about the effect of mill work on young children and the terrible conditions they were subject to:

Exploring Horrific Working Conditions 6-Year-Olds Experienced During The Industrial Revolution

Can you imagine being forced to work under these kinds of conditions?

How does this compare to your daily life?

Now think about if you were a mill owner, how would you treat your employees differently from this?

Have a go at building your own mill from recycled materials from around the house, and then draw up a list of rules for your workers and their managers. How should people in the mill treat one another? What kind of rights do you think the workers in the mill are entitled to? How old should people have to be before they are able to work in your mill?

Use the How To Make Your Own Mill Model from Recycled Materials (PDF) worksheet as inspiration for building the mill, and have another look at the UNCRC as a reminder of what kind of rights you might want to give your workers www.unicef.org.uk.


We are very grateful to our key funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government for their support in helping us deliver the Birthplace Project.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland