At this time America's birth rate was rising so there was a large labor force. Companies hired young children to work in factories. However, they were only paid only a fraction of what an adult would get, and sometimes factory owners would get away with paying them nothing. Orphans were the ones subject to this slavelike labor. If the children weren't paid, factory owners would say that they gave the orphans food, shelter, and clothing, all of which were far below par.