Child labor was extremely common during the Industrial Revolution as the children's small body sizes made them able to reach the corners of large factory machines that adults could not. It is speculated that children as young as four years old were employed by Industrial-era factories.
Children often had to find employment in factories to help support their families, choosing to work rather than pursue an education. Child labor became regulated as education reformers argued that a minimum amount of education was necessary prior to employment. The Great Depression eventually eliminated most child labor in factories, as public opinion in the United States preferred that only adults were given employment.