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Hand Labour

Hand - labour was still very much in demand though industrialisation and machines had set in.

Advantages of hand labour :-

  • There was no shortage of human labour in the mid-nineteenth-century, in Britain.
  • Peasants and vagrants moved to the cities in large numbers in search of work.
  • Industrialists had no problem finding labour and as the number was plenty they were paid less wages and the factory owners could avoid large capital investment in machinery.
  • In many industries the demand for labour was seasonal.
  • Gas works and breweries needed labour during the cold months.
  • Bookbinders and printers needed labour during Christmas time.
  • Ship – yards needed labour during winter.
  • In industries where production fluctuated with the season, industrialists preferred hand labour.
  • A range of products could be produced only with hand labour.
  1. Clothes with intricate designs
  2. Varieties of hand tools
  • The upper classes in Britain preferred things produced by hand for handmade products symbolised refinement and class. They were better finished, individually produced, and carefully designed.
  • Machine made goods were only for export to the colonies.

Hand or Human Labour

In countries with labour shortage, industrialists were keen on using mechanical power so that the need for human labour can be minimised. This was the case in nineteenth-century America.

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