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I/S. 3

ATE TEACHERS COLLEGE LIBRARY

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
W. N. DOAIC, SECRETARY

WOMEN’S BUREAU
MARY ANDERSON, Director

BULLETIN OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU, NO. 86

ACTIVITIES
OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU
OF THE UNITED STATES

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1931

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.




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Price 5 cents

[Public—No.

259—66th

Congress]

[H. K. 13229]
An Act To establish in the Department of Labor a bureau to be known as the
Women’s Bureau

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be
established in the Department of Labor a bureau to be known as the
Women’s Bureau.
Sec. 2. That the said bureau shall be in charge of a director, a
woman, to bo appointed by the President, by and with the advice
and consent of the Senate, who shall receive an annual compensa­
tion of $5,000. It shall be the duty of said bureau to formulate
standards and policies which shall promote the welfare of wage­
earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their
efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employ­
ment. The said bureau shall have authority to investigate and
report to the said department upon all matters pertaining to the
welfare of women in industry. The director of said bureau may
from time to time publish the results of these investigations in such
a manner and to such extent as the Secretary of Labor may pre­
scribe.
Sec. 3. That there shall be in said bureau an assistant director, to
be appointed by the Secretary of Labor, who shall receive an an­
nual compensation of $3,500 and shall perform such duties as shall
be prescribed by the director and approved by the Secretary of
Labor.,
Sec. 4. That there is hereby authorized to be employed by said
bureau a chief clerk and such special agents, assistants, clerks, and
other employees at such rates of compensation and in such numbers
as Congress may from time to time provide by appropriations.
Sec. 5. That the Secretary of Labor is hereby directed to furnish
sufficient quarters, office furniture, and equipment, for the work of
this bureau.
Sec. 6. That this act shall take effect and be in force from and
after its passage.
Approved, June 5,1920.
n




CONTENTS
Page
IV

Letter of transmittal__________________________
History_________;___________________ ___ _~1"____ ___ ’
Scope of the bureau’s work_________________________
Methods used by the bureau__________________ I_
State studies__________________________ I_______ ’
Health and safety in employment____________________
Studies of labor legislation___________________________
Studies of particular industries____________________ ™
Earnings and hours of women_______________ I_____ ~~
Studies of special industrial subjects_________________
Studies in cooperation with other agencies or individuals.
Public information_________________________________
Plan for broader study______________________________
Conclusion




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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

Washington, February 25,1931.
Sir : I have the honor to submit herewith a bulletin describing in
small compass the history, methods, and accomplishments of the
Women’s Bureau, information for which there is considerable
demand.
The article was prepared by Miss Agnes L. Peterson, assistant
director of the bureau, for presentation to the Pan Pacific Women’s
Conference, in session in Honolulu August 9 to 22,1930. It has been
amended slightly to make it more suitable for general use.
Respectfully submitted.
Mart Anderson, Director.
Hon. W. N. Doak,
Secretary of Labor.
IV




ACTIVITIES OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU
OF THE UNITED STATES
HISTORY

The Women’s Bureau of the United States Department of Labor
was established for wage-earning women. It was organized by
women and has always been staffed by women. Although labor
organizations, social workers, and national women’s organizations
had petitioned the Congress again and again over a period of years
to establish in the Government a special division to do research
work on problems of wage-earning women, such petitions met with
no success until the World War made necessary a consideration of
women’s labor in the Nation’s emergency.
When President Wilson selected a committee to advise the Gov­
ernment, as to a more complete organization of the Department of
Labor to enable it to function during the war to the best advantage
for wage earners and industry, he appointed to this commission a
wage-earning woman—Miss Agnes Nestor, of Chicago. Among the
recommendations of the commission was the organization of the
Woman in Industry Service, which was established in July, 1918.
Miss Mary van Kleeck, director of industrial studies of the
Russell Sage Foundation, was appointed the director of the Woman
in Industry Service and Miss Mary Anderson became assistant
director. Miss van Kleeck resigned in the summer of 1919 and Miss
Anderson was appointed director. In June of 1920 the bureau was
given a permanent status by the passage of the creative act under
which it now functions. President Harding appointed Miss
Anderson the director of the newly created bureau, and her appoint­
ment was approved by the Senate, as required by law. The require­
ment in the law that the director of the bureau should be a presi­
dential appointee constituted an important achievement both in the
status of the bureau and in the advancement of the position of
women.
The bureau is charged with a twofold responsibility: (1) “To
formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare
of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase
their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable em­
ployment,” and (2) “ to investigate and report * * * upon all
matters pertaining to the welfare of women in industry.” The task
assigned the bureau by law, therefore, is stupendous, and it is espe­
cially complicated by the fact that at no time has the appropriation
been commensurate with the duties involved. However, as a result




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2

ACTIVITIES OF WOMEN’S BUKEATJ OF UNITED STATES

of President Hoover’s special interest in human problems, the
bureau’s appropriation has been increased to permit a considerable
extension of its activities.
Despite the handicap of inadequate funds and the consequently
restricted scope of its activities, the bureau has collected much val­
uable information by the sampling method, has formulated a list of
minimum standards for the health and safety of women workers,
and has focused public attention on a variety of outstanding prob­
lems related to wage-earning women, problems that are of para­
mount national significance. In its early days the bureau concen­
trated on studies of working conditions of women in localities where
the State itself did not collect any such information. Later certain
States were studied because the officials and organized women of the
State requested the collection of data in addition to that which they
themselves were equipped to undertake.
SCOPE OF THE BUREAU’S WORK

The problems to be considered by the bureau present one great
difficulty that is not characteristic of other parts of the world—the
fact that the United States is practically a little league of nations and
is made up of 48 States and additional territories and dependencies.
Each State is a sovereign power unto itself in all matters of internal
concern. Only those affairs that affect areas wider than that of a
single State can be regulated or even legislated for by the Federal
Government. Each State has full jurisdiction in regard to the
standards of work required and to the extent of interest shown by
the State in respect to hours, wages, and working conditions of
women.
Very few of the States are equipped to undertake studies of the
comprehensive nature and upon the special subjects considered by
the bureau. Most State departments of labor have neither funds nor
personnel to carry on the duties with which they are charged in
regard to the single matter of the enforcement of labor laws. As a
consequence, only a few of the States find it possible to assemble and
prepare comprehensive and organized reports of the work done in the
State. Probably there are only a few States—those in which bureaus
have been established expressly for the study of problems of working
women—that are equipped to undertake special research in regard to
women’s problems that develop outside of the regulation of condi­
tions of work. Therefore it is natural that the local officials or women
themselves should request that the Federal Women’s Bureau under­
take studies within a State. Moreover, the activities of State officials
are restricted to the borders of the State they serve, while the
Women’s Bureau collects comparable material from a wide range
of States and considers matters that are of far-reaching general con­
cern. It is the only Government agency working along this line for
all the working women of the country, regardless of State lines.
The magnitude of the problem to be handled by the bureau is in­
dicated by a resume of the numbers of employed women in the United
States. The census of 1920 reported some 8,500,000 women in gainful




STATE STUDIES

3

employment,1 *
representing an increase of over 3,000,000 women in a
20-year period. It reported women at work in all but 35 of the 572
occupations listed by the census. The proportion of the woman popu­
lation engaged in gainful occupations had risen by 1920 to one-fifth
of all the women in the country who were 10 years of age or over.
Of the 8,500,000 women wage earners reported in 1920, over twofifths were less than 25 years of age; more than one-fifth had not yet
attained the age of 20 years.
. Further analysis of the census data of 1920 shows a great increase
m the number of married women in gainful employment—the in­
crease being 1,150,804, or one and one-half times the total employed
20 years before. In 1920, 1 in 11 of the married-woman population
15 years of age and over were in gainful employment. Many of such
women are the sole support of dependents and a large proportion
of them must supplement the family income in addition to carrying
the burden of home maker.
&
When so large a number of young girls and so large a number of
married women a,re affected by the conditions of their employment,
no one can question the statement that reasonable hours and good
working conditions for these women are of the greatest importance
to the future welfare of the Nation. For the married women this is
still further emphasized by the fact that the largest increase in the
numbers of married women was shown to be on work in connection
with manufacturing processes, where employment frequently is
hazardous and exacting. It is not surprising tlien that of the 80-odd
bulletins published by the bureau, 36 deal with one or more of
the subjects of hours, wages, or working conditions, in many cases
with all three. They cover information on one or more of these
matters for about 353,000 women employed in approximately 5,000
establishments.
METHODS USED BY THE BUREAU

The methods used by the bureau in carrying on its work may be
divided into two main divisions: Research and the dissemination
of information. The former consists of the collection of data, in
held or library; the latter includes the assembling and analyzing
or such data, the writing and publishing of reports giving informa­
tion on each project the bureau undertakes, and the presentation of
data in popular form in newspapers and magazines as well as by
means of charts, graphs, and special exhibits. '
STATE STUDIES

, The bureau has made comprehensive reports on women in industry
m 20 States. For these, data were secured in the States themselves,
including records of wages and hours copied by agents of the bureau
from pay rolls of the plants, and definite reports of personal obser­
vations of working conditions, noted on a schedule by the agents.
The State studies cover the hours of work for 281,491 women, and
the hours are classified in groups that range from 8 or less a day and
to

1 According to an estimate by the Director of the Census, the 1930 figures are expected
show about 10,000,000 women in gainful occupations.
'
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4

ACTIVITIES OP WOMEN'S BUREAU OP UNITED STATES

48 or less a week to 10 or more a day and 70 or more a week. As
would be expected, the data indicate that low wages are likely to
accompany long hours; the progressive and well-equipped plant as a
rule pays the highest wages and offers the best hours of work. Space
will not permit a discussion here of the variations among the different
States studied in regard to conditions of work, except to say that the
bulletins show that in some of the plants the conditions of work con­
stituted a menace to the health and well-being of the workers. On
the other hand, in all the States the bureau found establishments of
the highest order, offering excellent working conditions.
HEALTH AND SAFETY IN EMPLOYMENT

Determining what working conditions are necessary for protecting
the health and safety of wage-earning women is one of the most
important functions of the Women’s Bureau; in fact, a list of stand­
ards for the employment of women was issued only a few months
after the creation of the Woman in Industry Service. With practi­
cally no change—due largely to the fact that in rough draft they
were submitted for criticism and suggestion to every State depart­
ment of labor, to representative employers, and to working women
in a position to speak for national and international trade-unions—
these standards are circulated to-day as a guide to persons and organ­
izations interested in promoting the welfare of wage-earning women.
In summary form they are as follows:
An adequate wage, based on occupation and not on sex and covering the
cost of living of dependents; time for recreation, self-development, leisure, by
a workday of not more than 8 hours, including rest periods; not less than 1%
days off in the week; no night work; no industrial home work.
A clean, well-aired, well-lighted workroom, with adequate provision against
excessive heat and cold; a chair for each woman, built on posture lines and
adjusted to both worker and job; elimination of constant standing and constant
sitting.
Guarded machinery and other safety precautions; mechanical devices for
the lifting of heavy weights and other operations abnormally fatiguing; pro­
tection against industrial poisons, dust, and fumes; first-aid equipment; no
prohibition of women’s employment, except in industries definitely proved by
scientific investigation to be more injurious to women than to men.
Adequate and sanitary service facilities as follows: Pure and accessible
drinking water, with individual cups or sanitary fountains; convenient wash­
ing facilities, with hot and cold water, soap, and individual towels; standard
toilet facilities, in the ratio of 1 installation for every 15 women; cloak rooms;
rest rooms; lunch rooms, and the allowance of sufficient time for lunch.
A personnel department charged with responsibility for the selection, assign­
ment, transfer, or withdrawal of workers and for the establishment of proper
working conditions; a woman employment executive and women in supervisory
positions in the departments employing women; employees to share in the
control of the conditions of employment by means of chosen representatives,
some of them women; cooperation with Federal and State agencies dealing
with labor and employment conditions; the opportunity for women workers
to choose the occupations for which they are best adapted as a means of
Insuring success in their work.

Many of the bureau surveys have included reports on the sanitary
facilities provided for women employees. A summary has been made
of some of these records—those on the type of drinking facilities used
in the most recent of its State surveys (in 8 States) and in its study
of laundries (in 17 States). This bulletin carries also summaries ol




HEALTH AND SAFETY IN EMPLOYMENT

5

bacteriological examinations of bubbling drinking fountains, stand­
ards for their design, and an analysis of State laws, rules, and recom­
mendations pertaining to drinking facilities in places of employ­
ment. Another study deals with toilet facilities in places of employ­
ment, and it presents an analysis of State laws, rules, and regulations
of interest in a program to protect the health and welfare of workers
by the installation and maintenance of sanitary equipment.
It would seem to be an indisputable axiom that all workers should
be offered security and safety, yet year by year industry produces a
heavy toll of accidents, and very few of the States have paid suf­
ficient attention to the subject of accidents to women. Even though
it is not known how many women annually are injured in industry
in the United States, it is certain that the number of serious injuries,
many of them to very young women, runs into at least the tens of
thousands.
The bureau made an intensive study of the accident records of
3,285 women in three States, analyzing such records and holding
personal interviews with 385 women who had been permanently dis­
abled. These interviews revealed the suffering that such accidents
had caused. Over 10 per cent of the permanently disabled women had
been incapacitated for all available work, and over 40 per cent had
been disabled for their former work. More than 28 per cent had never
earned as much since their accidents as they had earned before.
More recently the bureau has made a special effort to secure
cooperation from the States in regard to the reporting of accidents
to women, and some progress has been made, in that certain States
that had never published accident statistics by sex or that had discon­
tinued the practice have published figures separate for men and
women.
The bureau has recently published an analysis of all the data the
various official State agencies have reported on accidents by sex
during the years 1920 to 1927. This study discloses that only 21
of the 48 States have made public any information on accidents to
women during this period, and that most of the data reported are
inadequate and noncomparable. In some of the States the informa­
tion was published but once during the period; in one it pertained
only to the age of the injured.
Nevertheless, the study revealed important facts about accidents
that occur to women. It was found that although accidents to
women are both actually and relatively fewer than those to men,
the numbers of women injured are large. In one State, for ex­
ample, as many as 7,000 women had been compensated for industrial
accidents in one year, and compensation here was paid only for
the accidents so serious as to cause more than a week of lost time.
Where comparisons were possible, larger proportions of women than
of men received injuries that resulted in permanent partial dis­
ability, and much larger proportions of women than of men were
under 21 years of age. A smaller proportion of the women’s acci­
dents than of the men’s caused death. In three of the five States
reporting the cause of accidents, machinery was the principal cause
of accidents to women and falls of persons and the handling of
objects also were important causes.
46396°—31---- 2




6

ACTIVITIES OE WOMEN'S BUREAU OF UNITED STATES

The bureau hopes that its accident reports, to be published bi­
ennially, will influence the States to classify accidents by sex, age,
industry and occupation, cause, nature and location of injury, and
extent of disability, according to the recommendations of the stand­
ards committee of the International Association of Industrial Acci­
dent Boards and Commissions, so that the various problems may be
studied intelligently and comparisons among States may be made.
Differing from accidents in industry, but still under the head of
health and safety, are occupational diseases, such as those caused by
the handling of poisonous substances. This is a much more insidious
type of danger, and many employers and employees do not recognize
the need of precaution. Disabilities of this sort are not understood,
because many of them are resulting from the use in new industrial
processes of unfamiliar substances, such as radium in the watch in­
dustry and some of the solvents that are appearing in pastes, dyes,
and other compounds. Research to prevent or reduce such hazards
must keep step with changes in methods. Some work along this line
has already been undertaken by the Women’s Bureau, and one bulle­
tin dealing with women workers and industrial poisons has been pub­
lished. This article, prepared by Dr. Alice Hamilton, an authority
on the subject, discussed the employment of women in trades in which
they are more or less exposed to some poisonous material, usually in
the form of dust or vapors. Special emphasis is laid on certain
poisons, such as benzol and lead, which are proven to have a more
detrimental effect upon women than upon men, since the children of
women handling these substances are likely to be seriously affected.
Also under the direction of Doctor Hamilton, the bureau is making a
study of spray enameling, with particular attention to the effects of
such process on the economic status of women.
STUDIES OF LABOR LEGISLATION

In the United States, labor laws for women include not only the
fixing of reasonable hours of work but all measures regulating condi­
tions for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of women
and measures prohibiting their employment under conditions or in
occupations where health dangers that can not be eliminated have
been definitely proven to be more injurious to women than to men.
The bureau has made three important special studies dealing with
labor legislation. One of these offers a complete history or labor
legislation for women in three States. Another reports the chrono­
logical development of labor legislation for women in the United
States, tracing all changes from the time the first labor law was
passed and making it possible to see quickly and clearly how exten­
sive are the labor laws for women in each State and how long they
have been in process of development.
The third is the most significant of all—a study of the effects of
labor legislation on the opportunities of employment for women.
The data were collected by interviews with employers, workers, and
persons who had participated in support of or opposition to the en­
actment of such legislation, and by transcribing such records as were
found available in a survey of 11 States in regard to changes in
establishments involving the dismissal of women because of legis­
lation applying especially to their sex.




STUDIES OP PARTICULAR INDUSTRIES

7

An important study of one type of legislation is the report on the
development of minimum-wage laws in the small group of States
that at any time have passed such legislation; and a continuous series
of bulletins shows by State the existing laws on hours, a minimum
wage, and home work.
STUDIES OF PARTICULAR INDUSTRIES

The bureau has made a number of studies of particular industries,
of which mention is made here of only some of the more recent.
TextilesTextile mills have been included in at least 16 of the 20 State
studies made by the bureau. In addition, a study was made of lost
time sind labor turnover in 18 cotton mills—nine in southern States
and nine in northern States. Records on the extent of absence from
work and on labor turnover were collected for 4,338 women and 6,203
men, and 2,214 of the women visited in their homes reported the
causes of absences or of leaving their jobs. The turnover rate for all
mills combined was practically the same for men and women, but
the rates for all workers varied greatly from one mill to another.
From the standpoint of departments, weaving and spinning showed
the highest turnover for men and women combined. The data indi­
cate that more women in the northern mills than in the southern
mills leave their jobs because of home duties, insufficient earnings, or
slack work, while discontent with the conditions of employment
causes more shifting in the South than in the North. The latter may
be due to the long hours prevalent in the South, the study offering
rather convincing proof that short hours reduce the amount of ab­
sence. Mills with 56 hours a week had nearly twice as high a turn­
over rate among women as had the mills where they worked 48 hours.
In view of the many married women employed in the cotton mills,
it may be significant that the time lost through illness was greater for
women than for men. It is quite usual to find married women em­
ployed in cotton mills, and these women always are likely to carry
the double burden of home maker and wage earner. Many of the
older workers in the South began work at a very early age, and it is
probable that their vitality has been greatly reduced by the longhours of work engaged in from early youth.
Laundries.
The laundry industry has shown tremendous growth in size and
along the lines of scientific operation during recent years as a result
of the use of power machines and the development of rough-dry and
finished family service, together with the application of efficient man­
agement to the industry. Accordingly, though not so old as many
others, the industry is rapidly becoming one of the major womanemploying industries of the country. The bureau recently made a
study covering hours, earnings, working conditions, and personal
information for almost 20,000 women in 290 laundries in 16 States.
Conditions within the industry were found to vary greatly in the
different sections
^he country, the Pacific coast showing consid­
erably higher wages and shorter hours than did the other sections.
Ihe personal facts were supplied by the workers themselves, but all
other data were obtained by the bureau’s agents from pay rolls, in-




8

ACTIVITIES OP women’s BUREAU OP UNITED STATES

spections of plants, and interviews with employers. In this study
valuable assistance was rendered the bureau by the Laundryowners
National Association.
Pineapple canneries in Hawaii.
A study by the bureau of pineapple canneries in Hawaii, although
quite localized in character, presents certain features of especial
interest. The bureau has always been interested in canning, because
it is ah industry in which the seasonal nature of the work is likely
to cause much irregularity of employment, and the fact that the
product handled is so perishable often means greatly extended hour
schedules. In this case, opportunity was offered for a study of
women working in canneries that are models of modern equipment
and operated almost continuously throughout the year, with a very
busy peak season in the summer months. The survey included three
plants in Honolulu and four on the Island of Maui. The wage data
cover about 4,500 women employed at the peak of the 1928 season.
Figures collected on fluctuations in the number of days operating,
month to month, as well as in numbers employed, reveal not only
seasonal changes but great irregularity of hours from day to day.
Meat packing.
Upon the request of a group of social workers wTho served com­
munities in which packing houses are situated and who were dele­
gates to the National Conference of Social Work in 1928, the bureau
undertook a study of women in the meat-packing industry. The study
covered the hours, earnings, and working conditions of 6,568 women
workers in 34 packing plants in 13 cities in 9 States. Data as to the
industrial experience of the women—their employment and unemploy­
ment—and the economic status of their families were obtained from
visits to nearly 900 women in their homes. These are of great value,
especially in view of the fact that in many families all the employed
members worked in the same industry.
Limited-price chain stores.
A study of women employed in 5-and-10-cent stores and limitedprice chain department stores gives facts on hours and earnings and
some personal information for over 5,000 women in 253 such stores in
18 States. Pay-roll figures for a week in 1928 are given for about
6,000 women in 179 establishments.
Cigars and cigarettes.
A study of the cigar and cigarette industry, which has for some
time employed considerable numbers of women, gives opportunity to
discover certain of the effects of the introduction of machinery. The
study covers 108 plants in 11 States, employing over 26,000 women,
and its purpose is to ascertain the effect of the introduction of ma­
chinery on women’s employment. Data were obtained from estab­
lishments operating on the old hand method of manufacture, from
others where modern machinery had been installed, and from others
in the process of transition in which cigars were made both by hand
and by machine. Home visits were made to 1,152 women in eight
States. Information also was obtained on hours and earnings of
women in the plants visited.




STUDIES OF SPECIAL INDUSTRIAL SUBJECTS

9

Radio manufacturing.
A study of the extent of unemployment of women in factories
making radio tubes and sets was undertaken recently to ascertain
what foundation there was for complaints received of undertime and
lay-offs in such plants and whether unemployment in this industry
was a local condition or was typical of the industry as a whole; also
whether or not it was a usual slump, recurring from year to year.
Labor audits were obtained from firms located in nine States where
much of the industry centers, and the data are said to represent
employment conditions in factories that turned out 80 to 90 per cent
of the sets and at least 90 per cent of the tubes manufactured in 1929.
EARNINGS AND HOURS OF WOMEN

Most of the studies made by the bureau include data on the earn­
ings and hours of women. Several years ago data on the hours
worked by women in the various States were assembled in one bul­
letin, and more recently data on earnings have been so assembled.
The latter study covers the earnings of 100,967 white women and
6,120 negro women employed in 1,472 factories, stores, and laundries
in 13 States. Since this information was not collected during the
same period in all these States and since the fluctuations in the value
of money from year to year are considerable, the data in some
instances have been translated into 1928 values.
STUDIES OF SPECIAL INDUSTRIAL SUBJECTS

In addition to its studies of State conditions, legal matters, and
situations in particular industries, the bureau has made studies of
certain special industrial problems that do not come under any of
these heads.
Industrial home work.
Industrial home work—the custom of sending articles from fac­
tories into homes to be made or finished—is an old problem that still
persists, and many studies have shown that usually it is accompanied
lay long hours of labor, low rates of pay, irregular employment, child
labor, and unhealthful working conditions. The full extent of home
work in the United States is not known, but certain States are
attempting to regulate it. In one of these more than 21,000 persons,
and in another more than 12,000, were employed on home work in
1927. The bureau has summarized recent studies of this problem in
a single bulletin, in which have been incorporated the recommenda­
tions drawn up by the committee appointed by the Association of
Governmental Labor Officials of the United States and Canada to
look into the character and extent of this system of labor and the
various methods for its regulation.
Night work.
In view of the fact that night work has been found to have very
definite ill effects, such as lowered vitality of the individual worker
who engages in it, loss of civic spirit and community interest in
sections where it prevails, and lowered efficiency standards in estab­
lishments employing it, the Women’s Bureau made a special study




10

ACTIVITIES OF WOMEN’S BUREAU OP UNITED STATES

of night work from the standpoint of women wage earners. This
report is based largely on research of laws and publications already
in existence on the subject and consists of the history of night-work
legislation in foreign countries as well as in the United States, an
analysis of such legislation in this country, and a general discussion
of the physiological and psychological consequences of this form of
employment. The study also includes the compilation and welding
together of material on the subject of night work collected by the
bureau during its State investigations.
Variations in employment trends.
The bureau has compared the fluctuations in employment of the
women and the men wage earners in one State for the 11-year period
1914 to 1924. This is the only publication that traces the employ­
ment of all workers reported in a State and shows graphically when
and to what extent trends for the two sexes have differed and coin­
cided. The study includes figures for employees in stores, hotels,
restaurants, laundries, public utilities, clerical occupations, and a
great variety of manufacturing industries.
Immigrant women.
An important problem in America is the adjustment to new con­
ditions of life and work that must be made by the women who have
come from other countries to make America their home. The bureau
has made a study of 2,146 such women in one large city and the
adjoining section of a State. These women were interviewed in their
homes to ascertain how and to what extent they are fitting into
American industrial life and what their employment means to them
and to their families.
Negro women workers.
Since the Women’s Bureau has received frequent requests for spe­
cial information concerning negro women wage earners, it has pub­
lished two reports on the subject. The more recent of such reports is
a compilation of census data pertaining to negro women in gainful
occupation, together with the material on negro women collected in
1918 to 1925 in the various State studies of the Women’s Bureau.
The latter information covers more than 17,000 negro women in the
following 15 States: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio,
South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The discussions deal with
occupational distribution, hours, earnings, and personal history.
Contribution of wage-earning women to family support.
The bureau has published several bulletins on the economic re­
sponsibilities of women wage earners to home and family. One of
these is of considerable significance, since in it is assembled and
analyzed information from various authentic studies on the extent to
which wage-earning women must share the responsibility for the sup­
port of the family. In 25 studies of the bureau, 169,255 women are
reported, and of these nearly one-half were or had been married.
The bulletin gives data showing the inadequacy of men’s earnings
for support of their families and the large extent to which unmarried
daughters give financial help. Of 61,679 women in 22 studies sum­
marized, over one-half gave all their earnings to the family and over




STUDIES OF SPECIAL INDUSTRIAL SUBJECTS

11

one-third gave part of their earnings. Less than one-tenth con­
tributed nothing.
Married women workers.
The problem of married women wage earners has grown to be an
acute one, in view of the fact that the number and proportion of such
workers have increased greatly in the past two decades and because
of the prejudice in certain quarters against their employment, on the
basis that they take jobs from men and single women. Realizing
the need for definite information along this line, the bureau in a num­
ber of its studies has included data on the home and family responsi­
bilities of married women in gainful occupations. Studies in this
field revealed that discrimination against married women employees
is likely to cause injustice and hardship, since the great majority of
these women workers have sought remunerative work because of
economic necessity. With the higher cost of living and with the
irregularity and inadequacy of many men’s wages, married women in
a large number of instances must become wage earners to help to
meet the family needs. All too frequently the wife, because her hus­
band is ill, unemployed, or incapacitated, is forced to become the
main support.
The question of the married woman worker is complicated further
by the fact that the double burden of home maker and wage earner
that she must carry is a menace not only to her health but, in the
final analysis, to the welfare of the race. Moreover, the presence of
young children in the homes of many breadwinning women adds to
the seriousness of the whole problem and stresses the need of giving
it more careful attention.
Occupations and opportunities for women.
To advance women’s opportunities for profitable employment is a
part of the important task assigned to the Women’s Bureau. As a
consequence, considerable research and investigation have been under­
taken with a view to uprooting prejudices against women’s progress in
various fields, breaking down barriers, and opening doors of oppor­
tunity. It is the aim of the bureau to give women the chance for
advancement and development to which as individuals they are
entitled and thus make their services most effective for their own
and the national good. Among the subjects that have been inves­
tigated and reported upon are what the women of the United States
did for industry during the World War and what the war did for the
industrial training of women and girls, the effect upon women’s em­
ployment opportunities of new methods and processes developed
through the medium of research and applied in the business and in­
dustrial fields, and the opportunities these changes have opened up
to women.
Two valuable publications of the Women’s Bureau consist almost
entirely of analyses of census data about women wage earners. The
one, a compilation of tables illustrated graphically by charts, con­
stitutes a veritable treasure trove of facts concerning the age, na­
tivity, and marital status of women as correlated with their occupa­
tional distribution. The second, of which intensive use has been
made during the past few years, reflects the upward trend of women’s
occupational march in the decade from 1910 to 1920.




12

ACTIVITIES OP WOMEN’S BUREAU OP UNITED STATES

In the interests of the clerical and professional groups of women
two surveys have been conducted of services rendered by, and op­
portunities open to, women working for the largest single employer
in the country—the Federal Government. The first of these, made
in 1919, may be cited as the lever that opened up all civil-service jobs
to women, who until then had been excluded from certain examina­
tions and thus from many desirable positions. In 1925, just after
the reclassification system had gone into effect, a second survey
showed that, though women appointed to positions formerly held
only by men were receiving the same salaries as were men, there still
existed in regard to appointments to higher positions considerable
discrimination against women, the majority of them being massed in
the lower-paid jobs.
STUDIES IN COOPERATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES OR
INDIVIDUALS

Other studies represent cooperation on the part of the bureau with
agencies or individuals that are interested in specific problems affect­
ing women and that have sought the aid of the bureau in the prepa­
ration of their material. Among these are the following:
The bureau has tabulated for a graduate student at the University
of Chicago data collected from questionnaires of almost 1,000 medical
women selected from the directory of the American Medical Associa­
tion. The investigation included such subjects as the extent to which
women are selecting specialized types of practice within the pro­
fession and the extent to wThich limitations such as sex prejudices,
custom, or outside responsibilities affect the nature of their practice.
Another piece of work done recently by the bureau was the
tabulation of data contained in questionnaires answered by domestic
workers and their employers in an extensive study of domestic em­
ployment conducted by the Philadelphia Council on Household
Occupations.
At the request of the Young Women’s Christian Association the
bureau prepared comprehensive tables of the material collected by
this organization in regard to the hours, wages, and working condi­
tions of the employees doing domestic work in its centers and
branches throughout the country.
PUBLIC INFORMATION

The activities of the Women’s Bureau in broadcasting its findings
do not stop with the publication of its bulletins. Since the material
these contain is largely of a technical and statistical nature, it is
necessary to translate it into popular form, with emphasis on its
human interest, so as to make an appeal to the general public and
to carry on the educational program necessary to bring about an
understanding not only of the function and value of the bureau but
of the importance of giving due consideration to all matters pertain­
ing to wrage-earning women.
Exhibits.
The preparation and circulation of popular exhibits, such as
models, motion pictures, maps, charts, posters, and folders, has




PLAN FOB BBOADEB STUDY

13

always formed an important feature in the Women’s Bureau pro­
gram. These displays are lent free of charge, the borrower paying
transportation costs on all material that can not be sent under
frank. Certain wall exhibits, however, are not only sent free but
given for permanent use. All material is used intensively and exten­
sively by schools, colleges, universities, churches, employers’ associa­
tions, labor and industrial groups, and women’s organizations every­
where in the United States and also in a number of foreign countries,
particularly in connection with educational courses, conventions, con­
ferences, and other meetings.
PLAN FOR BROADER STUDY

The bureau is undertaking an important study on the subject of
human waste in industry that will be wide in scope and of great
significance. One of the main purposes of this survey will be to
study, from the viewpoint of the women workers, the effects of
changed methods of industry in a country in which such changes
are being rapidly introduced, the extent of unemployment resulting
from such changes, and the plans and systems used by wise manage­
ments to guard against throwing employees out of work by the shift
from one method to another, through careful absorption and adjust­
ment of displaced workers within the plant or industry or within
other industries.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion it may be said that the data handled by the Women’s
Bureau of the United States are loaded with the interests and prob­
lems of human beings. Its clerical staff takes a keen interest in the
material handled and thinks in terms of human beings rather than
of assembled statistics. Its personnel includes a number of indus­
trial economists of wide experience, each having qualified by civilservice examination for the particular work involved. It has been
most fortunate in its efforts to secure the cooperation of employers
and to win and hold the confidence of the many types of person
with whom it must deal.
The bureau enforces no law but seeks to carry out effectively its
twofold purpose: To furnish accurate information that will serve
those who desire to know the truth on matters of interest to employed
women; and to establish standards based on such exact knowledge.
It has had 12 years to demonstrate that its work is necessary as a
fundamental factor of sound economy in a Nation in which a very
highly organized industrial society lias developed. The influence
of the bureau has been a wide one, for a threefold reason: It can
speak with the authority of a Government body; it is known as an
agency that employs scientific methods, presents accurate data, and
establishes standards on the basis of ascertained facts; the character
of the expert knowledge and the wide human interest of its staff
is well known and has proven an inspiration to many seekers after
knowledge of the wage-earning woman and to workers for the better­
ment of the conditions under which her labor is performed.




PUBLICATIONS OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU
[Any of these bulletins still available will be sent free of charge upon requestl

*No. 1. Proposed Employment of Women During the War in the Industries of
Niagara Falls, N. Y. 16 pp. 1918.
No. 2. Labor Laws for Women in Industry in Indiana. 29 pp. 1919.
No. 3. Standards for the Employment of Women in Industry. 8 pp. Fourth
ed., 1928.
No. 4. Wages of Candy Makers in Philadelphia in 1919. 46 pp. 1919.
♦No. 5. The Eight-Hour Day in'Federal and State Legislation. 19 pp. 1919.
No. 6. The Employment of Women in Hazardous Industries in the United
States. 8 pp. 1921.
No. 7. Night-Work Laws in the United States. (1919.) 4 pp. 1920.
*No. 8. Women in the Government Service. 37 pp. 1920.
*No. 9. Home Work in Bridgeport, Conn. 35 pp. 1920.
*No. 10. Hours and Conditions of Work for Women in Industry in Virginia.
32 pp. 1920.
No. 11. Women Street-Car Conductors and Ticket Agents. 90 pp. 1921.
*No. 12. The New Position of Women in American Industry. 158 pp. 1920.
No. 13. Industrial Opportunities and Training for Women and Girls. 48 pp.
1921.
*No. 14. A Physiological Basis for the Shorter Working Day for Women.
20 pp. 1921.
No. 15. Some Effects of Legislation Limiting Hours of Work for Women.
26 pp. 1921.
No. 16. (See Bulletin 63.)
No. 17. Women’s Wages in Kansas. 104 pp. 1921.
No. 18. Health Problems of Women in Industry. 6 pp. Revised, 1931.
No. 19. Iowa Women in Industry. 73 pp. 1922.
*No. 20. Negro Women in Industry. 65 pp. 1922.
No. 21. Women in Rhode Island Industries. 73 pp. 1922.
*No. 22. Women in Georgia Industries. 89 pp. 1922.
No. 23. The Family Status of Breadwinning Women. 43 pp. 1922.
No. 24. Women in Maryland Industries. 96 pp. 1922.
No. 25. Women in the Candy Industry in Chicago and St. Louis. 72 pp.
1923.
No. 26. Women in Arkansas Industries. 86 pp. 1923.
No. 27. The Occupational Progress of Women. 37 pp. 1922.
No. 28. Women’s Contributions in the Field of Invention. 51 pp’. 1923. No. 29. Women in Kentucky Industries. 114 pp. 1923.
No. 30. The Share of Wage-Earning Women in Family Support. 170 pp.
1923.
No. 31. What Industry Means to Women Workers. 10 pp. 1923.
No. 32. Women in South Carolina Industries. 128 pp. 1923.
No. 33. Proceedings of the Women’s Industrial Conference. 190 pp. 1923.
No. 34. Women in Alabama Industries. 86 pp. 1924,
No. 35. Women in Missouri Industries. 127 pp. 1924.
No. 36. Radio Talks on Women in Industry. 34 pp. 1924.
No. 37. Women in New Jersey Industries. 99 pp. 1924.
No. 38. Married Women in Industry. 8 pp. 1924.
No. 39. Domestic Workers and Their Employment Relations. 87 pp. 1924.
No. 40. (See Bulletin 63.)
No. 41. Family Status of Breadwinning Women in Four Selected Cities.
145 pp. 1925.
No. 42. List of References on Minimum Wage for Women in the United States
and Canada. 42 pp. 1925.
No. 43. Standard and Scheduled Hours of Work for Women in Industry
68 pp. 1925.
No. 44. Women in Ohio Industries. 137 pp. 1925.
No. 45. Home Environment and Employment Opportunities of Women in
Coal-Mine Workers’ Families. 61 pp. 1925.•
• Supply exhausted.

14



PUBLICATIONS OP THE WOMEN’S BUBEAU

15

Iso. 46. Facts about Working Women—A Graphic Presentation Based on
Census Statistics. 64 pp. 1925.
No. 47. Women in the Fruit-Growing and Canning Industries in the State
of Washington. 223 pp. 1926.
*No. 48. Women in Oklahoma Industries. 118 pp. 1026.
No. 49. Women Workers and Family Support. 10 pp. 1925.
No. 50. Effects of Applied Research upon the Employment Opportunities of
American Women. 54 pp. 1926.
No. 51. Women in Illinois Industries. 108 pp. 1926.
?J0m0St rr5nle ancl Labor Turnover in Cotton Mills. 203 pp. 1926.
No. o3. The Status of Women in the Government Service in 1925. 103 pp.
1926.
*
No. 54. Changing Jobs. 12 pp. 1926.
No. 55. Women in Mississippi Industries. 89 pp. 1926.
No. 56. Women in Tennessee Industries. 120 pp. 1927.
No. 57. Women Workers and Industrial Poisons. 5 pp. 1926.
No. 58. Women in Delaware Industries. 156 pp. 1927.
No. 59. Short Talks About Working Women. 24 pp. 1927.
No. 60. Industrial Accidents to Women in New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin
316 pp. 1927.
No. 61. The Development of Minimum-Wage Laws in the United States
1912 to 1927. 635 pp. 1928.
’
No. 62. Women’s Employment In Vegetable Canneries in Delaware. 47 pp.
No. 63. State Laws Affecting Working Women. 51 pp. 1927. (Revision of
Bulletins 16 and 40.)
No. 64. The Employment of Women at Night. 86 pp. 1928.
*No. 65. The Effects of Labor Legislation on the Employment Opportunities
of Women. 498 pp. 1928.
No. 66. History of Labor Legislation for Women in Three States; Chronologica1 Development of Labor Legislation for Women in the
United States. 288 pp. 1929.
No. 67. Women Workers in Flint, Mich. 80 pp 1929
No. 68. Summary: The Effects of Labor Legislation on the Employment
Opportunities of Women. (Reprint of Chapter 2 of Bulletin 65.)
2^2 PP* J-92o.
No. 69. Causes of Absence for Men and for Women in Four Cotton Mills.
24 pp. 1929.
•
No. 70. Negro Women in Industry in 15 States. 74 pp. 1929.
^JL Selected References on the Health of Women in Industry. 8 nn 1929
No. 72. Conditions of Work in Spin Rooms. 41 pp 1929
'
S°- l3/ Variations in Employmentand Her of Women and'Men. 143 pp 1930'
No. 74. The Immigrant Woman Trends Job. 179 pp. 1930,
1
No. 75. What the Wage-Earning Woman Contributes to Family Support. 21
pp. 1929.
No. 76. Womenjn o^and-lO-eent Stores and Limited-Price Chain Department
No. 77. A Study of Two Groups of Denver Married Women Applying for
Jobs. 11 pp. 1929.
No. 78. A Survey of Laundries and Their Women Workers in 23 Cities. 166
pp. 1930.
No. 79. Industrial Home Work. 20 pp. 1930.
No. 80. Women in Florida Industries. 115 pp. 1930.
No. 81. Industrial Accidents to Men and Women. 48 pp. 1930.
No. 82. The Employment of Women in the Pineapple Canneries of Hawaii.
oO pp. I960.
*
No. 83. Fluctuation of Employment in the Radio Industry. 66 nn 1931
No. 84. Fact Finding with the Women’s Bureau. 37 pp, 1931
'
'
No. 85. Wages of Women in 13 States. 213 pp, 1931 '
£°- «■ £eti.yities °f
Women’s Bureau of the United States. 15 pp. 1931
No. 87. Sanitary Drinking Facilities, with Special Reference to Drinking
Fountains. (In press.)
b
Pamphlet. Women’s Place in Industry in 10 Southern States. (In press 1
Annual Reports of the Director, 1919*, 1920*, 1921*, 1922 19‘>3 19‘>4* 1925
1926, 1927*, 1928*, 1929, 1930.
’ la“4 ’
Supply exhausted.




o


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102