The Factory Girl
Girls made up an important part of the factory workforce. They could be found changing bobbins on spinning frames, working in silk factories, and painting watch faces.
Girls as Textile Workers
Young girls often worked as spinners or bobbin girls. Spinners ran machines that twisted fiber into yarn. Bobbin girls replaced full bobbins of yarn with empty ones.
Imagine a 12- to 14-hour workday tending this machine, surrounded by the sound of dozens of spinning frames on a factory floor, loose fibers in the air, and the smell of oil.
See Girlhood in 3D! Explore a model of the apron.
A lot of people think it was a disgrace to work in the mills.
Early on, young spinners often sang songs while they worked:
The day is o'er, no longer we toil and spin;
For ev'ning's hush withdraws from the daily din.
And now we sing with gladsome hearts/The theme of the spinner's song,
That labor to leisure a zest imparts/Unknown to the idle throng.