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Newspaper Page Text
It Since the department store men are unable to build higher without
jeopardizing life and limb they dig down into the earth and make base
ments and sub-basements and sacrifice hundreds of lives that they may
make thousands of dollars.
"Yet you can get on a street car in our beautiful city and ride miles
and miles for five cents and see nothing but sidewalks and prairies. Why
can they not go-to our North Side,
the West Side or the South Side?
Why must all the business be kept in
one little spot in the city?
"Buck & Rayner, who have such
an ideal location downtown, did not
dig a sub-basement when they need
ed to extend their business. They
came out on Milwaukee avenue.
Kennedy's, Spiegel's and even the
Randolph market have found this a
sensible proposition. And there is
not alone Milwaukee avenue, there is
Madison street, 63d street, and
Broadway. There is absolutely no
excuse for figuring on every inch of
space as though it were the only
inch of space, and making human
lives pay the price.
"I am not saying that the owners
of department stores are deliberate
ly doing this thing. They simply do
not consider human life. They only
copsider the commercial god.
"And when these women who
work in the basements become con
sumptives and worse, and are no
longer able to work, the city and the
county and the state must take care
of them. The taxpayers must carry
the burden placed upon them by the
big fellows. Yet if these department
store men do a little philanthropy
we thank them for being nice to the
suffering, though they have created
the major portion in one way or an
other. "If you pick up a newspaper you
do not find you are invited to buy on
the second and third floors of these
stores. You are invited to find your
bargains in the basement. And the
people on the North and South and
West Sides of the city rush downtown
and are shot down to the basement
to buy things they could buy right in
their own locality.
"And the same people who are buy
ing bargains in these basements are
sending their girls there to earn ex
istence and secure their early death,
thus helping to make the thing them
selves. "Go down into the basement or the
sub-basement of any department
store and look at the faces of the girls
at 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
They are ghastly white.
"You would not put a dog in such
a place for six days a week. You
would think too much of your dog.
You would give him air and sunshine.
They have artificial air? Yes. I saw
a six-legged pig in alcohol the other
day. It looked like a perfectly good
six-legged pig and it had been there
some time, but it wasn't alive and
these girls aren't alive. It is only a,
difference in the preservatives.
"The women of the city could
make impossible the use of base
ments and sub-basements by not buy
ing there. The city itself owes it to
the people of the city to enforce con
ditions that would make employers
provide places where there is air and
sunshine for their workers. And in
a city as large as this there is no ex
cuse that can be accepted by human
ity for employers digging down into
the bowels of the earth when they
can spread out into sections of the
city where there is plenty of space."
The Seventh District of Illinois
Federation of Women's Clubs passed
a resolution to stop buying in sub
basements. REFUSE REHEARINGS
The Illinois Supreme Court today
denied petitions for re-hearings in the
test cases on the constitutionality of
the woman suffrage and Tice hard