'Factory Children' by Robert Havell, 1814. Across town and country, increasing numbers of people - including children - worked in factories in the 1900s.
Image: Science Museum/SSPL

Factory life

What was work like in Britain during the 1800s? With the growth of steam power, work in large mechanised factories became more common. People's work gradually moved away from the home and the family and into the control of factory and workshop owners.

What did the workers themselves think of work - in factories and elsewhere - at this time? Did conditions improve? What was work like for women and children? Find out more from them, all in their own words.