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History[ edit ] A master chimney sweep right and his apprentice boy, known as a Spazzacaminoin Italy at the end of the 19th century With the increased urban population that came with the age of industrialisationthe number of houses with chimneys grew apace and the occupation of chimney sweep became much sought-after.
Buildings were higher and the new chimneys' tops were grouped together. The flues were made narrow to create a better draught, 14in by 9in being a common standard.
Buckingham Palace had one flue with 15 angles, with the flue narrowing to 9in by 9in. Joseph Glass marketed an improved sweeping machine in ; he Chimney sweep credited with being the inventor of the modern chimney sweep's brush.
A boy climbing to the left; A boy 'stuck' to the right. Work was dangerous and they could get jammed in the flue, suffocate or burn to death.
As soot is carcinogenicand as the boys slept under the soot sacks and were rarely washed, they were prone to chimney sweeps' carcinoma.
From onwards there was increasing concern for the welfare of the boys, and Acts of Parliament were passed to restrict, and in to stop this usage.
Chimneys started to appear in Britain aroundwhen they replaced the open fire burning in the middle of the one room house.
At first there would be one heated room in the building and chimneys would be large. Over the next four hundred years, rooms became specialized and smaller and many were heated. Sea coal started to replace wood, and it deposited a layer of flammable creosote in the inside surface of the flue, and caked it with soot.
Whereas before, the chimney was a vent for the smoke, now the plume of hot gas was used to suck air into the fire, and this required narrower flues. The master sweep was unable to climb into such small spaces himself and employed climbing boys to go up the chimneys to dislodge the soot.
The boys often 'buffed it', that is, climbed in the nude,  propelling themselves by their knees and elbows which were scraped raw. They were often put up hot chimneys, and sometimes up chimneys that were alight in order to extinguish the fire. Chimneys with sharp angles posed a particular hazard.
From aboutthere was an alternative method of brushing chimneys, but sweeps and their clients resisted the change, preferring climbing boys to the new humane sweeping machines. An illustration from Mechanics' Magazinedesigned to show the contrast between mechanical sweeping and children sweeping chimneys.
The climbing boy has reached the chimney pot, which has a diameter too small for him to exit that way. The climbing boy is stuck in the flue, his knees jammed against his chin. How a flue could be straightened to make it sweepable by mechanical means H.
A dead climbing boy, suffocated in a fall of soot that accumulated at the cant of the flue. The climbing boys, and sometimes girls,   were technically called chimney sweeps' apprentices, and were apprenticed to a master sweep, who, being an adult, was too large to fit into a chimney or flue.
He would be paid by the parish to teach orphans or paupers the craft. They were totally reliant on him: It was the duty of the Poor Law guardians to apprentice as many children of the workhouse in their care as possible, so as to reduce costs to the parish.
The master sweep had duties: An apprentice agreed to obey his master. Other apprentices were sold on to the sweep, or sold by their parents. It was generally agreed that six was a good age to train a boy.
When engaged, the master sweep would fix a cloth over the fireplaceand the climbing boy would take off his boots and any excess clothes, then get behind it. The flue would be as tall as the house and twist several times, and its dimensions would be 14in by 9in.
He would pull his cap down over his face and hold a large flat brush over his head, and wedge his body diagonally in the flue. Having reached the top he would slide back down at speed back to the floor and the soot pile. It was now his job to bag up the soot and carry it back to the master sweep's cart or yard.Whether you’re heating your home with wood, pellets or gas in a fireplace, insert or stove, we have you covered.
If you’re entertaining outside . To ensure that homeowners receive a certified sweep at every job, all chimney sweeping companies promoting themselves as "CSIA Certified" or displaying the CSIA Certified Sweep logo are required to have a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep sign off on every job.
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To ensure that homeowners receive a certified sweep at every job, all chimney sweeping companies promoting themselves as "CSIA Certified" or displaying the CSIA Certified Sweep logo are required to have a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep sign off on every job.
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