Feeling deeply traumatized after watching a documentary about the chimney sweep boys in Victorian England. Boys and girls (usually sold to the upper class by their parents) as young as 3 were made to crawl up the chimneys of their master’s mansions and clean the soot from there.
Their knees and elbows were usually bruised and bloodied after they were done. To toughen them up, the master would usually pour water and salt on their wounds and mercilessly send them up another chimney. Because of this, calluses formed. Sometimes, to make the boys climb faster, the master would light a fire beneath them.
With the “job” came many hazards. It was not unusual for some boys to get stuck in the tight corners of the chimney, sometimes, without the knowledge of the master. These poor souls were left to suffocate from the soot and toxic fumes. Worse, some were BURNT to death when the fire was lit and their screams could be heard for 2 miles away.
Many of these chimney boys didn’t live to adulthood due to the daily breathing in of soot and other toxic chemicals. They also suffered from deformed bones due to their young bodies having to bend out of shape to fit into the chimney.
Never again will I whine about any uncomfortable setbacks in life.