Child labour

in the 19th and 20th centuries

Exhibition | accessibility.time_to


Making hay, herding cattle, cutting peat, spooling and tatting – children have always supported their families in work, especially in farming. With the rise of industry, children were often exploited as cheap labour, above all in textile mills, and not least in Switzerland. They were forced to work long hours, took on dangerous or unhealthy tasks, and were often prevented from going go to school. Only after the introduction of compulsory schooling in 1874 and the adoption of the Federal Factory Law in 1877, education became a basic human right in Switzerland and children under the age of 14 were prohibited from working.

The exhibition shows many aspects of child labour in those early days and explains how children's rights were regulated in Switzerland. Special attention is given to the conditions in central Switzerland at that time.

Guided tours

Child labour in 19th and 20th centuries

Guided tour for private groups

Guided tour of the exhibition «Child labour in 19th and 20th centuries».

Tour: 1 hour


2 weeks in advance

make a reservation online



60 minutes; special packages can be offered on request

Group size:


max. 25 persons per tour



  CHF 120 for the tour, plus a reduced admission fee of CHF 10 per person.
Free entrance for children up to 16 years.
Opening hours:   Tuesdays - Sundays between 10.00 am – 17.00 pm Contact

+41 41 819 60 11


Child labour in the 19th and 20th centuries

Guided tour of the exhibition "Child labour in the 19th and 20th centuries ".
Guided tours are free of charge for school classes from Switzerland.

Tour: 1 hour


For guided tours and indipendents visits for school groups, please contact us 14 days in advance.

Entrance and guided tours are free of charges for Swiss school classes.

To the registration form Reservations desk

+41 41 819 60 10


Dear media representatives

The press kit and a selection of images can be downloaded here from 22 February 2024, 12.30 p.m. Press contact Forum of Swiss History Schwyz

+41 41 819 60 18

Exhibition imprint

  • Overall management Denise Tonella
  • Project direction Pia Schubiger
  • Curators and Concept Pia Schubiger, Rebecca Sanders
  • Research associate Maxi Weibel
  • Public relations and marketing Karin Freitag-Masa (Leitung), Conny Lüönd
  • Cultural Services and Museum Education Isabelle Marcon Lindauer (Leitung), Laura Rompietti
  • Scenography Ralph Nicotera
  • Exhibition Graphic Clavadetscher Gestaltung für Kultur und Wirtschaft
  • Advertising graphic Büro Nord GmbH
  • Exhibition construction Marc Hägeli, Roland Reichlin
    Alder Stahl und Schweiss, Atelier S&G AG, Moderne Metallbearbeitung GmbH, Luziferro AG, Makro Art AG, Perplex Plus AG, Touchwood GmbH, Utiger Maler AG
  • Items generously loaned by Laura Mosimann, Claudio Stefanutto, Samira Tanner
  • Conservation and mounting of objects Markus Leuthard (Leitung), Jürg Mathys (Projektleitung), Nathalie Ellwanger, Charlotte Maier, Carolin Muschel, Gaby Petrak, Tino Zagermann
  • Logistics of objects and montage of objects David Blazquez (Leitung), Christian Affentranger, Simon D'Hollosy, Reto Hegetschweiler, Markus Scherer
  • Photography Jörg Brandt, Felix Jungo
  • Photographic library Andrea Kunz, Fabian Müller, Remo Sidler
  • Lithographs and Scans Georg Sidler
  • IT, web, media stations Alex Baur, Thomas Bucher, Ueli Heiniger, Pasquale Pollastro, Danilo Rüttimann, René Vogel
    Tweaklab AG Sarah Glauser (Projektleitung), Hanspeter Giuliani, Dominik Schläpfer, Kaspar Hochuli
  • Translations Marie-Claude Buch-Chalayer
    Giovanna Planzi
    Nigel Stephenson
  • Copy-editing Apostroph Luzern AG
  • With the support of
    Albert Müller, Zug
    Givaudan Suisse SA, Kemptthal
    Università della Svizzera italiana, L’ideatorio / Science et Cité


  • Archivio di Stato del Cantone Ticino, Bellinzona
  • Bezirksarchiv Gersau
  • Hannes Binder, Zürich
  • MarieLies Birchler, Zürich
  • Camenzind + Co. AG, Gersau
  • Cinémathèque suisse
  • Comptoir Daniel Jenny & Cie., Ennenda
  • Nadine Felix, Wädenswil
  • Fotostiftung Schweiz
  • FFV, Kunstmuseum Bern, Dep. GKS
  • Luigino Gamboni, Gordola
  • Gemeinde Schwyz
  • Historisches Museum Thurgau
  • Franz Kälin, Magenta Film Einsiedeln
  • Kloster Einsiedeln, Bibliothek und Kunstsammlung
  • Komitee für UNICEF Schweiz und Liechtenstein
  • Albert Marty-Gisler, Rothenthurm
  • Museo di Val Verzasca, Sonogno
  • Museum Fram, Einsiedeln
  • Ortsmuseum Gersau
  • Gabriela Pereira, Biel
  • Pinacoteca cantonale Giovanni Züst, Rancate (Mendrisio)
  • Privatsammlung, Solothurn
  • Saurer Museum Arbon
  • Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, Bern
  • Schweizerisches Institut für Kinder- und Jugendmedien, Zürich
  • Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek, Bern
  • Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv, Zürich
  • Schweizer Strohmuseum, Wohlen
  • Staatsarchiv des Kantons Schwyz
  • Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich
  • Staatsarchiv Kanton St. Gallen
  • Staatsarchiv Luzern, Archiv von Moos
  • Staatsarchiv Zug
  • Stadtarchiv Ravensburg
  • Stiftung Kinderdorf Pestalozzi, Trogen
  • Sust Museum Horgen
  • Tal- und Sagenmuseum Lauterbrunnen
  • Verein Gesichter der Erinnerung
  • Victorinox AG, Ibach-Schwyz
  • Winterthurer Bibliotheken, Sammlung Winterthur
  • Zentralbibliothek Zürich