Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
THE BOSTON STORE SAYS THIS IS NOT THEIR
FAULT WILL LEAVE IT TO YOU
If there is any connection between
low wages and vice, the Boston Store
ought to be a splendid place for the
devil to make his headquarters.
For the employes of the Boston
Store receive a lower basic wage that
is paid by any store on the street.
Of course they have a P. M. (pin
And a girl goes to work in. the base
ment at a wage of $2 a -week and
. Two dollars a week,is supposed to
be divided by six to get the average
for one day's work, since it is under
stood that Sunday work is something
an employe donates to the firm.
That gives the girl a wage of al
most 34 cents a day, and P. M.'s.
But the girl in the basement, is re
quired to spend half a day in the
stockroom, and of course she doesn't
earn P. M.'s in the stockroom, she
just fixes the stock.
Sometimes she pins . stockings to
gether, sorts them into pairs and
fastens them together -with stickers
that are always sticking into her fin
gers until .the fingers are. so sore that
they occasionally swell. And for this
morning's work, she receives less
than 17 cents, or a trifle over 4 cents
There are quite a few girls in the
Boston Store that never open their
books throughout the day. Not ev
ery day, of course some days they
are real lucky, and sometimes they
average as much as $3 In P. M.'s a
week over that salary of $2.
Of course at Christmas time, the
rush season, the girls' make big
money. Why, one or two of them
made as"high as $15 a week.
Just think of it, fifteen whole dol
lars. You appreciate what an almost
incredulous thing this is when you.
realize that sometimes they receive
less than half a centon a sale, and
sometimes make a whole cent when
thy sell six pair of ' bargain stockings.
Figure up how hard they have to
work to make $13 extra salary by the
P. M. method.
The Boston Store does pay as high
as $3 1 basis wage and still allows P.
M.'s, but the girl who gets $3 is sup
posed to haye graduated beyond the
basement stage, and to have served
her initiation there. Some girls who
receive the large basic salary of $3
make as much as $6 in a week, and
occasionally they will have a good
week when their total pay wage and
P. M.'s, equal $7. But that is a festive
These girls at the Christmas sea
son find" the Boston Store has one
great little scheme. It puts them fre
quently on straight sales on which
they are not paid any P. M.'s, and
so cuts down what might be too
princely a sum.
Beyond the $3 basic wage, the P.
M. system is almost useless, inas
much, as the girl must sell a certain
amount of gqods before she is en
titled to any commission on her sales
and the amount is prohibitive.
A great many of the girls are Self
supporting. One' of them who re
ceives $3 a week and the P. M.'s not
long ago averaged .$5 in two weeks
from P. M.'s, which made her wages
each week $5,50.
Out of that sum' she had to pay
room rent, and feed and clothe her
self. "I want to be honest," she said,
"but I got to live. Do you think I can
keep on doing it with this money? It
won't buy my clothes, much less let
me live. Don't you think I want some
amusement sometimes I'm young;
I want to go to the theater; I want
to see things and hear things outside
of the sto.re talk. "
"They talk a lot about a hell here
after well, I'm getting all the hell
I want right now trying to live on
what I can honestly earn."
Sunday is the day that every hu