home page for alittlehistory.com1874 The Mounted Police Tame the Wild Westthe Metis half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellionthe Native half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion1900-05 Diary of a student and young teacher1908-1920 homesteading experiences and lifestyle1920's farm and community lifestyle1954-56 diary of a boy, before the effects of televisionthe future: extending human limitations through technology (eg. computers and inline skating), presenting history with applets, a new family recreation program, etc.

stairs in black - 72 kb


This photograph of a corner of the basement is a modification of a color photo which was taken about 1998. The damaged ceiling was typical of the character of the basement. But my parents had cleaned it up, so on one side it was a clean place to keep chickens, and on the other side, a decent place for us to make boxes.

This is the basement and its unique atmosphere. In this photograph, it appears to be dirty. But my parents worked hard at keeping it clean, although there were a few dark corners that we stayed away from.

Some may question if Dad was doing the right thing, paying children to work in a dark basement making chicken boxes, to help his business. Was this child labor? But we were eager and happy to spend some time making boxes. It was a safe and easy way to make money.

With hindsight, my impression is that a problematic form of child labor was experienced by my brother Bruce who had a paper route when he was only about 10 or 12 years old. Six afternoons a week, in all kinds of weather, without fail, he had to deliver the paper. At that time, when a child was a newspaper boy it was considered to be a good experience.


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Posted February 1, 2001.