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"Child Labor of the Past, Is Past..." Topic


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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian24 Jul 2021 6:16 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Are you less likely to collect historic toy soldiers, knowing that many of the figures back then were painted by child labor?

55% said "no, it does not bother me"
11% said "yes, it bothers me"

Stryderg24 Jul 2021 8:15 p.m. PST

We're not guilty of the sins committed by our forefathers.
If child labor was used to paint a mini that someone else cast/purchased/collected, that straight up sucks. But I'm not guilty of that particular crime for that particular miniature.

arthur181525 Jul 2021 1:25 a.m. PST

The same point could be made about hand-coloured prints from the early nineteenth century depicting battles &c., of which I have several in my collection. I don't have a problem with it because child labour per se was not a crime then, and colouring in engravings with watercolour paints was nowhere near as bad as climbing boys being sent up chimneys, working down coal mines or amid dangerous machinery in factories. It was a period when there was no provision of state education, the age of criminal responsibility was ten, there were two hundred capital offences (before 1829) and the poor could be put in workhouses, so the money those children earned could help keep their families from that awful fate.

When I look at my aquatints I am filled with admiration for the skill of the young colourists.

Many, if not all, of today's antiques were created in conditions that would not be legal or acceptable today, by workers (of any age) who were often exploited by their bosses.

I recall reading that Charles S. Grant used to paint figures for Brigadier Peter Young when he was a boy for a modest reward. He doesn't complain about it…

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2021 12:54 p.m. PST

My grandfather dropped out of school after the 8th grade and went to work for the local coal mine. That's what poor people did. I don't expect anyone to feel guilty about today.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2021 2:20 p.m. PST

Are there specific examples of child labor painting? I have hundreds of W. Britain toy soldiers and thought they were painted by English housewives.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Jul 2021 6:21 p.m. PST

I had an uncle who had to drop out of school at the age of 16 to go work in the coal mines in West Virginia and support his family when his dad died suddenly…
Instead of doing that, he lied about his age, joined the Marine Corps and was wounded at Iwo Jima.

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