Dear Diary, December 21, 1855
My name is Eva. I am 8 years of age and live at the city orphanage. I am here because my family could not afford me. But I may be able to move back with them if I can make some money. Today I have been given a chance to fulfill that wish. I will tell you why. During lunch a tall man wearing very clean clothes came in and told us that we have a great opportunity. We will be working in his factory replacing bobbins on a spinning machine. Or in other words, most of us including I, will be "bobbin girls". We will have a pleasant amount of breaks. Will be fed a delightful meal, and payed a pocketful. Also he said our hours have been arranged, and we start tomarow. He also gave us all a complementry diary! What a nice fellow he is! I am so pleased to have such a chance and can not wait to start. This will be the best Christmas present ever! Maybe I will even have enough money by Christmas to move back to my family!
Dear Diary, December 22, 1855
I was so wrong about that man and this job! I will start from the begining. It is winter in fact winter and therefor it is cold. And I own one outfit, it is thin and not warm. So it was a highly terrible surprise to find out we had to walk to work. Oh yes, and also it was not a short walk. Aghhhh! When we got there, all shivery and cold we were scolded for being late. Scolded! And a few of us, including me were dreadfully whipped! The factory was hot though. Very nice at first. But then the heat started getting to me and I felt a faint. I did not, but Marcie did. She was simply grabbed by a watchperson whipped and sentenced back to work. The work was hard. And I almost got my hair stuck in my bobbin spinning machine. There was one break in the 12 hours we had to work! They said we would be fed. We were, but not at all a "delightful" one. All they gave us was one piece of bread per person. They are liars I do say. I just wonder how much money we shall be paid!
Dear Diary, December 23. 1855
Today they had made us stay an extra 4 hours to pick up the slack, and do our work of higher quality!
The day started with a young four year old girl next to me getting her finger caoght in a machine, she was told to fix the machine prior to her injury. She was doing alright, but due to the machine being on, the spinner came around and chopped off her finger, she would have lost her hole hand if I didn't turn and grab her. I tried to help, calm her down. All of a sudden I felt the most painful whip ever hit me leg, then my arm as if it wasn't enough! I fell down and dropped the young girl.
After they had finished my beating. They warned me if I ever left my machine again I would be in a "world of hurt." I thought I already was! And playing with another person while not on break was forbidden! I wasn't "playing" I was helping!
Then they returned me to my post at the machine. I was wondering where they took the girl. I wish I never found out! I turned and saw them forcing her to work on another machine a ways down from me. Missing a finger and still having to work!
Apparently she wasn't the only injured today. I heard 2 other girls were also. And 5 girls were beaten for operating there machine wrongly.
Dear Diary, December 25, 1855
Today was not Christmas to me. Instead it has been the day my life had ended, and I am in a never ending, spinning vortex, of doom.
The first rude awakening truly was a "rude awakening"! Never once did I stop to think, "hmm I'm not sure if we work on Christmas day!", Well shockingly enough, we had work! And earlier than usual, as if to mock us! I was shooken awake at 4:00 in the morning. And sentenced to go return to my machine.
While at work I was doing great. Then I made a foul mistake. I bent down to pick up a small piece of fiber that must have fallen of a machine, whether it was mine or not I did not know. Anyways, when I came up I got my hair stuck in the machine! I tried to pull it out, but it only made matters worse. To shorten the story up, I am now a creepy little freak, with hair shorter than the average boy, and only five fingers total. I lost all 5 of my fingers on my right hand up to the knuckle. I am now not allowed to work my shift anymore. I must now work two shifts! I will be given no money though, whatsoever. Instead for the damage my "nasty locks" have done to the machine, I must pay for the brand new machine with my two new shifts. Until I have paid off the machine I will have no given meals. And have no play. And no going anywhere but the orphanage for sleep, and the factory for work. If you have not already interpreted it. I will tell you that this has not been my "best Christmas ever" it has been the worst. And no sadly I did not get to see my family. I may never get to by the way things look. Maybe someday, things will be better and no orphanages or evil tall men who force children to work and trick them, will exist. Until then,Eva.
One year after finishing her diary, Eva was to be sent to a new work place on a train. However, Eva never made it to that train. She caught a terrible fever, and with no money to pay for medicine. Eva died at age 9, a few weeks before people really started to get the idea, that child labor, was wrong.
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