Did You Know? - The Shocking History of Chimney Sweeps
Children were subjected to horrible conditions as young chimney sweeps.
Now, when you get your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep, special tools are used which are proven to be effective. There was a time in history, however, in which the job of cleaning a chimney was carried out by a child who would climb the chimney while holding a brush over his head. The soot would fall down over the child and down to the bottom of the fireplace. The child would then slide back down the chimney, collect the soot, and hand it over to the master sweep, who, in effect, owned him. And this isn't even the worst of it.
Small boys, usually 6 years of age, were purchased from their poverty-stricken parents by a master sweep. The children became the property of the master sweeps and were virtually always cruelly treated, essentially living the life of slaves in some of the worst conditions imaginable.
Many times small children would get stuck inside the twisted chimney which caused serious health complications and sometimes death.
Story and pics by Nayaug Chimney Sweep & Chimney Cleaning / New London Turnpike, Glastonbury, CT