Young girl in 1850's dress - standing in weave room

I’m a little sad because I just found out I have to go to school for three months. The mill agents are required by law to make sure children my age go to school, and my first day is next Monday. I would rather stay here, playing with my friends and earning money for my family.

There aren’t a lot of boys and girls my age working in the mills, but there are some. We go to the spinning room and help take off or “doff” full bobbins of thread from the spinning machines and put empty ones on. We put the full ones in boxes and carry them to the weavers in the weave room. Then we take the empty ones back to the spinning room. We also help clean up because we’re small enough to get in under the looms to sweep away bits of cotton and threads.

We have some free time each hour, so I bring my doll to play with. Sometimes I play in the mill yard with other bobbin boys and girls until someone shouts out the window that it’s time for us to come in and doff the bobbins. Got to get back to work!

The new girl Bobbin Battery Fire Bucket
Window Flowers Loom (contains 820 kb video) The Overseer
The toolman Unhappy Worker Weaver