Iowa Child Labor Limitation

Ever since 1874 conscientious endeavors have been made by Iowa legislators to limit the utilization of child labor. The age limit then was placed at ten years. Six years later it was raised to twelve years.

In 1896 it was raised to fourteen years.

In 1902 the factory act was passed making the age limit of males sixteen and that of females eighteen.

In 1905, under the spur of the Child Labor Committee of the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs, a vigorous campaign of the state was made and on the 2d day of April, 1906, the Iowa Child Labor Law became a fact, establishing what has been well termed a landmark in the history of labor legislation in Iowa.

In 1909 this law was further strengthened by amendments requiring an employer to furnish proof of the age of any child in his employ, and prescribing the nature of the proof required. It was further amended extending the period of compulsory school attendance to twenty-four weeks, and authorizing school directors in cities of the first and second class to require attendance for the whole school year.

In 1913 the school attendance age was raised to sixteen years, unless the child be regularly employed, or has educational qualifications equal to eighth grade requirements. There seems to be a question as to the enforcement features of the child labor legislation of 1915, thus showing that the end of legislation in this direction has not yet been attained.

Iowa, Its History & Its Citizens, Volume 2, 1918
Submitted by Cathy Danielson


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