Child’s Play

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Labor was heavily exploited in the early twentieth century. Women were slowly getting introduced to the workforce with roughly twenty thousand women in 1910. They were paid three to four dollars per hour and working sixty-five hours a week. Integrating immigrants with American society was done through Americanization programs. Three-fourths of the Ford Motor Company workers in 1914 were immigrants.  As a result, Ford opened the Ford English School in order to teach its workers English as well as American culture, virtues, and mannerism. Low paying factory jobs was the best economic opportunity that immigrants had once migrated into the US. Jacob Riis’ collection, How the other Half Lives, contains a picture of a boy in a glass factory. The youthfulness of the boy makes it imaginable to comprehend the hardships that immigrants were exposed to. The boy’s face is very dirty, and his clothes are falling apart with a very somber look on his face. He is surrounded by other workers much older than him. The boy is about eight or nine, which means that every member of that boy’s family is working in order to survive. The family’s earning must not have been sufficient to the point where they would expose that young boy to the harsh working conditions in that factory.