During the urbanization period of the United States the main industry and source of income for citizens was the meat packaging industry. This resulted in poor working conditions, mistreatment of workers, people struggling just to stay alive, and even child labor. Child labor became so widely popular because it was cheap and increased production. Children as young at 10 years old would be working in factories or mines in order to make a profit to go towards helping their family. These young children in such dangerous locations often resulted in accidents, injuries, and often times, death. The Child Labor in Southern Mills article stated that child labor was the "cheapest labor " and used the "anxiety of parents to make profitable use of children ". Child Labor a National Problem described the need for child labor as "the demand for cheap labor, which means infant labor, increases with the growth of competition for markets. " Demand for children working increased over time with the "inventions and mechanical devices. " The work of the children had become just as, if not more, important than that of adults. Whit ne inventions of machinery skill and strength were not a requirement for people to work in that location. The children could now do the work of a grown man and often did a better job than the adult would. Although the children were doing the same job as the adults, they were paid less, women were even paid less than men doing the same job. The article Child Labor as a Factor in the Increase of Pauperism stated that "the labor of the little child has in many industries become as valuable as that of a man or woman ". Sometime the adults could not even work the machines because they were too large and clumsy, resulting in the small hands of children being put to work. .
Families would struggle to make an income, let alone enough to support the entire family. The youngest of the kids would often be forced to leave schooling to obtain a job.