Story: Teenagers and youth

Children milking cows

Children milking cows

Children milk cows near Auckland in the late 19th century, while their mother watches from the doorway behind. Children on dairy farms often got up early and helped with the milking before walking to school – where they sometimes fell asleep. Working age in the late 1800s was around 12. A childhood of play, free of any work, is a very recent invention.

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Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira
Reference: C9166

Permission of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Teenagers and youth - Defining teenagers as a group', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 May 2022)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Aug 2017