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Newspaper Page Text
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Women, improperly clad, worked like dogs in
steel mills of massachusetts
Boston, Feb. 15. Some of the
conditions that exist in the steel
foundries of Massachusetts were
tQld to the legislative committee
which is considering a bill to pro
hibit women working in such
They are such conditions as
.caused Louis D. Brandeis to cry
to congress :
"You must not allow such con
ditions to go on. You dare not.
It would mean the end of Amer
ica, the end of democracy."
There are seven hundred wom
en working in the steel foundries
of Massachusetts. They range
from early girlhood to late wom
anhood in age. They work side
by side with men in temperatures
above 100 degrees, stifling with
smoke and poisonous gases.
The Moulders' union is trying
to have the bill putting an end
to these conditions passed. Here
is what John B. O'Leary, inter
national vice-president of the
moulders, told the committee of
what he had seen in the mills of
the industry which Judge Gary
says "treats its employes as well
as any other industry at any time
in the world's history:"
"I have seen women, scantily
and improperly clad, hauling
heavy wagons by chains, past
iOvs of men working at the
"The heat was awful. It was
almost impossible to breathe be
cause of the poisonous gases that
fdled the room.
"Because of this, the women
had their arms bare to the shoul
ders, and in order to get every hit
of refreshing air to their bodies,
their scanty garments were
thrown back at the throat. Their
persons were exposed to the gaze
of the men workers, especially
when they stooped to lift the
chains, or to empty or fill the
"I have seen women compelled
to lift and handle cores and
moulds so heavy they would tax
the strength of the average man."
John E. Augur, who represents
various organizations which are
seeking the passage 'of the bill,
and who has made a personal in
vestigation, confirmed all that
O'Leary had said.
Then the Rev. O. H. Gifford
talked. He appeared for the own
ers of the foundries. He said that
he, too, had made a careful in
vestigation of conditions. .
Gifford branded as absolutely
untrue all that the other witness
es had said about women being
overworked and improperly clad
in the foundries.
"As to these working women
being improperly clad," he finish
ed, "I must say that a glimpse in
to the ball rooms of the social
elite would show women more
improperly clad than could be
found in any foundry in Massa
chusetts." It did not seem to have occur
red to the Rev. Gifford that so
ciety women expose their persons
of their own free will. It did not
seem to have occurred to him that
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