Women frequently labored in dangerous and filthy working conditions throughout the industrial revolution in England and the United States, as the government did not initially control factory employment. During the Industrial Revolution, female employees in the United States frequently worked in "mill towns" such as Lowell, Massachusetts, where the corporation and women closely controlled their lives were paid considerably less than males. Even though most women worked in textile factories, which were less risky than professions like coal mining and other new industrial positions, even textile factories were overcrowded and unsafe. Tragedies such as the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire, which killed 129 women and 17 men, occurred.
As a result of industrialization, many women left their households and began to live on their own. Although this was concerning for women's safety, it also allowed them to become a more active part of social activism and labor movements, which eventually led to changes in unsafe working circumstances. Furthermore, the industrial revolution provided women with the means to sustain themselves and their children.
The employment of child labor in the United States aided the Industrial Revolution. Working separated many children from their families and put them in industries where they were viewed as just a cheap labor supply. In addition, children were forced to labor in hazardous situations, doing occupations that took advantage of their tiny stature. As a result, some workers acquired respiratory ailments such as pneumonia and bronchitis in mills with insufficient ventilation. Others developed back issues and even became paralyzed while working in coal mines.
Throughout the Industrial Revolution, children who worked throughout the industrial revolution reaped few benefits: the risk, isolation from home, and hard-working conditions were all harmful to their development. The only children who benefited from the industrial revolution were those whose parents worked, giving them better economic means.