In pre-industrial societies, there is rarely a concept of childhood in the modern sense.
Children often begin to actively participate in activities such as child rearing, hunting and farming as soon as they are competent.
In 1856, the law permitted child labour past age 9, for 60 hours per week, night or day.
In 1901, the permissible child labour age was raised to 12.
Improved technology and automation also made child labour redundant.
In the early 20th century, thousands of boys were employed in glass making industries.The regulation of child labour began from the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution.The first act to regulate child labour in Britain was passed in 1803.These cities drew in the population that was rapidly growing due to increased agricultural output.This process was replicated in other industrialising countries.These children mainly worked in agriculture, home-based assembly operations, factories, mining, and services such as news boys—some worked night shifts lasting 12 hours.With the rise of household income, availability of schools and passage of child labour laws, the incidence rates of child labour fell.This is especially the case in non-literate societies.Most pre-industrial skill and knowledge were amenable to being passed down through direct mentoring or apprenticing by competent adults.Child labour played an important role in the Industrial Revolution from its outset, often brought about by economic hardship.The children of the poor were expected to contribute to their family income.