View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.


/s. t ■ l-y


JAMES j. DAVIS, Secretary













[H. R. 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
Sec. 2. That the said bureau shall be in charge of a director, a
woman, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, who shall receive an annual compensation of
85,000. 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 employment. 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 direc­
tor 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 prescribe.
Sec. 3. That there shall be in said bureau an assistant director, to
be appointed by the Secretary of Labor, who shall receive an annual
compensation of $3,500 and shall perform such duties as shall be pre­
scribed 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
tills bureau.

Sec. 6. That this act shall take effect and be in force from and

after its passage.

Approved, June 6,1920.

JAMES J. DAVIS, Secretary




















to to


Letter of transmittal
The United States experience______________________________________
Laws against night work
Reasons for its persistence
A legal setback______
A new legal technique
The Schweinler case______ ______________________________________
Decision of the Supreme Court
Progress of legislation __________________________________________
The basis of public opinion
Findings in Women’s Bureau surveys
Extent of night work
Hours of night workers
Personal data
Age---------------------- ------------- --------------------------------------------Conjugal condition
Hardships of night work
The lunch interval;
Indifference to conditions
Deceptiveness of scheduled hours________________ ________
Length of over-all hours
The foreign experience
The Bern Convention
The diplomatic conference of 1906
Terms of the conventionI____________________
Contemporary comment
Significance of the convention
The historical background
The English experience
Other pioneers
The rising protest______
The Berlin Conference
A stage on the road____________________________________________
A permanent international instrument
First task of the new association
The Bern Conference
Sequels of the Bern Convention
Stimulus to legislation
Application to colonies and possessions
Influence on nonsignatory States








The foreign experience—Continued.
Sequels of the Bern Convention—Continued.
The second conference of Bern
The World War and the revival ofnight work_____________________
The breakdown of the labor laws
The return toward peace-time standards_______________________
Specific experiences
The Washington Convention1__________________________________________
Advances over the Bern Convention
Progress of ratification____________________________________ _______
Testimony regarding night work forwomen
The medical testimony
The reversal of natural functions
Loss of sleep
Deprivation of sunlight
Injury to sight
Health hazards through fatigue
Higher morbidity of night workers
“ The least harmful system of employing persons by night ”___
The accident hazard
Artificial lighting and accidents
The physical surtax
The social testimony
The double burden
The individual
The family
The unmarried night worker
The economic testimony
Lowered output:_____________________________________________
Lost time_________________ _______
Slowed rate of production____________
Further liabilities
Suggested readings____________________________________________________
A. Text of the Bern Convention, 1906
B. Text of the Washington Convention, 1919_____________________
C. Principal night-work legislation of foreign countries____________
D. Night-work legislation in the United States____________________





1. Extent of night work of women as found by the Women’s Bureau,
United States Department of Labor, in 12 State surveys, 1919 to
2. Scheduled daily hours of night workers, by State (from Women's Bu­
reau surveys)___________________________________________________
3. Scheduled weekly hours of night workers, by State (from Women’s
Bureau surveys)
4. Age of night workers, by State (fromWomen’s Bureau surveys)_______
5.. Conjugal condition of night workers, by State (from Women’s Bureau
6. Nativity of night workers, byState(from Women's Bureausurveys) _




United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

Washington, February 18, 1928.
am transmitting herewith the report of a study of the employ­
ment of women at night. The main section of the report deals with
conditions in the United States and in foreign countries and appen­
dixes show the extent of night-work legislation. The text of the Bern
and Washington Conventions is given, and the extent to which the
Washington Convention has been ratified by foreign countries. The
assistance of the statistical division of the International Labor Office
at Geneva in checking the chart on ratification and the night-work
legislation in foreign countries is gratefully acknowledged.
The study was made and the report written by Miss Mary D.
Respectfully submitted.
Mary Anderson, Director.
Hon. James J. Davis,
Secretary of Labor.
Sir : I



In a discussion of the employment of women at night in the United
States it is necessary to point out that this country occupies an anom­
alous position among the great industrial nations. Not hastily, but
with mature and considerate judgment based on full knowledge of the
facts, the other leading industrial States of the world long since deter­
mined to eradicate the employment of women at night. Experience
has proved that night work is harmful to the worker, and international
measures to make its suppression general have been enacted. Even
backward countries of undeveloped culture either have legislated
against night work or, as dependencies of more developed States, have
accepted its prohibition.

At the present time only one-third of the States of this country
have any legislation prohibiting night work (see Appendix D, p. 82),
and even in these 16 States the laws are far from complete or effective.
In two other States, New Hampshire and Maryland, the employment
of women by night, though not prohibited, is limited in daily or weekly
hours. Among the prohibiting States, Ohio and Washington prohibit
in minor occupations only—ticket selling and elevator service, respec­
tively—in each State the women included being so few, of the many
needing such protection, that their number is almost negligible. South
Carolina, with its great textile industry, prohibits night work in mer­
cantile employment only, leaving without safeguards the very workers
who most need the protection of the law. Massachusetts, Pennsyl­
vania, and Indiana forbid the practice in manufacturing alone, making
but 10 States where the night-work prohibition covers more than one
industry. In New Jersey the existing night-work law is in abeyance,
owing to its failure to provide a penalty for infraction. Thus a large
percentage of women workers in the 16 States having night-work laws,
as well as all the women in industry in the remaining two-thirds of
the United States, do not come under night-work prohibition.

It appears from various American studies that night work has the
same ill effects here as in the rest of the world—in the individual,
lowered vitality; in the community, loss of civic spirit and interest;




in the mill, slowed production, lessened output, lost time, and spoiled
work. The effects are not so extensive as those abroad, and the
persistence in the United States of an industrial custom so discredited
doubtless is due in part to the fact that it never reached such spec­
tacular proportions in this country as it did in England, continental
Europe, and, more recently, the newly industrialized countries of Asia.

At the very time when the signing of the Bern Convention gave so
great an impulse to night-work legislation elsewhere in the world, such
legislation in the United States suffered a serious check. At that time
only four of the States had laws against women’s night work—Mas­
sachusetts (1890), Indiana (1894), Nebraska (1899), and New York
(1903). New Jersey, it is true, legislated against night work in 1892,
but this provision, together with the 55-hour law, had been removed
from the books in 1904. The New York statute prohibiting the
employment of women in factories from 9 p. m. to 6 a. m. was
declared unconstitutional by the New York Court of Appeals in 1907
(People v. Williams, 189 N. Y. 131,81 N. E. 778), the court’s decision
recognizing no connection between the provisions of the law and the
welfare and health of women.

It was seven years later that the reversal of the Williams decision
by the same New York court set up a conspicuous milestone in the
march of legal opinion. But in those seven years much water had
run under the bridge. This period of time was marked by the spread­
ing influence of the Bern Convention and the rapid increase of nightwork laws among foreign nations, whether participants in the treaty
or not. It had been signalized in this country, as far as labor legisla­
tion went, by the creation of a new technique in the defence of labor
laws. In the 10 years before his appointment to the Supreme Court,
Mr. Louis D. Brandeis had initiated a profound and permanent change
in the treatment of such cases. He had made a striking departure
from traditional method by devoting but a few pages of his briefs
to the legal and constitutional aspects of the questions involved and
putting the main emphasis upon their human values—social, physi­
ological, and economic. The “economic briefs” compiled by Miss
Josephine Goldmark, in cooperation with Mr. Brandeis, and sub­
mitted in connection with the defense of these labor laws, marshaling
the “world’s experience” with respect to the issues involved, threw a
new light on the relation of labor laws to human life and the larger
life of the community, and brought the cases out of the atmosphere



of legal technicality to the human setting in which alone they can be
fairly judged. These briefs and arguments constitute a memorable
chapter in the history of labor legislation in America. They have
made it impossible for labor cases involving the public health and wel­
fare ever again to be determined on narrowly technical or legalistic
grounds without reference to their wider implications. To this new
approach the courts have been signally responsive. Under Mr. Bran­
ded and, after his appointment to the Supreme Court, under Mr.
Felix Frankfurter, of the Harvard Law School, in a series of 15 cases
before courts of last resort the method met, save in a single instance,1
with uniform success.

The opportunity to apply this method to the defence of a New
York night-work law came in 1914 in a case of women employed at
night by a printing firm. The New York Factory Investigating
Commission had made a study of the conditions of women night work­
ers in the State, and in its second report, published in 1913, had brought
a heavy indictment against night work, reenforcing the old findings
abroad and in this country by concrete local facts and figures. The
night-work law of 1913, prohibiting the employment of women in
factories from 10 p. m. to 6 a. m. and in mercantile establishments
from 10 p. m. to 7 a. m., was the direct result of this inquiry. The
brief submitted in Mr. Brandeis’s defense of the New York law in the
Schweinler case (People v. Schweinler Press, 214 N. Y. 395), again
compiled by Miss Goldmark and first published under the title
“Facts of Knowledge,” remains the best source book printed in
English on the subject of the night work of women.2 To the mass
of testimony it contained, as well as to the weight of the factory com­
mission’s findings, the court of appeals was frankly sympathetic.
Judge Hiscock, reviewing the earlier case in his opinion, declared
in view of the incomplete manner in which the important question underlying
this statute—the danger to women of night work in factories—was presented to
us in the Williams case, we ought not to regard its decisions as any bar to a
consideration of the present statute in the light of all the facts and arguments
now presented to us,

and concluded that “the statute is constitutional as a police regula­
tion in the interest of public health and the general welfare of the
people of the State. ”
1 The minimum-wage case of the District of Columbia was decided adversely by the Federal Supreme
Court in 1923..
>Brandeis, Louis D., and Goldmark, Josephine. The case against night work for women. Revised, 1918.




The next step of importance was to secure a decision on the ques­
tion of night work from the Supreme Court of the United States.
A flaw in the record barred an appeal in the Schweinler case, and it
was not until another case was brought, in the matter of women
workers in restaurants, and the law was upheld in the New York
courts, that it was possible to bring the question before the Federal
Supreme Court. In March, 1924, that court unanimously sustained
as constitutional the New York law prohibiting the employment of
waitresses at night in first-class and second-class cities of New York
State. (Radice v. New York, 264 U. S. 295.)

In the years since the Williams decision a number of States have
ventured upon prohibitive legislation or orders. In 1911 South Car­
olina, in 1913 Pennsylvania and Connecticut, enacted laws against
night work for women. Delaware followed them in 1915. The
Oregon Industrial Welfare Commission in 1913 issued orders prohibit­
ing night work, as did the Wisconsin Industrial Commission in 1917
and the Kansas Industrial Commission in 1918. More recently leg­
islation has been passed against it in Ohio (1921), Washington issued
an order against it in 1921, North Dakota made it illegal in 1922
and New Jersey in 1923, and orders have been issued against it in
California by the Industrial Welfare Commission (1923).

Night work in the United States has survived, in the last analysis,
for lack of effective public opinion. But such public opinion must be
built on facts, and these facts have not been available. It is curiously
characteristic of night work in America that so little is known of it.
Here and there a group of night workers has been studied; here and
there in response to such a study a law has been passed. Nothing
could be more significant of the extent to which this grave issue of
human health and welfare has been overlooked than the fact that it
has never been possible to find out the actual amount of night work
going on in the United States. Guesses and approximate estimates
alone are available.

There is need of fuller information on which to base intelligent and
authoritative public opinion; there is need of a full investigation and
of the publicity that will make its findings available. In the absence
of such investigation, certain findings of the Women’s Bureau, inci­
dental to its State surveys, are here presented as suggestive in mini­
ature of the status of night work in the United States.



Extent of night work.
In the series of industrial studies made by the Women’s Bureau
during the years 1919 to 1925 it was in no case the intention to
investigate the question of night work. During this period there
occurred the industrial depression of 1920 and 1921, which lasted for a
year or more in many States and industries, and the depressed condi­
tions of 1924. Short time was prevalent then, overtime for the most
part was negligible, and it seemed that the resort to night shifts was
nowhere demanded by any pressure of business.
The field included three industrial States of the first importance—
Illinois, Ohio, and New Jersey ; five Southern States ranking high in
the production of textiles—South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mis­
sissippi, and Tennessee—and one in the production of tobacco—Vir­
ginia ; and three States still largely agricultural—Iowa, Kentucky,
and Oklahoma.
These data on night work are given, then, for what they are worth.
The groups studied are in most cases large enough to have represen­
tative value ; in all cases large enough to have suggestive significance.
One fact is certain—that these findings greatly minimize the extent
and the proportions of night work. It must be remembered that
records for all employees in a plant were taken for only one week,
selected as typical as far as hours and earnings were concerned but
perhaps not typical as regards night work, which was not a subject
of inquiry. In many plants, moreover, agents of the bureau found
that night work had been carried on intermittently or regularly
before their visit. In fact, the managements reported the employ­
ment of 4.6 per cent more night workers than were actually on the
books of the week selected. In South Carolina 22 textile mills were
found running night shifts, but schedules showed irregular night
work during some weeks in 10 others. In Georgia, besides the 3 tex­
tile mills appearing in the table, 9 others, according to the schedules,
had employed women till after 1 a. m. before the survey, and in sev­
eral others night shifts had been only recently discontinued.
But not only is this picture of night work minimized by the method
of taking data for only one week and, to some extent, by the effect of
industrial depressions: it is minimized by the limited field of the sur­
veys. In no case, do the figures reveal conditions except for the
group of establishments studied, and night work varies widely from
plant to plant as well as from week to week. Comprehensive figures
for the State might have been many times larger. For example, a con­
spicuous instance was the official data for New Jersey furnished by the
commissioner of labor in the spring of 1923,3 which showed 1,567
3Letter to the Consumers' League of New Jersey.



women employed at night in the State, all but 400 of them concen­
trated in the city of Passaic. At the time of the survey disturbed
industrial relations in the principal plants in Passaic having night
work prevented their inclusion in the study by the Women’s Bureau.
As a consequence, only 247, or 15.8 per cent of this number, had
been found in the plants visited by the agents of the Women’s Bureau
in their survey a few months before.
Moreover, as far as other official figures are available, certain of
these indicate a volume of night work far in excess of that suggested
by the incidental findings of the Women’s Bureau. For example, in
Alabama only 5 per cent of the women covered by the Women’s
Bureau survey were working at night, and this was next to the highest
percentage found in the 12 States. Compare with this the percent­
age of night work in a typical southern textile State, North Carolina,
as shown by the figures of the State department of labor and printing
and quoted by an important executive of the cotton industry in rela­
tion to the subject of overproduction. According to these, the pro­
portion of night-run spindles in 1921-22 was at its war-time volume,
33.8 per cent, and in 1923-24 it had risen to nearly 40 per cent

1.—Extent of night work of women as found by the Women’s Bureau, United
Stales Department of Labor, in 12 State surveys,1 1919 to 1925

Working at night

Total .

Date of survey

1919 to 1925-

Alabama _

lish­ W omen
ments survey­ Estab­

2, 464 208, 034



Num­ Per
ber cent

131 2 4, 367


1,687 in textiles; 996 in elec­
trical products; at least
700 in tobacco.

Feb.-Apr., 1922...
June-July, 1920...
Feb.-Apr., 1921...
Chicago (candy). Feb.-Apr., 1921..
Feb.-May, 1924..
Iowa--------------- Oct.-Dec., 1920—.






302 in textiles.
125 in 1 textile mill.


2, 070


1, 303


New Jersey____
South Carolina..


2, 853
16, 596
18, 781


2 86

2. 1

In candy.
996 in electrical products.
38 in food products; 30 in
hotels and restaurants.
32 in textiles
180 in textiles.
188 in textiles.
131 in rubber; 77 in glass.
53 in telephone operating.
503 in textiles.
357 in textiles.
At least 700 in tobacco.

Oct.-Nov., 1921
Jan.-Feb., 1925____
Sept.-Dec., 1922____
----- do
May-Dec., 1922........
Nov., 1921-Jan., 1922.
Feb.-May, 1925
Oct., 1919-Jan., 1920.

1 Genera] surveys of hours, wages, and working conditions; night-work data incidental to main pur.
pose of surveys.
' Includes a few women employed at night only 2 or 3 times a week.
4 Textile World, Feb. 4, 1928. Analysis of textile working conditions proves uncontrolled night work a
liability, by Arthur T. Bradlee. (Article written in 1925.)



In the field covered by the bureau in 12 States, then, 131 estab­
lishments were making use of night work and, according to the
schedules, 4,367 women were working at night. Almost two-fifths of
these were employed in the textile industry, 87 per cent of this
number being found in the five Southern States for which such data
were collected—Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee,
ahd Georgia. Of the number remaining, at least 700 women were
working at night in the tobacco factories of Virginia and 996 were
reported in the electrical shops of Illinois. Another group is shown
in the glass and rubber factories of Ohio.
It is not an important percentage that is affected. In the case of
only two States, Mississippi and Alabama, does the proportion rise
to as much as 5 per cent of the number of women surveyed in the
State; in South Carolina all the night workers reported were in tex­
tile mills, and even then they formed but 4.5 per cent of the total
number of workers for whom data were obtained. The large group
in Virginia constitutes only 4.3 per cent of the workers studied.
These small percentages register the relative economic importance of
night work.
A strange comment on the practice is offered by the combination
of night work with short time. In many places, even with the mills
running only three or four days a week the night shifts still contin­
ued. A similar comment is suggested by the use of night work in the
tobacco factories of Virginia. Here again the industry need not be
continuous; the material is not very perishable; there is little
seasonal pressure.
Hours of night workers.
Of 4,367 night workers scheduled, by far the largest group (1,944)
worked 10 hours a night. The next largest number (627) worked
between 9 and 10 hours, 602 worked 11 hours, and 252 worked
12 hours nightly. By combining the figures of the table it is seen
that 3,260 women, or practically 3 in every 4, were working 10 hours
or more a night, and that 996, or more than 1 in 5, were working at
least 11 hours. Only 438, or 10 per cent, had a schedule as
short as 8 hours. Thus the 8-hour day, more and more generally
accepted as the physiological working day, and since the war estab­
lished by law over a large part of the civilized world, is exceeded in
length by 90 per cent of these night workers; even the 9-hour day
is exceeded by 89 per cent. For the great majority of these women
the intrinsic strain of night work is intensified by a harder schedule
than is sanctioned even for day workers by progressive industrial opin­
ion. For an appreciable number (252, or 6 per centVthe 12-hour night
shift persisted at the time the State survey was made.


Table 2.—Scheduled


daily hours of night workers, by State (from Women’s
Bureau surveys')

ber of Num­
estab­ ber of
lish­ women Un­
der 8

Per cent distribution______


Chicago (candy)
Iowa ...............
New Jersey____
South Carolina.


Number of women whose scheduled daily hours wereOver 8
Over 9
and tm- 9 and un­
der 9
der 10


2 4, 367






1, 303
2 86







Over 11
ind un­ 12
der 12







0.2 0.8









Over 10
and un­
der ll






5 88















1 For dates of surveys see Table 1.
’ Includes a few women employed at night only 2 or 3 times a week
* Less than 0.05 per cent.

As regards weekly hours, much the largest group of women (1,912)
worked a 50-hour week; the next largest group, 603, or nearly oneseventh, worked 55 hours; and the third largest (562) came between
these. In fact, 70.5 per cent of the women reported are included in
three groups that are representative of a weekly schedule 50 to
55 hours long.


Table 3.—Scheduled weekly hours of night workers, hy State (from Women’s Bureau surveys1)
Number of women whose scheduled weekly hours were—
of estab­


U nder 44


Per cent distribution____ ____ _____





' 68
2 86

Mississippi____ _____ ____________
New Jersey____ __________________
Ohio__________________ ________
South Carolina............................. .........
Tennessee_____ __________________

1 For dates of surveys see Table 1.




Over 44
under 48
















Over 50
under 55




Over 48
under 50






Over 60
under 70

Over 70
under 80















Over 55
under 60



* Includes a few women employed at night only 2 or 3 times a week.








Small groups of women worked much longer schedules; for example,
the 30 restaurant workers who worked 84 hours weekly, and the two
13-hour workers in a factory who worked a stretch of 78 hours.
Extremes such as these are rightly emphasized, even if they occur
only in isolated cases, as examples of what may happen in the absence
of restrictions.
Persona! data.
Information was procured from some of the women night workers
on such matters as age, conjugal condition, and nativity. It was
necessary to get these facts by the questionnaire method, as the lim­
ited time of the investigators precluded personal visits. Naturally
the number reporting was far short of the total. In Iowa and Vir­
ginia no personal data were requested. The value of the data for
some States is limited by the small number of workers reporting, but
in others a majority or almost the full number questioned sent in
reports. The figures, taken in connection with others, are of some
indicative value; they will be found to reenforce the general tendencies
revealed by other studies.
Age.—Of 817 night workers reporting their ages only 10 were 50
years old or more and only 55 (6.7 per cent) were 40 and over. One
hundred and forty-seven women, or 18 per cent of those reporting,
were under 20 years of age. All but a negligible proportion were in
the years of development or of highest childbearing capacity, the
years precisely when all the characteristic injuries of night work are
most disastrous.
Table 4.—Age of night workers, by State (from Women’s Bureau surveys')


Per cent distribution.
Chicago (candy)
MississippiNew Jersey-----------Tennessee

Number of women who reported their age as—
of women 16 and
18 and
20 and
25 and
30 and
40 and
reporting under 18 under 20 under 25 under 30 under 40 under 50 50 years
and over























1 For dates of surveys see Table 1.

Conjugal condition.—Of 812 night workers reporting on conjugal
condition, 259 were single and 553 were or had been married (includ­
ing in the latter figure those widowed, separated, or divorced). The
preponderance of married women elsewhere noted holds good here,
there being 68.1 per cent of the total number in the married group.
In Illinois, the only State where nearly all the women questioned



reported (181 out oi 192) only 17.7 per cent of the number reporting
their conjugal condition were single.
Table 5.—Conjugal condition of night workers, by State (from Women’s Bureau

surveys ’)
Number of women who were—

women re­

Total. ................. .
Per cent distribution__


Chicago (candy)...........................
Kentucky.......... .............
New Jersey______
Ohio..................... ............
South Carolina___________
Tennessee........ ..........


W idowed,
or di voreed

M arried





5 ________ 1

. u



' For dates of surveys see Table 1.

These two tables bear out the statement that night work inflicts
its injuries not on older women, in which case it would not so gravely
matter, but on women at the height of the reproductive period; not
on the unmarried, who in most cases have a less responsibility, but
on the married and in all probability (of those reporting here, 75.3
per cent are 20 and under 40 years of age) on the mothers of young
Nativity.-—Other data of interest concern the nativity of the night
workers within the groups studied. Of 859 women reporting, 046
were native-born Americans and 213, or approximately one-fourth,
were foreign born. Of these foreign-born night workers there were
two large groups—128 in Illinois, outnumbering the native born 2
to 1, and 73 in New Jersey, outnumbering the native born 5 to 1.
No foreign-born night workers were reported in any of the Southern
States included.
Table 6.—Nativity of night workers, by State (from Women’s Bureau surveys >)


of women

Total _______
Per cent distribution_______

Number of women
who were—



Chicago (candy)........ .


Kentucky. ....
New Jersey_________


South Carolina.......................
1 For dates of surveys see Table 1.

89921°—28----- 2








Nor can it be maintained, as is sometimes stated, that the hazards
and injuries of night work are largely confined in the South to the
Negro race, for of 2,064 night workers for whom the Women’s Bureau
secured wage data, only 77 were listed as colored and of these only
32 were found in Southern States.
It is generally supposed that a higher wage schedule constitutes an
attraction to night work as compared with day work. This assump­
tion is hardly borne out by the findings of the Women’s Bureau sur­
veys. So far as these data are representative, it would seem that
irregularity in night work more than makes up for the few extra cents
allowed the night worker in rates. In the week for which the pay
roll was taken the earnings of night workers in the States for which
such data were secured showed a tendency to drop below those of the
day shift. Thus, in Alabama the median of the week’s earnings of
day workers was $8.80; for night workers it was I8.55.*6 In New
Jersey the day median was $14.95 and the night median was $14.65,
and even for women working a week of exactly 48 hours the median
of the week's earnings was $16.40 for the day workers and only $14.85
for the night workers.6 Again, in South Carolina the median for day
workers was $9.50 and for night workers $9.40. Here, however,
those night workers working at least 48 hours, together with those
working on 5 nights a week, had the higher median of $13.10, the
median for full-time day workers being $1.45 less, or $11.65.7 Among
the Chicago candy makers studied, the median of the earnings of the
night workers was 10 cents more than the median for the day workers—
$14.75 as against $14.65.8 The median of the week’s earnings of
night workers in Tennessee was $10.50, while during the same pe­
riod the median for day workers was $11.10. Women were engaged
on night work in all but one of the textile groups and with the excep­
tion of woolen goods each group of night workers showed a median
lower than that of the day workers.9 In view of such equivocal
returns it seems unlikely that the financial motive can play any appre­
ciable part in the worker’s choice of night work.
Hardships of night work.
Incidental evidence was secured by the agents of the Women’s
Bureau regarding the peculiar and often quite unnecessary hardships
• U. S. Department of Labor. Women’s Bureau. Women in Alabama industries. Bui. 34, 1924, p. 57.
6 U. S. Department of Labor. Women’s Bureau. Women in New Jersey industries. Bui. 37, 1923, p. 41.
i U. S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau. Women in South Carolina industries. Bui. 32,
1923, p. 46.
8 u. S. Department of Labor
Louis. Bui. 25, 1923, p. 39.
• u. 8. Department of Labor.

Women’s Bureau

Women in the candy industry in Chicago and St.

Women’s Bureau. Women in Tennessee industries. Bui. 56,1927, p. 37.



that accompany the night work of women in this country. In con­
nection with a system of employment in itself so fatiguing and injuri­
ous, it would seem natural that special pains should be taken to offset
or minimize its harmful effects. Instead of seeking, in the phrase of
the British Health of Munition Workers Committee, “the least harm­
ful system of employing persons by night,” burdens are placed upon
the night shifts which no one would think of imposing upon the essen­
tially easier and less fatiguing work of the day.
The lunch interval.—Thus, an adequate lunch hour is accepted as
custom and necessity for the day shift, indispensable alike for the
comfort of the workers and the maintenance of output. In the night
shift, almost invariably longer and harder, since in the vast majority
of cases the week’s work is concentrated into five instead of six shifts,
no parallel need of recuperation is recognized. More than half an
hour is not commonly allowed for the midnight lunch, and in some
plants even a short interval is penalized. Thus in one textile mill
visited the workers were required, if they took a half hour’s interval
for lunch, to stay half an hour later in the morning. In two other
mills working a 12-hour night shift, the workers were obliged to begin
work at 5.40 p. m. to obtain 20 minutes for their midnight meal. Of
22 textile mills running night shifts in one State, one hour was allowed
for lunch or rest in 4, half an hour in 6, and 15 minutes in 1, while in
11 no lunch interval whatever was provided, and the workers had to
eat as they best might at their machines. In six of the last named
the injustice to the night shift was emphasized by the full hour allowed
the day shift for lunch. “Eating on the job” is a hardship by no
means uncommon on the night shift. The schedules of some mills
show notations by the investigators regarding no time allowance for
lunch or rest during 12-hour night shifts, while in one the night shift
ran from 6p. in. to 7 a. m. with no time allowed away from the machines
for the midnight meal.
Indifference to conditions.—Other instances of what seems a general
lack of thought or effort directed toward saving the strength or insur­
ing the comfort of night workers were observed by the agents. In
one establishment women were found standing as they worked on
processes that could have been handled quite as effectively in a
sitting position. The foreman was asked why he could not provide
seats. “If I would give them seats,” his reply was, “ they would fall
asleep.” Apparently it had occurred to no one that without the need­
less fatigue of standing they might be less ready to fall asleep.
Deceptiveness oj scheduled hours.—Nor does a reasonable schedule
necessarily mean reasonable hours of work, since there is always, in
the absence of regulations against it, the possibility of overtime. In



a glass factory negro women were employed on three 8-honr shifts,
but this comparatively easy schedule, the investigators found, was
prejudiced by the fact of almost systematic overtime, without which
there would have been “hardly enough workers to supply the
machines.” It was by no means unusual in this establishment for
women to work two shifts in succession, or 16 continuous hours. In
fact, one woman told the agents that she had worked a stretch of 21
consecutive hours, two 8-hour shifts and 5 hours of a third.10
In spite of the general absence of overtime at the periods during
which the surveys were carried on, there were isolated instances of
its abuse. Such instances, far from being discounted, should be
emphasized as showing what inhuman strains industrial pressure or
individual ambition may put upon the human machine in the absence
of safeguards. In one factory visited two women were employed 13
hours a night and 78 hours a week. The records showed, however,
that of 46 weeks’ possible employment during the year (the plant
being shut down during the remaining 6), one woman had worked for
28 weeks from 79 to 92 hours a week. In a hotel a girl of 16,
employed for 6 hours a day as elevator operator, was assigned to an
extra job at night as a runner for the servidor. She worked her 6
hours daily on the elevator and 8 hours more at night on her second
job. When the elevator shifts changed, she worked 5 hours more,
making a total of 19 hours. Such extreme cases are significant.
Length of over-all hours. — Even when actual hours of work are
reasonable or short, the stretch of employment may mako them as
burdensome as much longer hours consecutively worked. In one estab­
lishment visited the scheduled hours of employment on the night shift
were but 6^- It was learned by the agents, however, that these 6j^
hours stretched over a 13-hour night “on call,” each woman having 1
hour on duty and 1 hour off during the entire stretch. Especially in
restaurant and hotel service are long over-all hours likely to add to
the fatigue and confinement of employment, even where the hours
of actual work fall within reasonable limits.
The present status of women’s night work in the United States, as
indicated by the incidental findings of the Women’s Bureau, may be
summed up somewhat as follows:
Even in a season of industrial depression, night shifts are kept run­
ning and women are employed to supply them. They involve no
large percentage, though they constitute considerable absolute num­
bers of women in industry, rising as high as 500, 700, or even 1,400
in some of the States in the limited groups studied.
U. S. Department of Labor.

Women’s Bureau. Negro women in industry.

Bui. 20,1922, p. 20



Of all the night workers found, 3,260 were working 10 or more
hours a night; nearly one-third of these (996) were working 11 or
more hours.
The night shifts are largely composed of women in the prime of life;
of married women; of native Americans in the South and of a pre­
ponderance of foreign-born women in States receiving a large propor­
tion of immigrants; and, lastly, of white women.
While the wage rates of night workers are slightly higher than those
of day workers, their earnings show a tendency to fall below the cor­
responding earnings of the day shift.
Finally, the essential strain and hardship of night work is needlessly
intensified through lack of any thought or effort to economize the
workers’ strength, as, for example, by lack of provision for proper
intervals or rest pauses, by failure to provide seats, or by occasional
undue use of overtime.


The diplomatic conference of 1906.
In September, 1906, a memorable meeting was held at Bern, Swit­
zerland. At the invitation of the Swiss Federal Council, the repre­
sentatives of 14 European powers gathered in diplomatic conference,
intent upon initiating the international protection of labor by the
suppression of one of the age-old practices of industry, the night work
of women. They had chosen this question as, in the words of M.
Raoul Jay, “one of the most urgent, most important, and most easily
solved” of industrial problems, ripe for solution, as it seemed, in the
common sense of mankind, and indeed already adjudged before the
bar of public opinion in the leading industrial States of Europe. The
international convention submitted to the conference, and after full
debate accepted and signed by the representatives of all the powers
present, has been called the first article of the International Labor
Terms of the convention.
The terms of the Bern Convention12 established internationally two
main principles in the prohibition of night work. They forbade the
employment of women at night without distinction of age, and required
that the night’s rest should have a minimum duration of 11 consecu­
tive hours, these hours to include the interval from 10 p. m. to 5 a. m.
Such prohibition was to apply to all industrial undertakings employ­
ing more than 10 workers, except such as employed only members of
the proprietor’s family. Exceptions were allowed in cases of inter­
ruption of work due to force majeure (the interruption of operations
by abnormal and nonrecurrent causes beyond the control of the
proprietor), or to save irreparable loss in the case of work on raw
ii This historical sketch is based on the following:
Le travail de nuit des femmes dans i’industrie: Rapports sur son importance et sa rOglementation
legale. FrMace par Prof. Etienne Bauer, Directeur de 1 'Office Internationale du Travail. Jena, Fischer,
Pic, Paul La protection legate des travailleurs. Paris, Alcan, 1909.
Jay, Raoul. La protection legate des travailleurs. Paris, Larose et Tenin, 1910.
CatO, Marcel. La Convention de Berne de 1906. Paris, Larose, 1911.
Hutchins, B. L., and Harrison, A. A history of factory legislation. Second edition, revised.
Ring, 1911.
Goldmark, Josephine. Fatigue and efficiency. New York, 1912.
Mahaim, Ernest. Le droit international ouvrier. Paris, Larose et Tenin, 1913.
Turmann, Max. Problemes sociaux du travail industrial. Paris, Le Coflre, 1921.
n See text in appendix, p. 69.





materials or materials liable to rapid deterioration. For seasonal
industries, or other industries in cases of unusual circumstances, the
sole concession made by the convention was the permission of an
hour’s reduction in the night’s rest for 60 days in the year.
The convention further required that the signatory States should
ratify the international agreement and should file their ratifications
with the Swiss Federal Council not later than December 31, 1908;
that they should insure fulfillment, moreover, of the terms of the
agreement in their respective countries by harmonizing their legisla­
tion with its provisions. The convention was to come into force two
years after the record of ratification was completed.
Contemporary comment.
The achievement of the diplomatic conference was hailed by the
delegates present with an immense enthusiasm. They had laid the
corner stone in the foundation of international labor legislation; they
had opened a new way to justice and peace in industry. The presi­
dent, M. Emile Frey, in his closing words at the final session, said:
The Swiss people have followed your work with the most attentive solicitude,
for they realize that a great problem has been under discussion here, the solution
of which will be a landmark in the records of humanity. Is it possible to make
the protection of the workers the object of international conventions which shall
bind the contracting parties? If you had decided this question in the negative,
the hopes of thousands would have been cruelly deceived; in deciding it in the
affirmative you have inaugurated a new era in the social history of mankind.
* * * There is the path which, according to all human foresight, leads to the
peaceful solution of the social question. It shall be your claim to glory, gentle­
men, to have made these first steps, and that glory will be inscribed in the annals
of history.13

With the same feeling, that .an almost Utopian dream had been
realized, contemporary and later commentators write of the conference
of 1906. “It should rightly be considered,” writes Cat6, in his mono­
graph on the Bern Convention, “as one of the most glorious pages in
the social history of nations.”
Significance of the convention.
If now, in the face of such exalted language—in the face, indeed, of
the labor legislation already effective in the more advanced coun­
tries the actual terms of the Bern Convention may seem to some
timid and restricted enough, it must be remembered that as a land­
mark, a milestone, a symbol, it has a significance quite beyond the
actual specifications of its text. Like all agreements it is a compro­
mise, and as such it was clearly recognized by the men who created
it. Thus, at the Geneva Conference of 1906, Prof. Hector Denis,
already looking beyond it to advances to be realized only 13 years
later at Washington, offered a resolution to the effect that the provi­
“ Cate, Marcel. La Convention de Berne de 1906.

Paris, Larose, lflll, pp. 96-97.



sions of the Bern Convention “which limit the suppression of night
work to shops employing at least 10 workers should be extended as
promptly as possible to all factories.” The limits set to the prohibited
hours may be viewTed as a concession in favor of backward countries,
since the legislative provisions of the more progressive industrial States
already had considerably bettered these. But the convention, even
had its terms been much less drastic, would still have marked a new
era in industrial history. For beyond the immediate urgent reform
it aimed at, its epoch-making character lay in this, that for the first
time labor and human welfare had been considered, like war and
commerce, important enough for international agreement and treaty.14 15 * *
A way had been found while safeguarding the workers to disarm the
ancient terrors of international competition.

But the Bern Convention was the high-water mark of a tide that
had been slowly rising in Europe for more than a generation—the
slowdy mounting, at last irresistible demand for the international
protection of labor. The night-work treaty was no sudden achieve­
ment; it was the culmination of prolonged public-spirited effort. To
view the conference of 1906 in its right proportions, it is necessary to
take up briefly the earlier history of the long fight to abolish the
night work of women, and in conjunction with it the origins of the
international labor organization which at last was to make its sup­
pression possible.
The English experience.18
The industrial revolution in England, taking place on a scale and
with a swiftness unknown to the other countries of Europe, had effec­
tively dramatized the abuses of the factory system in its reckless
waste of human capital and especially in its exploitation of the eco­
nomically weaker members of society, of women and children. As
if for a parable to the world, the first industrial nation of Europe
reaped the harvest of unrestricted competition in the racial deterio­
ration that made the factory population of Lancashire a -byword.
Public opinion first made headway against the convenient economic
doctrines that favored such competition in behalf of children and
registered itself in the act of 1833, which fixed the length of the
working day and prohibited night work between 8.30 p. m. and 5.30
a. m.; but it took 10 years more to rouse itself to the point of includ­
14 One earlier labor treaty there had been, indeed, though between two nations only—the Franco-Italian
treaty of April 15, 1904—as well as certain “bilateralagreements'’ on industrial accidents; but these had
been of no great importance. See Mahaim, Ernest, Le droit international ouvrier, Paris, Larose et
Tenin, 1913, p. 221; and Pic, Paul, La protection 16gale des travailleurs, Paris, Alcan, 1909, p. 162.
15 Hutchins, B. L., and Harrison, A. A history of factory legislation, second edition, revised. London,
King, 1911, Chapters I-V; and Le travail de nuit des femmes dans l’industrie: Rapports sur son impor­
tance et sa r6glementation legale, Preface par Prof. Etienne Bauer, Jena, Fischer, 1903, p. viii.



ing women in a similar protection. Not until the shocking revela­
tions of the Children’s Employment Commission in its report of 1842
on mines and collieries, and the facts brought to light in regard to
woman’s labor in factories by the commission of 1843, was the Gov­
ernment startled at last into some action on behalf of the industrial
mothers of England. In 1844 women were first included with
children and young persons in the protected class; they were prohib­
ited from employment between 8.30 p. m. and 5.30 a. m., and were
forbidden to work more than 12 hours daily. By the act of 1844
Parliament recognized the truth that Jules Simon was to express for
France a generation later: “If it be senseless to legislate for the
mother without the child, it is surely no less a folly to legislate for
the child without the mother.”
Thus, historically and technically, the early prohibition of night
work is indivisibly connected with the regulation of the length of the
working day and overtime by fixed opening and closing hours. When
the working hours of women in textile mills were reduced to 10 by
the act of 1847 the efforts of Lord Shaftesbury to have the working
day limited to the time from 6 a. m. to 6 p. m. were defeated in favor
of the previously fixed hours, but his wisdom was proved by the sub­
sequent difficulties of enforcement. These led in 1850 to a 10j^-hour
law with the legal limits of employment set at 6 a. m. and 6 p. m.
and no margin therefore allowed beyond the needed meal hours. The
benefits to enforcement of such rigidly limited hours are abundantly
Other pioneers.16
The struggle over the factory acts was still at its height in England
when Switzerland also, “smallest of countries, but most advanced in
her social legislation,” began the fight for the suppression of night
work. After the efforts of a decade to regulate or abolish it either
by Federal law or by intercantonal agreement had proved abortive,
a single canton, Glaris, took the bold step in 1864 of legislating alone
against this strongly entrenched though generally hated practice.
Here the popular assembly, the Landsgemcinde, took the matter
effectively in hand, and prohibited night work of all kinds for men
and women alike. Thirteen years later the Swiss confederation, in
the Swiss Federal law of 1877, followed the path blazed by Glaris by
the total prohibition of night work for all workers. Thus Switzer­
land, more than a generation after the passage of the first English
law against the night work of women, was the first nation on the
Continent to follow England in the abolition of women’s employment
at night. Repeated efforts were made to repeal or amend the factory18
18 travail de nuit des femmes dans Pindustrie: Rapports sur son importance et sa r£glementation legale.
Le travail de nuit des femmes en Suisse. Dr. Fridolin Schuler, Jena, Fischer, 1903.



law in favor of the employers, “but no one,” wrote the veteran factory
inspector, Doctor Schuler, “ventured to attack the prohibition of
night work.”
Slowly other countries followed the lead of England and Switzer­
land. On the other side of the world, New Zealand in 1881 pro­
hibited night work for women. In 1885 Austria followed her
neighbor Switzerland in abolishing the practice, in 1889 the Nether­
lands enacted similar and more drastic legislation, while Massachu­
setts a year later was the first of the United States to indorse the
The rising protest.
But public opinion in civilized countries, outstripping the slow
movement of legislation, was meantime gathering volume and insist­
ence, and without observation was rallying to its aid international
forces, without which, men were coming to feel, even so definite and
limited a reform as the suppression of night work might be long of
fulfillment. Vainly in 1818 Robert Owen had petitioned the Congress
of Aix-la-Chapclle in behalf of an international regulation of the
working day; and as vainly Daniel Le Grand, the Alsatian manu­
facturer and philanthropist, in the decades from 1840 to 1860 had
addressed his series of “ respectful appeals ” for the international
protection of labor to the unheeding Governments of Europe.17 But
the years following were to witness the rising power and ultimate
victory of the ideas they stood for. It was significant of the relative
urgency of the night-work question in men’s minds that Le Grand’s
last petitions had been devoted solely to the international prohibition
of women’s night work. Now in the resolutions and proceedings of
congresses as well as in a growing scientific literature there was reg­
istered the increasing public preoccupation with the need of inter­
national action for the protection of the workers and especially with
the need of abolishing the employment of women by night. The
first Socialist Internationale at the Geneva Congress in 1866 passed a
vigorous resolution against this industrial practice; at the other end
of the scale the International Congress of Hygiene and Demography,
meeting at Vienna in 1887, indorsed the resolution of Doctor Schuler
to the effect that “the limitation of working hours, and above all
the prohibition of night work, must be demanded on grounds both
of health and of morals.”
The Berlin Conference.
Appeals of eccentric philanthropists and resolutions of congresses,
socialist or scientific, while very well in their way, might have been
long indeed in obtaining the effective consideration of governments.
w For this Interesting figure in the history of French industry see Cat6, op. cit., p. 7; Jay, op. cit,,
p. 343; Turmann, op cit., pp. 183-184; Bauer, op. cit., p. U-



What the movement now needed was a press agent, and by one of the
fortunate coincidences of history it obtained the services of a very
conspicuous press agent. The Socialist movement in Germany was
menacing the established order, strikes were threatening in the Ruhr,
subversive ideas were in the air. The young Emperor, Wilhelm II,
moved apparently to attempt some effective counterstroke, suddenly
assumed an unexpected championship of the working class; he issued
his famous rescript to the nations of Europe, summoning them in the
name of an adequate protection of the workers to an international
labor conference to be held at Berlin in March of 1890.
One Government alone, that of the Swiss Confederation, had been
preoccupied for many years with the need of international action and
its own responsibility for bringing it about. In 1876 Colonel Frey,
the president of the Federal Council, had opened the session of that
body with the question whether it were not the duty of Switzerland
to try to bring about the conclusion of international treaties for the
uniform regulation of the problems of labor. But the effort of the
Swiss Council a few years later to stimulate diplomatic action on the
part of some of the leading industrial States of Europe met with a
cold response from Governments still indifferent enough to the con­
ditions of the workers. Yet undiscouraged by official indifference,
encouraged, rather, by pressure from workingmen’s associations and
from signs of a growing support in public opinion, Switzerland in 1889
was issuing invitations and making all arrangements for a conference
of the European powers at Bern as the first step toward international
agreements for the protection of labor, when suddenly the invitation
of the German Emperor flashed through the columns of the European
What neither the modest proposals of the Swiss Government,
nor the resolutions of workingmen’s congresses and scientific bodies,
nor the growing literature on the protection of labor could accomplish
the imperial rescript did at a blow; it effectively challenged the world’s
attention and focused it on the claims and needs of labor. For the
first time the protection of the workers assumed headline value. It
was impossible to ignore the Emperor of Germany. The Government
of Switzerland, with clear-sighted and courteous recognition of the
superior value of the Berlin Conference to their common purpose,
gracefully yielded place to the Emperor, and at Berlin for the first
time the representatives of the powers met to consider the needs of
the workers.
A stage on the road.
A gathering so heralded naturally aroused high expectations. Com­
pared with the brilliant auspices and high hopes of the Berlin Con­
ference, compared above all with its ambitious program,18 the outcome
MThis Included work in mines, Sunday labor, and protection of children, young persons, and women.



has seemed to many so meager and disappointing as to constitute a
setback to the hopes of labor. The conference resulted in no action
or binding agreement, but merely in an exchange of views and some
resolutions, tepid and timid enough, beginning, all of them, with the
cautious formula, “It is desirable.” But the achieved basis of agree­
ment which these resolutions represented was of incalculable impor­
tance. Their tameness was the price of acceptance. Even so, the
resolution against the night work of women was passed at the first
reading by a majority of only two votes.19 But the noncommittal
resolutions of Berlin were a stage on the road to the binding inter­
national agreements made at the Bern and Washington Conferences.
Labor, moreover, had achieved a new importance; the social question
had for the first time figured on the order of the day of European
Governments. From this point of view alone, said the Comte de
Mun, one of the most ardent of the earlier champions of international
labor legislation, the conference should rightly rank “among the most
considerable events of the century.”
Germany in her industrial code of 1891 and France in her law of
1892 gave legislative effect to the night-work resolution of the Berlin
Conference. Indeed, the legislation of another great nation may
fairly be counted among its results, for Italy by her law of 1902,
before the Bern Conference had even been planned, took rank with
enlightened industrial countries by prohibiting the night work of
A permanent international instrument.
But for international action on labor questions a permanent inter­
national instrument—not scattered conferences—was more and more
evidently needed. It was by private initiative, after successive con­
gresses had failed to take any action looking toward the creation of
such an instrument, that committees were formed in the various
countries with the object of founding the International Association
for Labor Legislation. At Paris in 1900, at a Congress for the
Protection of Labor called by these committees, this object was
triumphantly realized.
First task of the new association.
The new association at its first meeting in 1901 fixed upon the
suppression of night work as of paramount importance and urgency.
It laid upon the new International Labor Office the task of an inquiry
into “the actual status and effects of the night work of women in the
various countries as well as the results obtained in the industries in
which it has been suppressed.” The reports of this inquiry were laid
11 At the final vote the States were recorded as follows; Affirmative—Austria-Hungary, Germany,
Great Britain, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland; negative—Belgium, France, Italy,
Portugal, Spain; not voting—Denmark, Sweden. See France. Ministere des Affaires Elrangdres.
Conlerence Internationale de Berlin, 1890. Paris, 1890, p. 85




before the second meeting of the International Association for Labor
Legislation, held at Cologne in 1902. No one who has read those
admirable reports20 can wonder that this meeting passed for the first
time a resolution “ with teeth,” declaring that the night-work legis­
lation already existing and its effects on both industry and the work­
ers justified “ the absolute interdiction in principle of night work for
women,” and further charging a commission with the duty of investi­
gating “the means of introducing this general prohibition and of
examining how the exceptions which still exist may be progressively
suppressed.” The commission was to report in two years. It was
clear to all that the time for pious opinions and platonic resolutions
was past. “What we want,” M. Brants had said in his report on
the question of night work, “is a practical resolution of a type to
obtain something more than courteous deference from the Govern­
ments. We must have results which shall be translated into law.”
The Bern Conference.
In the following year the commission charged the International
Labor Office to request that the Federal Council of Switzerland should
initiate an international conference. Warned by the experience of
Berlin, they proposed a definite and strictly limited program, the
prohibition by international conventions of two indefensible abuses—
the night work of women and the use of white phosphorus in the
match industry. They further required that the office should send
memoranda on the questions at issue to the various Governments to
be invited. On March 1, 1904, such memoranda accordingly were
sent to 14 Governments, and at the meeting of the association in the
same year at Basel it was announced that the first effective step to
international labor legislation had been taken; the Swiss Government
would convoke an international conference the following year at Bern
for the protection of workers.
At Bern, then, in 1905, was written that “first article of the
International Labor Code”—the international convention on the
prohibition of night work of women in industry—to which at the
diplomatic conference in the following year the representatives of
14 European powers set their hands. A great historic event, the
signature of the first international labor treaty, had been consummated.

As has been soon, the terms of the Bern Convention required that
the signatory States should ratify the international agreement and
should file their ratifications with the Swiss Federal Council not later
than December 1, 1908. This time limit was later extended to Janu­
ary 14, 1910, by which date all the participating States had ratified,
20 Le travail de nuit des femmes dans I’industrie: Rapports snr son importance et sar6glementation
legale. Jena, Fischer, 1903.



with the exception of Spain, to which a special extension of two years
had been accorded, and Denmark. The convention, then, came duly
into force on January 14, 1912.
The seven signatory States that had previously prohibited night
work for women were well in advance of the provisions with regard
to prohibited hours; the six that had previously prohibited the
night work of children and young persons only had considerable leg­
islative adjustments to undertake, and, with the exception of Belgium
and Spain, which gave an extra hour to the “night,” barely equaled
the requirements of the convention.
Stimulus to legislation.
Yet the stimulus to national legislation of an internationally
accepted standard is visible all along the line, when a review of the
statutes of civilized States in the following years is made. Even
countries that earlier had abolished the night work of women made
legislative or administrative changes to harmonize their legislation
with the provisions of the convention, or made it a point of pride to
advance beyond them.
For example, Germany in 1908 lengthened the period of the night
rest by one hour, making the prohibited hours of work for women
8 p. m. to 6 a. m,, instead of 8.30 p. m. to 5.30 a. m. as previously fixed
by the industrial code of 1891, and required for the first time 11 unin­
terrupted hours for rest. Furthermore, she limited to some degree
the scope of exemptions and fixed a closing hour beyond which over­
time might not be prolonged—in seasonal industries not beyond
10 p. m. and in cases of exceptional pressure of work not beyond 9.
The Netherlands likewise gave an added hour to the definition of night,
and affirmed the principle of the 11 hours’ night rest required by the
convention by making the prohibited hours 7 p. m. to 6 a. m. In
France the prohibition of night work had been gravely compromised
by the evil custom of “veillfies”—the late overtime permitted to some
half dozen exempted trades on 60 nights in the year—and more gravely
still by a permanent exemption clause under which night work might
be authorized in certain trades throughout the year. However, in
1910 these “veillees” were restricted to a single trade, that of mourning
dressmaking and millinery; while in 1911 the limit of overtime was
set at 10 instead of 11 p. m. to harmonize with the Bern Convention,
the 11 hours’ consecutive rest was written into the law, and the per­
manent exemption clause was repealed. Even Great Britain, after
more than half a century’s experience in the prohibition of women’s
night work, found that she had an exemption to withdraw in the case
of the flax scutch mills. In 1907 she extended the applicati >n of the
factory and workshop act more fully to laundries, and in the same
year prohibited by administrative order night work in fruit factories
between 10 p. m. and 6 a. m.



Even in countries prohibiting women’s night work for the first
time after the Bern Convention, its progressive stimulus to legisla­
tion may be noted. Belgium, for example, passed her first act pro­
hibiting night work in accordance with the Bern Convention in
1911. Three years later she passed an amending act which made
applicable to all industrial undertakings, irrespective of size, the
prohibition that according to the convention was to apply only to
establishments employing more than 10 persons.
Application to colonies and possessions.
Nor must there fail of emphasis the wise extension of the nightwork law to backward or even quite uncivilized countries by the
application of the convention to “colonies, possessions, or protecto­
rates” of signatory States. In accordance with article 6, France
and England as home Governments notified the Swiss Federal
Council of the adherence to the convention of Algeria and Tunis for
Franee, and for England of countries ranging from the high civilization
of New Zealand to the primitive culture of Nigeria and the Fiji
Islands Subsequent decrees applied the night-work provisions of
the French code du travail to Martinique, to Guadeloupe, to Reunion,
to French Guiana, and to Madagascar. If at first sight the exten­
sion of means of prevention to nonindustrialized and still primitive
peoples seems merely a curious anomaly, on closer view it must
appear as it really is, an exercise of far-seeing statesmanship. If
industrial abuses are to be prevented, such prevention must precede
and not follow the advent of industry and the special interests that
make prevention difficult. Asia has offered new and terrible proof
of this in recent years by the spectacle of nations untaught by
western experience becoming suddenly industrialized and repeating
after the lapse of a century the worst phases of the industrial
revolution in the west.
Influence on nonsignatory States.
Nonsignatory States, moreover, felt the influence of the movement
started at Bern, and one by one, as if hastening to measure up to the
standards set by the conference, approached or exceeded the require­
ments of the international convention. Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Liechtenstein, Serbia, Greece, had all, before the date set for the coming
in force of the Bern Convention, fallen into line by prohibiting, with
some hours of added stringency for good measure, the night work of
women. The same impulse in the workers’ affairs reached to Japan
and India, both recording in their factory acts of 1911 the first legis­
lative action of the social conscience in Asia. The same impulse was
felt more explicably in the British dominions, in provinces as yet but
little industrialized but sharing the British inheritance and the hardwon British knowledge of the need of factory legislation. In South



America Argentina made the first attempt on that continent to follow
the example of the European powers by prohibiting women’s night
work in the capital, Buenos Aires.
The second conference of Bern.
And so, as years passed, the prohibition of night work met general
sanction, and the steady and peaceful progress of international labor
legislation might well have been considered assured.21 With the nightwork reform effective in Europe, a manifest and glowing success fol­
lowing upon its initiative, the Swiss Federal Council in 1913 invited
the powers a second time to a conference at Bern, this one to deal
with the night work of young persons and with women’s hours of labor.
Draft conventions were duly formulated; a diplomatic conference was
projected for September of the following year. But in September, 1914,
the European powers had other things to think of. The Federal
Council sent notes to the Governments invited, canceling its invita­
tions and postponing the conference to a more convenient season.
“ Wo feel sure,” ran the letter, “ that you will agree with our decision.”

The breakdown of the labor laws.
Force majoure, the phrase familiar to industry, is not inappropriate
to the gigantic interruption caused by the war; with such violence
was the comity of nations suddenly rent asunder that it seemed as
though some great natural cataclysm had occurred. And as force
majeure—fire or flood or earthquake—traditionally abrogates all
restrictions upon labor, so it was with the infinitely greater world
catastrophe. The war carried with it the breakdown of more than
industrial standards; what were labor laws that they should stand
in the general ruin?
Under emergency powers labor legislation wont by the board.
Hours were recklessly lengthened, overtime, Sunday labor, and night
shifts feverishly resorted to, in the effort to speed to the utmost the
national production of war necessities. After almost a century of
disuse England revived the practice of night work for women. Labor
itself acquiesced in the overthrow of its hard-won, slowly achieved,
protective standards. The experiment of industrial pressure “ with­
out stint or limit ” could scarcely have been tried under more favor­
able circumstances. The spur of patriotic ardor, the urge of mass
emotion, the incentive of unparalleled high wages, all did their part
to defy the industrial experience of mankind.
The other Bern Convention of 191)6, prohibiting the use of white phosphorus in the manufacture of
matches, also had been sanctioned, though with no such general consensus of opinion as the night-work




The return toward peace-time standards.
The history of the later years of the war is the history of the grad­
ual withdrawal of war-time exemptions, the gradual restoration of
the provisions of the labor laws. Overtime was found to defeat
itself, overstrain to invoke diminishing returns. When the machines
had been speeded to capacity, the workers straining to their limit,
production had fallen. In the very interest of efficiency and in alarm
at their failure to maintain output, the warring countries were forced
to call a halt. One by one, under the imperative need of conserv­
ing labor power, the nations began to restore normal standards.
This slow return to peace-time standards under increasing pressure
of war was a striking demonstration of the value of the labor law, an
ultimate proof of the wisdom—the national necessity—of safeguard­
ing the health of the workers in war emergency as in peace. Of
interest at this point is the conviction expressed by the French
Undersecretary of State in an address delivered on June 6, 1916:
The experience of war time has only proved the necessity—technical, economical,
and even physiological—of the labor laws enacted before the war. It is in our
legislation in times of peace that we shall find the conditions for a bettor and
more intense production during the war.22

British testimony is not less emphatic. “ The fact that it has been
found necessary,” said a factory inspector in a statement made to
the British War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry, “to
revert to the Factory Act regulations step by stop proved their value
and has shown that these require even to be made more stringent in
some respects.”23 “Much of this relaxation was found to be uneco­
nomical and baneful, this committee says of the war-time exemp­
tions, and states after an impressive summary:
On the whole, the protection in normal circumstances given to women and
young persons by the provisions of the Factory and Workshop Acts had
amply justified itself by the unsatisfactory results of the relaxation which was
to some extent necessary under the stress of war conditions.2<

Slowly and step by step the Sunday rest was restored, overtime
was cut off, working hours were reduced to a normal or nearly nor­
mal day. The night-work exemption lingered behind the others, since
night shifts offered the obvious means to hard-pressed Governments
of keeping the machines running without the exhaustion of the labor
force entailed by overtime or inhumanly long hours. Yet the author­
ization of women’s night work was progressively limited; the prohi­
bition was restored for girls and young women under 16, under 18,
22 Quoted in Bulletin du Ministere du Travail, July-August, 1916, p. 123.
MGreat Britain. Report of the War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry, 1919. Appendix III.
Statement of Miss Rose E. Squire, deputy principal lady inspector of factories at the Home Office p 207
“Ibid., p. 108.




under 21, and at last for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Had the war lasted longer, it is scarcely venturesome to assert
that it would have seen the prohibition of night work for women
reestablished with the other protective restrictions of the labor law’s.
Specific experiences.
Two countries withdrew night-work exemptions granted. By De­
cember 1, 1915, the Netherlands had refused to continue authoriza­
tions of night work for women; and Russia in June of 1917 withdrew
the exemptions, granted in 1915, for women’s and children’s night
work in mines and for national defense. Hungary maintained its
labor standards intact. Shortage of raw material and fear of unem­
ployment sometimes aided the protection of the workers. Thus
Austria, which had allowred no derogations from the night-work law
until September of 1915, was forced only six weeks later to warn the
provincial governments to issue no permits for women or children to
work at night in cotton factories. Countries making intensive use
of the night work of women and children found it necessary to miti­
gate its ill effects, as they best might, by throwing around the
workers whatever safeguards of supervision and welfare provisions
were possible.

So it was that the industrial history of the war proved a reenforcelnent. of the best wisdom of peace. Labor legislation had suffered an
interruption, not a setback; with the reestablishment of peace the
claims of the workers received a new and unexampled emphasis. The
Versailles treaty gave a special chapter to labor and instituted an
international organization. Universal peace, it stated nobly, “can be
founded only on the basis of social justice.” When, therefore, the
International Labor Conference was called at Washington in 1919, in
accordance with the terms of the treaty, it was significant of the
world’s mood that no fewer than seven conventions protective of
labor were adopted. Among these the prohibition of the night work
of women was extended and completed. The delegates were able to
take up the question where the Bern Convention had left it, with a
conviction sobered and emphasized by the war. For in spite of war
derogations, as was said by Miss Constance Smith in presenting the
report of the special commission, “the point of view that night work
for women is undesirable, that its prohibition should be as far as possi­
ble universal, has not been weakened by war experience.”


The new draft convention formulated at Washington was designed
to bring the Bern Convention of 1906 up to date and to extend its
application in accordance with the needs and opinions of the time.
Chief and most important of its innovations was the application to
all public and private industrial undertakings, irrespective of numbers
employed, of the night-work prohibition, which by the Bern Conven­
tion had applied only to undertakings employing more than 10 work­
ers. This was a change of prime importance, for the earlier convention,
in excepting the smaller industrial establishments, had left unprotected
precisely the women likely to need protection most. The Washing­
ton Convention, moreover, in omitting article 8 of the Bern agreement,
dropped the delays therein provided for the coming in force of its
provisions. The new convention was to become effective as soon as
notification had been issued by the Secretary General of the League
of Nations that two ratifications had been registered, and thereafter
for each ratifying country on the date on which ratification was
registered. The convention accordingly came into force on June 21,

Attention has been called to the wide influence on legislation of
the international standard set up in -the Bern Convention. Yet it
took eight years from the time of the diplomatic conference, it will




be remembered, to secure the adhesion of 13 States. It was due in
part, no doubt, to the superior prestige and greater representative
strength of the Washington Conference, as well as to the march of
public opinion in the intervening years, that the acceptance of the
second night-work convention has been more rapid and general than
that of the first. According to the ratification chart issued by the
International Labor Office for December, 1927, eight years after the
Washington Conference, ratification has been registered for 16 States,
approved by parliament in another, and recommended to parliament
by the Government in 10 others. This makes a total of ratifications
completed or under way in 27 States. In 2 additional States, more­
over—Japan and Poland—legislation has been passed looking toward
the application of the convention, and in 4 others—Bolivia, Finland,
Norway, and Portugal—such legislation is in progress or preparation.
It would hardly seem open to question that the prohibition of women’s
employment at night is fast becoming universal in civilized countries.
Washington Convention on the night work of women
I Status of various countries according to the ratification chart of the International Labor Office in
December, 1927]




Legislative or Legislative or
measures other measures
Ratification Ratification other
passed since
passed before
adoption of
adoption of











Great Britain.









Great Britain.


Irish Free

Irish Free State.



Serb-CroatSlovene King­

Slovene King-








South Africa.

in progress
or prepa­

South Africa.





In addition to the countries shown on the chart, Sweden and Lux­
emburg, signatory to the Bern Convention, and Russia,25 though not
yet a member of the international organization, have legislated against
night work.
Thus, at the close of 1927, 36 countries had abolished the night
work of women in industry, or had taken steps, legislative or govern­
mental, looking toward its prohibition. These nations covered the
entire Continent of Europe, with the exception of Monaco, Albania,
and Turkey; they included in Asia two great industrial countries,
India and Japan; and in Africa the French dependencies Tunis and
Algeria to the north, the Union of South Africa to the south, and between
them such British dependencies as Uganda, Northern Nigeria, and the
Gold Coast. The movement has included, moreover, the British
Dominions, where the prohibition of night work has been for the
most part of long standing, New Zealand, all the Australian States,
and all but two of the Canadian Provinces—Yukon and Prince
Edward Island, whore industry has not yet penetrated. It has
spread to Mexico and Central America, where Guatemala, Costa
Rica, Nicaragua, Salvador, and Honduras have adopted an inter­
national convention of their own, including the prohibition of
women’s night work; and to South America, where Argentina and
Brazil have a partial prohibition of night work and are taking
steps, as are also Bolivia and Chile, to make the prohibition com­
plete. The United States, through her failure to prohibit night
work for women over the main part of her territory, stands alone
among comparable States.
In the preceding pages is presented a brief sketch of the long
struggle in Europe and throughout the foreign world which ended in
the suppression in most civilized countries of the practice of women’s
night work. The movement which began nearly a century ago in
England, after slowly gathering force in Europe has spread to the other
continents. It won its first international victory in the Bern Con­
vention, and its finally effective triumph at Washington.
What was it that so deeply stirred the social conscience against an
industrial usage never general, for the most part intermittent,
affecting at worst only a minority of the women employed in industry
throughout the world? It must be clear to any candid observer
that apart from incidental hardships or needlessly bad conditions
“ U should be noted, however, that a Russian circular of the Commissariat of Labor, issued in the
spring of 1925, gave such general authorization to the employment of women by night as to make
the previous prohibition practically nugatory. This may doubtless be regarded as a temporary
emergency measure, incidental to the present conditions of production. (See Circular of the Commis­
sariat of Labor of Apr. 13, 1925, quoted in Informations du Commissariat du Travail, No. 20, 1925.)



still surviving in certain forms of industry, there is something fun­
damentally wrong about night work, some deeper objection, intrinsic,
inalienable, not to be cured by any reform of its conditions or sur­
roundings. One can not see a revolt against a certain practice of
industry so general as to seem a revolt of civilization itself without
attempting some analysis of its object, without wishing to substanti­
ate the case against it.
There is grave testimony against night work for women, and it
is this testimony that everywhere, when fairly presented, has won
its verdict from judges and legislators and governments. It is the
testimony of doctors and scientists, of actuaries and public health
experts, of sociologists and economists. More than that, it is tes­
timony of forward-looking employers against backward ortes, of
efficient and successful industry against rule of thumb. The case
was first drawn up in the reports of the inquiry made in 1901 for the
International Association for Labor Legislation,26 human documents
of extraordinary interest and value, impressive above all in the fun­
damental agreement of their findings in all the leading industrial
States of Europe. And it is a case that has gained increasing
emphasis with every advance of the science of industrial hygiene.
The pages following take up in order its medical, its social, and its
economic phases.

The reversal of natural functions.
From the testimony taken nearly a century ago before the British
Factories Inquiry Commission to the evidence at the hearings of a
United States Senate committee in its investigation of night work in
the Post Office Department, the characteristic and instinctive type
of comment is that night work is against nature. “ An unnatural,
unwholesome, and demoralizing practice,” said Henry and Edmund
Ashforth, cotton spinners, recommending its abolition to the British
Commission of 1832;27 and “because night work is unnatural” the
representative of the post-office clerks appealed to the Senate com­
mittee in 1922 for a reduction of hours in the night shift.28
Science has taken the empirical, instinctive comment of man, and
now repeats and reenforces it, with a new emphasis and to more con­
vincing purpose, by the testimony of physiologists and investigators.29 * *
It is “unnatural” to turn night into day, because man is a diurnal
» Lc travail de nuit des femmes dans l’industrie: Rapports sur son importance et sa r6glementution
16gale. Jena, Fischer, 1903.
27 Great Britain. Factories Inquiry Commission. 1831 Supplementary report, p. 279.
28 U. S. Senate Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads 67th Congress, 2d session. Hearings ol
May 11 and 18, 1922, p. 54.
28 For the following, see Great Britain, Health of Munition Workers Committee, Interim report, 1917,
pp. 26-27; and Lee, Frederic S., The human machine and industrial efficiency. New York, Longmans,
Green & Co., 1918, pp. 61 II



and not a nocturnal animal. The human machine is geared to work
by day and rest by night. The activities of the human body are
rhythmic. Scientists tell us that among the physiological rhythms
of the body is that of temperature, which exhibits a distinct cycle
during the 24 hours, varying one or two degrees from its maximum
in the afternoon and evening to its minimum in the early hours of
the morning. This rhythm is usually attributed to the variations of
metabolism, or the building up and breaking down of tissue, during
the course of the 24 hours, occasioned largely by the activities of the
muscles. Experimentation in the laboratory has proved that this
temperature rhythm may be reversed for animals by a complete
reversal of activities and habits, and the same reversal was found
possible for human beings by Linhard in his experiments with mem­
bers of the Danish polar expedition of 1906-1908, during the silence
and darkness of the Arctic night.30 But such controlled experiments
have little to do with the common human experiment of the night
worker who tries to sleep in a waking and working world when he
has completed his toil during the hours normally set aside for rest
and sleep, and it will not be surprising to find that in his case the
curve of temperature is “modified but not reversed,” 31 the lower
temperatures still appearing in the night and early morning, though
the day temperature may be reduced by sleep. “ The basic, objection
to night work depends on the fact that it is unphysiological,” writes
Doctor Vernon, the medical investigator of the British Health of
Munition Workers Committee, and more lately of the Industrial
Fatigue Research Board. “The average industrial worker finds it
impossibl ■ to effect a genuine reversal of habits when he is on the
night shift.”32 33
“I am not in favor of night work for anybody,” Dr. Emery R.
Hayhurst begins his medical argument against night work:
It is unnatural for most forms of life to work at night and attempt to sleep in
the day. The diurnal temperature, which varies in the human being, in whom
it is highest at 2 to 6 p. m. and lowest at 2 to 6 a. m., is directly interfered with.38

Other bodily functions display a similar rhythm throughout the 24
hours; those, for example, of the digestive organs. According to Dr
T. B. Hyslop—
The observations of Burch (Virchow’s Archiv, 185 8, Bd. XIV) sehin to demon­
strate that in sleep during the day the bodily functions continue and the stomach,
etc., is active. At night time, however, their activity is diminished. Hence it
is that nocturnal employments are antiphysiological and the bodily economy and
metabolism can only be adjusted with great difficulty.34
" Report ot the Danish Expedition to the Northeast Coast of Greenland, 1900-08. Copenhagen, 1910.
81 Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee, Interim report, 1917, p. 27.
82 Vernon, H. M. Industrial fatigue and efficiency. London, Itoutledge, 1921, p. 90.
33 American Journal of Public Health, May, 1919, p. 367.
M Encyclopedia Medica, Vol. XI, p. 195.



And the Italian physiologist., Dr. Luigi Carozzi, emphasizes as one
of the losses of the night, worker that “autoregulation of metabolism”
which is one of the “normal characteristics of sleep.” 35
Thus night work is “against nature” in an exact and literal sense;
it is the attempt to work against instead of with man’s physiological
rhythm; it aims vainly at a reversal of the physiological functions
not practically possible to effect, urging brain and muscle to labor at
a time when the bodily processes are naturally in abeyance and the
total level of activity is depressed, when the whole set of the human
organism is toward rest and sleep. “It imposes on a physiological
organism attuned to one sequence of events,” says Dr. Frederic S.
Lee, “a different and abnormal sequence”; and, summing up his dis­
cussion of the. subject, “Night work is unnatural, unphysiological,
abnormal, and it must ever remain so.” 36
Loss of sleep.
Night work sins against nature primarily in the loss of sleep it
involves. For more than a generation doctors and scientists through­
out the civilized world have borne unanimous testimony to the inex­
orable need of sleep for health and vigor. It has been found by
laboratory experiments that sleep is more necessary than food to
animal life; that the physiological deficit caused by lack of sleep is
a graver menace than that due to starvation. Deprivation of sleep
for 4 or 5 days only has been proved fatal to puppies, while they
may be deprived of food for 20 days or more and still be restored
to normal health.37 “Men as well as animals die sooner of lack of
sleep than they do of hunger,” writes a Swiss physiologist, Doctor
We may consider that we have experimental proof, corroborated by much
general experience, of the fact that the deprivation of * * * sleep is sure to
bring on severe and lasting injuries.38

This is because the elimination of fatigue poisons and the processes
of tissue repair can be adequately carried on only in sleep. As
Miss Goldmark says—
So marvelous is our physical organism that, like a running stream, it purifies
itself, and during repose these toxic impurities are normally burned up by the
oxygen brought by the blood, excreted by the kidneys, destroyed in the liver, or
eliminated from the body through the lungs.39 **
** Carozzi, Luigi. Controindicazioni ai lavoro notturno. Proceedings of the First International Congross on Industrial Diseases, Milan, 1906, p. 80.
88 Lee, Frederic S. The human machine and industrial efficiency. New York, Longmans, Green &
Co., 1918, pp. 70-71-72.
87 De Manaceine, Marie. Sleep. London, Walter Scott, 1907, p. 65.
8*Zur Frage der Nachtarbeit in den Backereien, Zeitschrift fiir Schweizerische Statistik. Vol. XVII.
1911. p. 292.

Goldmark, Josephine. Fatigue and efficiency. New York, J912, p. 13.



Most of all, the central nervous system requires sleep’s restorative
and suffers from its loss. Speaking of its delicate mechanism, Doc­
tors Hough and Sedgwick write:
The main principle of its hygienic care is to oil the bearings and clean and
repair the machinery, by repose and sleep, before the danger of a breakdown is
imminent. Rest, and especially the rest of sleep, is the one preventive * * *
for these unfavorable conditions.40

In sleep, to use Doctor Stirling’s image, “the nerve cells, though
resting, are storing up matter, and are being flushed and cleaned,”41
and “lack or insufficiency of sleep,” according to Doctor Carozzi,
“destroys the possibility of recuperating quickly from the metabolic
losses, and of removing the poisonous residues of the processes of
oxidation in the tissues.”42 “ The physiological time for recovery is
sleep,” writes the German authority, Dr. Franz Koelsch:
During healthy sleep the elimination of the fatigue products from the body is
most complete 41 * * . But this absolutely necessary regeneration accom­
plished in normal sleep does not fully take place in the daytime.43

That last is the trouble: the practical impossibility of making up
the sleep lost at night by equally deep, restful, and uninterrupted
sleep in the day hours. “Doctors and hygienists are unanimous,”
says Doctor Epstein in his well-known study of the diseases of bak­
ers, in agreeing that day rest»can not take the place of rest by night,
and continued disregard of the need of sleep is sure to end in ruined
health.” 44
With all this array of evidence against night work from the point
of view of sleep Bruckner takes issue sharply in a rather striking
article published a few years since in a foreign journal of industrial
hygiene.45 He maintains that day sleep is in all respects as effective
for hygiene as sleep by night, provided only that the curve of sleep
drops equally far below the threshold of consciousness. But this
surely is scientific argument in the void and not in a working world.
The proviso may hold, indeed, in controlled experiments of the
laboratory, with monkeys, for example, kept active by night and
made to sleep by day in light-proof and sound-proof cages.40 In
relation to night workers, to a reader familiar with the conditions of
40Hough, Theodore, and Sedgwick, William T.

The human mechanism.

Boston, Ginn <Si Co 1806

p. 331.
41 Stirling, William. On health, fatigue and repose. British Medical Journal, Dec. 6, 1913, p. 147,
41 Carozzi, Luigi. Controlndicazioni al lavoro notturno. Proceedings of the First International Con­
gress on Industrial Diseases. Milan, 1900, p. 80.
“Krankheitund Soziale lage. Edited by Dr. M. Mosse and Dr. G. Tugendreich Berlin, Lehmann
1913, p. 159.
44 Epstein. Handbuch der Arbeiterkrankuugen. Die Krankheiten der Backer. Jena, Fischer 1908

p. 477.
" Briickner, Hermann. Uber den Einfluss der Naehtarbeit auf den Oesundheitszustand der Arbeiterschaft. Zentralblatt fur Gewerbehygiene und Unfallverhiitung, October, 1921, pp. 218-219.
4*A well-known experiment in this field. See Simpson and Galbraith, Transactions of the Royal
Society of Edinburgh, Vol. XLV (Pt.i), 1905, p. 65.



labor it can hardly fail to seem an academic irony. For the working
man or woman can not command the quiet and privacy of the lei­
sure class. How far can the curve of sleep drop below the threshold
of consciousness in the typical crowded home of the night worker,
with the light and noise and bustle of daytime, the playing and crying
of children; or in summer heat perhaps, which even by night renders
sleep doubtful and by day puts anything more restful than an
exhausted stupor out of the question? “Under the present social
conditions,” said Doctor Lee, conservatively, in his statement before
the British Committee on Women in Industry, “ the day’s'recupera­
tion of the night worker is rarely equal to the night’s recuperation
of the day worker.” 47
Deprivation of sunlight.
A second unphysiological aspect of night work is the loss it entails
to the workers of the tonic and stimulating effects of sunlight,.48
More and more the extraordinary hygienic properties of the sun’s
rays are emphasized by the medical profession; more and more is
sunlight directly enlisted, as in heliotherapy, in the fight with dis­
ease, an ally even yet of unknown strength. Physiologists speak of its
"mysterious influences on the human body,” 49 its “potent stimulus
to all the organic functions,” 50 the stimulation of the skin that enables
it to throw off the toxic wastes51 and even of its effect on psychic
energy, “that psychic elasticity which so strikingly influences the
physical elasticity and resisting power.” 62 “Man’s body needs the
stimulus of sunlight,” writes Doctor Lee, “and is adapted to the
atmospheric conditions of the day.” 53
Twenty years ago the important researches of the Italian physiolo­
gists had demonstrated the loss caused by the deprivation of sun­
light, in the coloring matter and iron of the blood. “We believe we
have proved,” writes the Director of the Parma Institute of Hygiene,
Dr. G. F. Gardenghi, “that, under the influence of night work, a
decrease occurs in the blood’s coloring matter which after a short* *
47 Great Britain. Report of the War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry. 1919. Appendix III,
p. 193.
*8 Interesting figures are furnished by recent Yale experiments on the albino rat, quoted by the Life
Extension Institute in the June, 1925, number of its journal, How to Live. According to these experi­
ments, rats exposed to sunlight showed from their first to their sixth month a fivefold increase of red cells,
while rats kept in darkness showed in the same time somewhat less than a threefold increase. See
Laurens, Henry, and Sooy, J. W. The effect of light and of darkness on blood cell number of the
growing albino rat. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, November, 1924.
a Lee, Roger I. Health and Disease; Their determining factors. Boston, Little, Brown & Co., 1917.
p. 135.
6° Italy. Ministero di Agricultura, Industria e Commercio. Uflicio del Lavoro. Inchiestasul lavoronotturno dei fornai. Rome, 1906, p. 14.
Mori, Ainbrogio. La fisiopatologia del lavoro notturno o la legislazione Italiana. 11 Ramazzini.
Oclober-November, 1907, p. 024.
Hirsch, Max. Das Verbot der Nachtarbeit. Jahrbuch fur Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung, und Volkswirtschaft im Deutschen Reich, Vol. XXV, 1901, p. 1258.
63 Lee, Frederic S., op. cit., p. 61.



time becomes clearly perceptible and remains as a chronic condition
of blood impoverishment.” 54
In this country the findings of the New York State Factory Inves­
tigating Commission in regard to its physical examination of 800
bakers have confirmed older observations on the chronic anemia and
impoverished blood of night workers.55 Similar testimony to the
evils attendant on the deprivation of sunlight comes from Australia,
where Dr. J. S. Purdy, former chief inspector of factories in Tasmania,
in an address before the Australian Association for the Advancement
of Science spoke of “the anemic appearance, the limited vitality, and
the susceptibility to disease of those who habitually live or work
under darkened conditions,” and emphasized sunlight as “absolutely
essential to the maintenance of health.”56
Not only does lack of sunlight predispose to disease by depleting
the blood and lowering the vitality; it directly favors the growth of
disease germs. Light has been called “the cheapest and most uni­
versal disinfectant.” 57 This germicidal influence of natural light has
been discussed by Collis and Greenwood in an interesting passage in
their valuable handbook on the health of the industrial worker:
Sunlight is known to be inimical to the life of most pathogenic organisms; a
gelatin plate evenly sown with microorganisms, covered with a photographic pos­
itive, and set to incubate in sunlight, will present a living reproduction of the
picture, owing to the growth of organisms being densest where least light pene­
trates and least where most light penetrates. The tubercle bacillus in particular
may be instanced as a microorganism of which the vitality is destroyed by direct
sunlight and much impaired by exposure to daylight * * *. The more day­
light, therefore, there is in the rooms where workers are congregated together, the
less is the chance of the spread of infectious diseases and the better will be their
general health.*68

Nor can artificial lighting, however technically improved, however
modern and perfect, replace from the point of view of hygiene the
light of the sun.
Injury to sight.
It is not only that artificial illumination has not the health-giving
qualities of natural light; it is not even that in its substitution for
daylight disease germs are liable to multiply unchecked; it is well
known that artificial light brings positive and unavoidable injury
upon the night worker. The British Departmental Committee on
Lighting in Factories and Workshops stated among the findings of
its investigation in 1915:
e4 VerSnderungen des Blutes durch Nac-htarbeit. Wiener Klinisch-therapeutische Wochenschrift,
Vol. XIII, 1906, p. 700.
»8 New York State Factory investigating Commission. Preliminary report, 1912, Vol. I, pp. 224-232.
68 Purdy, J. S. Lighting and ventilation of factories, hours of labor and health. Journal of Industrial
Hygiene, March, 1922, p. 350.
Kruse, W. Ueber die hygienische Bedeutung des Lichtes. Zeitschrift fiir Hygiene und Infectionskrankheiten, Vol. XIX, 1895, p. 332.
68 Collis, Edgar L., and Greenwood, Major. The health of the industrial worker. London, J.A.
Churchill, 1921, pp. 314-315.



We have found substantial consensus of opinion among witnesses of all classes
that conditions involving the continuous use of artificial light are unnatural and
entail greater strain upon the workers.58 *

Doctor Hope notes as a special disadvantage of night work “the
necessity of working by artificial light, which * * * increases
fatigue.” 60 Fine work, which strains the eyes even in daylight,
under artificial lighting puts upon them an added and often intoler­
able burden. In spite of the vast modern improvements in the sci­
ence of lighting and the increasing attention everywhere devoted to
the subject, a high percentage of shops and factories are still either
insufficiently or improperly lighted. Collis and Greenwood speak of
deficient light as leading to “a constant struggle, an important factor
in the complex of ‘ eyestrain.’ ” 61 On the other hand, lighting, while
sufficient, may be improperly distributed or so placed as to produce
a glare, with effects no less injurious to eyesight than those of insuffi­
cient light. Nor is it possible in the close interdependence of the
bodily mechanism for damage to be done to the eyes alone. Such
injuries to eyesight are bound up with subtle and disastrous reactions
on the nervous organism and on general health. Nervous deteriora­
tion and lowered physiological resistance to disease are the common
consequences of eyestrain.
Such violations of the laws of nature bring on their own penalties,”
wrote one of the medical investigators of the International Association
for Labor Legislation in his summing up of the case against night
work ,62 Unnatural in its interference with the physiological rhythms,
unnatural as involving loss of sleep and sunlight, unnatural' in its
forced dependence on artificial light, man’s effort to reverse the order
of nature in night work is in truth beset with menaces and penalties.
But most of all, night work is penalized by fatigue, fatigue which
tends, in case the work is long continued, to become cumulative and
chronic. It is well here to remember the words of that wise economist
and far-seeing employer, Ernst Abbe, words no less true to-day than
at the beginning of the century, when they were spoken:
The daily average of fatigue and expended strength must be absolutely balanced
by fresh strength and recuperation, because the least deficit will accumulate grad­
ually and will have ruinous effects.
" Great Britain. Homo Office. Departmental Committee on Lighting in Factories and Workshops
First report, 1915, Vol. I, p. x.
" nope,Edward William, in collaboration with W. Hanna and C. O. Stallybrass. Industrial hygiene
and medicine. New York, William Wood & Co., 1923, p. 578
61 Op. cit., p. 317.
82 Hirsch, Max. Interdiction du travail de nuit des lemmes en Allemagne. In Le travail de nuit des
femmes dans l’industrie Jena, Fischer, 1903, p. 21.



And again, of the worker:
It is the same as when he spends daily ever so little more than his income. If
he keeps this up, there comes a time when he inevitably becomes bankrupt.68

The night worker is constantly overdrawing his physiological
balance. The deficit of rest and sleep, small at first, gradually assumes
disastrous proportions; there is no escape from physical bankruptcy.
The system can not throw off its toxic wastes, and a chronic state of
fatigue poisoning is the result. “The greater fatigue induced by
night work, ”64 is a medical commonplace as well as a fact of common
knowledge. “Anybody who knows anything about night work
knows that it is physically exhausting, ” said Senator Walsh, of
Massachusetts, when speaking in the Senate on the proposed curtail­
ment of night hours in the Post Office Service.65 Physicians speak
of the “greater sacrifice of vital energy”60 it involves, the “organic
depletion,”67 the lowered vitality. Because work done at night is
against the physiological current, because the worker is in all proba­
bility already fatigued on entering the mill, such work is done at far
heavier physical cost than an equal amount of work in the daytime.
Long ago it was proved by the experiments of Italian scientists that
work done by tired muscles requires disproportionate effort and a
disproportionate time for the recuperation of those muscles;68 these
findings were strongly emphasized with respect to industrial workers
by Prof. Stanley Kent’s investigation of industrial fatigue for the
British Home Office during the war.69 And while night work is
likely to be harder than day work, hour for hour, there is an added
adventitious element of strain in the longer hours commonly worked;
for the night shift is generally run for five nights only, and within
that limit makes up the weekly hours of the six day shifts. “Prac­
tically all night workers,” says Doctor Ilayhurst, “experience diffi­
culty, some call it agony, in keeping themselves keyed to the job
between 2 and 5 a. m., the period of least functional activity in the
human body. ”70
Health hazards through fatigue.—“Fatigue,” in the striking words
of Sir James Paget, “has a larger share in the promotion or trans-* 81
s> Abbe, Ernst. Die volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Verkurzung des industrielien Arbeitstages.
Papers read before the Economic Society, Jena, 1901. Complete works, Vol. III. Jena, Fischer. 1906. p
w Vernon, op. cit., p. 97.
w Congressional Record, May 27, 1924.
86 Herkner, neinrich. Die Arbeiterfrage. Berlin, Guttentag, 1908, p. 286.
81 Proust, Prof. A. Le travail de nuit des femmes dans l'industrie an point de vue de l’hygiene. Revue
d'Hygione et de Police Sanitaire, Vol. XII, 1890, p. 482.
«> Goldmark, Josephine. Fatigue and efficiency. New York, 1912, pp. 33-34. See Mosso, Angelo, La
fatiea, Milan, 1891; Maggiora, Arnaido, Uober die Gesetze der Ermiidung, Archiv filr Anatomic und
Physiologie, 1890; and Carozzi, op. cit., p. 79.
»« Great Britain. Home Office. Second interim report of an investigation of industrial fatigue by
physiological methods. A. F. Stanley Kent. 1916, p. 16.
’•Hayburst, Emery R. Medical argument against night work. American Journal of Public Health,
May, 1919, p. 367.



mission of disease than any other single causal condition you can
name;”71 and Collis and Greenwood remark on this dictum as
“probably truer for industrial employment than for any other walk
of life.” 72 If true in general, this must be doubly true of night work,
which intensifies every strain of industry. The authority on the
diseases of bakers, Doctor Epstein, states that the impairment of
health in these night workers “is shown not by special diseases but
by a general weakening of the organism.” 73 But this general weak­
ening is the open sesame to all diseases. The most sinister aspect of
fatigue is the loss of resistance by which the body becomes more and
more readily a prey to disease and infection. Headache, dizziness,
loss of appetite, insomnia, anemia, digestive and functional disturb­
ances of all kinds, a formidable list of ailments of the body are likely
to attack night workers; neuralgia and neurasthenia menace them;
and tuberculosis and other infections find them easy victims.
Fatigued animals, it has been proved, die from infections from which
animals allowed to rest recover. Doctor Carozzi states that—
there is danger, serious danger in night work, danger composed of many elements
which manifests itself in slackened metabolism, a marked general weakening,
precocious senility, disturbance of all the organic functions, 74

while Doctor Hirsch brings a still more sweeping indictment—
In a multitude of maladies and infirmities, as also in general depression and
premature exhaustion of vitality, in moral, intellectual, and social retrogression
and degeneracy we see the effect of that unnatural condition, night work.75

Higher morbidity of night workers.
Statistics are scanty for the comparative morbidity of day and of
night workers, but such as exist, as well as many sources of general
testimony, indicate a serious excess of sickness on the part of the night
workers. This liability of night work was well understood in Eng­
land more than a century ago. To the British Factories Inquiry
Commission in 1832 the following statement was made by one of the
Manchester doctors concerning night work:
From my own experience I can assert that children especially (and likewise
adults) are more exposed to disease than those employed in day work. When
the typhus fever raged in Manchester in 1795—6 my infirmary reports demon­
strated the greater liability to infection among night-working children than day

A rough but suggestive comparison may be made by means of some
figures given by the factory inspectors of Alsace-Lorraine in 1888 and
71 Quoted by British Health of Munition Workers Committee. Industrial health and efficiency.
Final report, 1918, p. 61.
72 Op. cit., p. 79.
7® Op. cit., p. 477.
74 Op. cit., p. 80.
7* Hirsch, Max. Interdiction du travail do nuit des femmes en Allemagne. In Le travail de nuit
des femmes dans l’industrie. Jena, Fischer, 1903. p. 21.
7* Great Britain. Factories Inquiry Commission. 1834. Answers to medical queries, p. 252,



1889. Here, indeed, in the case quoted, the hours of the night workers
were shorter by 22 per cent than the hours of the day workers. The
figures given, moreover, permit only the comparison of one mill having
all day work with another of the same kind and capacity having part­
time night work also. Any marked difference in the morbidity figures
would, therefore, scarcely be expected, for the preponderance of day
work in the second mill would tend to mask any excess sickness in
the night-work figures, while the shorter hours in the night shift might
naturally be thought to equalize the health hazard with that of the
day. Yet the figures, per 1,000 women, appear as follows:77
Illness in—


Mill 1
(day work only)


1888............................ ........... -.......... -........... .................
1889.-............... ................-........ ........... ...........................



5, 641
5, SIS

Mill 11
(day work and part­
time night work)



8, 730
8, 865

The cases of illness in the first mill, working only by day, were thus
only 76 per cent of those in the mill working both day and night, and
the days of illness in the former were only 65 per cent of those in the
To come nearer the present day, Doctor Frankel, of the Metropol­
itan Life Insurance Co., quotes the immediate result of long hours,
overtime, and night work among one group of British munitions work­
ers as “ a rise in the percentage of sickness from 2.9 in July, 1914, and
2.4 in December, 1914, to 4 in the first quarter of 1915.” 78 In Italy
during the war the sickness rate of women in industry was especially
high for women on the night shift, and two or three nights’ work, it
was said, seemed to cause as much fatigue as a couple of weeks of day
work.79 Here in America the report of the Illinois Industrial Survey
in 1918 comments on the impaired health of women night workers in
the Chicago stockyards. According to officers of the Infant Welfare
Society, “ the extensive employment of married women on night shifts
has meant an enormous increase of undernourishment and other dis­
eases among mothers as well as babies and young children in their
77 Ilerkner, Heinrich. Die Reform der deutschen Arbeiterschutzgesetzgebuug. Archiv fiir soziale,
Gesetzgebung und Statistik. Vol. V, 1892, p. 240, footnote. Hirsch, Max. Das Verbot der Nachtarbeit. Jahrbueh fiir Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung, und Volkswirtschaft im deutschen Reich
Vol. XXV,
1901, pp. 1265-1266.
78 Frankel, Lee K., and Fleisher, Alexander. The human factor in industry New York, Macmillan,
1920, p- 121.
78II Lavoro, May 31,1920.
80 Illinois Industrial Survey. Report, 1918. Hours and health of women workers, p. 68.



“ The least harmful system of employing persons by night.”
Warned by the British experience of wasteful production in the first
year of the war, the Health of Munition Workers Committee, appointed
in 1915, was keenly alert to the dangers of overstrain in general and
especially of long hours, overtime, and night work. In one of its early
memoranda is this statement:
taking the country as a whole the committee are bound to record their impres­
sion that the munitions workers in general have been allowed to reach a state of
reduced efficiency and lowered health which might have been avoided without
reduction of output by attention to the details of daily and weekly rests.81

Frankly recognizing the undesirability of night work, sensible indeed
of its disadvantages and dangers, yet accepting it as an unquestioned
war necessity, this committee found no accurate, data available “ upon
which conclusions could be based as to the least harmful system of
employing persons by night.”82 The members therefore “directed
their effort to the consideration of those safeguards which would
reduce its risks to a minimum.”83 An intensive study of health in
relation to night work, especially in the case of women, was projected
by the committee, but this investigation seems unfortunately never
to have been completed, the well-known study of the comparative
efficiencies of day work and night work84 remaining without any
correlated study of health. Yet in its medical inquiries as well as in
passing references elsewhere the committee’s observations on night
work from the point of view of hygiene are of considerable interest
and significance.
The committee declared in favor of “discontinuous night work,”
the system of day and night shifts alternating weekly or fortnightly,
as against the continuous system. Continuous night work was
condemned on grounds of inferior output and bad time keeping; and
so far as these are held to be a gauge of health, the implication was
against it on the score of hygiene as well. Night work for women
under the discontinuous system “proved less exhausting than had
been feared,” and the committee ascribed this result in part to the
high wages and better nutrition among the workers. Yet Dr. Janet
Campbell, in her study of the health of women in munition factories,
reports as follows on 134 women workers reviewed:
The numbers are too small to form anything but a rough guide, but tend to
show that for the first six months of factory life the work is usually fairly well
borne and the effects of night duty show little ill result. In the 6-12 months’
interval the strain begins to produce effects on the weaker members of the fac­
81 Groat Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committeo. Memorandum No. 7. Industrial fatigue
and its causes. 1916, p. 10.
82 Ibid. Interim report. Industrial efficiency and fatigue. The comparative efficiencies of day work
and night work in munition factories. 1917, p. 27.
“Ibid. Memorandum No. 4. Employment of women. 1916, p. 4.
84 Ibid. Interim report, 1917, p. 119.



tory, and an increased amount of headache, dizziness, and sleeplessness is
experienced, especially on night work.85

The committee, moreover, showed an increasing concern as to the
latent effects of overstrain, and in particular of possible overwork on
the untraced numbers of workers who had left the factories. Recom­
mending “a further substantial reduction in the hours of work, ” the
last of their memoranda states:
It may be true that no serious breakdown of health has as yet been observed
among the great mass of workers, but it can not be assumed that this condition
will continue indefinitely. The effect of the strain may even have been already
more serious than appears on the surface, for while it is possible to judge roughly
the general condition of those working in the factory to-day, little information
is available concerning the large number of workers who for one reason and
another, and often-because they find the work too arduous, are continually
giving up their job.86

In her second inquiry, published in the final report of the commit­
tee, Dr. Janet Campbell stresses the same note, pointing out how
questionable are the grounds of any assurance as to the health of
women workers not immediately under observation in the factories:
It is clear that the examination of women actually employed at any given
moment in the factories will not reveal a complete picture of the effect the work
is having upon health and physique. Those who have been able to remain for
a year or more in continuous employment without a breakdown are to some
extent the results of a physiological selection and represent the most physically
fit among the women workers. An examination of this kind takes no account
of the women who have dropped out of employment because they were unable
to support the strain of long hours, night shifts, or heavy work.8!

Representatives of the workers themselves are in no doubt as to
the effect of night work on health and physique. The Standing Joint
Committee of Industrial Women’s Organizations went on record in
1917 as to the suffering of the women workers from overstrain, and
expressed the gravest apprehensions as to its future consequences:
The long hou^s of work, and especially the night work, with the additional
strain of frequent Sunday shifts, have, however, had a very serious effect on the
well-being and health of the workers. The young women have suffered greatly
from this strain, and observation has shown not only the soundness of the pre­
vious prohibition of night work, but also the failure from the point of view both
of the worker and of output, of the long shifts.
Both for married women and the younger workers the present conditions sug­
gest very serious problems. We fear that the women now working will feel their* 87
64 Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee. Interim report, 1917. Industrial effici­
ency and fatigue. Inquiry into the health of women engaged in munition factories, p. 117.
88 Ibid. Memorandum No. 20. 1917. Weekly hours of employment, pp. 6-7.
87 Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee. Final report. 1918. Appendix B. A fur­
ther inquiry into the health of women munition workers, p. 143. In the earlier inquiry, however, au
investigation into the health of married women in one factory, by means of two examinations at an
interval of sir months, showed that of the 210 women first examined scarcely more than half (116) were
found at work at the second visit. Of those leaving, 26 per cent had left “for reasons of health,” a figure
not including 16 per cent who had left because of pregnancy. (Interim report, p. 116.)




strength lessened in many instances for the remainder of their lives and we realize
the perilous results when we remember the burden of motherhood which they
may be bearing now or in the future.88

Only the future can tell the whole story of the war strain. In
commenting on the long hours in munitions work, an article in the
Women’s Industrial News in October, 1916, gives an impressive
There is no doubt whatever that the nation will pay in the long run for the
strain of the last two years. Men are not run to a sensational death like a
hunted hare or stag, but the slow effect of perpetual strain is shown in organic
disease, nervous disease, and general physical debility.
It will take another
generation before we are free from the effects of these two years.84

Such was the showing in regard to overstrain, of which night work
was a prominent factor, in the oldest and most advanced industrial
nation, with the great munitions industry under the supervision of a
committee of public health and industrial experts, with high wages,
good food, and unusual provisions for the workers-’ welfare—in short,
with all done that might be to mitigate the evils of overstrain.
How the laissez-faire system works may be seen from a passage in
the Japan Year Book for 1918 on night work in the spinning mills—
a picture of the effects on the workers of a rapid and unregulated
development of the factory system in a country new to large-scale
With regard to the spinning mills, female workers are put to night work every
seven or eight days. Night work affects the workers' health so severely that at
the end of a week they lose considerable weight. This loss may be partly recov­
ered during the succeeding week on the day shift, but the night work, though
intermittent, ultimately wrecks the health of the workers. None can stand the
strain more than a year, when death, sickness, or desertion is the inevitable out­
come. The consequence is that 80 per cent of the female workers leave the fac­
tories every year through various causes, but this loss is immediately replenished
by new hands.90

It should not be forgotten, in considering the ill effects of night
work from the point of view of health, that late overtime is night work
in its most injurious form, night work superimposed upon all the
fatigues and stresses of the day, straining the physical and especially
the nervous organism to its breaking point. The worker on the night
shift has had some hours of rest, however scanty, since her last shift
of work; the fatigued day worker goes on with night work in the guise
of overtime without even a breathing space. So it is, as Prof. Stanley
Kent says, that—* 80
88 Standing Joint Committee of Industrial Women’s Organizations. Iteport presented to the Joint
Committee on Labor Problems after the War
The position of women after the war.
London, Coop­
erative Printing Society (Ltd.), 1917, p. 10.
80 Arnott, Page. The shorter working day. Women’s Industrial News, October, 1916, p. 60.
oo Japan Year Book, 1918, p. 304. See also statement of conditions in the preamble to the Government
(actory bill of 1911, Bulletin of the International Labor Office, English edition, 1911, p. xxvii ff.



Overtime labor is more harmful to the worker than labor performed during
ordinary hours. It is therefore physiologically extravagant,01

The British Health of Munition Workers Committee, frankly admit­
ting, as has been seen, that night work is undesirable, however necessary
in the national crisis, judged it to be at least less disastrous to health
and output than overtime.02 Professor Loveday in his study of the
causes and conditions of lost time speaks of overtime as leading to
loss of time through fatigue and sickness, and states further—
The hours gained are more costly than the hours lost, and, coming as a rule at
the end of a long day, their cost is altogether disproportionate to their output;
and the resulting fatigue which drives some men to bed produces lassitude and
decreased efficiency in many of those who continue to attend regularly, so that
the output of normal hours also declines.81
83 82

One group of men studied in this connection was “a body of about
180 extremely keen and steady men in heavy machine shops.” Among
these Professor Loveday found that—
The amount of time lost avoidably was wonderfully low, considering the nature
of the work, but the total time lost shows a great increase, owing to the remark­
able rise in the sickness rate.84 85

From June 2, 1915, to June 6, 1916, this rate was almost tripled,
rising from 3.1 to 8.4.05 Such figures speak for themselves on the
score of economy as well as hygiene.
Even where night shifts are not a part of industrial practice, and
no exceptional pressure exists, night work in its worst aspect is thus
liable to creep into industry under the name of overtime. The absence
of night-work prohibition with a closing hour strictly defined leaves
the door open to every degree of abuse. This has been proved true
again and again in this country. Even in States limiting daily and
weekly hours, without the safeguard of a fixed closing time one work­
ing day—to take a case by no means unusual—may actually be
imposed upon another at midnight and no law except nature’s be
broken. The New York State Department of Labor found laundry
workers in 1912 employed until midnight or after on a total working
schedule of 14^ hours;96 the State Factory Investigating Commis­
sion obtained records of women in the canning factories working 16
or 17 hours out of the 24;97 and Miss van Kleeck in her study of
81 Great Britain. Home Office. Second interim report of an investigation of industrial fatigue by phys­
iological methods A. F. Stanley Kent, 1916, p. 16.
82 Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee. Memorandum No. 5. Hours of work.
1916, p. 8.
83 Ibid. Interim report. Industrial efficiency and fatigue. The causes and conditions of lost time.
1917, p. 44.
M Ibid., pp. 53, 54.
85 Percentage ratio of hours lost by sickness to gross normal hours less leave.
89New York State Factory Investigating Commission. Second report, 1913, vol. 1. Night work o(
women in factories, p.202.
97 Idem.



women in the bookbinding trade found hours of overtime workers
running as high as 16,18,19J4» and oven 21^ and 22 hours.98 In each
one of the cases last mentioned the girl had started work in the morn­
ing and worked through the day and evening into the night. Marked
detriment to health in much less sensational cases of overtime was
established by testimony given to the Illinois Industrial Survey. One
physician’s statement ran as follows:
During the Christmas rush when certain departments were forced to work
overtime, and even on Sundays, the acute sicknesses among the girls increased
to a large extent—that is, the condition that made them remain home for one
or two days on account of sickness. In some departments, not affected by the
Christmas rush, it was not necessary to work overtime or on Sundays, and the
girls in these departments did not suffer with these acute sicknesses at the rate
of other departments."

The accident hazard.
Night work is not only a menace to health; it tends to raise the
accident rate. Accident studies, while finding a lower absolute num­
ber of accidents on the night shift because of the smaller number of
workers employed, generally have shown a rise in the accident rate,
which has been commonly ascribed to the effects of fatigue on the
one hand and of insufficient lighting on the other. “Work at night,”
says Doctor Florence, “with its reversal of habits and its artificial
illumination, is usually, though not universally, found associated with
a higher accident rate.”*1 In a review of earlier material available
on the subject in the United States and Germany, together with
the results of his own investigations, Mr. Lucian W. Chaney, of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1922 found two cases of higher rates
by day in plants with an average total employment of some 30,000
workers, as compared with six cases of higher rates by night in plants
with an average total employment of some 110,000 workers.2
Bruckner, on the other hand, maintains in the article already quoted
that, owing to the absence of traffic in the factory, the comparatively
small amount of work being done, and the slowed rate of output, the
accident hazard of the night work is very low.3 And in England
during the war, according to investigations made by the Industrial
Fatigue Research Board of lathe work in munitions plants, the ratio
of accidents to output has been shown to fall during the night shift,
even when output records tended to rise.4 These findings, interest­
B8 van Kleeck, Mary. Women in the bookbinding trade. New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 1913,
••Illinois Industrial Survey. Report, 1918. Hours and health of women workers, p. 47.
i Florence, P. Sargant. Economics of fatigue and unrest. London, Allen & Unwin, 1924, p. 353.
2U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Causes and prevention of accidents in the iron and steel industry,
1910-1919. Bulletin No. 298. 1922, p. 178.
8 Zentralblatt fur Gewerbehygiene und Unfallverhiitung. October, 1921, pp. 223-224
' Great Britain. Industrial Fatigue JEtesearch Board. Report No. 19



ing though they are, are confined, as Doctor Florence points out, to
a “somewhat narrow range of operations” and call for further expe­
rience “ before generalization is possible.” “However,” Florence sums
up his discussion of the evidence—
the thorough investigations for the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
seem to establish night work as very definitely more hazardous than day work.
In one large steel plant the annual frequency rate of accidents during the years
1905 to 1913 averaged in the day shift 142 per thousand workers, in the night
shift 214 per thousand. In a machine-building plant the annual rate for the
years 1907 and 1910 combined was, in the day shift 75.87 per thousand workers,
in the night shift, 146.94. In another machine-building plant where accidents
not disabling from work were counted in, the rate for the year 1913 was, in the
day shift 413.58 per thousand workers, in the night shift 624.29.56

Artificial lighting and accidents.
Danger on the night shift is almost inevitably associated with the
use of artificial lighting. According to the estimates of certain insur­
ance companies, 25 per cent of all accidents are due to bad light. In
a recent special study made by the International Labor Office, it was
found that industrial accidents vary inversely with the amount of
sunlight, their highest frequency being in November and December.6
This excess of winter accidents has been stated to range as high as 50
to 100 per cent.7 The same seasonal distribution of accidents was
noted by the statisticians of the British Departmental Committee on
Lighting in Factories and Workshops in their study of notified indus­
trial accidents in 1913-14. The committee found such accidents 29
per cent more frequent during hours of artificial than during hours
of natural lighting.8 For most industries, according to the calcula­
tions, the probable accident rate per hour is far higher under artificial
than under natural light, the excess in some cases running as high as
40 per cent. Purdy quotes figures to the effect that 75 per cent of
the accidents in factories occur after 4 p. m.,7 and the investigators
of the Public Health Service found the natural rapid descent of the
accident curve in the afternoon, due to the decreasing number of
workers, “ abruptly checked ” in the hour and a half preceding sunset.9 *
Accidents to the eye were more common in night shifts than in day
shifts, according to the Health of Munition Workers Committee,
owing to the need of bringing the eyes nearer to the work. In cer­
tain munitions plants “foreign bodies in the eye were from 7 to 27
5 Op. cit., pp. 295, 298
®L’hygiene de I’oeil et le travail industrial International Labor Office. Etudes et Documents, No. 6,
June, 1923, p. 89.
7 Purdy, J. S. Lighting and ventilation of factories, hours of labor and health. Journal of Industrial
Hygiene, March, 1922, p. 351.
8 Great Britain. Home Office. Departmental Committee on Lighting in Factories and Workshops.
First report, vol. 1,1915, p. xii, and Appendix IX.
® U. S. Public Health Service. Comparison of an 8-bour plant and a 10-hour plant. Bulletin No. 106,
1920, p. 131.



per cent more numerous in the night shift than in the day shift, and
the effect was most marked in the worst-lit factory.” 10
To this serious hazard of insufficient light on the one hand or of a
light often too intense on the other, dazzling and blinding the eyes,
is added the hazard of the “depressed physiological condition,” as
Doctor Lee has called it, of the sleepy and tired night worker.11 Flag­
ging attention, loss of alertness and precision, slowed reaction time,
all heighten the possibility of mistakes and the ever-present danger
of industrial accident.
In a large steel mill studied, the excessive night hazard shows a
tendency to decrease with the passage of years, and the night rate of
accidents to approximate the day rate, in one case even falling below
it. This tendency is probably due in large part to the increased effi­
ciency of modern factory lighting. It is quite possible indeed that so
far as higher rates at night depend on imperfect illumination, the evil
can be abated or in great measure cured, as can also whatever hazard
may attach to less rigorous supervision in the night shift. But “the
most difficult problem,” as Mr. Chancy says, a problem still insoluble,
remains in “the worker’s condition at night,” 12
The physical surtax.
“Scientific investigations everywhere,” writes Irene Osgood
Andrews in an impressive summary of the evidence, “have shown
that the work of women at night is exceptionally injurious.”
Insufficient, broken, and irregular sleep, lack of sunlight, irregular meal times,
disarrangement of the normal customs of life, injury to eyesight, increased
chance of accidents—all of these factors combine to lower vitality, to weaken
the power of disease resistance, to produce impoverished blood and anaemia, to
weaken the female reproductive functions, and generally to increase morbidity
and mortality.13

“ To children and to women night work is a source of incalculable
injury which often lasts through life,”14 *runs some of the foreign tes­
timony; it has “most disastrous consequences to the health of the
feminine sex;”16 it is “disproportionately more harmful to a woman’s
physique than to a man’s.”10 On the basis of these premises, as has
been seen, the conclusion of the foreign world has been the absolute
prohibition of night work for women. Nor lias war experience done
Hope, op. cit., p. 670.
n Lee, Frederic S., op. cit., p. 77.
12 U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Causes and prevention of accidents in the iron and steel industry,
1910-1919. Bulletin No. 298, J922, p. 179.
18 Kober, George M., and Ilayhurst, Emery It. Industrial health. Ft. V, Ch. I. Women wage earn­
ers. Irene Osgood Andrews. Philadelphia, BJakiston, 1924, p. 1038.
14 CrisafuJli. Frenastonia e deliquenza in rapporto a taluni ordinamenti del lavoro Proceedings ot
the First International Congress on Industrial Diseases. Milan, 1906, p. 149.
16 Chazal, A. L’interdiction du travail de nuit des femmes dans l’industrie francaise. Paris, Pedone,
1902, p. 8.
10 Herkner, Dr. Heinrich. Die Arbeiterfrage. Berlin. Guttentag. 1908. p. 286



anything to lessen this fixed and reasoned opposition. Doctor
Vernon, reviewing the war evidence in 1921, states unequivocally:
The general conclusion to be drawn from observations on day and night
workers is that night work for women is only permissible in very exceptional
circumstances, such as in war time, and should not be allowed in peace time.17

More forcibly still do the American physiologists express themselves.
“Outside of great emergency or absolute industrial necessity all
night work should be abolished and more so for women than for
men,”18 says Doctor Hayhurst. And Doctor Lee, writing during the
war, would permit no exception even in war time. “ What is a physi­
cal tax on man is,” in his arresting phrase, “ a physical surtax on
woman, and it can not be allowed that this form of burden is justifi­
able even in the emergency of war.”19

From the point of view, then, of the human machine, a heavy indict­
ment can be brought against night work for women. The discussion
thus far has been limited to the case as stated by physicians and
hygienists, by actuaries and research workers. But the worker is not
an isolated unit of production; she is a social being, daughter, wife,
mother, the center of a human circle, an asset or a loss to family and
It is an evasion of the issue to discuss the case of working men and
women as if, apart from physical equipment, they entered industry
on an equal footing. If women are handicapped physiologically in
the industrial race, they are socially still more heavily handicapped.
For, quite aside from any question of physical inferiority or suscep­
tibility to disease, the present constitution of society imposes upon
women in industry a double, an inevitable, burden.
The double burden.
The individual.—Speaking of certain scientific experiments in the
reversal of physiological rhythms, the British Health of Munition
Workers Committee in 1917 says that they—
show clearly, at least for the period of the experiments, that the accustomed
routine of day work and night rest can be reversed, without injury to health or
efficiency, but they also show that a necessary condition is that the workers
must either be endowed with more than common powers of self-control to
enable them to surmount the temptation to make the best of both worlds, or
must live under strict discipline.20 *
Vernon, op. cit., p. 95.
18 Hayhurst, Emery R. Medical argument against night work. American Journal of Public Health,
Way, 1919, p. 368.
Lee, Frederic S., op. cit., p. 70.
M Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee. Interim report, 1917, p.27.



And again, in connection with men’s superior fitness for night work:
Men do not naturally take so much part in domestic work as women, and the
temptation to burn the candle at both ends is, from this point of view, smaller.21

“Temptation” is a word that echoes strangely here in contrast with
the often crushing burden of necessity to which the woman night
worker is subject. The man, weary with the day’s or the night’s toil,
comes home to find his meal prepared, his shirt washed, his bed made
ready. Not so with the woman worker, who must do all these things
for herself and for others. The woman comes back from work to
shoulder duties as laborious in the home as she has left behind in the
factory. She hurries home from the long night shift in the mill to pre­
pare the family breakfast, dress the children and get the older ones off to
school, perhaps to do a heavy washing or ironing or cleaning before
she snatches the few hours of sleep which are all she can spare from
the pressing needs of the household. The necessity of getting the
family supper rouses her to cook a hasty meal, after which she sets
out, still weary and unrefreshed, to begin the long pull of the next
night’s work. While such conditions are possible, there is a sharp
sense of irony in hearing woman complacently included, as she tradi­
tionally is, in the “ protected classes.”
From all over the world comes the same story of lack of sleep over­
straining human endurance. The French Commission of Inquiry
whose work formed the basis of the night-work legislation of 1892
found that “the sleep of these women does not exceed five hours, and
it is an interrupted sleep.” 22 To bring it nearer home, the New York
State Factory Investigating Commission learned in its inquiry on
night work in 1913 that “the married women who worked on night
shift had on an average only about four and one-half hours of sleep
in the daytime.” 23 In 1917 tho University of Chicago Settlement
made an intensive study of a small group of working mothers employed
at night in the packing houses. For these 46 women the hours of
sleep were found to range from one to three or four. On Monday,
Tuesday, and Wednesday, the washing and ironing days, most of the
women did not sleep at all.24 A study of night work in the Rhode
Island textile mills in 1918 yielded detailed figures for a larger group.
For 156 married women night workers the hours of sleep were reported
as follows:25
>1 Ibid., p. 40.
32 Belgium. Bureau ol Labor. Le travail de nuit des ouvrieres de I’industrie dans les pays Strangers.
Maurice Ansiaux, 1898, p. 37.
18 New York State Factory Investigating Commission. Second report, 1913, vol. 1, Night work of
women in factories, p. 195.
24 McDowell, Mary E. Mothers and night work. The Survey, Dec. 22, 1917, p. 335.
28 Kelley, Florence. Wage-earning women in war time: The textile industry. Journal of Industrial
Hygiene, October, 1919, p. 274.


Hoars of day sleep

1 and less than 2 hours.-.
2 and less than 3 hours...
3 and less than 4 hours...
4 and less than 5 hours...
5 and less than 6 hours...
6 and less than 7 hours...
7 and less than 8 hours...
8 and less than 9 hours...
9 and less than 10 hours..
10 and less than 11 hours

Number of





Thus only 17 of these 156 women were having the 8 hours’ sleep
accepted as the physiological norm at night. Nearly a third of the
whole number were having less than 5 hours, more than half (57 per
cent) less than 6 hours. These figures, moreover, were thought if
anything to overstate the amount of sleep obtained, as the women
were generally in favor of night work and fearful lest the investiga­
tors might interfere with it. A study of a hundred night workers in
the textile mills of Passaic in 1920 made an even worse showing.
“ Over two-thirds slept no more than five hours daily,” says the report;
“40 not more than four.”2!
And what sort of sleep is it that the night worker gets, scanty and
inadequate in length as it is? Not in any solid or restful stretch, no
chance for the “sleep curve” to fall far enough below the threshold
of consciousness to bring recuperation, but sleep by snatches, taken
whenever the chance offers, interrupted by street noises or the talk
and quarrels of neighbors; .interrupted more insistently by the mul­
titudinous demands of the family—meals to get, housework to do,
babies to be attended to, and children to be cared for or disciplined.
These women lie down half dressed, ready to jump up at any emer­
gency, as the Passaic study puts it; often their only chance of a little
quiet is to take the babies to bed with them. Doctor Hayhurst
touches off the situation very vividly:
If all in one household worked by night and slept by day, the disturbance
would not be so great, but when noon meals have to be prepared for school chil­
dren and others, the condition can only be appreciated by a picture of what
would be the condition if a household was interrupted each night at 1 to 2 a. m.
for meals and by people going and coming throughout the night.27

And the packing-house report gives another graphic picture:
“ Can’t they go to sleep for a few hours after they return to their homes? ”
has been a question asked quite frequently. They might if there were not a*
* De Lima, Agnes. Night-working mothers in textile mills. National Consumers' League and Consinners’ League of New Jersey. December, 1920, p. 9.
w Hayhurst, Emery R. Medical argument against night, work. American Journal of Public Health.
May, 1919, p. 367.



husband who demanded his breakfast at 6.30 since his daily tasks begin at 7.
They might if the babies did not get up at the same time the rest of the family
did, or if the older children did not have to go to school.28

“Oli, well, they make it up at the end of the week,” said one of the
Rhode Island mill men to the investigators during the textile survey.
“You see they don’t work Saturday or Sunday nights, and there is a
good long stretch for them to sleep.”29 But nature is not so easily
appeased, and there is scientific evidence to show that the deficit of
sleep is not readily repaired; sleep often remains permanently reduced
both in quantity and quality.30
That the deficit of rest and sleep is not actually repaired, in spite
of the comfortable assurances of employers, is shown clearly enough
by the characteristic appearance of the night workers, for the stigmata
of this practice are the same everywhere. Observers speak of them
as “ worn looking and pale,” “ hollow eyed and listless,” with “ drawn
white faces,” “lines of exhaustion about the mouth,” and “nervous,
feverish movements.” “The effect of the double burden on the
health of the women was obvious,” says the Passaic report.
Before the study was completed the investigator was able to distinguish the
night workers among a group of women. Insufficient sleep leaves unmistakable

The strain of the twofold job perhaps has hardly been given its
due emphasis by male writers, whose inexperience naturally leads
them to minimize the home duties of the woman wngc earner.
“ Frequently the employed woman,” write Collis and Greenwood,
“* * * has to perform a multiplicity of household duties, not per­
haps onerous in themselves but which, when added to the day’s toil,
considerably deplete her energies.” 32 How these duties, “not per­
haps onerous in themselves,” appear to women may perhaps be
indicated by the case of the girl in a British munitions factory who
preferred the 12-hour to the 8-hour shift because with the shorter
shift, as she explained, she would have to help with the housework.
An industrial physician of high standing, herself a woman, Dr. Janet
Campbell, has summed up the situation admirably for the War Cabi­
net Committee on Women in Industry in the following words:
The great physical strain placed upon the woman who is industrially employed
and also has a home and family to manage is often unrealized because the
woman shoulders this heavy burden patiently as a matter, of course and with­
out complaint. That she is often surprisingly successful, though at the expense
of her own youth and physical vigor, is no reason why the nation should be
28 McDowell, op. cit., p. 335.
28 Kelley, op. cit., p. 275.
MKraepelin, Emil. TJeber geistige Arbeit. Jena, 1897, p. 20. Lowenfeld and Kurella.
lies Nerven- und Seelenlebens. Wiesbaden, Bergmann, 1906, Vol. VI, pp. 51, 55, 56.
31 De Lima, op. cit., p. 13,
« Op. cit., p. 238.




content to allow its mothers to wear themselves out in a life of colorless drudg­
ery and a continual struggle with difficulties which frequently prove too great
to overcome and of the results of which there is ample evidence in the sickness
returns under the national health insurance act.33

But surely, some one will say, this case is put unfairly. Why all
this concern about married women, who are, after all, but a fraction
of the night workers ? What of the case of unmarried women, young
or old, and of childless widows without homo responsibilities, who can
sleep all day if they will ? These women, whose case is indeed differ­
ent, will be considered presently, though it may be said in passing
that the instance is rare where a woman industrial worker, whatever
her situation, is without responsibility for duties outside the factory,
whether for herself or others. However, due emphasis of the case of
the married women is justified for two reasons: It is the case which
calls for chief concern and consideration as that of greatest hardship,
and though this would be true if the group were in the minority, as
a matter of fact, married women are the great majority.34
“As would be expected,” says the report of the War Cabinet Com­
mittee on Women in Industry, “the physical strain of factory work
is greatest among married women with children and domestic respon­
sibilities,”35 and the showing of night work during the war as “less
exhausting than had been feared” had in Dr. Janet Campbell’s state­
ment a significant exception—“the case of married women with chil­
dren.” 36 And these, precisely, are the women who fill the night shifts.'
The typical night worker is the young mother. Most of the women
on night shift are married, the investigator of the New York State
Factory Investigating Commission reported in 1913.37 * Of a group
of 100 especially studied, 77 were married and 5 widowed; of these
82 women 75 had children, and of the children 97 were under 5 years
of age. In the survey of night work in 39 textile mills in Rhode
Island 244 night workers were visited. Of these 80 were single, 135
married, and 29 widowed, deserted, or divorced. Only 16 of the
married were without children.88 Thus, in one inquiry 82 per cent
of the night workers studied were married, and in the other 67 per
cent. In Passaic, moreover, where night work is very prevalent,
especially among the foreign born, and where the night workers were
found by “knocking indiscriminately at doors of tenements,” all but
4 of 100 night workers were married and 92 had children. “It is
the young married women with young children who work on the
night shift.” 39
33 Great Britain. Report of the War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry. 1919 Memoran­
dum on the health of women in Industry, p. 23G.
34 Certainly in peace times; under war conditions girls enter the night shifts in larger numbers
36 Great Britain. Report of the War Cabinet Committee on Women in Industry, 1919, p. 107
86 Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee Interim report, 1917, p. 119.
37 New York State Factory investigating Commission. Second report, 1913, vol. 1. Night work of
women in factories, p. 196.
88 Kelley, op. cit., pp. 274, 276.
3» De Lima, op. cit., pp. 5, 8,9.



The family.—-These women who fill the night shifts go out to work,
as the Children’s Bureau puts it, not from sheer wayward preference
for industrial life but for economic reasons.10 If the husband’s pay
envelope contains too little, the wife’s must supplement it, and she
chooses the night shift so that she may care for home and children
during the day. This has been the motive urged in defense of night
work, this the great human plea, dwelt upon by employers, repeated
almost with the iteration of a catchword—these women ask for night
work so that they may be with their children during the day.
It is said frequently that the American home is the foundation of the
country’s greatness. It is literal and sober truth to say that night
work is its mockery and ruin. The night-working mother has no
leisure for her homo, no common relaxation or recreation with hus­
band or children. Evening, the focus of family life, the only time
when the workingman’s household can gather together, she never
knows at home. Her hurried supper eaten alone, she must set out
to the mill, often before her husband returns from his day’s work.
Motion pictures, free concerts or lectures, libraries—none of these
things exist for her. Home is only a second workshop and a place in
which to sleep and eat. The Kansas Court of Industrial Relations,
in a decision shortening the working hours of freight-train crews,
refused to sanction prevailing hours not only because they were
“very trying upon the physical strength of the men,” but because of
their “encroaching unduly upon their social rights.”40
41 But the
social rights of the night workers have still to be recognized.
Nor can the wife and mother suffer these losses alone. The home
loses in her its natural center; her husband loses her companionship,
the children her affection and influence at the very time they need it
most. On the material side, also, home and family are the losers.
Of necessity, hard and long though the household tasks may be, they
are cut down to the minimum possible. Cooking is neglected and
meals are inadequate and unsuitable. Is it any wonder if the night
worker fails to accomplish, in the hours stolen from needed rest, the
task of supplying proper food and keeping home and children clean
and orderly, duties for the accomplishment of which the average house­
wife needs a full day? Some few—superwomen, as it must seem—
carry the double burden successfully and perform both jobs with
seeming efficiency. For the most part the failure of the home job
is clearly enough evidenced by the typical night worker’s home—
the untidy and disordered rooms, the unkempt, neglected, sicklylooking children, the mother a weary and iriitable drudge whose task
as her vitality fails grows more and more hopeless. The reactions
40 U. S. Department of Labor. Children's Bureau. Report of the Chief, 1917, p. 14.
41U. S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kansas Court of Industrial Relations.
(Case of Joplin & Pittsburg Railroad Co.) Bulletin No. 322, 1923, p. 17.



on the children of the mother’s fatigue and overstrain also must be
taken into account. Observers speak of these mothers’ “ high-strung
nerves, their great irritability at the children’s slightest annoyance.”42
“These children are not only not mothered, never cherished,” says
the Rhode Island textile study, “they are nagged and buffeted.” 43
The mother neglects them in spite of her utmost efforts. “Some of
these poor mothers leave their kids to shift for themselves like alley
cats,” said a Passaic woman to the consumers’ league investigator;
“no food, no clothes, no soap and water;, no wonder they get sick.
But what else can they do? Nobody can be in the mill and at home
too.” 44
“ When you mus’ sleep, you can’t tell what happen to them,” 44
said one of the mothers who had gone on the night shift in order to
be with her children by day. The older ones run wild while the
mother sleeps, and too often take the first steps toward later delin­
quency. “ Children run the streets, play truant, turn into petty
thieves, get inadequate meals, and in general are neglected,” 45 runs
more of the Passaic testimony. Especially for the girls left without
a mother’s care in the evening, the situation is full of moral hazards.
“ The worst consequences of a mother’s working at night,” said a
well-known social worker, “ do not fall upon her—serious as they are—
but upon the older children left to their own devices.” 46
In other cases the result of the mother’s night work is to throw pre­
mature and disproportionate burdens on the older children. The
Connecticut Bureau of Labor, reporting in 1916 on the conditions
of wage-earning women and girls, emphasized this not infrequent
hardship as a “sociological problem.”
It is an unfortunate and not uncommon occurrence where women are working
to find girls of 11 and 12 and older coming back from school and practically
doing a woman’s work and taking care of the younger children, of whom there
is always a large number, getting ready the supper, and doing the various house­
hold duties, etc. This takes away from the physical and mental strength of the
child. It would be interesting data to learn how these children stand in their
school studies in comparison with others not so burdened.47

Such data are in effect given in a recent study by the Children’s
Bureau of the children of wage-earning mothers. The report states:
The children whose mothers jvere employed were found to suffer in a number
of ways. The school records of the children in school were on the whole unsatis­
factory and compared very unfavorably with those of a group of children not
selected on the basis of the employment of the mother.48
41 McDowoll, op. cit., p.335.
43 Kelley, op. cit., p. 276.
« De Lima, op. cit., p. 13.
44 Ibid., p. 12.
48 Kelley, op. cit., p. 279.
47 Connecticut. Bureau of Labor. The conditions of wage-earning women and girls. 1916, p. 132.
48 U. S. Department of Labor. Children’s Bureau. Children of wage-earning mothers. Helen RusjoII
Wright. Publication No. 102, 1922, p. 76.



And again, “ over one-third of the whole number were not up to
the standard grade in their schooling.” 49
This inferiority, says the bureau, is readily explained by the rela­
tively high absence rate of this group of children, which is found in
individual instances to be due to the need of their help at home.
While no specific figures for night workers’ children are available, the
reaction of home burdens on the one hand and of truancy on the
other must be certainly not less marked on their school records.
Here, then, is the balance sheet of the night worker’s devotion: A
broken family life, a disordered home, neglected or overworked chil­
dren. It is the crowning irony of her situation that her sacrifice has
been in vain.
The unmarried night worker.
Reference has been made to the situation of the unmarried night
worker. Generally speaking, she is in the minority, yet it is a minor­
ity deserving of serious consideration. It will be seen that in her case
the objections to the practice of night work are somewhat different
from those that have been discussed.
To girls and unmarried women the loss of sleep at night is evi­
dently less serious than to the wives and mothers whose case has been
considered, since the former group can generally make up in part at
least for the inferior quality of day sleep by longer hours. It would be
idle to assume, however, that in the case of these night workers there
are no home burdens to be added to the basic strain of the night
shift in the factory, since in the present constitution of society unmar­
ried women in the families of working people rarely are exempted
by force of their wage-earning status from a share in the house­
work. Especially from girls who have the daytime hours at home
some sharing of the household tasks is sure to be expected. Data
collected by the Women’s Bureau (Table 5, p. 11) show that of 812
night workers reporting on marital status, 31.9 per cent were unmar­
ried. Of 558 women reporting on living condition only 9)^ per cent
were living independently—that is, not at home or with relatives.
Even supposing all the “independent” group to be unmarried, it is
clear that they are only a small relative proportion. And in this
group there will be at the minimum the girl’s own washing, ironing,
and sewing to be attended to, and probably some cooking of meals
as well. For the great majority of unmarried women living in fam­
ilies, some fatigue due to housework in the daytime must be added
to the physical tax of night work in the factory.
Since in most cases they are not starved for sleep like the more
heavily burdened married women, the effects of night work on health
are neither so swiftly evident nor so marked in the case of the
<« Ibid., p. 08.



unmarried. But nature can not be cheated in their case either, and
if they continue on the night shifts, health inevitably is undermined
through the depletion of nervous energy and the beginnings of
anemia. Most of the single night workers are young girls. In the
.Rhode Island inquiry it was found that of 80 unmarried women
more than half were under 21 and nearly three-fourths were under
24.™ It can scarcely be doubted that in the period of marriage and
motherhood these girls w ill reap for themselves and their children
the effects of overstrain in their earlier years. Potential mothers as
they are, it is the State’s imperative concern to see that the vitality
they should pass on to their children is not prematurely sapped or
endangered by night work.
But night work has another and even more serious aspect of
danger in connection with the girls and young women who consti­
tute so large a proportion of the unmarried night workers. The
chief inspector of factories and workshops in Great Britain, report­
ing for 1914 in the first stress of the war emergency, stated that “In
many places parents simply refuse to allow their daughters to work
on night shifts to avoid exposing them to risks that they prefer they
should not run.” 51 It is obvious that the lack of supervision com­
mon at night, together with the darkness about the mill, may be
fraught with possibilities of annoyance, insult, or worse to these
young workers. In only 2 of the 39 mills studied in the Rhode
Island inquiry was there a woman supervisor on the night shift, and
“usually the night superintendent went through the mill only once
or twice.” 52 Even if conditions in mill or work place are beyond
criticism, there are always the dangers of dark and lonely streets to
girls dismissed at the least frequented hours of night or early morn­
ing. Sometimes the shift ends during the night interval in the car
service, and the girls must either wait about or face perhaps a long
and lonely walk home. It is no criticism upon the standards of our
working girls to demand that they should not be subjected to such
conditions in connection with their work.

In the previous pages something of the heavy indictment of world­
wide experience brought against night work on the medical and on
the social side has been considered. A bird’s-eye view' of the human
and social wastes that attend this practice has been attempted. To
balance these human losses it would seem that there must be some
extraordinary gain, some exceeding advantage to business or industry,
that should outweigh the hardships of the workers or reconcile us in
some measure to their sacrifice.*
*o Kelley, op. cit., p. 280.
•i Great Britain. Chief Inspector of Factories and Workshops.
M Kelley, op. cjt., p. 280.

Report, 1914, p.45.



Nothing, in fact, could be further from the case; there is a century
of evidence on the subject. “We disused night work in 1826,” said
the representative of Richards & Co., linen manufacturers, to the
British Factories Inquiry Commission in 1834. “After pursuing
that system for five years, I am of the opinion there is no advantage
in it to the proprietor. ” 63 “ The prohibition of night work would be
beneficial to the trade,” was the statement of a cotton spinner.53
And nine years later the Children’s Employment Commission
summed up the testimony of “almost all classes of witnesses” by
the statement that “no countervailing advantage is ultimately
obtained from it, even by the employers.”'4 Nor has the experience
of intervening years furnished any reason to change this verdict. In
lowered production and inferior work for higher wages industry pays
its share of the bill for defiance of hygienic law.
The only logical resort to night work, it might be said, is under
emergency as desperate as that faced by the British Health of Muni­
tion Workers Committee when it reported that if the night workers
produced “any appreciable quantity of manufactured articles”55
their employment was justified in the national crisis. This was, as
the committee frankly avowed, “taking a short and not a long view
of the subject,” a view surely never permissible in a nation’s normal
life. But even so, as has been pointed out, England found that con­
tinuous night work did not pay.
Lowered output.
The investigations of the Health of Munition Workers Committee—
were not primarily aimed at comparing the output of day work with that of night
work, as the case against night work was considered to be sufficiently established;
some of the data, however, permit a comparison to be made, and in each case the
comparison is to the detriment of night work.86

Especially was this true in the case of the women workers.
A few women of rare physique withstand the strain sufficiently to maintain a
reasonable output, but the flagging effort of the majority is not only unproductive
at the moment, it has its influence also upon subsequent output, which suffers as
in a vicious circle.87

Industry was forced, as has been seen, to resort to discontinuous shifts,
week and week or fortnight and fortnight about. By this system the
production on the night shift was found rarely to fall much more than
10 per cent below that of the day shift, and for the most part approxi­
mately to equal it.58 Yet it has been acutely commented by one of
the committee’s own investigators that since the same workers were
measured against each other, night shift against day shift, it can not* 83
83 Great Britain. Factories Inquiry Commission. Supplementary report, 1834, p. 17.
m Great Britain. Children’s Employment Commission. Second report, 1843, p. 72.
83 Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee. Interim report, 1917, p. 20.
»Ibid.,p. 40.
»7 Ibid., Memorandum No. 4, Employment of women, 1916, p. 4.
«Ibid., Final report, 1918, p. 47.




be estimated how much the day production lagged on account of the
hang over of fatigue from the night shift, nor how much the weekly
output was therefore depressed below that of continuous day work.69
In one instance, of a fuse factory, Doctor Vernon obtained “ definite
proof that the harmful influence of night work does continue into the
day-shift week.” 60
In America the Illinois Industrial Survey Commission, in the course
of its investigation in 1918, made a comparative analysis of day and
night output in a printing plant. Here a group of day workers, studied
for 11 weeks, produced an average of 4,409 pieces per hour—
while equally experienced night workers, studied during the same period, pro­
duced an average of 3,892 pieces per hour, or about 12 per cent less than the
day workers.81

Investigators of the Public Health Service, in their intensive study
of industrial working capacity, obtained interesting figures of war­
time production on the 12-hour night shift in a large munitions
factory. Here the curve of night work was characterized by the
deep decline of output in the second spell and its complete or almost
complete cessation in the last 40 minutes. A process in fuse making
called “spin top cap” showed an average day output in the second
spell of 93.6 per cent of the hour of maximum efficiency. In the
night shift the average output of the second spell dropped to 76
per cent.62
Lost time.
The Public Health Service bulletin calls attention to the “repeated
interruptions of work due to the need of sleep and recuperation.”
One of several detailed studies was made on the night of August 6, when nor­
mal weather conditions prevailed
* *
*. Fourteen men were observed
* * * with the object of ascertaining the time lost in eating and sleeping.
Of these, only three neither ate nor slept during working hours * * *.
On the night of August 8, the weather being again normal, a count made of
the number of men asleep each quarter of an hour toward the end of the night
shift showed as follows:
Hour a. m.


30 ... _____

of men


Hour a. m.


45 ..

of men



>» Florence, P. Sargant. Economics of fatigue and unrest. London, Allen and Unwin, 1924, p. 252.
“ Vernon, H. M. Industrial fatigue and efficiency. London, Routledge, 1921, p. 94.
01 Illinois Industrial Survey. Report, 1918, Hours and health of woman workers, p. 20.
81U. S. Public Health Service. Comparison of an 8-hour plant and a 10-hour plant. Bulletin No. 106,
1920, pp. 62,161.




Seventy-four men were under observation, 42 per cent of whom were found
asleep at different times between 5 and 7 o’clock.113

From observers of night work everywhere comes similar testimony.
An official of one of the largest Passaic mills told the consumers’ league
investigator that the night’s output was inferior in quality “because
the workers get so tired that they fall asleep over their machines and
spoil much material.” 34 From an English munitions plant Doctor
Florence reports that—
A personal visit to the cartridge case department at night showed that girls
tend to drop straight off to sleep immediately their machine breaks down and
they need no longer work.65

Women especially sacrifice food to sleep, with consequent increase
of fatigue in the end. In the Rhode Island survey it was found that,
many night workers used their lunch hour at night for sleeping.
With a roll of waste under their heads for a pillow they stretched out on the
bare floor and dropped into the sleep of exhaustion.66

The same situation obtained in England, according to the Health
of Munition Workers Committee:
In one factory visited at night the manager stated that fatigue prevented
many of the women from making the effort to go from their work to the mess
room though in itself the room was attractive. In another, visited also at night,
several women were lying, during the meal hour, beside their piles of heaped-up
work; while others, later, were asleep beside their machines, facts which bear
additional witness to the relative failure of these hours.67

Slowed rate of production.
Not only is much time thus lost on the night shift, but the rate of
production tends to be retarded, even though the workers are on the
job. The Public Health Service investigators speak of—
the progressive slowing of the rate of output during the night, through the
increase of time required for each operation. A time study made during the
night of August 10, 1917, of men engaged in fuse drilling and lathe work showed
that during the course of the night the length of time taken to perform six sepa­
rate operations increased nearly one-half.66

The serious effect of artificial light on the rate of output must also
bo taken into account. “Every unnecessary hour under artificial
light,” write Collis and Greenwood, “means a direct loss of produc­
tion and makes the task of the worker more difficult than it need* * 68
«Ibid., pp. 163-154.
64 De Lima, op. cit., p. 8.
68 Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee. Interim report, 1917, p. 32
88 Kelley, op. cit., p. 276.
87 Great Britain. Health of Munition Workers Committee Memorandum No. 4. Employment of
women. 1916. p. 4.
88 U. S. Public Health Service. Comparison of an 8-hour plant and a 10-hour plant. Bulletin No. 106,
1920, p. 164



be.”89 What this loss means in figures has been established for some
industries by the careful studies of the Industrial Fatigue Research
Board in England. Thus the efficiency of silk weavers, according to
Elton, falls 10 per cent below its daylight value when the work is done
by artificial light.*70 And Mr. H. C. Weston has proved in another
study that the efficiency of linen weavers under artificial lighting falls
below its daylight value by approximately 11 per cent.71 Less recently
the evidence before the British Departmental Committee on Lighting
in Factories and Workshops brought out a case in a coil-winding fac­
tory where, owing, as the witness believed, to artificial lighting, “ the
workers were only able to wind sufficient coils at nighttime to earn
4s. 7d., whereas in the daytime they were able to wind sufficient coils
to earn 8s. 4d.”72 While this last instance may be ascribable in part
to the “depressed physiological condition” of the night worker, the
studies of weavers, it should be emphasized, were undertaken in the
Further liabilities.
Other liabilities combine with those cited to make night work uneco­
nomic—injury to machinery constantly kept in motion and often
not properly cleaned and oiled; higher overhead for heat, light, power,
etc.; increased risk of accidents; and all these things for a reduced
and inferior product.
But the case against night work is drawing powerful support from
an unexpected quarter. The economic effects of uncontrolled night
operation have brought about a vigorous reaction from within that
stronghold of women’s night work in this country, the textile industry
itself. A recent issue of the Textile World printed a symposium of
expert industrial opinion on the night shift,73 with the hope, as the
introductory article states, of awakening manufacturers “ to the knowl­
edge that the operation of a night shift is not the certain method of
permanently spreading overhead and cutting operating costs that it
is commonly credited to be. ” Written “merely from the standpoint
of the economic welfare of the industry” and with “no humanitarian
cant, ” these articles constitute powerful documents for the suppression
of night work, even though the authors leave the door open for its
••Oollis and Greenwood, op. cit., p. 118.
70Great Britain. Industrial Fatigue Research Board. Report. No. 9. Textile Series, No. 8, 1920.
p. 33.
71 Ibid. Report No. 20 Textilo Series, No. 5, 1922, p. 26.
7* Great Britain. Home Office. Departmental Committee on Lighting in Factories and Workshops.
Report, 1915, Vol. II, Minutes of evidence, p. 88.
73 The night shift as viewed from practical and sociological standpoints: Its control must precede the
effective stabilization of production. Introduction by Charles H. Clark; Night operation is only tempo­
rarily profitable for cotton mills, by Ralph E. Loper; Analysis of textile working conditions proves uncon­
trolled night work a liability, by Arthur T Bradlee. Textile World, Feb. 4,1928, pp. 137-142.



practice under exceptional circumstances. They are supported, it
seems, by enlightened opinion in the industry itself. “ Many southern
manufacturers,” says one of the contributors, “have expressed the
wish that night work could be stopped, but each is naturally afraid
of being placed at a disadvantage with his neighbor. ”
Mr. Ralph E. Loper (of Ralph E. Loper & Co., textile cost engineers)
is a specialist in textile cost accounting whose cost methods have been
adopted, it is said, by cotton mills representing fully 20 per cent of
the country’s spindleage. For the benefit of such mill executives as
may be considering whether or not they should undertake night
operation, Mr. Loper presents a careful analysis of the problem “ in
the light of the actual experiences of managements who have operated
day and night shifts for many years, ” and finds that total costs may
be reduced only about 2 per cent by the operation of two shifts.
There are three advantages which mill managements usually expect from
night operation:
1. A lower manufacturing cost.
2. Twice as much product on which to make a profit for the mill.
3. Twice the volume of sales by which to double the profits of the selling
Every executive realizes that his fire insurance, State and local taxes, execu­
tive salaries, and some other items of overhead are fixed charges. If the pro­
duction can be doubled, the cost per pound for these items would, therefore, be
cut in half. Against these savings there are certain items of cost which increase
on night work. For example: In most sections it is customary to pay employees
10 per cent higher wage rates at night. The efficiency of operatives is lower at
night. In well-run weave rooms this will normally be from 5 to 8 per cent below
day operation.
In order to give proper, weight to these and other important factors, a study
of the results obtained by several well-run plants was made * * * These
mills paid 10 per cent higher wage rates at night, but were able to entirely off­
set this by savings in yard, office and general labor. The production at night
was 94 per cent of the day production per hour.

Mr. Loper’s tabulations indicate—
that well-run mills now operating 55 hours per week, and maintaining their own
villages can reduce their total costs about 2 per cent by operating two shifts.

"In itself”, he continues—this 2 per cent reduction in cost is not sufficient inducement to warrant a mill
in enlarging its village and incurring fixed charges which must be borne perma­
nently by the daytime product in case they later decide to discontinue their
night shift

Mr. Loper’s article goes on to prove the supposed profit from
double product and double sales illusory, and concludes with “ a few
of the disadvantages frequently encountered.” The list is of interest
as bearing out and supplementing objections to night work already



1. Most operatives prefer to work days and skilled workers can usually find
daytime employment. The result is that the mill smarts out with a handicap
running nights.
2. Unless the labor supply is unusually large, the organization of a new night
force causes a temporary shortage and results in bidding between mills for help,
thus increasing the cost to each.
3. The quality of work produced at night is not so good, resulting in more
second-quality cloth.
4. The machinery is not so well cared for when run two shifts.
5. Industrial accidents are more frequent on night work.
6. The extra investment in a larger village carries with it fixed charges which
must be paid out of the profit on the daytime operation if the mill finds it
advisable to discontinue night operation.
In view of the slight reduction in manufacturing cost and the very detrimental
effect on the market of excess production, it seems evident that during normal
periods of business, night operation does not permanently pay textile mills.

Overproduction, it must be emphasized, is the constant peril of
the textile industry. The cotton shortage and the extraordinary
markets of the war period made night work highly profitable and
resulted in an immediate and large expansion of night operation.
With the exception of the depression of the year 1919-20, if the
North Carolina figures (see p. 6) may be taken as a reliable index,
night work in the South has maintained itself at its war-time volume
and has even made notable increases. To-day the picture has changed
completely, according to Mr. Loper. The high profits of the war
period have been replaced in many eastern mills by loss. The great
threat to the industry throughout the States is excess production.
Maximum daytime production exceeds normal demand, both domestic
and foreign. Curtailment has been attempted with partial success,
but the permanent menace to stabilization is the night shift. Tex­
tile leaders, writes Mr. Charles H. Clark, “ are conscious of the fact
that the unrestricted night operation of plants, that is possible in
most of the cotton manufacturing States, is the most menacing factor
of excess productive capacity.” Furthermore—
We are suffering to-day from uncontrolled overproduction; in 10 of the last
14 months the industry’s machinery was operated more than 8,500 million spindle
hours, and in two of these months over 9,000 million spindle hours. All previous
production records were broken thereby, and it was not daytime but nighttime
operation of a large percentage of the machinery that is responsible for present
dull and unprofitable business. With about one-third of the southern and a
small percentage of the northern spindleage organized for both day and night
operation we have a potential monthly average of about 1,000 million spindle
hours that can be credited to night operation of machinery. And the number and
capacity of night-and-day mills is steadily increasing. Nearly all northern mills
that move South become night-and-day mills and their potential productive
capacity is more than doubled. It is estimated that approximately 50 per cent
of the southern spindleage operated regularly on a day-and-night shift is con­
trolled by northern capital. The night shift, therefore, is not a sectional problem.



“Economically unsound and a menace to the industry," Mr. Clark
calls the night shift as* commonly operated. His reasons are—
First. It maintains a surplus reservoir of potential production, that, because
of its assumed ability to reduce operating costs, is opened wider and wider as
demand recedes, thus increasing overproduction, resulting in larger inventory
losses for night-shift than for day-shift mills, and delaying or defeating organized
curtailment and control of production.
Second. For the first time we have a visual demonstration that organized con­
trol of production is possible through legal dissemination of statistics, and also
a demonstration of that control being dangerously delayed and partially defeated
by the night shift.
Third. The slight temporary cost advantage that night-and-day mills may
have over day-shift mills,'operating upon highly competitive staple goods, is
proved to be more than absorbed in the depression that always follows unbridled
night operation.
Fourth. It is only a question of time before normal growth of the industry
will catch up with the labor supply, at which time day-shift mills will have an
important advantage in the competition for labor unless the night shift is paid
much higher wages.
Fifth. It is only a question of time before most States north and south will
restrict the employment of women and minors in factories at night.

More than two years before, Mr. Arthur T. Bradlee, a prominent
cotton executive, had made the same diagnosis of the condition of
the industry and given the same warning. His article, written just
before his death in 1925, is printed for the first time by the Textile
World. In part it is as follows:
There can be little doubt that production has been in excess of demand, and
while periodical curtailment may temporarily improve the situation, with the
advent of improved conditions so brought about we may expect a return to the
full day-and-night product by those who have been so running in the past, as
well as a constant addition to their ranks by others in an endeavor to place
themselves on a par to meet the competition of their neighbors. This will again
lead to overproduction, unprofitable operation, and material loss. The mills of
the South, previously a small unit, have grown until they alone are now one
of the largest units of production in the world, and the possible double running of
their 17,500,000 spindles as soon as there is a profit on their product is a con­
stant menace to the continuation of such profit and the stability of the market.
If we are producing too many goods for the demand it is to the advantage of
every mill, every stockholder, and every operative that overproduction should
be stopped. Continuous, steady operation is necessary to the welfare of all
three. There can be no question as to which is the more profitable and satis­
factory condition for all three, between continuous, full-day operation as con­
trasted with unsteady, intermittent and part-time day-and-night operation.
Short time is unprofitable to all; and the higher wages that must necessarily
accompany intermittent or curtailed employment may far offset any advantages
arising from the double shift.

Mr. Bradlee finds the experience of foreign countries impressive.
He has taken the pains to present a review of the foreign legislation



on hours and night work, and in his comment calls attention to the
“lonely position of the United States.”
Of all the countries of major production the United States apparently stands
alone in its continuation of night work by women; in fact, during the period
that the very laws previously stated have been put into effect abroad, the United
States has been rapidly increasing night operation in the Southern States.

He goes on to question—
whether the unbridled license for night operation is really an asset or a liability
in the form of a boomerang. Practically every other country has discontinued
Is it really an asset for the South?

And he answers his own question with no uncertain emphasis:
If it were known to-day that night work was to be discontinued 1 am confi­
dent that it would very quickly place the mills of the South at least in assured
profitable operation and it would remove from the entire cotton textile trade of
the country, from manufacturer to retailer, the present doubt they have of the
permanency of any improvement or stability in values—a doubt that arises from
the ever-present threat of possible rapidly increased production to the point of

About the same time that Mr. Bradlee’s article was written, an
article in the Daily News Record quoted a statement from an impor­
tant New York business man, substantiating from the merchandising
end the testimony of the production experts, and favoring on the
same ground of overproduction the compulsory abolition of the night
shift. His statement runs:
Cotton mills won’t do what is best for themselves, so the only step to take
would be to compel them to recognize that the creating of surplus production
unnecessarily is the greatest injury which can be inflicted upon the market.
* * * We can merchandise the normal day production of the cotton mills of
this country at a profit to the cotton mills. There is no market, on the other
hand, for the large surplus which soon piles up on certain types of goods after
night run has been abused. We had the experience last year of what this means,
and we want to take action soon to avoid any possibility of repetition.
The idea of reducing overhead through night work is a fallacy. It may work
in a few cases, but in the great average the eventual losses through resulting poor
markets more than offset any saving in overhead. Night runs are responsible
for mills taking orders at lower prices in the belief that the reduced costs through
this overtime makes the low bid price seem fair. Competition of this character
can have but one result—huge losses for the textile industry.74

And this modern man of business seeks the remedy where the
Lancashire cotton spinners sought it nearly a hundred years ago—in
legislation which shall protect the economically enlightened employer
and the industry itself from the shortsighted competition of the mills
still practicing night work.
74 Daily News Record.

Fairchild Publications, New York

Mar. 23, 1925.



Brandeis, Louis D., and Goldmark, Josephine.
Case against night work for women, revised * * * 1918. Court of
Appeals, State of New York. The people of the State of New York,
respondent, against Charles Schweinler Press, a corporation, defendantappellant. A summary of “ facts of knowledge ” submitted on behalf of
the people. New York, National Consumers’ League [1918], 452 p.
Goldmark, Josephine.
Fatigue and efficiency * * *. New York, Charities publication com­
mittee, 1912. 302 p. (Russell Sage Foundation [publication].)
p. 259-277: Prohibition of women’s night work: a prime necessity.
Great Britain. Ministry of Munitions. Health of Munition Workers Com­
mittee. Final report. Industrial health and efficiency * * * London,
H. M. Stationery Off., 1918. 118 p.
Interim report. Industrial efficiency and fatigue
Stationery Off., 1917. 121 p.




London, H. M.

Memorandum No. 4. Employment of women. London, H. M. Stationery
Off., 1916. 10 p.
---------- War Cabinet. Committee on Women in Industry.
Women in Industry * * * London, H. M. Stationery Off., 1919. 2 v.
International Association for Labor Legislation.
Le travail de nuit des femmes dans l’industrie. Rapports sur son import­
ance et sa rcgiemcntation lfigale * * * Publics au nom de l’association internationale pour la protection 14gale des travailleurs et precedes
d’une preface par Etienne Bauer * * * Jena, G. Fischer, 1903. 382 p.
Kelley, Florence.
Wage-earning women in war time. The textile industry ' * ’ 1919.
24 p. Reprinted by the National Consumers’ League from the Journal of
industrial hygiene, October, 1919.
Lee, Frederic Schiller.
The human machine and industrial efficiency. New York, Longmans, Green
& Co., 1918. 119 p.
p. 61-72: Night work in comparison with day work.
National Consumers’ League and Consumers’ League of New Jersey.
Night-working mothers in textile mills, Passaic, New Jersey. By Agnes de
Lima. 1920. 18 p.
New York (State). Factory Investigating Commission.
Second report, Albany, 1913. v. 1.
p. 193-213: Night work of women in factories.
United States.
Committee on Post Offices and Post
Night work in postal service. Extracts from hearings before the Committee1
on Post Offices and Post Roads pursuant to S. Res. 259 authorizing the
Senate Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads to investigate and
report on night work in the Post Office Department, May 11 and 18, 1922.
Washington, Govt, print, off., 1922. 25 p.
----------Department of Commerce and Labor.
Report on condition of woman and child wage earners in the U nited States.
Washington, Govt, print, off., 1910-12. v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 14.

Appendix A—Text of the Bern Convention, 1906
Appendix B—Text of the Washington Convention, 1919
Appendix C—Principal night-work legislation of foreign countries
Appendix D—Night-work legislation for women in the United States




Article 1. Industrial night work shall be prohibited for all women with­
out distinction of age, with the exceptions hereinafter noted. This agreement
shall apply to all industrial establishments employing more than 10 men and
women; in no case shall it apply to those establishments in which only members
of the proprietor’s family are employed. Upon each of the contracting States
devolves the duty of defining what shall be understood by “ industrial establish­
ment.” Among these shall be included, in any case, mines and quarries, as well
as industries for the manufacture or working up of raw materials. On this last
subject legislation in the individual States shall fix the limit between industry
on the one hand and agriculture and commerce on the other.
Art. 2. The night rest contemplated in the preceding article shall have a
minimum duration of II consecutive hours; in those 11 hours, whatever else be
the legislation of each State, shall be included the interval from 10 o’clock in the
evening to 5 o’clock in the morning. In the States in which the night work of
adult women employed in industry has not yet been regulated, however, the
length of uninterrupted rest may, temporarily, for a period of not over three
years, be limited to 10 hours.
Art. 3. The prohibition of night work may be suspended (1) in case of
force majeure the interruption of operations by abnormal and nonrecurrent
causes beyond the control of the proprietor; (2) in case the labor is applied
either to raw materials or materials in course of manufacture which may be
liable to very rapid deterioration, when it is necessary to save the materials from
inevitable loss.
Art. 4. In industries affected by the seasons and, in case of exceptional circum­


stances, for all industries, the length of uninterrupted night rest may be reduced
to 10 hours for 60 days a year.
Art. 5. Upon each of the contracting States devolves the duty of adopting the
administrative measures which may be necessary to insure, within its territory,
the strict execution of the provisions of this agreement. The Governments shall
inform each other, through diplomatic channels, of the laws and regulations upon
the subject of this agreement which are, or may hereafter be, in force in their
respective countries, and shall report periodically to each other concerning the
operation of these laws and regulations.
Art. 6. The terms of this agreement shall be applicable to a colony, possession,
or protectorate only in case a notification to that effect shall be given to the Swiss
Federal Council by the home Government concerned. The home Government,
in announcing its application to a colony, possession, or protectorate, may give
notice that the agreement will not apply to those native industries over which
supervision would be impossible.
Art. 7. In States outside of Europe, as well as in colonies, possessions, or pro­
tectorates, when the climate or the condition of native populations demands it,
the length of uninterrupted night rest may be less than the minimum fixed by
this agreement on condition that in compensation rest shall be granted during
the day.




Art. 8. This agreement shall be ratified and the ratifications shall bo filed not
later than December 31, 1908, with the Federal Council of Switzerland. A report
of the filing of the ratification shall be prepared, of which a duly certified copy
shall be sent through diplomatic channels to each of the contracting States.
This agreement shall go into effect two years after the completion of the report.
The period to elapse before enforcement is increased from 2 to 10 years—
1. For the manufacture of unrefined beet sugar.
2. For the combing and spinning of wool.
3. For day work in mines when this work is interrupted for at least four
months a year by climatic conditions.
Art. 9. The States not signing this agreement may declare their adherence to
it by an act addressed to the Swiss Federal Council which shall communicate
such act to each of the other contracting States.
Art. 10. The delay provided in article 8 for the entrance of this agreement
into force shall begin, for the States not signing it, as well as for colonies, posses­
sions, or protectorates, from the date of their adherence to it.
Art. 11. This agreement may not be renounced either by the States signing
it, or by the States, colonies, possessions, or protectorates which subsequently
agree to it, before the expiration of a period of 12 years from the completion of
the report of ratifications. It may then be renounced from year to year. The
renunciation shall become effective one year after it shall be sent in writing to the
Swiss Federal Council by the Government concerned, or, in case of a colony,
possession, or protectorate, by the home Government concerned; the Federal
Council shall immediately communicate such renunciation to the Government of
each of the other contracting States. The renunciation shall have effect only for
the State, colony, possession, or protectorate in the name of which it shall be

The General Conference of the International Labor Organization of the League
of Nations,
Having been convened at Washington by the Government of the United
States of America, on the 29th day of October, 1919, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to
“women’s employment during the night,” which is part of the third item in the
agenda for the Washington meeting of the conference, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a draft inter­
national convention,
Adopts the following draft convention for ratification by the members of the
International Labor Organization, in accordance with the labor part of the
treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919, and of the treaty of St. Germain of
September 10, 1919:
Article 1. For the purpose of this convention, the term “industrial under­
taking” includes particularly—
(а) Mines, quarries, and other works for the extraction of minerals from
the earth.
(б) Industries in which articles are manufactured, altered, cleaned, repaired,
ornamented, finished, adapted for sale, broken up or demolished, or in which
materials are transformed, including shipbuilding, and the generation, trans­
formation, and transmisson of electricity or motive power of any kind.
(c) Construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, alteration or demolition
of any building, railway, tramway, harbor, dock, pier, canal, inland waterway,
road, tunnel, bridge, viaduct, sewer, drain, well, telegraphic or telephonic instal­
lation, electrical undertaking, gas work, water work, or other work of construc­
tion, as well as the preparation for or laying the foundations of any such work
or structure.
The competent authority in each country shall define the line of division
which separates industry from commerce and agriculture.

Art. 2. For the purpose of this convention, the term “night” signifies a period
of at least 11 consecutive hours, including the interval between 10 o’clock in the
evening and 5 o’clock in the morning.
In those countries where no Government regulation as yet applies to the
employment of women in industrial undertakings during the night, the term
“night” may provisionally and for a maximum period of 3 years, be declared by
the Government to signify a period of only 10 hours, including the interval
between 10 o’clock in the evening and 5 o’clock in the morning.

Art. 3. Women without distinction of age shall not be employed during the
night in any public or private industrial undertaking, or in any branch thereof,
other than an undertaking in which only members of the same family are




Art. 4. Article 3 shall not apply—
(а) In cases of force majeure, when in any undertaking there occurs an inter­
ruption of work which it was impossible to foresee, and which is not of a recur­
ring character.
(б) In cases where the work has to do with raw materials or materials in
course of treatment which are subject to rapid deterioration, when such night
work is necessary to preserve the said materials from certain loss.
Art. 5. In India and Siam the application of article 3 of this convention may
be suspended by the Government in respect to any industrial undertaking,
except factories as defined by the national law. Notice of every such suspen­
sion shall be filed with the International Labor Office.
Art. 6. In industrial undertakings which are influenced by the seasons and
in all cases where exceptional circumstances demand it, the night period may be
reduced to 10 hours on 60 days of the year.
Art. 7. In countries where the climate renders work by day particularly try­
ing to the health, the night period may be shorter than prescribed in the above
articles, provided that compensatory rest is accorded during the day.
Art. 8. The formal ratifications of this convention, under the conditions set
forth in Part XIII of the treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919, and of the treaty
of St. Germain of September 10, 1919, shall be communicated to the secretary
general of the League of Nations for registration.
Art. 9. Each member which ratifies this convention engages to apply it to
its colonies, protectorates, and possessions which are not fully self-governing—
(а) Except where owing to the local conditions its provisions are inappli­
cable ; or
(б) Subject to such modifications as may be necessary to adapt its provisions
to local conditions.
Each member shall notify to the International Labor Office the action taken
in respect to each of its colonies, protectorates, and possessions which are not
fully self-governing.
Art. 10. As soon as the ratifications of two members of the International Labor
Organization have been registered with the secretariat, the secretary general of
the League of Nations shall so notify all the members of the International Labor
Art. 11. This convention shall come into force at the date on which such noti­
fication is issued by the secretary general of the League of Nations, but it shall
then be binding only upon those members which have registered their ratifications
with the secretariat. Thereafter this convention will come into force for any
other member at the date on which its ratification is registered with the secretariat.
Art. 12. Each member which ratifies this convention agrees to bring its pro­

visions into operation not later than July 1, 1922, and to take such action as
may be necessary to make these provisions effective.
Art. 13. A member which has ratified this convention may denounce it after
the expiration of 10 years from the date on which the convention first comes into
force, by an act communicated to the secretary general of the League of Nations
for registration. Such denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the
date on which it is registered with the secretariat.
Art. 14. At least once in 10 years the governing body of the International
Labor Office shall present to the general conference a report on the working of
this convention, and shall consider the desirability of placing on the agenda of
the conference the question of its revision or modification.
Art. 15. The French and English texts of this convention shall both be

(As of December 31, 1937)

[Note.—Under “prohibited hours,” in right-hand column, the persons covered by the prohibition are
these: 1, women; 2, children; 3, women and children; 4, women and girls; 5, apprentices under 16; 6,
females under 18, males under 16; 7, men and women; 8, all employees.!



Undertaking covered

and com-

Minimum number Prohibited hours
of employees

Act of May 14, 1919.
(Leg. Ser. 1919,
Aust. 7.)


Act of July 28, 1919.
(E. B. 14, 1919, p.

Mines 1.


Mines, industries,
building, transport,
offices, etc., and
within year of com­
ing into operation,
retail shops, hotels,
etc., commercial un­

9p. m.to5a. m.*

8 p. m. to 5 a. m.
After 10 p. m.
in cases of day



Royal order coordin­
ating legal provi­
sions on employ­
ment of women and
children, Feb. 28,
1919. (E. B. 14,1919,
p. 21.)
Act of June 14, 1921,
putting in force pro­
visions of Washing­
ton Con ventio n.
(Leg. Ser. 1921, Bel.




Act approved Apr.
5/18, 1917; passed
June, 1917. (E. B.
13, 1918, p. 26.)

Regulations for ren­
dering cumpulsory
labor service by
young women,
Mar. 8, 1922. (Leg.
Ser. 1922, Bulg. 1.)
Czechoslovakia _ 8-hour day act, Dec.
1918.1 (E. B. 14,
1919, p. 26.)


Collected acts and ord­
ers, No. 81, Mar. 18,
1922, giving effect to
Washington Con­
vention. (First An­
nual Report, Inter­
national Labor Con­
ference, 1923, Report
of Director, p. 70.)
Act of May 20, 1924.
(Leg. Ser. 1924,
Est. 1.)

All industrial under­
takings, workshops,
commerieal, build­
ing, and transport
undertakings. (Ag­
riculture excepted
and home work un­
less dangerous or

8 p.m. to 6 a.m.*

8 p.m. to 6 a. m.1

Undertakings subject
to Industrial Code
or carried on as in
ture; forestry; com­

10 p.m. to 5 a.m.8

Industrial undertak­
9 p. m. to 5 a. m;
ings. (Mines, ex­
or, if two or
tractive industries,
more shifts, 10
manufactures, ship­
p.m. to 5 a. m.3
building, electrical
works, construction,
* Recommendation concerning the night work of women in agriculture of the International Labor
Conference of Geneva, 1921, is applied by act cited.







Undertaking covered

Minimum number (Prohibited hours
of employees
see note on p. 73)

Act of Jan. 24, 1925,
amending articles
20a-28, Bk.11, of the
Code du Travail et
de la Pr&voyance
Sociale. (Leg. Ser.
1925, Fr. 1.)

Factories, workshops,
mines, quarries, etc.

lOp. m.to5 a.m.®



French depend­
encies, etc.:
Algeria.......... Decree of Jan. 5,1909,
(E. B. 4,1909, p. 80.)
French Gui­ Decree of Feb. 7,1924.
(Leg. Ser. 1924, Fr.

Madagascar. Decree of Sept. 22,

Factories, workshops, .............
mines, quarries, etc.
Works, factories,quar- .............
ries, yards, work­
shops, or their
Works, factories, quarries, yards, work­
shops, or their de­


Works, factories, ............... ..............
quarries, yards,
workshops, or their
Factories, workshops, _________ _____

Guadaloupe . Decree of Sept. 7,1913.
(E. B. 11, 1916, p.
1925. (Leg. Ser. 1925,
Fr. 11.)
Martinique.. Decree of Feb. 12,
1913. (E. B. 11,1916,
p. 74.)
Decree of July 13,
1926. (Leg. Ser. 1926,
Mor. 1.)

Reunion......... Decree of May 22,1916.
(E. B. 11, 1916, p.
Tunis_______ Decree of June 15,
1910. (E.B. 11,1916,
p. 5.)
Industrial Code.
(Stier-Somlo, 1923
edition, secs. 134i,
136, 137, 154.)

Notification of Nov.

Great Britain..


C.—Principal Night-Work Legislation of Foreign Countries—Continued

work yards, labora­
tories, kitchens, cel­
lars and wine sheds,
warehouses, shops
and offices, loading
and unloading, the­
aters, circuses, and
other places of enter­
tainment and their

Works, factories,quar..
ries, yards, work­
shops, or their
Factories, workshops, ................................

mines, quarries, otc.
Industrial establish­
Foundries, ship­
building yards,
docks, tobacco
factories, mines,
salt works, etc.,
using mechani­
cal power, tail­
oring and under­
clothing estab­
Brick fields, openair mines and
Fruit or vegetable
preserving e s t a b lishments.
Dairies, etc..... ..............

25. 1909. (E. B. 5,
1910, p. 73.)
Notification of June
4, 1910. (E. B. 6,
1911, p. 9.)
Factory and workshop
act, 1901 (1 Edw.
VII, ch. 22):
Sec. 24___ _______ Textile factories
Sec. 26.

Nontextile factories.

Sec. 29.

Workshops not em­
ploying children or
young people.

10 or more............
Irrespective of

9 p. m. to 5 a. m.i
8p. m. to 6 a. m.1

8p.m. to 6a m.®

9p. m. to 5 a. m.®
9 p.m. to 5 a. m.»

9 5 a. m.®

8 p. m. to 6 a. m.®

9 p. m. to 5 a. m.®
8 p. m. to 6 a. m.;
or 10 p. m. in
cases of two or
more shifts.®

6 or more...
10 or more.

10 p. m. to 4.30
a. m.1

10 or more.

9 p. m. to 4 a. m.1

6 p. m. to 6 a. m.
or 7 p. m. to 7
a. m.®
6 p. m. to 6 a. m.
or 7 p. m. to 7
a. m. ©r 8 p.m.
to 8 a. m.3
10 p.m. toCa. m.1



C.—Principal Night-Work Legislation of Foreign Countries—Continued
Undertaking covered

Minimum number Prohibited hours
(see note on p. 73)
of employees



Great BritainContinued.

Act of Aug. 9, 1907,
harmonizing legisla­
tion with Bern Con­
vention. (E. B. 2,
1907, p. 38.)
Factory and workshop
act. Aug 28, 1907
(7 Edw. VII, ch. 39;
E. B. 2, 1907, p. 265.)
Order of Secretary of
State, Sept. 11, 1907.
(E.B.2,1907, p.389.)
Act of Dec. 16, 1911.
(E. B. 9, 1914, p. 9.)
Act of Dec. 23, 1920
Washington Con­
vention in law). (10
and 11 Geo. V, ch.
65; Leg. Ser. 1920, G.

Flax scutch mills .



Fruit preserving

7 p. m. to 6 a. m.
or 8 p. m. to 7
a. m. or 9 p.m.
to 8 a. m.1
10 p. m. to 6 a.m.3

Coal mines........ ...........

9 p. 5 a. m.3

Any industrial under­

10 p.m. to 5 a. m.*

Ordinance, July 30,
1923, putting into
effect provisions of
Washington Con­
vention. (Leg. Ser.
1923, Cey. 1.)

Any industrial under­

10 p. m. to 5 a. m.3

British depend­
encies, etc.:
Ceylon 2-----

Fiji Islands,.
Gold Coast2.

India -


Ordinance No. 11,
1921. (Int. Lab.
Conf., 1924, Final
report, p. 943.)
Indian factories
amendment act,
1, 1922.
(Amended act, Leg.
Ser. 1922, Ind. 1.)

Isle of Man.. Act of Oct. 27, 1908,
promulgated July 5,
1909. (E. B. 11,1916,
p. 215.)


Industrial undertak­
Factories as defined
in amended act:
wherein not less
than 20 persons are
simultaneously em­
ployed and mechan­
ical or electrical
power i s used in
* * *
or wherein not less
than 10 persons are
employed * * *
whether power is
used or not, if de­
clared by local Gov­
ernment to be a fac­
Any factory in which
shift system ap­
proved by inspector
is not in forco.

More than 10-.





7 p. m. to 5.30

8 p. m. to 6 a. m.*


North ern

Proclamation of Oct.
2, 1912. (E. B. 8,
1913, p. 52.)
Trinidad2 and Ordinance of Feb. 26,
1912. (E.B.8,1913,
p. 45.)
Uganda Pro­ (2).
Act No. 4029 of Jan. 24Greece________
Feb.6, 1912. (E.B.
7,1912, p. 285.)

Industrial undertakings.

More than 10____ 10 p. m. to 5 a. m.1

Industrial undertakings.

More than 10........ 10 p. m. to 5 a. m.1

Factories, industrial Irrespective of
concerns, and work­
shops, quarries and
mines; building,
etc., commercial
firms and stores, res­
taurants and hotels,
* Great Britain had adhered to Bern Convention as home country on Feb. 21, 1908.

89921°—28---- -8

9 p. m. to 5 a. m.*





Principal Night-Work Legislation of Foreign Countries—CoiPinued


Greece—Contd .


Undertaking covered

Minimum number Prohibited hours
of employees
(see note on p. 73)

Act of May 28, 1914..

6.30 p. m. to 8 a.
m., Apr. 1 to
Sept. 30: 5.30
p. m. to 7.30
a. m., Oct. 1 to
Mar. 31.
lip. m. to 5 a.m.1

Decree of July 4, 1925. Dairies .
(leg. Ser. 1925, Gr.3.)
Act No. 2275, June
24-July 6, 1920, puttin g Washington
Convention in effect
(Offic. Journ. July 1,
1920). Circular No.
23 of Ministry of
National Economy,
July 16, 1920.3
Act No. 53 of 1908, Provisions same as
incorporating Bern
Bern Convention.
Convention. Dec.24,
1908. (E. B. 5,1910,
p. 117.)
Sec. XIX, Laws of
1911, Aug. 14, 1911.
(E.B.7,1912, p.211.)
Act of Mar. 24, 1923, ^Provisions same as General_________
incorporating Washp. m. to 6 a. m.«
Washington Con­
ington Convention
in Hungarian law.
(Leg. Ser. 1923,
Hung. 2.)
Act of Mar. 4,1925, in­
corporating in Hun­
garian law the rec­
ommendation of the
Geneva Conference,
1921, on night work
of women and chil­
dren in agriculture.
(Int. Lab. Office, In­
dustrial and Labor
Information, Apr. 6,
1925, pp. 7-8.)
Royal decree amend­ Any place where man­ Irrespective of
ing act of Nov. 10,
p.m. to 5a.m.>
ual work of an in­
1907, Mar. 15, 1923.
dustrial nature is
(Leg. Ser. 1923, It.
done, with or with­
out aid of power
Factory act, amended Factories
or more..
by act of Mar. 29,
p.m. to5a. m.a
1923. (Leg. Ser. 1923,
Jap. l.)«
Liechtenstein... Industrial Code, Dec. Industrial occupa­
13, 1915.
p. m. to 6 a. m.*
Lithuania (Me- Notification Mar. 3, Corn mills (steam
8.30 p. m. to 6.30
mel Territory).
1927. Unpublished
a. m.‘
material of Int. Lab.
Luxemburg____ Act of Aug. 3, 1907, Provisions same as
adopting Bern Con­
Bern Convention.
vention. (E. B. 2,
1907, p. 99.)
Grand Ducal Resolu­
tion, Dec. 10, 1907.
(E.B.2,1907, p.392.)
Act of May 20, 1922, Industries other than
to 7ofa. ex­
act, 1919. Consoli­
emption, 10
dated text promulp. m. to 5
ated by decree of
a. m.8
uly 21,1922. (Leg.
Ser. 1922, Neth. 1.) Shops.......................
p.m. to 6 a. m.7
p. m. to 8 a. m.1
See First Annual Report. Proceedings of the International Labor Conference, 1924, p. 1095.
Not yet in force,












C.—Principal Night-Work Legislation of Foreign Countries—Continued


Undertaking covered

Minimum number Prohibited hours
(see note on p. 73)
of employees

New Zealand.

Factories act, 1921-22
(No. 42), Feb. 6,

Factories. (Any place 2 or more.
in which 2 or more
persons employed
m any handicraft,
or in preparing or
goods for trade or
sale; every bake­
house, every build­
ing with mechanical
power, electricity
and gas works, or
employing an Asi­
Laundries................... .

Poland -

Act of Dec. 18, 1919
(prohibiting night
work for all work­
(Leg. Ser.
1920, Pol. 1.)
Constitution of the
Mar. 17, 1921, sec.
103. (Leg. Ser. 1921,
Pol. 3.)
Act of July 2, 1924.
(Leg. Ser. 1924. Pol.

Industry and



6p.m to 8 a.m.*

7 p. m. to 7.45
a. m.8
9 p.m. to 5 a. m.;
or in cases of 2
shifts, 10 p. m.
to 4 a. m.®

“ Branches of manu­
facture injurious to
their health.”


com- -------------------------- 8 p. m. to 6 a. m.;
or in cases of 2
shifts, 10 p. m.
to 5 a. in.8
Provisions same as Bern Convention1

Decree of June 24,
1911. (E.B.6,1911,
p. 188.)
Decree No. 8244 of Commercial establish- --------------------------- 7 p. m. to 9 a. m.*
Minister of Labor,
July 8, 1922. (Leg. Industries------------------------------------------ 8 p. m. to 7 a. m.
Ser. 1922, Port. 2.)
Decree of Oct. 29,1927.
........................ !..... -............... (•)
(Leg. Ser. 1927, Port.
6, A and B.)
Provisions same as Washington Convention1
Draft Labor Code,
Rumania .
Bk. Ill, pt. 1, secs.
10 p. m. to 6 a.m.*
Labor code, 1922, Ch. All persons perform­
ing work for remu­
XIII.5 (Leg. Ser.
1922, Russ. 1.)
home workers.
Order of the All-Rus­
sian Central Execu­
tive Committee re­
specting the bring­
ing into operation of
the Labor Code of
the Russian Federa­
tive Socialist Soviet
Republic (1922 edi­
tion), Nov. 9, 1922.
(Leg. Ser. 1922,
Russ. 1.)
Circular of the Com­ All branches of pro­
duction except those
missariat of Labor,
especially un­
Apr. 13, 1925, au­
thorizing night work
of women.6
10 p. m. to 5 a. m.*
Serb Croat-Slo- Worker’s protection All undertakings car­
rying on handicrafts,
act, Feb. 28, 1922.
vene King­
transport, mining,
S. 1.)
and similar activi­
South Africa..
p. m. to 7 a. m.
(a) Any premises
1918. (Stat. 1918.
In cases of ex­
in which me­
No. 28, secs. 1,15.)
emption 9 p. m.
chanical power
to 5 a. m.1
is used to make
goods for trade,
sale, food, drink.




8 Informations du Commissariat du Travail, No. 12, 1923.
• Informations du Commissariat du Travail, No. 20, 1925.





Principal Night-Work. Legislation of Foreign Countries—Continued



South AfricaContinued.

Factories act, May 8,
1918. (Stat. 1918.
No. 28, secs. 1, ISOContinued.

Spain ___

Act of July
(E. B. 7,
398 )
Act of Nov.
(E. B. 5,


11, 1912.
1912, p.
20, 1909.
1910, p.



New South
W ales.

Act of June 27, 1919.
(E. B. 14, 1919, p.
Administrative order,
Oct. 3, 1919. (E. B.
14, 1919, p. 215.)

Act of Mar. 31, 1922
(giving effect to
Washington Con­
vention). (Leg.
Ser. 1922, Switz. 2.)
Adminstrative order,
June 15,1923. (Leg.
Ser. 1923, Switz. 1.)
Factory and shops act
Nov. 16, 1896, as
amended by act of
Dec. 29,1909. Con­
solidated in act of
Nov. 26, 1912. (E.
B. 10, 1915, p. 264.)

Queensland.. Factory and shops
act, Dec. 28, 1900.,
as amended by act
of Apr. 15, 1908.
Consolidated. (E.B.
4, 1909, p. 205.)

South Australia.

Industrial code, Dec.
9, 1920. (Leg. Ser.
1926, Austra 1, Ap­
pendix, sec. 340 (1)


Undertaking covered

Minimum numbei Prohibited hours
of employees
(see note on p. 73)

(b) Laundries, If 3 or more_____
dye works.
(c) Industrial
not under me­
chanical power
(mines ex­
Workshops and facto­
Industrial undertak­
ings. (Provisions
same as Bern Con­

Factories .

Workshops. (All in­
dustrial undertak­
ings to which the
Federal act of June
18,1914, as amended
by the act of June
27, 1919, does not

9 p. m. to 5 a. m.i

More than 10____ 10 p. m. to 5 a. mJ

6 or more if mechanical power
used; 6 or more
if no mechanical power used,
if including 1
or more young
persons; 11 or
more adults if
no mechanical
power and no
young persons.

Factories. (Under­ 4 or more ...............
takings employing
4 or more persons in
any handicraft, or in
preparing or manu­
facturing articles for
trade or sale; laun­
dries, dye works;
bakehouses; undert a k i ngs using me­
chanical power; any
place employing 1 or 1 or more..............
more Chinese.)
Factories. (Any prem­
ises in which 2 or
more persons, in­
cluding the occu­
pier, are engaged in
any handicraft or in ,
preparing, etc., or
manufacturing arti­ ,2 or more...............
cles for trade or sale; 1.......... ................ .
bakehouses; laun­
dries; any place in
which 1 Asiatic is
engaged; premises
Factories. (Any place 1................................
in which any 1 per­
son is employed at
manual labor by
way of trade or pur­
poses of gam in or
incidental to any
handicraft; making,
altering, etc., any
article; claypits and
quarries; electricity
and gas works.)

10 p.m. to 5 a.m.*

10 p.m. to 5. a.m.*

6 p.m. to 6 a. m.»

6 p. m. to 6 a. m.
In cases of overtime, after 9.30
p. m.6

After 9 p. m.*




C.—Principal Night-Work Legislation of Foreign Countries—Continued



Tasmania___ Factory act of Jan. 13,
1910, amended Jan.
10, 1912. (E. B. 8,
1913, p. 395.)


Western Austral i t.

British Golumbia.

Factories and shops
act, 1915. as amend­
ed to 1923.

Factories and shops
act, 1920. (Stat.
1920, No. 44, secs. 4,

Factories act, Mar. 7,
1908, with amend­
ment of M a r. 6,
1915. (Stat. 1915,
ch. 25.)

Undertaking covered

Factories. (Any prem­
ises in which 4 or
more persons are
employed in any
handicraft or in pre­
paring or manufac­
turing articles for
trade or sale, bakehouses, claypits and
quarries, electricity
gas works;
premises in which
mechanical power is
used; every build­
ing in which 1 Asi­
atic is employed.)
Factories or work­
rooms. (Any place
where 4 or more per­
sons not Chinese,
or lor more Chinese,
are employed in any
handicraft or in pre­
paring or manufac­
turing articles for
trade or sale; laun­
dries and dye works,
clay pits and quar­
ries, electricity and
gasworks; any place
in which 1 or more
persons employed
an which mechan­
ical power is used;
furniture works
and bakehouses.)
Factories. (Any
building in which 4
or more persons are
engaged in any
handicraft, or in pre­
paring articles for
trade or sale, includ­
ing laundries; any
place in which 1 or
more Asiatics are
engaged; any place
using mechanical
power for prepar­
ing goods; any clay
pit or quarry.)
Factories. (Any
premises of descrip­
tion mentioned in
Schedule A or added
thereto by lieuten­
ant-governor in
which are employed
3 or more workers;
any place in which
mechanical power is
used t o prepare
goods or manual la­
bor used by way of
Laundries_________ _

Amending act, Mar.
29,1919. (Stat. 1919,
ch. 27.)
Act of Apr. 2, 1921, Industrial undertakadopting Washing­
ings (as defined by
(Stat. 1921, ch. 46.)

Minimum number Prohibited hours
of employees
(see note on p. 73)

| After 9 p. m.8
1........ ................

1—____ _________ 9 p. m. to 6 a. m

> After 9 p. m.8

6 p. m. to 8 a. m

8 p. m. to 7 a.m.

7 p. m. to 7 a. m.8
8p. m. to7 a.m.3




C.—Principal Night-Work Legislation of Foreign Countries—Continued

Undertaking covered

Minimum number Prohibited hours
of employees
(see note on p. 73)

Factories act, Apr. 5,
1917. (Stat. 1917,
eh. 20, sec. 26.)

Shops, offices, and
office buildings in
towns of population
exceeding 5,000; all
factories in prov­
Factories—any build­
ing of description
mentioned in Sched­
ule A or declared to
be factories by lieu­
tenant governor;
any place in which
mechanical power
is used to prepare
goods or manual
power used by way
of trade.

More than 5.


Canada— Contd.

Amending act, A pr. 13,
1918. (Stat. 1918,
eh. 32.)
Manitoba___ Revised Statutes of
1913, ch. 70.

New Bruns­

Factories act, 1919,
amended Apr. 24,
(Stat. 1920,
ch. 54.)

Nova Scotia.. Act of Apr. 4, 1901.
(Stat. 1901, ch. 1.)



Factory, shop, and
office building act.
(Revised Statutes
of 1914, ch. 229.)

Revised Statutes of
1909, sec. 3837.

Act Mar 14, 1912, ch.
Saskatchewan Factories act, Dec. 18,
1909. (E. B. 7, 1912,
p 263.)

11 p.m. to7a.m.*
Any building of de­
scription men­
tioned in Schedule
A * * * or add­
ed thereto by lieu­
tenant governor; any
place where me­
chanical power is
used to prepare
goods or manual
labor used by way
of trade.
Factories (places
where 10 or, more
persons are employ­
ed in any handicraft
or in manufacturing
goods for trade or
sale, or where me­
chanical power is
used) and laundries.
Factories (places
where mechanical
power is used for
the manufacture or
finishing of goods or
to which factories
act is applied by
governor in coun­
Factories (places of
tioned in schedule
or added thereto by
lieutenant governor;
places using me­
chanical power in
preparing goods or
manual power by
way of trade).
All manufactories,
works, workshops,
work yards, and
mills of every kind.
Cotton and woolen
Any building of the
description men­
tioned in Schedule
A or added thereto
b y the lieutenant
governor; any place
where mechanical
power is used to pre­
pare goods or man­
ual labor exercised
by way of trade.

10 p. m. to 7

10 or more...............

10.30 p. m. to 6
a. m.4

9 p. m to 6 a. m.*

More than 5_.

p. m. to 7 a,
m.; shops, 6
p. m. to 7 a. m.
Even in cases
of exemption,
9 p. m. to 6
9p. m. to 6 a. m.3

6.30 p. m. to 7
a. m.3
After 6.30 p. m.
In cases of ex­
emption, 10 p.
m. to 7 a. m.*


Appendix (J.-—Principal

Night-Work Legislation of Foreign Countries—Continued


Undertaking covered

Minimum number Prohibited hours
of employees
(see note on p. 73)

Act of Sept. 30, 1924.
(Leg. Ser. 1924, Arg.

Industry and com­

8 p. m. to 7 a. m.
in winter; 8 p.
m. to 6 a. m. in
9 p. m. to 6 a. m.a




Act of Aug. 28, 1923.
(Leg. Ser. 1923, Arg.







Costa Pica


Health act, Dec. 29,
1917. (E.B. 13,1918,
p. 25.)
Act of Nov. 25, 1918.
(E. B. 14, 1919, p.

Factories, workshops,
or undertakings of
any kinds, within
the radius of the
Factories ......................
Work carried on in all
kinds of occupations
on behalf of an em­
Factories, workshops,
or agricultural em­

Decree No. 30, act re­
garding contracts of
work, Oct. 27, 1916.
(E. B. 12, 1917, p.
Constitution of the
United States of
Mexico. Adopted Industrial undertakings.
Jan. 31, 1917; pro­ > Commercial
mulgated Eeb. 5,
1917. (E.B. 13,1918,
p. 52.)
Con­ “Work”____________
vention for the Uni­
fication of Protec­
tive Laws for Work­
men and Laborers.
Signed at Washing­
ton, Eeb. 7, 1923.
(Leg. Ser. 1923, Int.

“ At night.”3
8 p. 7 a. m.*


After 10 p. in.8
7 p. m. to 5 a. m.


(As of December 1, 1927)

Industrial Welfare Commission Orders,
Nos. 7a and 8a, 1923.
Industrial Welfare Commission Orders,
Nos. 11a and 15a, 1923.
In “Session Laws of Connecticut,” 1925,
ch. 208, pp. 3997-3998, and in same, 1927,
ch. 144, pp. 4230-4231.

Prohibition of
night work

11 p.m. to 6 a.m..

In “Revised Statutes of Delaware,” 1915,
sec. 3135, p. 1457, and in “Sessfon Laws
of Delaware,” 1917, ch. 230, pp. 741-742.

10 p.m. to 6 a.m_

Laundry and dry cleaning industry. Dried fruit packing
Manufacturing industry. Nut cracking and sorting in­
dustry. Exceptions: In continuous processes under a
permit from the industrial commission.
Public restaurant, cafe, dining room, barber shop, hair­
dressing or manicuring establishment, photograph gal­
lery, any manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile es­
tablishment. Exceptions: Hotels. In the event of war
or other serious emergency, governor may suspend limi­
tations where he deems it necessary.
Any bawling alley, shoe-shining establishment, or billiard
or pool room.

If any part of a female’s work is performed be­
tween 11 p. m. and 7 a. m. not more than 8 hours
of work in any 24 are permitted.
10 p.m. to 6 a.m_.

Public Service Commission Order, No. 5,
Aug. 1, 1927.

In continuous processes where a permit to work
at night is granted by the industrial commis­
sion. time and one-half must be paid.

10 p.m. to 6 a.m..

After 10 p.m___

Ibid., No. 1, Aug. 1, 1927

Occupations or industries specified

10 p.m. to 6 a.m_.

In “ Session Laws of Connecticut,” 1925,
ch. 158, pp. 3933-3934.

In “Burns's Annotated Indiana Statutes,”
1926, Vol. XII, sec. 9411, p. 21.

Limitation of night work

9 p. m. to 6 a. m_

Mechanical or manufacturing establishment, laundry,
baking or printing establishment, office or dressmaking
establishment. Exceptions: Canning or preserving, or
preparation for canning or preserving of perishable fruits
and vegetables.
Mercantile establishments, telephone and telegraph office
or exchange, restaurant, hotel, place of amusement.

Maximupi hours shall not exceed 12 for total
work time plus rest time and sleep time for
all operators regularly employed after 10.30
p. m.

Telephone operators.

Laundry occupation, i. e., laundries, dyeing, dry cleaning,
and pressing establishments.



e m p l o y m e n t o f w o m e n at n ig h t


Ibid., No. 2, Aug. 1, 1927

9 p. m. to 6 t

Ibid., No. 3, Aug. 1, 1927

After 9 p. m.

New Hampshire.
In “Public Laws of New Hampshire,” 1925,
ch. 176, secs. 14-21, pp. 680-681.

8 hours’ work in anyone day is permitted.
10 p. m. to 6 a. m.
6 p. m. to 6 a. m__
10 p. m. to 6 a. m.

Manufacturing, mechanical, mercantile, printing, baking,
or laundering establishment. Exceptions: Canning, pre­
serving, or preparing for canning or preserving of perish­
able fruits and vegetables.


In “ Compiled Statutes of Nebraska,” 1922,
Civil Administrative Code, Title IV,
Art. II, secs. 7G59-7G61, pp. 23G0-2361.

If any part of a female’s work is performed
before 6 a.m. or after 10 p. m„ not more than


In “Annotated Code of the Public General
Laws of Maryland,” 1924 (ed. by George
P. Bagby), Vol. II, art. 100, secs. 54-57,
pp. 3104-3105.
In “ General Laws of Massachusetts,” 1921.
Vol. II, ch. 149, sec. 59, p. 1565.

Manufacturing occupation, i. e., all processes in the pro­
duction of commodities. Florists’ shops and candy­
making departments of confectionery stores and bakeries
also are include]. Exceptions: Millinery workrooms,
dressmaking establishments, hemstitching and button
shops, and alteration, drapery, and upholstery depart­
ments of amereantile establishment may obtain permis­
sion from the women’s division of the public service
commission to operate under the mercantile order.
Mercantile establishments; includes all establishments
operated for the purpose of trade in the purchase or sale
of any goods or merchandise, and includes the sales force,
the wrapping employees, the auditing and checking
force, the shippers in the mail order department, the
receiving, marking, and stock room employees, sheet
music saleswomen and demonstrators, and all employees
in such establishments in any way directly connected
with the sale, purchase, and disposition of goods, wares,
and merchandise. Exceptions: Regularly registered
pharmacists. The women’s division of the public service
commission may permit mercantile establishments to
remain open one day per week until 10 p. m. in agricul­
tural communities, for any specified number of weeks
between June 1 and September 15.

Manufacture of textile goods.
Manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile establishments,
laundry, hotel, or restaurant, office in metropolitan cities
and cities of the first class. Exceptions: Public service
If any female works at any time between the
hours of 8 p. m. and 6 a. m. on more than 2 nights
per week, not more than 8 hours of work are
permitted in any 24 hours or more than 48
hours of work in any week.

Manual or mechanical labor in any employment. Excep­
tions: Household labor and nurses, domestic, hotel, and
boarding house labor, operators in telephone and tele­
graph offices, and farm labor, manufacture of munitions
and supplies for the United States or the State during
war time, mercantile establishments on the 7 days pre­
ceding Christmas, provided annual weekly average does
not exceed 54 hours.



144, pi). 312-313.

Prohibition of
night work

10 p . m. to 6 a. m

New York.
In "Session Laws of New York,” 1927, ch. 10 p. m. to 6 a. m.
453, pp. 1133-1185.
Idem________ ____ ________ _ 10 p. m. to 7 a. m.
In “Cahill’s Consolidated Laws of New
York,” 1923, ch. 32, sec. 182, p. 1198.

10 p. m. to 6 a. m.

Ibid., sec. 183, p. 1198

10 p. m. to 7 a. m_

Ibid., sec. 184, p. 1198

10 p. m. to 6 a m.

Ibid., sec. 185, p. 1198

10 p. m. to 7. a. m.

North Dakota.
Minimum Wage Department Order, No.
1, 1922.

1 a. ra. to 5 a. m.

11 p. m. to 7 a. m_

Limitation of night work

Occupations or industries specified

Any manufacturing, mercantile establishment, any bakery,
laundry, or restaurant. Exceptions: Canmeries engaged
in packing a perishable product, such as fruits or vege­
Factory, i.e., mill, workshop, or other manufacturing estab­
lishment, laundries.
Mercantile establishment. Exceptions: Dec. 18-24; writers
or reporters in newspaper offices.
Work in or in connection with restaurants in cities of the
first and second class. Exceptions: Singers and perform­
ers of any kind, attendants in ladies’ cloak rooms and
parlors, employees in or in connection with the dining
rooms and kitchens of hotels or in connection with
employees’ lunch rooms or restaurants.
Custody, management of, or operation of elevator for
freight or passengers in any building or place. Excep­
tions: If the industry occupying the building starts work
at 6 a. m., the elevator operator may begin work at that
hour. Women over 21 years in hotels.
Conductor or guard on any street surface, electric, subway,
or elevated railroad.
Messenger for a telegraph or messenger company in the
distribution, transmission, or delivery of goods or mes­
Public housekeeping occupation, i. e., the work of waitresses
in restaurants, hotel dining rooms, boarding houses, and
all attendants employed at ice-cream and light-lunch
stands and steam table or counter work in cafeterias and
delicatessens where freshly cooked foods are served, and
the work of chambermaids in hotels and lodging houses
and boarding houses and hospitals, and the work of janitresses and car cleaners and of kitchen workers in hotels
and restaurants and hospitals.
Elevator operators.


“Session Laws of New Jersey,” 1923, ch.

D.—Night-Work Legislation in the United States-—Continued

After 9 p. m.

Mercantile establishment, i. e., the work of those employed
in establishments operated for the purpose of trade in t he
purchase or sale of any goods or merchandise, and in­
cludes the sales force, the wrapping force, the auditing or
checking force, the shippers in the mail-order department,
the receiving, marking, and stock room employees, and
sheet-music saleswomen and demonstrators and cigarstand girls.

In “Page’s General Code of Ohio,” 1926,
Vol. I, sec. 1008-1, p. 413.

10 p. m. to 6 a. m.

Ticket sellers.

Industrial Welfare Commission Order, No.

After 6 p. m.

Minimum Wage Department Order, No. 3,

After 8.30 p. m.

Industrial Welfare Commission Orders,
Nos. 39 and 41, 1919.

After 8.30 p. m.

Industrial Welfare Commission Order No. 11 p. m. to 7 a. m_
45, 1C19.
i This law contains no enforcement provision and therefore is without effect.


Industrial Welfare Commission Order, No.
38, 1919.

Mercantile occupation in Portland, i. e., the work of those
employed in establishments operated for the purpose of
trade in the purchase or sale of any goods or merchandise,
and includes the sales force, the wrapping employees, the
auditing or check inspection force, the shoppers in the
mail-order department, the receiving, marking, and stock
room employees, and music saleswomen and demonstra­
tors. Exceptions: Cigar stands in hotels; confectionery
Mercantile occupation outside of Portland, i. e., the work of
those employed in establishments operated for the pur­
pose of trade in the purchase or sale of any goods or mer­
chandise and includes the sales force, the wrapping
employees, the auditing or check inspection force, the
shoppers in the mail-order department, the receiving,
marking, and stock room employees, and sheet-music
saleswomen and demonstrators. Exceptions: Cigar stands
in hotels; confectionery stores.
Manufacturing occupation, i. e., all processes in the pro­
duction of commodities. Includes the work performed
in dressmaking shops and wholesale millinery houses, in
the workrooms of retail millinery shops, and in the
drapery and furniture covering workrooms, the garment
alteration, art needle work, fur garment making, and
millinery workrooms in mercantile stores, and the candy.making department of retail candy stores, amd of restau­
rants. Exceptions: Fruit and vegetable drying, canning,
preserving, and packing establishments.
Laundry occupation, i. e., all the processes connected with
the receiving, marking, washing, cleaning, and ironing
and distributing of washable and cleanable materials, the
work performed in laundry departments in hotels and
1 Elevator operators.



D.—Night-Work Legislation in the United States—Continued


Prohibition of
night work

In “ Digest of Pennsylvania Statute Law,”
1920, secs. 13540, 13541, and 13543, p. 1331.

10 p. m. to G a. m

Porto Rico.
In “ Session Laws of Porto Rico,” 2d sess.,
1919, No. 73.

Manufacturing establishment. Exceptions: Managers, su­
perintendents, or persons doing clerical or stenographic

10 p.m. to 6 a. m.

South Carolina.
In “ Code of Laws of South Carolina,” 1922,
Vol. II, Criminal Code, eh. 7, sec. 35, p.

Any lucrative occupation. Exceptions: Telephone opera­
tors or telegraphers, artists, nurses or domestics, over 16
years of age.

After 10,-p. m___

Mercantile establishments.

Industrial Welfare Committee Order, No.
23, 1921.

After 12 midnight.

Elevator operators.

In “ Wisconsin Statutes,” 1925, secs. 103.01­
103.02, pp. 1134-1135.

Ibid., sec. 103.02, pp. 1134-1135.

If any work performed between 6.30 p. m. and 6
a. m. it shall be limited to 8 hours per night,
48 hours per week.
If any woman works at any time between the
hours of 8 p. m. and 6 a.m. on more than one
night per week, not more than 8 hours of work
in any one night or more than 48 hours of work
in any one week are permitted.
If any woman works at any time between the
hours of 9 p. m. and 6 a. m., not more than 9
hours of work in any one night or more than
54 hours in any one week are permitted.

Occupations or industries specified

Manufactories and laundries. Exceptions: Pea canneries.
Mechanical or mercantile establishment, restaurant, con­
fectionery store, telegraph or telephone, express or trans­
portation. Exceptions: Work may be done on one night
per week without bringing establishment under this
Place of employment, i. e., manu'seturing, mechanical, or
mercantile establishment, laundry, restaurant, confec­
tionery store or telegraph or telephone office or exchange,
or any express or transportation establishment.

1 Wisconsin has an industrial commission order prohibiting night work for women on street railways, but no women are employed in such a capacity in Wisconsin.




Wisconsin 1
Industrial Commission Order, No. 1, 1917.. 6 p. m. to 6 a. m
Industrial Commission Orders, Nos. 2 and
3, 1917.

Limitation of night work


[Any of these bulletins still available will be sent free of charge upon request]
No. 1.

Proposed Employment of Women During the War fn the Industries oi Niagara Falls, N. Y.
16 pp. 1918.
No. 2: Labor Laws for Women in Industry in Indiana. 29 pp. 1919.
Standards for the Employment of Women in Industry. 8 pp. Third ed , 1921
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.
*Noj 9. Home Work in Bridgeport, Conn. 35 pp. 1920.
*No. 10. Hours and Conditions of Work for Women in Industry in Virginia. 82 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. 11 pp. 1921.
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 Bread winning Women. 43 pp. 1922.
No. 24. Women in Maryland Industries. 96 pp. 1922.
No. 25. Women in the Candy Industry in Chicago arid 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. 61pp. 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. 31. 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 thoir Employment Relations. 87 pp. 1924.
No. 40. Sec Bulletin 63.
No. 41. Family Status of Breadwinning Women in Four Selected Cities. 145 pp. 1925.
No. 42. List of References on Minimum Wago for Women In the United States and Canada. 42 do.
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’ Fam­
ilies. 61 pp. 1925.
No. 40. Facts About Working Women—A Graphic Presentation Based on Census Statistics. 64 pp.
No. 47.
•No. 48.
No. 49.
No. 50.
No. 51.
No. 52.
No. 53.
No. 54.
No. 55.
No. 56.
No. 67.
No. 58.
No. 59.
No. 60.
No. 61.
No. 62.
No. 63.
No. 64.
No. 65.
No. 66.
No. 67.


Women In the Fruit-Growing and Canning Industries in the State of Washington. 223 pp. 1926.
Women in Oklahoma Industries. 118 pp. 1926.
Women Workers and Family Support. 10 pp. 1925.
Effects of Applied Research upon the Employment Opportunities of American Women. 54 dd.
in Illinois Industries. 108 pp. 1926.
Lost Time and Labor Turnover In Cotton Mills. 203 pp. 1926.
The Status of Women in the Government Service in 1925. 103 pp. 1926.
Changing Jobs. 12 pp. 1926.
Women in Mississippi Industries. 89 pp. 1926.
Women in Tennessee Industries. 120 pp. 1927.
Women Workers and Industrial Poisons. 6 pp. 1926.
Women in Delaware Industries. 156 pp. 1927.
Short Talks About Working Women. 24 pp. 1927.
Industrial Accidents to Women in New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin. 316 pp. 1927.
The Development of Minimum-Wage Laws in the United States, 1912 to 1927 . 618 pp. (and
index). 1928.
Women's Employment in Vegetable Canneries in Delaware. 47 pp. 1927.
State Laws Affecting Working Women. 61 pp. 19^7. (Revision of Bulletins 16 and 40)
The Employment of Women at Night. 86 pp. 1928.
The Effects of Labor Legislation on the Employment Opportunities of Women. (In press.)
History of Labor Legislation in Three States; Chronological Development of Labor Legislation
for Women in the united States. (In press.)
Women Workers in Flint, Mich. (In press.)
Reports of the Director, 1919,* 1920,* 1921,* 1922,1923, 1924,* 1925,1926, 1927,1928, 1929.

Supply exhausted.