A child between fourteen and sixteen years of age may be employed at a gainful occupation only upon the recommendation of the school principal or clerk of the board of education.
In 1900 more than seven-tenths of the inhabitants in gainful occupations were engaged in agriculture (25.6%), manufactures and mechanical pursuits (26.7%), and trade and transportation (22%).
The employment of children under fourteen years of age in any factory, workshop, mine, bowling alley or beer garden is forbidden, and their employment at any gainful occupation is permitted only during the vacation of the public school.
Labour laws, passed by the first legislature (1908), were amended and made more radical by the legislature of 1909: a child labour law forbids the employment of children under 14 in factories, workshops, theatres, bowling-alleys, pool-halls, steam-laundries or other dangerous places (to be defined by the commissioner of labour), and no child under 16 is to be employed in such places unless able to read and write simple English sentences or without having attended school during the previous year; no child under 16 is to be employed in any of several (enumerated) dangerous occupations; no child under 16 is to be employed more than 8 hours in any one day, or more than 48 hours in any one week in any gainful occupation other than agriculture or domestic service; age and schooling certificates are required of children between 14 and 16 in certain occupations.
Never since literature became a calling in England had it been a less gainful calling than at the time when Johnson took up his residence in London.