A Day in the Life

Citation metadata

Author: Julia Garstecki
Date: 2015
Life During the Industrial Revolution
Publisher: ABDO Publishing Group
Series: Daily Life in US History
Document Type: Article
Pages: 2
Content Level: (Level 3)
ATOS: 5.9
GRL: T
Lexile Measure: 920L

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Page 42

A Day in the Life


Thomas is a 12-year-old boy working in a mill. The money Thomas makes at the mill helps his family buy the food and clothes they need for his younger siblings.

Thomas is a 12-year-old boy working in a mill. The money Thomas makes at the mill helps his family buy the food and clothes they need for his younger siblings.

4:30 a.m.

Thomas's father wakes him up. Thomas washes and gets dressed for a long day of work.

5:00 a.m.

Thomas scarfs down oatcakes and gruel, a thin soup made from oats, potatoes, milk, and water. It is not very tasty, but it fills him up for the long day ahead.

5:30 a.m.

Thomas runs to the mill. It is raining, but the mill operates in all kinds of weather.

6:00 a.m.

Thomas starts work. The big machine called the mule starts up. It spins fiber into cloth. Thomas stands by with an oil can. He oils the tops and bottoms of the spindles to keep the mule running.

Page 43  |  Top of Article

12:00 p.m.

Thomas gets a half-hour break for lunch. He eats bread and mutton. He drinks dirty water. The machines run even while the workers eat.

2:00 p.m.

Thomas repairs one of the mule's straps that broke. It is skilled work, not something you could just come in off the street and do without training.

3:00 p.m.

Thomas keeps equipment clean throughout the day even as he attends to other duties. He sweeps the floor and cleans machine parts.

8:00 p.m.

The bell rings. Thomas's day at work is finally over. Exhausted, he makes the trek back home. It is no longer raining. Thomas can smell the stench of the stockyards nearby and hear the clatter of the locomotives that roll in and out.

8:15 p.m.

Thomas arrives home. He eats dinner with his family—vegetable soup and milk.

9:00 p.m.

Thomas goes to sleep. He has another long day of work at the mill tomorrow.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|CX6207800010