What did chimney sweeps do in Victorian times?

What did chimney sweeps do in Victorian times?

A chimney sweep uses brushes and sticks to dislodge and sweep away the soot from the walls of the chimney, and collects the soot in bags for disposal. In the Victorian era the number of houses with chimneys grew apace and so chimney sweeps became more important than ever.

What happened to chimney sweeps who got stuck?

Sometimes they got stuck and died in the narrow chimneys. Many also died after falling or were killed or injured from burns. The living conditions of the chimney sweeps offered them no relief. They were usually barely fed and slept in basements, covering themselves with the filthy soot sacks they worked with.

How long did chimney sweeps work for a day?

And the boys were mercilessly made to work from pre-dawn hours until late at night, reportedly having only one day off per year. Their holiday was Mayday, the first day of May, or “International Labour Day.” The children celebrated by parading through streets, dancing.

What did chimney Sweepers do?

The job of a chimney sweep was essential to avoid fires erupting in the home. When the interior of a chimney became choked or partially blocked with a build-up of soot, chimney fires could occur. Coal creates a sticky soot which often does not come loose easily, and chimney edges need scraping where soot builds up.

How did people sweep chimneys?

The children were either orphan boys chosen to be chimney sweeps or were sold by destitute parents to a chimney master. The small boys would work from dawn to dusk and were forced to climb through the chimneys in exchange for a place to sleep, food, and water. They would scrape the coal deposits from the flue linings.

Why did kids sweep chimneys?

This practice of sending small boys up and down chimneys in order to ensure that they were free of harmful creosote deposits was the norm in England for approximately 200 years. The use of child chimney sweeps became widespread after the Great Fire of London, which occurred in September of 1666.

What did chimney sweeps wear?

These cast-offs consisted of a black coat with tails, a black top hat that was quite fashionable in those times. The outfit proved to be very practical being black in color and gave a feel or distinction to the dirty though necessary job of chimney sweeping.

Why were chimney sweeps a thing?

The chimney sweep, or climbing boys as they were often called, was a harsh profession to be in and most likely one that would severely cut your life short. Those employed were often orphans or from impoverished backgrounds, sold into the job by their parents.

How did chimney sweeps climb chimneys?

The master sweep was unable to climb into such small spaces himself and employed climbing boys to go up the chimneys to dislodge the soot. The boys often ‘buffed it’, that is, climbed in the nude, propelling themselves by their knees and elbows which were scraped raw.

Why were children chimney sweeps?

What is a Victorian chimney sweep?

What was it like being a chimney sweep in the Victorian?

Being a chimney sweep in the Victorian era was a poor existence for many children who were required to clean chimneys for a living. Some of the boys who carried out this work were as young as 3-4 years old and had to work in sooty, unhealthy conditions.

When did the law stop chimney sweeps in England?

In 1875, a law was passed in England to stop children from being used as chimney sweeps. Stewart, Suzy. “Victorian Chimney Sweeps”. Victorian Children.

What is the history of chimney maintenance?

The history of chimney maintenance is all gloom when you go as far back as the Victorian era and beyond. This involved the use of kids as sweeps who were dehumanized, abused, and worked in extremely harsh conditions.

What is a chimney sweeper?

Generally, sweepers were children, mainly boys and not adults. Chimney sweeping was a dirty job (this is a later period image) Chimney sweeper is a poor man who cleans chimneys to make a living. Generally, sweepers were children, mainly boys and not adults. Chimney sweeps are also featured in Victorian literature.