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Chimney Sweepers in 1900s

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The only method available for heating in the early 1900s was the coal fires. Chimneys were lit every day of the winter. When the soot blocked the chimneys dirt and black smoke would come into the room. So, it was necessary to have the chimney swept once or twice a year. A Chimney sweeper is a poor man who cleans chimneys to make a living. The most commonly picked chimney sweepers were children and not adults.

Children were ideal for chimney sweeping because of their small size as the usual dimension of the flu was 9 inches by 14 inches. As they grew older and bigger there were less job opportunities for chimney sweeping young sweeps often served a longer term of work London climbing boys wore special clothing made from sheepskin. The clothes were tied on and tucked under their pants even though some soot got in it was still good for protection. When kids reached the age of 12 they were introduced to different trades and services. There were no set fees for chimney sweeping. kids were mostly loyal to their masters often going out by themselves to sweep chimneys yet returning with their earnings. A young sweep in the 1790s was paid 9 dollars a chimney and he cleaned about four chimneys a day

In the early 1800s the average fee exclusive of soot was idk Country sweeps lived off the land during the great season of chimney sweeping. When work was rare they earned, a wage harvesting or gleaning gathering leftovers in the cornfields. At other times, food came from the larders of clients When sweeping the homes of the wealthy though covered in soot the boys and their master were welcome to sit in the servants hall and take part at breakfast This generally included hot hashed venison cold beef tea or coffee the chimney sweepers worked long hours with low pay Sometimes breathing problem occurs to the boys due to lack of air. Sometimes dead bodies of boys are extracted from the chimneys.

In 1840, an act was passed not letting anyone under the age of 21 from working as chimney sweeps. It was called the Chimney Sweepers and Chimneys Regulation Act 1840. The act did not have a big effect because it imposed only a small fine on the defaulters. Later in 1864 Chimney Sweepers Regulation Act was passed. This new act imposed a 10 fine. This act had a great effect in preventing the use of young chimney sweeps. In 1875, the British parliament passed an act which said that all chimney sweeps had to be licensed and licenses were only issued to sweeps not using climbing boys.

As time passed, the use of chimneys and chimney sweeps went down drastically. Modern heating systems replaced the old chimneys and modern professions replaced the chimney sweepers.

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