Child labor

When I was around the age of fourteen I started to take an interest in the way my step-father ran his business. He was the first man that I had ever met that claimed to be a self-made millionaire. As it turns out that yes, he WAS a millionaire, but a lot of his money came from his wealthy first wife backing him in his business ventures. Of course I didn’t learn about any of THOSE details until after he passed away, so I truly thought that he was an extremely gifted business man. After all, he always said that he dropped out of school at the end of third grade to take the place of a sick uncle at his job because the family needed the money, and that he’d worked ever since! Just thinking about his story, and how my grandparents confirmed that yes, back then, that was not uncommon; if one member of the family had a job and was sick or injured a different member of the family took his place in order to keep bringing an income to the family. This was right around the recession of 1919, and jobs and money were scarce. Child labor was commonplace, and a lot of the workforce was day-labor work force where the workers hung around a street corner and waited for someone to come along and pick them up for a day’s work.