By Kirilyuk, Andrei P

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Extra resources for 75 Years of Matter Wave: Louis de Broglie and Renaissance of the Causally Complete Knowledge

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The fact that most of these occupations were also extremely hazardous to health meant that only the least prosperous child was indentured to them. All trades show that increasing numbers of pauper apprentices tended to attract yet more, while children from good homes in an occupation meant that other parents or guardians were drawn towards that master or trade for their own children. Apart from the obvious economic factors that made a trade socially esteemed, an occupation was not well regarded if female apprentices predominated.

First, the labour-intensive, mostly traditional occupations, where even the youngest child could perform useful tasks, untrained, such as agriculture or silk-winding. Secondly, there were those crafts greatly overstocked with hands, especially the clothing trades, in which females were the majority of apprentices. Thirdly, there were also those occupations where small physique was essential, such as chimney-sweeping or cotton manufacture, and fourthly, the trades where machinery was depressing the adult’s earning capacity, such as handloom weaving or nail- and chainmaking, in which the domestic working unit, the family, required even the youngest pair of hands to help maintain its earning capacity, if necessary with apprentices.

8-year-old boys were particularly favoured and served for 13 years. ). 57 Although the length of the term was written into the agreement, it could be amended to suit particular circumstances, in spite of the 1768 act, and numbers of pauper indentures were endorsed freeing the child at various ages after 16. Supporters of binding the very young child, to silk-weaving or chimney-sweeping, for example, maintained that, at the end of the term, then aged 14 or 16, a second apprenticeship could be arranged, giving the adolescent training for an adult livelihood, as William Hutton experienced.

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