The advances of the Industrial Revolution were paid for with human suffering.
The worst of that suffering fell on those who worked in the factories and the coal mines. Each day, these people faced long hours, low wages, and crippling accidents.
Living conditions were made worse as factories dumped soot into the air and waste into rivers. Cities throbbed with the constant pounding of machines and the glow of industrial furnaces. Pittsburgh was America’s ironmaking capital. One visitor said it was like “hell with the lid taken off.” It took decades for reforms to soften the Industrial Revolution’s harsh side.