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Fri, 19 Mar 2010
The Story of a Cotton Dress, just a snippet but you can read the rest at Seligor's Castle. Enjoy.

The Story of My Cotton Dress

Scanned from The Child Labour Bulletin, August, 1914.

I HAVE HAD another accident! A big tear in my pretty new dress. This time I want to mend it. When we went to Atlanta Georgia, a few weeks ago, and saw the beautiful white cotton fields, mother told me how little boys and girls must help make most of the stuff used for our dresses. I used to think all other children had good times, and that going to school was very hard. Now I know better.

I appreciate my dresses more since I know that from the very beginning when the cotton is ripe in the hot sun, little boys and girls must pick it for my dresses, while their backs grow tired and their heads ache.

Mother also took me to a cotton mill, on that trip. I saw how the cotton balls are brought to the mill and the fluffy soft white mass is combed and then spun from on bobbin another, until it is the finest thread like the ravelings from the tear in my new dress.


Little girl "spinners" walk up and down the long aisles, between the frames, watching the bobbins closely. When a thread breaks, the spinner must quickly tie the two ends together. Some people think that only children can do this quickly enough, but that is not so, for in a great many mills only grown-ups work. 

Posted 13:32

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