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Newspaper Page Text
STATE STREET BOSSES DOING LESS HIRING OF
YOUNGSTERS, SAYS NELSON'S REPORT
State street is hiring half as many
children today as in 1913, according
to 'Factory Inspector Oscar F. Nelson.
A report from His- office shows a
slump in the number of "working
babes" in Chicago's department
Two years of careful watching,
Nelson says, proves that 49 per cent
of tha child laborers who had to
stand the long department store day
without sunlight and fresh air in 1913
have been dropped.
"During 1913 these stores carried
1,328 children 14 to 16 years old on
their payroll, which number in 1915
has been reduced to 678," his report
Shame, coupled with "business
reasons," is the cause. Department
store managers know that people are
becoming "department store wise."
Evils of child labor and its resulting
vices, low wages, have been pointed
out and continuously hammered at
Women have been taught to notice
these things. They know that a
child nlaced in a State street store
too early will grow up with crampped
lungs, a stunted growth and wrong
ideas. And most child laborers are
girls future mothers.
So department store managers,
realizing that their trade depends in
a.degree on public opinion, that they
cannot JCorce the people to buy in
their store, have tried to do away
with, the .evil most noticeable to shop
pers child labor.
In the mail order houses also, Nel
son's report indicates a decrease in
youthful workers. He says that child
Jabor has been cut 88 pepr cent In
1913 five mail order houses with 14,
000 employes hired 495 children, but
in 1915 the number dropped to 60.
The decrease in hiring of children
has been general Soap makers of
the city, Nelson says, hired only 37
children in 1915, as compared with
.10 in 1913. ,
Nelson's report shows the effort he
has made to provide fresh air in Chi
cago's factories. A survey of condi
tion showed that only 4 in 242 work
rooms measured gave employes
enough fresh air.
Nelson forced 179 factory owners
to Install fresh air circulators in their
workrooms. The number of em
ployes affected, he says, was 19,969. '
A clinic to provide for examination
of factory workers for tuberculosis
and other occupational diseases was
started by Nelson. Consumption was
found among workers in clothing
shops, department stores, artificial
flower makers, burlap factories,
printing shops and cement works.
Lead poisoning among painters and
printers and benzine poisoning
among maker of hats, clothing,
leather goods, rubber articles and
rubber cement was shown to be com
mon. Effects of wood alcohol was
discovered among those who made
perfumes, paints, hats and painted
His clinic was organized to put a
stop to the ravages of occupational
disease. Treatment was provided for
Not without hundreds of court
.fights did Nelson clean up som.e of
the worst of factory conditions. To
make sure of clean workshops with
fresh air, to force installation of
washrooms for workers and get
bosses to keep time sheets of their
employes working hours, he secured
236 convictions in the last six months
of 1915. Bosses were fined $1,689.75.
Wilmington, Del. Four escaped
German sailors from interned cruis
ers Kron Prinz Wilhelm and Eitel
Friedrich at New Port News arrested
by inspectors of department of labor.
Clayton, Ala. Safe, of Bank of
Clayton cracked and $25,000 stolen.
Posse with bloodhounds organized to
run down robbers.