During the earlier parts of the Industrial Revolution, before street lamps, there was no nightlife and the only leisure time was during rushbearing ceremonies, hiring fairs, and certain holidays. Other than this, most people were way to busy to think about leisure activities.

Even when gas lamps were created, that just gave people the ability to work at night. People would work for 14-15 hours a day, doing small, repetitive motions at machines. Even children would do this, and as a result, many had growth deformities, some even becoming so physically and spiritually exhausted that they had to be carried to work. The Factory Act of 1833 helped to stop this though. This act dictated that children under the age of nine are prohibited from working in cotton mills (the textile industry was the first to have factories) and restricted the hours that older children could work. In addition, it prevented children from night work and made educational provisions. The Factory Act of 1844 further increased it's provisions and extended it's provisions to women, which opened the way for the Ten-Hour Act in 1847, which applied to all ages and sexes.

With this free time, people became able to participate in many entertaining activities.Primary_Source.jpg Some of these activities were even shown in newspapers such as in the above picture. After the Ten-Hour Act, Manchester and Salford opened up three parks for public use- Peel Park, Queen Park, and Phillips Park. Leisure_Time_Picture_1.JPGThese parks provided the space and facilities to do these leisurely things.

With the invention of electricity, people could work in places with no natural light, with a much lower risk of fire. The telegraph now allowed people to communicate over long distance. Another benefit of electricity was that electric street lamps were brighter than gas/oil lamps, which meant better lit streets, which meant less crime.