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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
CHAS. P. NEILL, Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES )
( WHOLE H O
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS) ’ ' * ( NUMBER YLL
W O M E N

IN

I N D U S T R Y

S E R I E S :

NO.

3

EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN IN POWER
LAUNDRIES IN MILWAUKEE
A

STUDY OF WORKING CONDITIONS

AND OF THE PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF
THE VARIOUS LAUNDRY OCCUPATIONS




MAY 15, 1913

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1913




CONTENTS.
Page.

Introduction and summary................................................................................. 5-29
Extent of the power laundry industry................... .....................................
9
Transformation in conditions under which, laundry work is done............ 10,11
Dangers involved in handling soiled clothing............................................. 11-14
Sanitation in the wash room.........................................................................14-17
Equipment and accident hazard.................................................................. 17,18
Health hazard from overstrain in operation of machines............................ 18-21
Opinions of physicians as to probable effects of operating certain machines.. 21,22
Effect of equipment and sanitation in reducing fatigue..............................22,23
Effect of supervision in reducing fatigue..................................................... 23,24
Legal protection against hazards of overfatigue........................................... 24-26
Effect of overstrain of employees on employers and the industry.............. 26-29
Rules and recommendations of Wisconsin Industrial Commission..................... 29-31
Working conditions in Milwaukee power laundries............................................ 31-81
Scope of the investigation............................................................................ 31,32
32
Character of laundry districts in Milwaukee................................................
Character of laundry buildings..................................................................... 32-34
Drainage, ventilation, and general sanitation............................................. 34-37
Description of occupations............................................................................38-73
Marking.................................................................................................. 38-40
Chemical preparation of wash waters.....................................................40-46
Softening the water........................................................................ 41,42
Loosening dirt and grease............................................................... 42-44
Bleaching and bluing......................................................................44,45
Removing traces of chemicals.........................................................45,46
The washing process.............................................................................. 47-50
Machine washing.............................................................................47,48
Hand washing.................................................................................
49
Wringing the clothes (extracting)..................................................49,50
Tumbling or shaking......................................................................
50
Flat-work ironing................................................................................... 50-56
Body-linen ironing................................................................................ 56-72
Starching......................................................................................... 56-59
Drying.............................................................................................
59
Dampening...................................................................................... 59, 60
Collar and cuff ironing.................................................................... C , 61
O
Collar finishing................................................................................
61
Machine pressing............................................................................. 61-72
Hand ironing...................................................................................
72
Recapitulation of occupations...............................................................
73
Hours of labor and earnings......................................................................... 73-79
Duration of employment..............................................................................
79
Race and conjugal condition........................................................................
79
Hours of labor and duration of employment as reported by employers___80,81
Statistical data in regard to individual laundry workers............................ 82-92
Age, race, conjugal condition, laundry experience, and hours of work and
earnings as reported by individual laundry workers, classified by occu­
pations....................................................................................................... 82-92




3

4

CONTENTS.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF LA U N D RY M ACH INES.

Page.

1.—One-way, single-treadle body ironer, showing position of operator
just in the act of forcing down the treadle...................................
2.—Body ironer equipped with pneumatic treadle device, showing two
sets of treadles, the lower set for use when the operator stands;
neither set requires any considerable exertion, as pressure is sup­
plied by compressed air and not by the foot, as in the other types
of machines...................................................................................
3.—Extractor. Sectional view showing inner, perforated, rotary tub or
basket...........................................................................................

48

P late

4.— Steam cylinder flat-work ironer..................................................................

50

P late

5.—Combination of steam chest and steam cylinder flat-work ironer...
6.—Band starcher with foot treadle.......................................................
7.—Bosom starcher.................................................................................
8 . —Collar and cuff ironer, with combined small and large heated
cylinder........................................................................................
9.—Neckband and yoke press................................................................

50
56
56

Plate
P late

P late

P late
P late
P late
P late

P late 10.— Bosom press, with foot-treadle controller.................................................
P late
P late
P late
P late

P late
P late

11.—B a n d iron er ......................................................................................
12.—Bosom or combined ironer...............................................................
13.—Single-treadle ironer.........................................................................
14.—Two-treadle sleeve ironer, requiring shift from one foot to the other
when reversing treadle is used......................................................
15.—Two-treadle body ironer, requiring the simultaneous use of pressure
and reversing treadles..................................................................
16.—Sewing machine treadle body ironer...............................................




20

22

60
62
62
66
66
66

66
68
68

BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
WHOLE NO. 122.

WASHINGTON.

MAY 15, 1913.

EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN IN POWER LAUNDRIES IN MILWAUKEE;
A STUDY OF WORKING CONDITIONS AND OF THE PHYSICAL
DEMANDS OF THE VARIOUS LAUNDRY OCCUPATIONS
.1
B Y M A R IE

L . OBEJSTATJER.

INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY.

To measure the physical demands which the various power-laundry
occupations make upon women workers was the special purpose of
this study. To accomplish this purpose an intensive investigation
was made into the occupational conditions—including also hours and
earnings—which prevailed in the power laundries of Milwaukee, Wis.
Milwaukee was chosen as the place to make this study chiefly be­
cause it is more representative of the industry as a whole than the big
seaport towns or great railway centers where the ebb and flow of traffic
by water and rail cause a fluctuation in the current of trade which
does not characterize the industry generally. Unlike many other
industries, the laundry business is not massed in certain sections
or cities from which the whole country is served. It is distributed
throughout the land in large and small towns and in cities of all sizes,
the consumers in all of them, except in the large seaport cities and
railway centers, constituting a fairly steady and close-range patronage
from individuals, private families, restaurants, and such hotels as do
not maintain their own laundries. While Milwaukee is not unduly
affected by water or rail traffic, it is large enough to sustain 31 power
laundries, showing the whole range of normal laundry equipment.
The material upon which this report is based comes from a study
of the 31 power laundries in Milwaukee. These laundries employed
a total of 970 persons, of whom 852, or nearly 88 per cent, were
1 This report may be regarded as supplemental to a previous report (Report on Condition of Woman and
Child Wage-Eamers in the United States, Vol. X II: Employment of Women in Laundries) whieh was
based largely upon the symptomatic diagnoses of the health of individual laundry workers. That report
indicated the need for a closer study of power-laundry equipment and administration in the interest of the
laundry workers. A part of the information upon which this report is based was furnished by the State
Industrial Commission of Wisconsin. In the preparation of the report valuable assistance was given by
Miss Anna Herkner and Miss Bertha von der Nienberg.




6

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

women and 118 men. From 554 of the women, or 65 per cent of the
whole number, detailed individual information was secured.
All but 8 of the 31 laundries were located in boarding and lodging
house sections, cheaper residence districts, or on outlying business
streets. Some of the objectionable features, therefore, which often
characterize the approaches to establishments in manufacturing dis­
tricts were removed.
Eighteen, or more than 58 per cent, of the 31 laundries were housed
in store buildings or reconstructed dwellings, the importance of which
lies in the fact that such structures are not often adapted to the
installation of heavy machinery and frequently present difficult prob­
lems in drainage and ventilation because of the volume of water and
steam used in power laundries.
The other 13 1 power laundries, which Were housed in buildings
especially constructed for the purpose, employed 70 per cent of all the
power-Iaundry workers in Milwaukee and did approximately 80 per
cent of all the laundry work done in the city.
The women were chiefly engaged in marking soiled clothes, in shak­
ing and straightening out flat work for the ironers, in operating flatwork ironers, in receiving and folding ironed linen from the machines,
in starching and dampening, in machine and hand ironing, and in
assembling the laundered articles for delivery.
The wash rooms presented the most serious problems of drainage
and ventilation because of,the volume of water and steam used in the
washing processes. In 27 of the 31 laundries the wash-room floors
were of cement. The other four had floors of wood, which were not
capable of effective sanitation, as the presence of wet rot proved.
Twenty-seven of the laundries had gutters in the wash-room floors
running directly from washing machines to the sewers. In the other
establishments the machines were connected with the sewer by pipes,
or discharged their contents into boxed or grated manholes. Nine­
teen of the 31 laundries had no exhaust systems in the wash rooms
to reduce the heat or humidity.
The occupations involving more than ordinary physical exertion
were the operation of the foot-treadle press and ironing machines, all
of which required constant standing and some of which required a
foot pressure of over 100 pounds. About 21 per cent of the 554
women scheduled operated such machines. In a number of cases the
excessive pressure requirements were due to faulty adjustment of the
machine or bad repair.
The occupations involving exposure to heat, sometimes reaching
95 degrees, even when outside temperatures were moderate, were the
starching and ironing occupations, nearly all of which in Milwaukee
laundries were performed while operators stood, though in practically
1 In addition to tlioss 13, 3 firms had buildings in process of construction.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

7

all machine occupations, barring the operation of the foot-treadle
machines, there was no apparent reason why the work could not have
been done if the operator sat. The principal heat reducers were
exhaust fans, and in some establishments heat deflectors on flat-work
ironers. In many instances the exhaust systems were rendered
valueless to the operators because of such a faulty placing of the
machines that the heat from one was thrown directly on the operator
of another machine. In the six cases where flat-work ironing
machines were well placed and properly equipped with exhaust
systems, the temperature in the working zones of operators averaged
approximately 6° lower than in the 26 instances where the machines
were not so placed or equipped, the range of difference in one instance
between two sets of machines of the same radiating surface being 21°.
The machines involving risk of serious accident, aside from the
danger of unguarded belts and gears, were the extractors (substitute
for the wringer) and the flat-work ironers. In only four establish­
ments did women attend the extractors. In one case one woman
attended two machines, neither of which was guarded. Seventeen
of the 38 flat-work ironers found in use were without finger guards.
All of these 38 machines were operated by women.
The occupations calling for special care in matters of health and
sanitation, aside from effective ventilation, had to do with the han­
dling of soiled clothes. Twenty of the 31 firms took no precaution for
the markers against possible infection or contagion from soiled clothes
except to refuse orders from placarded houses. There was, however,
a marked absence of fear of any danger in both employees and
employers. Five of the 31 laundries refused orders from disorderly
houses; four took no bundles from agencies, thus keeping posted on
the sources of all patronage; and three made more or less ineffective
efforts, such as subjecting suspicious looking bundles to a soak in a
soda solution, fumigation, or separate washing in order to avoid
marking.
The effect of the chemicals as used in Milwaukee laundries, according
to the judgment of physicians, is not serious, though excessive use and
carelessness in rinsing may cause some discomfort to the workers
handling clothes in the ironing processes.
The average working hours for the women engaged in the above
occupations, as well as in the lighter occupations not discussed in
this summary, was approximately 52 per week, the variation for
each occupational group being not more than 3 hours. The maximum
weeks in most instances did not reach 60 hours, and ordinarily did not
exceed 55. Only 9 women reported days in excess of 10 hours and
only 1 reported maximum hours per week in excess of 60. The work­
ing hours of the operators of foot-treadle machines did not differ from
the working hours of employees performing the lighter occupations.



8

BULLETIN OE THE BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

The average earnings for all occupations, whether light or heavy,
were approximately $6.60 a week. In no occupation did the average
fall below $5, and in none except for department heads did it rise
above $8.25 a week. The earnings of the women operating the foottreadle machines in some instances were not as high as those running
machines less exacting and not requiring more skill.
The average period of employment during the 26 weeks covered
by this investigation was approximately 24 weeks for the 554 women
scheduled in the power laundries of Milwaukee.
From the results of this study were extracted such factors as were
necessarily common to the industry as a whole. For while the data,
so far as they relate to individual laundries, are limited to these
31 Milwaukee laundries, the application of the facts, showing
working conditions, is far broader. Of course, individual power
laundries differ in important respects, as, for example, in size of
plant and number of employees, character of construction of build­
ing and suitability for use as a laundry, extent to which provision
has been made to deal with sanitary conditions (as drainage, tem­
perature, and humidity), adequacy and modernness of machine
equipment, condition in which machinery equipment is maintained,
and application of scientific knowledge to factory methods, yet,
wholly aside from such conditions as these, the problems which
affect working conditions and the comfort, health, and safety of
employees are everywhere the same in power laundries wherever
located or however equipped. In all cases the soiled clothing must go
through the same processes and be subjected to the same manipula­
tions; and the same general types of machines operated in much
the same way are used in the work. With these common factors
alone the following summary and general discussion is concerned.
This is then followed in the body of the report by the detailed facts
concerning working conditions found prevailing in the 31 Milwaukee
power laundries which were studied.
SUMMARY OF

FACTORS WHICH DETERMINE THE
POWER LAUNDRIES.

WORKING

CONDITIONS IN

To summarize the factors common to the industry as a whole,
which determine the working conditions in power laundries, it may
be said that the occupational dangers which demand special attention
arise from—
1. Contagion or infection during the handling of soiled clothcs.
Under ordinary circumstances reasonable protection against this
danger can be secured in a careful supervision of the collection, mark­
ing, and sorting departments, and in ample provisions of washing
facilities.
2. Indiscriminate and excessive use of chemicals. While the
physicians consulted indicated only a probable discomfort and not



EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M EN IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

9

more than a possible danger from this source, an adequate protection
against both is to be found in a rigid system of weights, measures, and
time schedules.
3. Humidity, which can be controlled only by proper floor drainage
and the installation of exhaust or other scientific ventilating facilities.
4. Heat. This can not always be controlled with entire satisfaction
but can be reduced to a reasonably safe degree by the use of exhaust
systems, paddle fans, or other ventilating devices, and by care in
distributing the heat radiating machines.
5. Accidents, principally from flat-work ironers, water extractors,
and exposed gearing, against which there are guards within the reach
of every laundryman.
6. Excessive fatigue, principally from exacting foot-treadle ma­
chines. This danger can be materially reduced by the elimination of
old and heavy-running machinery, by careful repair, by proper equip­
ment with heat guards, by adequate instruction of operators, and by
a discriminating assignment of exacting machines.
Upon the extent to which the employer controls the factors in these
six power-laundry problems depend in large measure the welfare of
the workers, particularly of the women, and the prosperity and pres­
tige of the industry.
EXTENT OF THE POWER-LAUNDRY INDUSTRY.

The army of women leaving the homes to follow in the wake of
tasks transferred to machine-equipped factories includes about 80,000
workers in the power laundries. Nearly 32,000 men are likewise
employed in these establishments, at work not long since regarded as
belonging to the peculiar sphere of women. These 112,000 workers
are doing over $100,000,0001worth of washing a year. Reduced to a
per capita basis this is not an impressive figure, but it forcibly arrests
attention as indicating the evolution of the washtub and ironing
board into an organized industry with a capital investment of approxi­
mately $69,000,000 and with an increasing importance as a domestic
utility.
“ Hand laundries” —Chinese or American—are not included in this
survey, for notwithstanding the number of establishments advertised
as “ hand laundries,” most of them employ the power laundries to do
at least a part of their work and seem themselves to be in the proces­
sion of vanishing things. In Milwaukee—the place chosen for this
study—13 of the 15 American hand laundries visited proved to be
agencies of outside power laundries. Of the remaining two, one had
gone out of business and the other was a private house where the
woman “ took in washing,” her husband acting as “ manager.” With
the power laundries, then, this report is exclusively concerned.
1U. S. Census of Manufactures, 1910, Bulletin: Abstract of Statistics for States, Cities, and Industries,
p. 73.




10

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
TRANSFORM ATION IN CONDITIONS OF LAUNDRY W ORK.

The transfer of the business of washing from the home to the powder
laundry has resulted not only in the usual invasion 1 by men of a
field of labor traditionally belonging to women, but it has brought
about that complete transformation in working conditions which is
the corollary of the invention of machinery.
Between the w
’ashing and ironing done in the home and the same
service performed in the power laundry there is the sharp contrast
of an undivided and a highly subdivided labor.
A single pair of hands in the home sorts, soaks, rubs, rinses, and
wrings the clothes; then starches, hangs them out to dry, dampens,
irons, and lays them away. In a highly organized laundry a dozen
or more pairs of hands w
rork upon a single garment in its course from
the marking to the routing room. There are women to mark for
identification and men to sort for color and quality. Men run the
washing machines and other men or women “ pack” the washed
clothes into the water-ejecting extractor. Girls straighten out the
tangled pieces, or load them into the revolving drum that tumbles
the tangled articles loose. There are girls to feed the sheets and table­
cloths, or small “ flat work,” into the huge and hot ironing rollers and
other girls to fold the finished linen as it comes from the machine.
There are drying-room tenders and starchers and girls to run the
dam penin g machines. Cuffs and collars are ironed by one girl, and
another does the finishing. One girl irons the neck and wrist band
of a shirt, and another presses the yokes. Bosom ironing is the
task of one girl, and sleeve ironing is the work of another. The
“ body ironers” smooth out the unstarched portion of the shirt’s
body, and even then there are finishers to “ do the rest,” and when
this “ rest” is done there are still other workers who assort and check
and wrap the finished garments for delivery.
But whatever changes the invention of machinery has wrought in
r
the methods of doing washing and ironing it has not changed the
character of the industry’s “ raw material.” On the contrary, to
judge fairly of the power laundryman’s problems and of the range
of conditions surrounding the laundry workers it should be kept
well in mind, not only that the raw material of the organized industry
is all sorts of dirty clothes from all sorts of people, and that its
chief restoring agents are hot and cold water, soaps, chemicals,
starches, steam presses, and hot ironing machines, but that the
power laundry, unlike the hand laundry or the individual washer­
woman, handles this raw material and these restoring agents in large
bulk and must cope with situations created by the accumulated
difficulties of thousands of individual washings.
1 According to the census of 1910, one-third of the employees in power laundries are men




EM PLOYM ENT OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

11

Upon the success with which these accumulated difficulties are
met depends in large measure the welfare of the workers in any
given establishment, and this success in turn depends entirety upon
the laundry’s equipment, sanitation and general management. In
110 industry do these factors count for more or tell more quickly
than in the power laundry. Under the minute subdivision of labor
injected into the task of washing and ironing as performed in a
modern establishment, it is easy to understand that not all the
occupations, even with the best equipment and most efficient man­
agement, are light and pleasant, nor in the worst establishments
is all the work equally difficult or unattractive. Throughout the
list of occupations there is a certain differential in the labor strain
which is inherent in the nature of each task. Heat, humidity, dan­
gerous or heavy running machines, mark out for serious study cer­
tain occupations in the power laundries quite apart from the question
of general sanitation. For this occupational differential is main­
tained to a large extent, no matter what the equipment or degree
of efficiency. But such occupations as are hard or unattractive at
best are made distinctly harder, more hazardous, or more disagree­
able under inadequate facilities or unintelligent supervision, and
such as are essentially neither difficult, dangerous, nor disagreeable
may fall short of their natural advantages under circumstances
which lower the whole level of working conditions.
DANGERS INVOLVED IN HANDLING SOILED CLOTHING.

Collection of soiled clothing from even fairly homogeneous city dis­
tricts involves patronage from people in all states of health. If the
manager is careless in the supervision of his drivers, infected garments
may find their way into the laundry to the possible detriment of
marker, lister, or other worker who handles the clothes before they
are subjected to the sterilizing washing processes.1 When marker or
lister with abrasions upon her fingers carelessly handles garments that
may be infected with diseases not subject to quarantine, or when such
worker neglects to wash the hands carefully before taking lunch or
before touching her face she reflects a lax discipline or inadequate
facilities which may render the marking room of that laundry a
source of real though unrecognized danger.
Dr. Frank Wright, of the health office of New Haven, addressing 2
the Connecticut Laundrymen’s Association on “ Inspection of goods
taken from houses in which are contagious diseases/’ said:
There are other diseases that are not placarded to announce to your
driver the danger, such as consumption, erysipelas, ringworm and
1 For the methods of handling soiled clothes in the washing rooms of Milwaukee power laundries, see
pp. 38-40.
2 Address printed in full in National Laundry Journal, Mar. 15,1912, p. 38.




12

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

itch. Again, there are others, such as are known only to the victims,
that endanger other persons and should be guarded against. If by
any chance any of your employees have abrasions upon their hands
and handle clothing infected by blood poison they may easily contract
the malady. Any person handling clothing smeared with infectious
discharges may readily carry some of the discharges to his eyes and
would surely lose his eyesight, unless the nature of his trouble is
known at once and properly and correctly treated.
To Dr. Mazyck P. Ravenel,1 director of the State Hygienic Labora­
tory at the University of Wisconsin, there was submitted a description
of conditions prevailing in the marking divisions of Milwaukee laun­
dries, with a request for his opinion as to the risk therein involved to
the worker and to the public. In answering Dr. Ravenel said:
There is 110 doubt that certain diseases, such as smallpox, scarlet
fever, diphtheria, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis could be transmitted
to the worker under the conditions described.2 This danger is lessened,
of course, by the precautions against receiving work from placarded
houses and hospitals, but in most places typhoid fever is not placarded.
The danger to the public is directly very slight. In fact I do not
see just where any danger to the public comes at all.
The danger could be entirely avoided by sterilizing by steam heat
all bundles of clothes received. This, I imagine, would be a prohibi­
tive expense. It can be greatly lessened by moistening the clothes
before sorting, as is done in the Bradford districts of England in sort­
ing wools suspected of having anthrax. The moisture prevents the
scales and dry material containing germs from breaking away and
rising. However, the danger does not seem to me an excessive one if
proper precautions are taken in the collection of material.
The description of methods of handling soiled clothes and the fore­
going opinion thereon, written by Dr. Ravenel, were submitted to
Drs. O. H. Foerster, C. A. Baer, William Thorndike, and Gilbert Sea­
man, all of Milwaukee. With the views expressed all the physicians
named agreed, a number stressing certain features or discussing
others. Dr. Foerster called attention to the fact that because of the
short life of the syphilitic germ there is not so much danger from this
source as is generally supposed. Therefore even the body flannels,
which are most likely to be infected and which in standard laundries
are not subjected to sterilizing heat are not a material source of danger
from this disease either to the public or to the laundry worker, because
in the great majority of cases the garments have not been in contact
with the body for many hours before reaching the laundry. In
flannels infected with other diseases there would of course be the
same danger to the worker as in the handling of other garments worn
next to the body. Dr. Seaman laid stress on the risk of getting
gonorrheal discharges in the eyes, such a case of infection from the
1 Dr. Ravenel and the other Wisconsin physicians quoted in this summary were invited by the Indus­
trial Commission of Wisconsin to give expert advice on certain matters involving the health of industrial
workers.
2 For methods of handling soiled clothes :'n Milwaukee laundries see pp. 38-40.




EM PLOYM ENT OF W O M EN IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

13

handling of underwear in the home having come under his personal
observation. Dr. Baer emphasized the danger of contracting tuber­
culosis from the dust raised by the needless shaking of soiled clothes.
If the soiled clothes came to the laundries sorted as to color and
quality and were always free from stains that would be “ set” by heat,
the problem of sterilization would be comparatively simple. As it is,
many of the obvious solutions are not available to the trade because
the prestige of a laundry depends principally upon its record for send­
ing clothes home in a spotless condition. Such sterilizing as is done,
therefore, before the clothes are sorted must be done with this neces­
sity in view.
But there is a marked indifference among laundrymen and laundry
workers to the possibilities of infection from the soiled clothes. The
daily contact with materials breeds more or less contempt for possible
dangers lurking therein, even when occasional disasters are clearly
consequent and definitely so recorded. But there are no records to
show just how many persons handling soiled laundry have had infec­
tious or contagious diseases and how many of such cases were directly
traceable to the occupation. The marker who falls ill of diphtheria or
erysipelas remains away from work and sends for a physician whose
business it is to cure her and prevent the disease from spreading to her
family or neighbors. Whether the marker herself contracted the dis­
ease in the performance of her duties can not well be the subject of
inquiry, for it would be difficult to find out the source of all garments
handled by the victim during the period of disease germination and
impossible to ascertain the condition of such garments at the time of
handling, because of the washing processes to which they had subse­
quently been treated. Neither would it be practicable to discover the
health condition of every one of the laundry patrons during a given
period. Particularly is this true in the case of laundries taking bun­
dles from agencies whose patrons are often not known to the laundry
proprietors. The records, therefore, do not show what danger lurks
in soiled clothes because there are no adequate records on the subject,
nor are there specifically traceable consequences of such dangers. It
is a fact scarcely subject to dispute, however, that among the power
laundry’s patrons there are sometimes victims of contagious diseases
not subject to quarantine, but communicable through clothing, and
that there are circumstances under which garments infected with even
placardable diseases could, and do occasionally, find their way into
the laundry. In view of this fact it would seem that when the clothes
are marked or otherwise handled before they are sterilized adequate
washing facilities, intelligent supervision, and other reasonable protec­
tive measures are essential if the occupations involving contact with
soiled clothes are to be free from danger.




14

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Apropos of the Wisconsin physicians’ references to the public
health, it is noteworthy that one laundryman in Milwaukee compels
the markers to wear working dresses, which are left in the establish­
ment at night and are washed before morning. A bath before leaving
is also a rule of the marking room, and the workers in this division
are not permitted to go from the handling of soiled and possibly
infected clothes to any work which will bring them in contact with
the clean clothes.
SANITATION IN THE WASH ROOM.

When the clothes are taken from the marking room to the wash
room, effective equipment and efficient management are equally
needful. For with hundreds of gallons of water spurting every few
minutes from the washing machines 1 an improperly constructed floor
will create a distinct health hazard for the worker and a destructive
waste for the employer. The floor may be scientifically guttered2
for carrying off the water, and the washing machines may be prop­
erly placed, but if the manager has failed 'to install exhaust fans or
other facilities to draw off the steam emanating from these wash
wheels, there results an enervating humidity, costly alike to employer
and employee. A laundryman writing of these conditions says:
The ventilation of the wash room is something that should be
looked after constantly, as the steam and moisture is steadily col­
lecting and should be disposed of as quickly as possible. A wet,
foggy wash room not only ruins the belts, but greatly impairs the
working capacity of the washmen and wringermen.3
The chemistry of the wash room in an up-to-standard laundry is
an exact science.4 The hydrant water is analyzed periodically to
determine the degree and character of hardness and to disclose any
deposits that may injure the fabrics. On the basis of such analysis
the water is treated with neutralizing chemicals or counteracting
processes. The effect is to restore to the washing process the soft
water of the banished cistern, the drying, freshening ride around the
wind-driven clothes reel, and the bleaching influence of the sunshine.
All these were chemical actions and needful for successful washing,
1 For description of washing machines, see p. 48.
2 For description of adequate floor construction, see pp. 34 and 35.

3“ Modem laundry m ethods/’ by Spurgeon Dewitt, in National Laundry Journal of April 15,1912, p. 38.
In the same connection this writer continues: “ Exhaust fans should be placed in as many convenient places
as can be found in the wall. I have found that an ordinary wash room can be kept free from steam by using
two 30-inch fans, placed on the opposite sides of the room. It is well to have two air inlets close to the floor
which are so made that they can be opened at any time. Although the windows may answer the same pur­
pose in warm weather, sometimes in cold weather you do not care to have them open on account of the
cold draft, whereas these openings can be opened in winter to let in the cold air near the floor, without
any annoyance to the men. As soon as the air becomes heated it will at once rise, carrying with it the
vapor, and it is then pumped out by the exhaust fans. This system is in use in many laundries and has
given the best of results.”
4 For discussion of wash-room methods prevailing in Milwaukee laundries, see pp. 40 to 49.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWEE LAUNDRIES.

15

but none is any longer easity available in our dust-ridden, smoke­
laden, congested cities, and scientific substitutes are imperative.1
No substitutes, however, can be scientific that are not applied with
accurate reference to specific requirements, and herein lies a defect
in the methods prevailing in some power laundries that, quite apart
from any influence on the welfare of employees, has cost the industry
enormously in public confidence and business patronage. This
appears to be a needless loss, for in the last analysis such prejudice
as exists against modern power laundry methods is not because of
the use, but of the abuse of chemical softening, bleaching, and deter­
gent agents. The housewife does not really object to the whitening
of her household linen by the use of bleach any more than she objects
to the bleached cotton or linen which she asks for in the stores.
What she does object to is the destruction of the fabric, which is
brought about not by the scientific use but by the indiscriminate
and excessive application of chemicals.
This lack of standard in the wash room and its evil influence are
reflected in the laundry journals and in the utterances of the officers
of the laundrymen’s organizations. Since the situation directly affects
the conditions under which power-laundry employees work, these
utterances are worthy of note here. But more important and more
promising is the fact that progressive laundrymen are laboring stren­
uously to correct the defect, not only in writings and addresses but
by encouraging classes for the study of laundry chemistry.2
In the introduction to the American edition of the “ Chemistry for
Launderers” the editor of the Power Laundry says:
The average washman is much too fond of using a “ piece the size
of a lump of chalk” instead of an accurately weighed and measured
quantity, and this tendency is nearly always in need of restraint.
* * * If the launderer learns nothing else from this book but to
measure accurately all the materials and temperatures he uses in the
wash room and starch room, he will have learned something of the
greatest value.
The president of the New York Laundrymen’s Association said3
to a convention of New York laundrymen in June, 1912:
When you see a man use a coffee cup full of oxalic acid to a small
load of collars and only one warm rinse after it, you feel that the
1 “ When the laundry business began to assume some magnitude it became a question how it would be
possible to overcome the lime and other foreign matter found in the ordinary hydrant water, so that it
might be used profitably in the laundry work. It was a well-known fact that heat would precipitate lime
in water and by a careful filtration this precipitation could be removed. To construct a device to do this
it was necessary to have some capital, and a simpler way was sought, whereby it would be possible to
precipitate these foreign substances and have soft water without all this trouble. In searching for these
facts it was found that alkalies would soften the ordinary water so it could be used for laundry purposes.
“ In this way the ordinary alkalies worked into the wash room and became well implanted before the
laundrymen in general realized that they might be harmful if improperly used.” —“ Modem laundry
methods,” b y Spurgeon Dewitt, in National Laundry Journal, May 15,1912, p. 10.
2 The Starchroom, August, 1912.
3 James E. Kelso, Address printed in National Laundry Journal, June 15,1912, p. 8.




16

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

money spent for advertising the L. N. A. of A. should have been
spent to employ a man to educate this class of laundrymen. In
one laundry they were using caustic to build their soap, and if the
soap in the tank had been tallow there would have been enough
caustic to make it soap. They put 3 pounds of soda in the wash
wheel and then wondered why their seams seemed to look yellow.
The washman who has no system of measurement for the use of
the chemicals is likely to have no time standards for rinsing. Hence
even if the manager has enforced a rule for exact measurement of the
chemicals, another rule will be needed to insure proper rinsing to
remove all traces of acids used to neutralize the bleach. A laundryman of Buffalo, in an address before the New York convention of
laundrymen, said:1
One of the reasons for a great deal of poor work is the lack of system
in timing the length of suds, rinse and blue. Every washroom
should be provided with a clock and the time of starting a load in a
wheel should be marked down so that a man can keep an accurate
account of the length of each process. It is impossible for a man
running six or eight wheels to remember every change unless he
does so.
In the foregoing utterances the laundrymen were emphasizing the
injury to the fabrics arising from such inadequate washing chemis­
try, but it should not be forgotten that the comfort if not the health2
of the laundry workers is likewise affected by the conditions described;
for if the laundry is a “ rule of thumb” establishment with washmen
whose formula for the use of chemical solutions is a “ pailful, more
or less,” and whose system of rinsing is “ five, ten minutes, or so,”
there will follow not only a waste of expensive supplies and an
1 C. T. Champeny, Address printed in National Laundry Journal, June 15,1912, p. 18.
2 As to the effect of chemicals on the health of the workers there is not much unanimity among the phy­
sicians consulted, though the drift of opinion strongly indicates the absence of any considerable danger.
Following is a symposium on the effect of chemicals used in Milwaukee laundries:
In regard to the injurious effect of the chemicals used upon the workers the only thing to be considered
is the chloride of lime. The chlorine produced is not an insidious poison. If enough of the gas were present
to do harm the workers would object, as it is such a disagreeable and irritating gas. If they do not com­
plain of it, I do not think it does any harm.—Dr. A. S. Loevenhart, University of Wisconsin.
The only dangers attending the use of the chemicals mentioned would be the maceration of and injury
to the skin, with the production of such skin trouble as eczema. I do not believe there is any danger in
the so-called fumes from the heated cylinder, provided there is an abundance of ventilation in the work­
room.—Dr. Mazyck P. Ravenel, director of Wisconsin State Hygienic Laboratory, University of Wis­
consin.
Theoretically, chloride of lime completely decomposed in alkaline solution according to the formula
2CaC10Cl+H20=2CaCl2 Ca(OH )2 CI2 would yield about one-half liter of chlorine for every 100 c. c. of a
0.5 per cent solution, which I understand from the statement is the strength of the solution in the washing
machine. Or, 15 pounds of chloride of lime should liberate about 74 liters of chlorine gas at 20 C if com­
pletely decomposed. Probably the decomposition is complete at the high temperature of the washing
machine, but it must be remembered that much of the chlorine will be taken up by the fabric. Whether
or not the chlorine liberated would reach a sufficient concentration in the air of the room to be injurious
would depend furthermore on the size of the room and the renewal of air. In my opinion the onlysatisfactory way to answer this question would be to actually determine the amount of chlorine in the air
of the room which can be readily done. Free chlorine in 0.04 to 0.00 per thousand taken directly into the
lungs is dangerous to life (Blythe) from the formation of free hydrochloric acid in contact with moist
mucous membrane.—Dr. J. N. E. Eyster, department of physiology, University of Wisconsin.
In the bleaching processes to which household linen is subjected in the laundry, acrid and caustic chemi­
cals are employed, such as chloride of lime, carbonate of soda, etc. If handled in a dry state these cause
intense itching and eczematous eruptions of the skin. When vaporized after solution, or in gaseous form,
they irritate the eyes and the whole respiratory tract, occasioning conjunctivitis and giving rise to catarrhal
inflammation of the throat and bronchial tubes.—Statement of a physician of experience, in the Report
on Condition of Woman and Child Wago Earners in the United States. Vol. X II, Employment of Women
in Laundries, p. 25.




EM PLOYM ENT OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

17

injury to the fabrics, but a possible health hazard and a probable
discomfort to the women handling the clothes in subsequent occupa­
tions, or inhaling the vapors given off from the clothes during the
ironing processes. In other words, the comfort of the workers hap­
pens, in this matter of the use of chemicals, to be bound up in the
material interests of the laundry’s patrons.
EQUIPMENT AND ACCIDENT HAZARD.

The accident and compensation laws, on the other hand, have
bound together the financial interest of the laundry owner and the
safety of the laundry machine operator. An unguarded extractor1
—
the powerful substitute for the old wringer—may break or jerk from
the socket an operator’s arm. Failure to put finger guards on the flatwork ironers2 may result in burning and crushing the feeder’s hands
under the hot rollers. The extractor may have been making 1,200
to 2,000 revolutions a minute with perfect precision; the fiat-work
ironer may have been turning out the smoothest, glossiest sort of
table or bed linen, yet the failure to equip them with effective guards
has not only made the employer liable for damages and done much
to sustain the impression of a hazard inseparable from the operation
of all laundry machinery, but it has marred, if it has not cost the life
of an operator. This identity of interest has doubtless had much
to do with the growing friendliness among laundrymen toward laws
regulating and standardizing the equipment of dangerous machinery
with guards. The president of the Illinois Laundrymen’s Associa­
tion, commenting on the law which went into effect in that State
January 1, 1910, said:3
This law, as you know, provides for protecting and guarding
machinery with which employees come m contact * * *. Is
there a progressive laundryman listening to me here to-night who
will not say that while at one time he considered these things a great
hardship, he now looks on them in an entirely different light? If
we were able to compute by statistics the amount saved by the guard­
ing of machinery in laundries alone, it would run into many thousands
of dollars.
The progressive laundryqaan complies with these conditions, and
while it means expense in complying with the law, it is in the end an
investment which more than pays for itself, as it saves mrany lawsuits,
and relief in the thought that he is doing all he possibly can to avoid
accidents. If he should unfortunately have an accident, and had
complied with these conditions, he will get out of it from a financial
standpoint much lighter than if he has not.
1 For illustration and description of extractors see p. 49.
2 For illustration and description of flat-work ironers see p. 50.
* Address before the convention of Illinois Laundrymen’s Association, printed in National Laundry
Journal, July 1,1912.

93371°—Bull. 122—13----- 2



18

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

A further means of encouraging adequate safety equipment in
laundries is the Employers’ Indemnity Exchange established in 1908.
Of the work of this exchange the manager said before the New York
Laundrymen’s Association in June, 1912:1
The factor of greater importance than the saying of money to the
laundry industry is that information concerning accidents in laundries
has been compiled at the office of the exchange, and by the office
furnished to the manufacturers of laundry machinery in such a way
as has enabled the manufacturers to devise means of safeguarding
the machines that have caused the more serious accidents, and within
the next six months you can expect to see on the market by the
leading companies flat work ironing machines that are fool proof.
They now have feeding devices that make that part of the machine
harmless, but employees still insist on putting their hands under
the rolls and at other points than at the feeding place.
;
Extractors now very largely have covers, whereas four years ago
they were the exception.2 Within a very short time they will have
extractors with covers that must be closed before the extractor can
be started and can not be opened until the extractor comes to a
standstill. The extractors will also be equipped without any device
for stopping with the foot. They will be so constructed that you
will set them to run a certain number of minutes, and when that
time has elapsed the extractor will stop automatically and ring a
bell to call the attention of the employee whose business it is to
unload the extractor. To the very present, the worst plant with
all sorts of dangerous places, entirely shaft driven and with no safe­
guards other than the lady inspectors of the State department may
have required, can obtain insurance protection at the same cost that
the best individual motor-driven plant, with absolutely no dangerous
places and no shafting, can obtain this protection.
Beginning January 1, 1913, the exchange will rate the plants of its
subscribers according to the hazards, bearing in mind, oi course, the
conditions brought about by the laws of each separate State.
From such a combination of interests the reduction of accident
hazard to a minimum will be a natural consequence.
HEALTH HAZARD FROM OVERSTRAIN IN OPERATION OF MACHINES.

But what of the health hazard involved in the operation of heavyrunning machinery? If a laundryman installs an exhausting foottreadle machine or allows one to become exhausting through lack of
repair, the well-being of the operator is hazarded not less certainly
than if the employer leaves a dangerous machine unguarded.
During an address before the Sixth International Congress of
Hygiene and Demography, 1887, Dr. Fridolin Schuler, Swiss factory
inspector, said: “ Labor of an exacting kind, involving extreme
muscular exertion, must have an injurious secondary effect on every
part of the body.” 3 Certain forms of strain involved in modem
1 Address printed in National Laundry Journal, June 15,1912, p. 18
2 Compare, however, p. 49.

8 Quoted by Josephine Goldmark in “ Fatigue and E fficiency/’ Pt. II, p. 128.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWEE LAUNDRIES.

19

industrial occupations have been singled out by the same expert
testimony as especially injurious. Elsewhere in the address men­
tioned above,1 Dr. Schuler said:
First of all, as already stated, the kind of work and the way in
which it is done must not be overlooked. Preeminently must
continuous standing, jarring of machinery, * * * and direct
or indirect pressure upon abdominal organs be condemned. By
utmost possible avoidance of bad conditions much improvement
may be reached even without excluding women from their share of
industrial work.
Dr. Schuler at the same time called attention to certain types of
machines as presenting problems of fatigue quite as serious though
not as well recognized as other causes of overstrain.
Far less conspicuous, he said, is the third set of factors which exert
a deleterious influence on health, and so threaten the well-being of
the workers, namely, the excessive muscular exertion demanded by
modern forms of machinery, the strain on special organs, the one­
sided muscular activity resulting from continuous performance of
the same motions. These are especially noticeable' 111 women.2
The physical demands of laundry machine occupations were
determined in this study of Milwaukee laundries without reference
to the physical endurance or individual opinions of the operators,
but were secured in terms of weights and measures. For example,
the amount of pressure required to operate a given treadle was deter­
mined by a tested scale. The height of the treadle from the floor
was measured by a rule. The number of operations per minute was
recorded and the temperature and humidity in the operator’s working
zone were taken with tested hygrometers. Thus were the uncer­
tainties of personal estimates reduced to a minimum. The
records so taken show that aside from such machines as were difficult
to operate because of antiquated manufacture, or lack of repair,
there are two types of foot-treadle machines in common use which
stand out from all the rest because of the requirements of operation.
The prevailing cuff press 3 and similar types of machines are operated
by foot power and require a pressure frequently ranging to a hundred
pounds and over. Maintaining the level of production involves
about 16 treads a minute.
The wheels which fix the amount of pressure necessary to operate
the foot treadles are adjusted by the operators who showed a marked
tendency to screw them overtight, believing that only so could they
get a finish on the garments that would pass inspection. This custom
not only added a needless pressure requirement of 25 to 30 pounds,
1 Quoted by Josephine Goldmark In ilFatigue and Efficiency,” Pt. II, p. 140.
2 Idem, Pt. II, p. 151.
3 For detailed description of cuff press and body ironers sea pp. 50 et seq.




20

B ULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

amounting to a wasted exertion of 270,000 to 288,000 pounds in a
10-hour day, but it distinctly increased the jar which characterizes
the operation of this type of machine in some degree even at its best,
and which is one of the evils arresting the attention of experts in
industrial hygiene. As there are two or more treadles to each
machine frequent change of position is necessary and the use of first
one foot and then the other is possible, though in Milwaukee laundries
the girls were using one foot almost entirely, thus involving a needless
strain on one set of muscles. Owing to the fact that the hot press is
held down on the “ bed” or padded surface by a “ clamp,” the operator
can and does take her foot from the treadles, standing squarely on the
floor during the intervals of operation.
The ordinary body ironer1 is the other type of machine conspicuous
for its operating demands. As its name implies, this is a device for
ironing the bodies of garments, particularly the unstarched portions
of shirt bodies. While the hot ironing cylinder is revolved by steam
or electricity, the lower padded roll, over which the body of the shirt
is drawn, is brought up into contact and pressed against the upper
ironing cylinder by bearing down on a foot treadle. In other words,
the operator of the body-ironing machine gets the garment smooth
and glossy by a hot-iron pressure as great or greater than that exerted
by the handworker, who bears down on her hand iron for the same
purpose, only in the case of the machine operation the muscular exer­
tion is transferred from the arms and shoulder to the legs and hips.
Unlike the cuff press, the ironing surface and the padded surface of
the body ironer are not held in contact by a clamp, but by continued
pressure on the foot treadle. The amount of pressure necessary to
secure work satisfactory to the operator, foreman, or manager in the
Milwaukee laundries, as in the case of the cuff press, ranged to a hundred
pounds and over, as shown by the tested scale. But the necessity of
constant adjustment of the garment in the course of ironing involves
a frequency of operation in some of the machines that amounts to a
slow but continuous treading motion, with the strain so largely upon
one set of muscles as to result in that one-sided muscular activity
condemned in the foregoing quotations. On some machines the use
of a second treadle reverses the direction of the cylinder revolutions,
permitting a slight change in position and shifting the strain to another
set of muscles. In operating one type of the two-treadle machines,
however, the girl must stand with one foot on the operating treadle
whenever she uses the reverse treadle, thus adding the strain of main­
taining the equilibrium to the other demands of operation.
In certain cases where the treadles are over 7 or 8 inches from the
floor the use of a platform is practicable and materially reduces the
muscular exertion necessary to bring them under the weight of the
1 For detailed description and illustration of body ironers see pp. 66 et seq.




PLATE 1 — O N E -W A Y SiNG LE-TR EA DLE BODY IRONER.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M EN IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

21

body. For while the pressure necessary fo secure a satisfactory
“ finish” in Milwaukee laundries was shown by the tested scale as
stated to be from twenty to a hundred pounds, the girls were putting
their whole weight upon the treadles, as that seemed to be the easiest
way to operate. At best, however, all of these machines called for a con­
tinued muscular activity, which, measured in pounds pressure exerted
in a 10-hour day, mark the work as the hardest machine occupation
in the modern power laundry and the machines as the conspicuous
trouble makers.1
OPINIONS OF PHYSICIANS AS TO PROBABLE EFFECTS OF OPERATING CERTAIN
MACHINES.

There is not much room for doubt as to whether such machines
should be classed among those types condemned by the experts as
involving a hazard to the health of the operator. The records for
the cuff presses and body ironers were, however, submitted to a
number of physicians with requests for opinions as to the probable
or possible effects of continued operation upon “ young women of
average health, 21 years old and unmarried.” Dr. M. P. Ravenel,
quoted before in this summary, replied:
I would expect such work to be detrimental to the health of a young
woman. It would almost certainly produce some distortion of the
spine with one-sided development of the body.
The opinions of Dr. Ernest Copeland, Dr. Gilbert Seaman, Dr.
O. H. Foerster, Dr. C. A. Baer, Dr. William Thorndike, all of Mil­
waukee, were practically identical, viz, “ if long continued the oper­
ation of such machines would have a strong tendency to create
pelvic disorders.” Dr. Copeland and Dr. Thorndike further em­
phasized the danger of producing spinal curvature and one-sided
developments.
About the time this study was in progress pneumatic devices
appeared upon the laundry machinery market as a practicable
substitute for all fatiguing foot treadles. Just what change this
invention, if it proves to be generally available, will effect in the
working conditions of machine operators will be seen by a glance
at the accompanying illustrations. Plate 1 shows the prevailing
i In an earlier report of the Bureau (Woman and Child Wage Earners in the United States, Vol. X II,
Employment of Women in Laundries), of 52 machine operators making definite charges of ill health against
their occupations to a medical examiner, 32, or 60 per cent, appeared, from the description of their occupa­
tions, to be running either body ironer or the foot-treadle culf-press machine. This is significant, in view
of the fact that the proportion of women operators who run such machines in the average power laundry
is between 15 and 20 per cent, depending upon the character of the laundry’s patronage. In other words,
the proportion of women charging their ill health against the use of the heavy foot-treadle machines was
several times as large as the proportion operating these machines. Furthermore, among the total number
of 539 laundry workers interviewed—which included hand and machine operators—there were 59 women
who ran machines of the body-ironing or cuff-press type. Thirty-two, or over 54 per cent, made definite
charges of ill health, as above stated, charges that were sustained at least by symptomatic diagnoses, but
52, or 88 per cent, complained of the fatiguing character of the work.




22

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

type of body ironer and illustrates the position of the operator in the
act of forcing down the treadle. In sharp contrast to this is the
body ironer equipped with pneumatic treadle device, shown in
plate 2. Only a slight pressure is required to operate the latter
machine, as power for ironing pressure is supplied by compressed
air. Furthermore, a girl may stand or sit to operate the new machine,
as it is equipped with two sets of treadles to permit of just this change
in position.
The comment by laundrymen acquainted with this device is
significant of the need of a practicable substitute for the fatiguing
foot treadle. As a manager of one establishment put it: “ The
pneumatic doesn’t get tired; it exerts the same pressure late in the
afternoon and early in the morning, so the quality of the work is
the same all day long.”
It should be kept well in mind, however, that it is but a short time
since such improvements appeared; that to equip even one machine
with pneumatic attachment involves the installation of a compressedair plant; that this initial expense in itself materially reduces the
availability of the device even if there were not a more serious
obstacle in the fact that some makes of machines now in use can
not be so equipped. In such cases entirely new machines would
have to be purchased, entailing an expense beyond the reach of
some and against the inclination of many laundrymen, whose
machines are as yet mechanically sound and in good repair.
EFFECT OF EQUIPMENT AND SANITATION IN REDUCING FATIGUE.

A study of the records taken in Milwaukee power laundries and
a careful reading of the explanatory text 1will serve to emphasize
the direct bearing of adequate equipment, effective sanitation, and
efficient supervision upon the operating demands of all power laundry
machines. For while special attention has been called to the prevailing type of cuff press and body ironer as machines which at their best
still call for adjustment in the interest of the operator, many other
machines which are not necessarily fatiguing become so through
lack of repair, faulty adjustment, or inadequate equipment. And
even if the worker is running a machine essentially unexacting in
its operating demands, as already pointed out, 9 or 10 hours a day
in a badly ventilated, poorly lighted, highly humid, or abnormally
hot room are in themselves such a drain upon the vitality as to
make any work difficult. But these conditions increase the hazard
to health when a girl stands for the same length of time and runs
a foot treadle requiring such heavy pressure that the easiest way
to operate it is to throw her whole weight upon it. To such disad­
vantages there are sometimes added the handicap of a peculiar jar




1See p. 36.

PLATE 2.— BODY IRONER EQUIPPED W IT H PN EU M A TIC TREADLE.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

23

or vibration due to faulty adjustment and often necessitating greater
pressure, and not infrequently increasing the difficulties of turning
out satisfactory work. Furthermore, it should be remembered that
all ironing machines are hot, and guards against excessive heat are
a necessity of the power laundry industry, particularly in hot weather.
The records taken in Milwaukee show the heat in the working
zone of operators running some of the big flat-work ironers was as
high as 95°, though all these records were taken between March 27
and April 16, during which period the outside temperature did not
exceed 75° when temperatures were being taken inside of the estab­
lishments. Because of this heat handicap there is urgent need
for ample ventilating facilities, such as exhaust fans and pipes,
heat deflectors, and electric paddle fans. Commenting on the records
showing temperatures 1 and humidities in Milwaukee power laundries,
Dr. Ej^ster, heretofore quoted, said:
The lowest temperature and humidity given would not seem to
represent unfavorable conditions; the conditions would be distinctly
unfavorable with the higher temperature and humidity. The result,
of course, would vary with the individual case. One person may
resist unfavorable conditions for long periods, while others are rapidly
affected. There is a certain degree of acclimatization in persons
exposed to abnormal temperatures and humidity. The conditions
present should approach as closely as possible the lower figures given.
Workers should be exposed to—
Temperature (F.)

Humidity.

64°-68°....................................................................... 40-60.
77°-86°....................................................................... As dry as possible.
60°.............................................................................. 70.

At 77° to 86° F. 60 to 70 per cent humidity is distinctly unfavorable
(Wolpert).
There is a distinct call for intelligence in so distributing machines
as to insure to the workers nearest the hottest surfaces full benefit
from these cooling devices and to prevent one machine from drawing
the heat of another. All such provisions and precautions become
vitally important as guards against excessive fatigue.
EFFECT OF SUPERVISION IN REDUCING FATIGUE.

A factor which does not appear in the exact measurement of oper­
ating demands but which is none the less important in solving the
problem of successful laundry administration, is a discriminating
assignment of operators to machines, and instruction as to the proper
method of operation to secure satisfactory results with a minimum
of exertion. For just as it increases the risk of accident to assign a
conspicuously nervous, excitable, careless, or clumsy girl to the opera­
tion of a dangerous machine, even though such machines are equipped
1 For temperatures and humidities in working zones of machine operators, see pp. 55, 59,65,71.




24

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

with reasonably adequate guards, so is the hazard to health increased
by the assignment of an anemic girl or one affected by spinal curva­
ture or lameness to an exacting foot-treadle machine. Furthermore,
most of the inexperienced girls applying for work in laundries are not
trained in the conservation of physical energy and frequently fall
into habits of operation that are unnecessarily injurious to health.
As the child in school must be taught the healthful way to sit at his
desk and the proper position to assume for writing and study, so
should the learning machine operators be instructed by a foreman
who is not only acquainted with the dangers of accident lurking in a
machine but is likewise aware of its probable and possible hazards
to the health of women operators.
While the foregoing discussion has emphasized certain dominant
and more or less controllable factors of power laundry equipment,
sanitation, and supervision that determine the conditions under
which machine operators work, it should be kept clearly in mind that
these conditions must be considered in connection with the physical
condition of the individual worker before the danger of overstrain
and its evil consequences can be measured with reasonable definiteness.
LEGAL PROTECTION AGAINST HAZARDS OF OVERFATIGUE.

The laws have directly recognized the hazards of overfatigue thus
far only in restricting hours of labor for women, but such laws set
the same working hours for all women in given industries without
regard to the character of the work. The girl who sits in a normal
temperature and handles paper and pencil to check a bundle of laun­
dry and the girl who operates a hot ironing machine requiring a foot
pressure of 100,000 pounds an hour have the same legal working day.
In no State do the laws shorten, or empower labor commissioners
to shorten, the working hours 1 for women operating heavy-running
machines, even though it could be proved that operation for the
legal working hours put an excessive strain on the female organs,
incurring a risk of permanent injury as great as any that another
machine might inflict by accident. In the case of power laundries,
as in the case of many other industries, a discrimination in the work­
ing hours of the several occupations would mean either a double
shift and consequent readjustment of the wage scale—for garments
could not be halted in their progress through the laundry— or such
an interchange of occupations as would reduce the period of strain
involved in the operation of an exacting machine. Such a shifting
1 The Qerman industrial code provides that “ 011 the decision of the Federal Council the length of time,
the hours of beginning and ending, and the intervals of rest may be stipulated for occupations in which
excessive duration of daily working hours endangers the health of the worker.’’—Industrial Code, Pt. VII,
sec. 120 (p. 391 of Dr. E. Hoffmann’s compilation').
Since the writing of this report Oregon, California, and Wisconsin have enacted laws conferring power
upon their industrial commissions to fix the working hours for women and minors on the basis of working
conditions.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

25

of occupations would call for more instruction and closer supervision
on the part of foremen and result in less monotony and more versa­
tility for the workers. The adoption of such a method of guarding
against overfatigue would often be obstructed doubtless by a curious
sense of proprietorship which operators sometimes show in particular
machines and which gives rise to a feeling of resentment when such
machines are assigned to others. But the opposition would be only
temporary, as this feeling of ownership is in itself the consequence
of a foreman’s custom of making permanent assignments of machines
and places. It should not be difficult to make machine operators
understand that in the interest of their own well-being girls would
not be allowed to run heavy foot-treadle machines all day, but would
be assigned for part of the time to machines less exacting, or at least
demanding the exercise of a different set of muscles. The factors of
skill and wage would enter into this problem to some extent, but a
glance at the range of pay for operating the same types of machines
in Milwaukee laundries, and the slight variations in the wage of those
operating different types of machines, indicate that these factors
would not seriously complicate the difficulties. In any case the
problem would not be extensive, as there are only a few machines in
each laundry that make such demands as to call for more than the
usual precautions against overfatigue. In short, this discrimination
in the assignment of exacting machines would entail some inconven­
ience, but it would seem that the gain in efficiency in “ getting the
same pressure all day long,” and more than all, the resulting protec­
tion against the dangers of overstrain, would be well worth the incon­
venience.
That the existing working-hour laws, which do of course afford
some protection against overfatigue, have not inflicted any injury
upon the power-laundry industry, but have been, on the contrary,
a benefit to the industry, is the testimony of Mr. J. A. Barkey, presi­
dent of the Illinois Laundrymen's Association, in his address 1 before
the Missouri laundrymen’s convention. He said:
What laundrymen, a few years ago, would have dared champion
a limited number of hours for women workers in laundries, yet I
have no doubt that the majority of laundrymen throughout the
country feel that laws of this kind, where not too drastic, are a
blessing in disguise. Most of the industrial States of the Union now
have laws limiting the number of hours of employment for women.
We in Illinois have a “ 10-hour law,” while you here in Missouri, I
believe, have a “ 9-hour law.” I know well how you looked upon
the passage of this law at the time it was enacted and possibly how
some of you look upon it at the present time. It is legislation which
it is very hard to get away from and extremely difficult to defeat;
but you are still doing business, notwithstanding these laws, and I




1 Printed in National Laundry Journal, July 1,1912.

26

BULLETIN OF TH E BUEEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

hope making as much money as you ever did, which in itself is evi­
dence that laws are not made to put people out of business, but
rather to teach business men to regulate tlieir affairs so that they
can meet conditions when imposed, ultimately making better em­
ployees out of your workers by showing them that you have some­
thing in common with them and that their welfare is as much to
you as the accumulation of money.
In some of the States some indirect protection against the hazard
of overfatigue is afforded in laws vesting labor commissioners with
authority to determine what is safe. Such power involves super­
vision of ventilation, which enters so largely into the problem of
fatigue in power laundries. The power to conserve the industry
and yet guard the health of the workers by preventing women
in questionable state of health from operating heavy-running
machines at all, or limiting the time during which any woman may
operate such machines, lies wholly with the employer.
Without doubt the hazard of excessive fatigue from exacting
machines has been thus ignored by lawmakers, because its results are
not so immediate nor so easily traceable as are those arising from the
hazard of accident. Furthermore, unlike the effect of an accident,
the injury to health from repeated or continued overstrain is not
uniform either in character or extent. An exposed gearing may
result in the sudden mangling of an operator’s arm but there are no
other disasters to be expected from such defect in equipment. The
danger is well defined and the remedy in plain view. On the other
hand the consequences of failure to reduce the operating demands of
an exacting foot-treadle machine make neither a sudden nor a uniform
appearance but vary in these particulars, as has been pointed out;
according to the special physical predisposition and the general resist­
ing power of the operator. In the words of a physician, “ This over­
strain * * * does not present a well-defined morbid picture, but
it is a slow deviation, often obscured by its very slowness * *
1
EFFECT OF OVERSTRAIN OF EMPLOYEES ON EMPLOYERS AND THE INDUSTRY.

The woman injured in health by an excessively fatiguing machine
must get through life as best she can, and, if she marries and becomes
a mother, will care for her badly-born children as well as she knows
how. When the laundryman buys or retains health-hazarding machin­
ery, fails to keep his modern equipment in proper repair, neglects to
properly instruct the operators, or falls so far short in matters of
general sanitation as to perilously increase the fatigue involved in
all occupations, he is paying a high price for his neglect. Aside from
his loss through the reduced efficiency of operators, he pays in wasted
1 Dr. Zaecaria Troves in an address before the Fourteenth International Congress of Hygiene and Demog­
raphy, 1907, quoted by Josephine Goldmark in Fatigue and Efficiency, Part II, p. 165.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

27

padding felt because of needless pressure from ironing cylinders or
presses; he pays in excessive wear on machinery, and he pays in
claims for goods damaged, sometimes by excessive pressure, fre­
quently because the fabric has been pulled awry through some
badly adjusted rollers or has been literally crushed into flimsiness
under rollers on which the ironing felt had been allowed to grow
hard. But with all that he pays individually, he compels the in­
dustry as a whole to pay more dearly in lost prestige and deferred
patronage, and finally in its reputation as a desirable employment.
For in spite of the marked differences in the demands of the various
power-laundry occupations, the impression still remains abroad that
all laundry work is alike hard and unattractive. This belief is
doubtless something of an inheritance from “ Blue Monday” —when
the air of the home was tinged by the steam of the recurring weeldy
wash and at least one set of muscles, and often several sets of nerves,
were aching under its exacting demands. The conviction that
washing and ironing in the home are characterized by a dead level
of hard labor has, not unnaturally, attached itself in more or less
modified form to the transplanted task, but the belief takes a new
hold upon the public mind each time a poorly equipped or badly
managed laundry gets into the limelight, or the fatiguing character
of certain types of machines is held up as the measure of the demands
made by all the types in use, or as a fair sample of the strain involved
in all laundry work. In other words, just as the industry has suf­
fered an injury to its reputation for safety1 through the failure of
some laundrymen to equip the few really dangerous machines with
effective guards, so it is still bearing an inherited name for demand­
ing a dead level of hard labor, principally because some short-sighted
laundrymen buy or retain antiquated devices, or are negligent in
matters of repair, supervision, or instruction; and finally because of
the general failure to eliminate entirely the fatiguing foot treadles
from laundry equipment. As a whole, this seems an undeserved
measure of ill repute, for laundry machinery as a whole is neither
necessarily difficult to operate nor excessively fatiguing, and if kept
with proper care and run under proper supervision does no injury
to the fabric. But the individual and careless laundrymen have not
only cost the industry much in lost prestige and patronage, they
have made their fellow employers pay out hard-earned money to
counteract this influence on the general public. The National
Laundry Association of America recently raised a fund for the prose­
cution of a national publicity campaign, the avowed purpose of
which was to acquaint the public with methods and conditions
prevailing in standard laundries.
i The child-labor law of Wisconsin classes all laundry machinery as dangerous.




28

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Evidences that progressive laundrymen are themselves aware of
the penalty the industry is paying for the inefficiency of individuals
and. that they are making effective efforts to inspire the less progres­
sive with a desire for business efficiency and industrial betterment
are clearly reflected in laundry publications and convention addresses.1
During an address on “ Employer’s duty to employee,” given before
the Northwest Canadian Association’s convention, a practical laundryman said: 1
Now we arrive at the cause of our not being able to secure girls of
a higher average of intelligence * * * . They have heard from
other girls who have not been started in right that the work was
heavy, the hours long, the place hot, wet, and lull of steam. The
prejudices against the steam laundry which the associations and
individuals throughout Canada and the United States are making
such an effort to overcome, get a good start right here. No doubt
you have all read, some, at least, of the visionary stuff that was writ­
ten in a number of the leading magazines of the United States, por­
traying by print and picture the terrible hardships laundry help liad
to endure. Now this information was all gathered from dissatisfied
or exemployees, like the ones referred to before, who were not started
in right and only worked two or three days.
It seems that laundrymen throughout the country are taking a
greater interest in the help problem, in order to eliminate as much as
possible the antagonistic feeling by having cleaner, better ventilated
and lighter workrooms and by adhering to a regular schedule of work­
ing hours.
There are laundrymen who believe that their industry has been
the object of unfair legislation because of the deficiency of individ­
uals. Before the Michigan Association of Laundrymen, which met
in Battle Creek last May, the proprietor of a Kalamazoo laundry
addressed the convention on “ The duties of the modern power laun­
dry.;; In the course of his remarks he said:
If we wish to avoid adverse legislation there is no better way to
do it than to make the laundry the most popular institution in your
particular locality. When you get on the right side of the home you
can rest assured that you will be on the right side of the legislative
bodies of this land. We can not expect to accomplish this when we
start a laundry by renting a hole in the wall, going over to Chicago
or some other machinery center and bimng a lot of old second-hand,
cast-off machinery.
It will bear repeating in this connection that the same laundrymen
who are voluntarily working for improvement in conditions surround­
ing power-laundry employees are in some instances openly favoring
restrictive legislation. As already stated, such laws have thus far
been confined chiefly to safety guards for dangerous machinery, to




1 Printed in National Laundry Journal, July 1,1912.

EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

29

matters of general sanitation, and to limited working hours for women.
The utterance of the president of the Illinois Laundrymen’s Associa­
tion on the recently enacted safety laws and on restricted hours was
quoted in connection with the discussion of those subjects. His atti­
tude toward probable laws for reducing fatigue of machine operators
is reflected in the following quotation taken from the same address: 1
I look for a number of laws affecting women workers in laundries
as well as in other establishments. I believe that the near future will
see a law compelling employers to provide seats for women who are
now obliged to stand to operate machines.
A summary of the foregoing discussion of factors common to the
industry as a whole, which determine working conditions in power
laundries, has already been given on pages 8 and 9 and need not
therefore be repeated here.
RULES

AND

RECOMMENDATIONS OF WISCONSIN
COMMISSION.

INDUSTRIAL

The following tentative rules and recommendations, which were
made at the conclusion of the Bureau’s study of conditions prevailing
in Milwaukee power laundries and with direct reference to the facts
developed thereby, were drawn up by Mr. C. W. Price, the safety and
sanitation expert of the Wisconsin Industrial Commission, in conference
with and by the full approval of the Milwaukee laundrymen serving on
the subcommittee appointed by the industrial commission to recom­
mend feasible standards of safety and sanitation in the power laundries
of the State:
Safety.
O r d e r 225. Extractors.—All extractors must be equipped with
metal guards which must entirely cover the opening to the outer
shell. The guard must always be in position when the extractor is
in motion.
O r d e r 226. Flat-work ironers.—All flat-work ironers must be
equipped with guards in front of the feed rolls to prevent the hands of
operators from being drawn into the rolls. When the so-called doffer
roll is used and is propelled by other power than the ribbon or apron
feed a guard must be placed in front of this roll.

Note.—It has been found from experience that the most efficient guard on flatwork ironers is the automatic stop guard which disengages the power when the
hand of the operator strikes the guard. The ribbon or apron feeds are not ade­
quate safeguards, as there is nothing to prevent a thoughtless or reckless operator
from feeding over the apron and getting her hands dangerously close to the rolls.
O r d e r 227. Bosom and combination ironers.—All bosom and com­
bination ironers must be equipped with guards placed near enough
to the rolls and the ironing board to prevent the hands of the opera­
tor from being drawn under the roll.




i Printed in National Laundry Journal, July 1,1912.

30

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

O r d e r 228. Collar and cuff^ ironers.—All collar and cuff ironers
must be equipped with guards in front of the first rolls to prevent the
hands of the operator from being drawn into the rolls.

Note (a).—Platform for body ironers —On all one-way, single treadle, body iron­
ers the operator should be furnished with a platform which should be the height
of the foot treadle when at the lowest point.
Note (h).—Minimum foot 'pressure.—The proprietors and foremen of laundries
should do everything in their power to educate operators of cuff, neckband, and
yoke presses to use the minimum amount of foot pressure necessary to do proper
work. It has been found from careful experiments made by competent laundry
men that 75 pounds is the maximum amount of pressure necessary to do perfect
work on any of the above-mentioned machines. Additional pressure is, there­
fore, not only a waste of the operator’s energy, but a needless wear on the
machinery.
Note (c).—Bulletin No. 1—Orders on safety.—Laundrymen are referred to Bulle­
tin No. 1 for orders on belts and pulleys, gears, set screws, passageways, platforms,
stairways, shafting, sprockets, etc. These orders were issued under date of
May 20,1912, and are now in force and apply to laundries, the same as to all other
places of employment.
Sanitation.
O r d e r 2300. Heat deflectors.—On all roll body ironers, the hot roll
must be equipped with a heat deflector which must be lined with
nonconductive material. The deflector must extend far enough
down in front to deflect the heat and prevent it from being thrown out
toward the operator. On all shoe oody ironers, the shoe must be
covered with nonconductive material.

Note.—Where practicable, all machines throwing off heat should be so placed
that the heat from one machine is not thrown on the operator of another machine.
O r d e r 2301. Rooms provided with exhaust fans.—Wherever flatwork ironers are operated, the room must be provided with an
exhaust fan of sufficient capacity to draw out the excessive heat or
steam which arise.

Note.—All rooms where washing is done and rooms where there is excessive
heat or humidity should be equipped with a ventilating system of sufficient
capacity to reduce the heat and humidity to a reasonable degree.
O r d e r 2302. Floors kept as dry as possible.—The floors of all wash
rooms in laundries must be so drained that there is no measurable
depth of water where the operators must stand while working. Dry
standing room should be provided where possible.

Note.—Instructions on cleanliness.—Below are given eight rules on general
sanitation in laundries which the commission wishes to strongly urge that all
laundry owners adopt and enforce in their shops. These rules are based on wide
experience and are m force in practically all of the first-class laundries.
(a) Ample washing facilities, with hot and cold water, soap and towels, should
be provided and placed within easy reach of the markers and others handling
soiled clothes.
(b) Markers and others handling soiled clothes should be warned against touch­
ing the eyes, mouth, or any part of the body on which the skin has been broken
by a scratch or abrasion; and they should be cautioned not to touch or eat food
until the hands have been thoroughly washed.
(c) Persons with abrasions on the hands or wrists should not be allowed to
handle soiled clothing until such abrasions are adequately protected from infec­
tion by bandages or gloves.
(d) Overgarments should be provided for workers while handling soiled clothes,
and such garments should be washed frequently.
(e) Markers should be forbidden to shake or carelessly handle soiled clothing
so as to raise unnecessary dust. This dust may contain tuberculosis or other
germs, which are easily transmitted in the air.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

31

(/) Markers and others handling soiled clothing and who also handle laundered
linen should thoroughly wash their hands and faces and change their working
garments before leaving the marking room.
(g) Under no circumstances should persons be allowed to sleej) in rooms in
which laundry work is done.
(h) Wherever possible the washing should be done in a separate room.
WORKING CONDITIONS IN MILWAUKEE POWER LAUNDRIES.
SCOPE OF THE IN V E STIG A TIO N .

This study of conditions surrounding women workers in Milwaukee
power laundries was conducted with special reference to the varying
physical demands of the several occupations, to the working hours and
earnings of women engaged in the several occupations, and to the
duration of employment afforded women in such power laundries.

The period covered by the investigation is the six months beginning
September 1, 1911. The time was so chosen because the 55-hour law
went into effect on that date, and it was desirable to avoid the con­
fusion which would arise from dealing with a period which covered
two working-hour limits for women. In a highly seasonal industry
this limitation of the period covered by the investigation would seri­
ously impair the value of the figures as indications either of the steadi­
ness of employment or the earning opportunities afforded, but in the
power laundry business this is not the case. As was pointed out in
an earlier report,1 “ the work of a laundry is ordinarily not seasonal,
unless an establishment specializes in work that is itself seasonal or
depends for patronage on a locality whose residents go away in large
numbers for the summer. In laundry work a “ rush ” period may be
precipitated any week by the advent of a large convention, the arrival
of a steamer, or an unexpected hotel order. Naturally such emergen­
cies do not affect all the laundries at the same time.7 It may be
7
added that such emergencies do not occur much more at one time of
the year than at another, so that the level of employment for six
months is fairly indicative of the level for the whole year. The estab­
lishments were visited between the 27th of March, 1912, and the
16th of the following April, a time when the weather conditions
would neither exaggerate nor minimize the normal advantages and
disadvantages of power-laundry occupations.
To measure the demands of machine occupations, the essentials of
operation required by each machine—such as operating position,
power, means of control, speed, etc.—were studied in detail. In case
of foot-treadle machines, a tested scale was used to determine the
exact amount of pressure necessary to secure satisfactory work. The
height of the treadle and the distance it was driven in the operation
were also measured. Hygrometers were used to measure the heat




1Bulletin of the Bureau of Labor, No. 81, p. 882.

32

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

and humidity, not only in the working zones of foot press and flatwork machine operators, but in the workroom at large and out of
doors, in order to know just how much of the heat and humidity
were due to weather conditions, how much to establishment facilities
for ventilation, and how much was chargeable against the heat and
humidity radiation of the machines themselves. In the effort to
determine the physical demands of the occupations, it was the stead­
fast policy of the investigation to reduce the personal element to a
minimum, the opinions of managers, workers, or agents being elimi­
nated wherever possible, and in all cases involving the requirements
of machine operating.
All of the 31 power laundries in Milwaukee were included in the
investigation, so that the figures for establishments are complete.
The reports from employers ifhow that these power laundries employ
an average of 852 women and 118 men. As 554 women, or over 65
per cent, furnished individual reports, the data give ample basis from
which to draw conclusions as to the hours and earnings of women in
the 31 power laundries of Milwaukee.
CHARACTER OF LAUNDRY DISTRICTS IN MILWAUKEE.

Probably the nature of the laundry business keeps the establish­
ments in Milwaukee out of the manufacturing districts, for a smoky,
dusty location materially impedes the business of getting clothes
clean, even where windows and doors are kept closed so generally as
to cause marked discomfort to the workers. Furthermore, as the
patrons of the laundry are largely in the residential districts, good
business dictates a location necessitating a minimum of travel in the
work of collecting and delivering clothes. The higher rental in
strictly retail streets, and the same factor as well as other obvious
objections in the more expensive residence districts, therefore, leave
the semibusiness, the outlying business street, the boarding and lodg­
ing house, and the cheaper residence sections as the haunts of the
power laundries. This fact has its bearing upon the employees, as it
usually reduces the distance to be covered in going to and from work
and eliminates some of the disadvantages which characterize ap­
proaches to establishments in purely manufacturing districts. Of the
31 power laundries 6 are on strictly business streets; only 2 are in
well-defined factory districts.
CHARACTER OF LAUNDRY BUILDINGS.

One-time stores or reconstructed dwelling houses furnish housing
for 18 of the 31 power laundries. This is a singularly important factor
in determining working conditions in power laundries, because the
equipment includes heavy machines usually shaft driven and radiating
such heat or humidity, or both, as to make heavy demands even upon



EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

33

exceptionally good ventilating facilities. Stores and dwellings are
not constructed to sustain—particularly in their second or third
stories—collections of heavy or vibrating machinery, nor are the
ventilating facilities installed with reference to the requirements of a
modern steam laundry. Consequently, the distribution of machines
in such structures must be made with principal reference to the floor
capacity and endurance; and means of supplementing the ordinary
door and window ventilation must be improvised if the conditions
are not to fall below recognized standards of industrial hygiene. Fur­
thermore the basements of dwellings and stores are not made to shed
thousands of gallons of water daily as properly constructed washroom
floors are required to do if conditions there are not to be unhealthful.
Drainage of some sort is absolutely essential in the washroom and, of
course, in abandoned stores and dwellings it must be more or less of
an improvisation. The following table summarizes the details of
location and structure for the 31 establishments:
LOCATION AND CHARACTER OF POW ER L A U N D R Y BUILDINGS IN M ILW AU KEE.
Number of sto­
ries used by
laundry.

Number of laundries located in—

Type of building.

Total
number
of laun­ Manu­ Retail
dries. factur­ busi­
ing dis­ ness
dis­
tricts. tricts.

Outly­ Cheaper
ing.
resi­
Brick
busi­
dence build­
ness
dis­
ings.
dis­
tricts. tricts.

Prevail­
Frame
ing
build­ Range.
num­
ings.
ber.

Built for laundry purposes...
Built for stores, business pur­
poses, or residences............

4

1

18

13

18

2

2

5

9

13

5

Total.............................

31

2

6

6

17

26

5

13

3 1-3

(2)

42

3 1-2

31

1 Including one laundry situated in a well-to-do residence district but close to business section.
2 One laundry uses an adjoining frame structure for its office and bundling room.
* With, basement.
4 And 2 with basement.

Thirteen, or nearly 42 per cent, of the laundries were housed in
buildings constructed or entirely reconstructed for laundry purposes.
Three other firms had buildings in process of construction at the
time of this investigation. In all of these structures the proper
assignment of space for handling soiled clothes, for washing, ironing,
starching, etc., the demands of heavy and jarring machinery, the
requirements for drainage, ventilation, and general sanitation, were
given more effective consideration than could be accorded in the other
group of structures. The human value of this situation lies in the
fact that while these 13 buildings especially constructed for laundry
purposes constitute but 42 per cent of all the laundries, they employ
70 per cent, or more than two-thirds, of all the women workers, and
it is estimated on the basis of equipment that they do more than
93371°—Bull. 122—13----- 3



u

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

four-fifths of all the power laundry work done in Milwaukee. This
fact should be taken into consideration in the tables and discussions
dealing with the details of laundry organization and the conditions
surrounding power laundry workers.
DRAINAGE, VENTILATION, AND GENERAL SANITATION.

Because of the large volume of water used in the process of wash­
ing, because all flat pieces are at least partly dried as well as ironed
on the ironing machines, and because the business requires a collec­
tion of hot machines, the questions of drainage, ventilation, and
general sanitation assume more than ordinary importance.
The problem of drainage is confined directly, of course, to the
wash room, though if such drainage is inadequate the effect is felt
all through the building.
The number of washing machines in Milwaukee power laundries
ranged from 2 to 18 at the time of this investigation. From these
receptacles hot or cold water is constantly being discharged, as the
rinses rarely last more than 10 minutes and the “ suds” only from
10 to 40 minutes. In such a situation, it is plain that drainage of
some sort is absolutely indispensable. Furthermore, it is plain that
where there is so much moisture, floors and walls of wood are neither
as durable nor do they permit of the same degree of sanitation as
floors and walls constructed of cement or similar material.
Twelve, or over 92 per cent, of the 13 buildings constructed
especially for laundry purposes had cement floors in the wash rooms.
Fifteen, or 83 per cent, of the other group of 18 structures had wash­
room floors of the same material. Some of these floors are made with
sharp depressions a little wider than the width of the washing machines
and running a sufficient distance to contain all the washing machines
end to end. In the middle of this depression and directly under the
machines an open gutter is constructed and into this the water is
discharged directly from the washers. It also collects the water
splashed from the machines into the depression constructed for that
purpose. In other laundries where the machines do not stand in
depressions, the floor has been built with a slight dip from the center
to the sides where the washing machines stand over gutters which
catch the water shed by the inclined floor as well as that discharged
from the machines. In still other cases the machines stood over
gutters in the center of the floor whieh dipped toward the side gut­
ters. A transverse gutter connected the gutters under the machines
with the gutters at the side of the room. In one case where there was
neither gutter nor pipe connection, a grated manhole was supposed to
carry off the water; but this device was not adequate, even though
there was a pronounced slope in the floor, because only a concave
construction would make the manhole serve as a drain for all parts
of the room.



EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

35

Where the floors were of wood, even though, as in one case, the
washing machines stood over gutters and were boxed in by planks
to catch the “ splash,” there was an obvious wet rot. All the 31 laun­
dries had some sort of sewer connections from the washing machines.
The table following shows the prevailing construction of wash­
room floors in Milwaukee’s 31 power laundries:
LOCATION AND FLOOR CONSTRUCTION OF W ASH ROOMS IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER
LAUNDRIES.

Type of building.

Number
of laun­
dries.

Laundries having
basement wash
rooms.

Laundries with specified floor
construction.

Number. Per cent. Cement.

Wood.

Having
gutters.

Built for laundry purposes..........................
Built for stores, business purposes, or resi­
dences..............................................V ...........................................

13

4

30.8

12

1

13

18

13

72.2

15

3

114

Total...................................................

31

17

54.8

27

4

27

i The other four had sewer connections, but discharged water into boxed parts of the floor under the wash­
ing machines or into a grated manhole.

The foregoing table also shows the tendency to take the wash rooms
out of the basement when buildings are especially constructed for
power laundry purposes. Less than a third of the latter have located
the washrooms in the basement, while in more than two-thirds of the
old buildings washing is done in these frequently poorly lighted cellar
rooms.
Naturally the problem of ventilating a room into which steam and
water are being constantly discharged assumes an importance corre­
sponding with the problem of drainage. Because of the amount of
humidity in the wash room, doors and windows do not afford adequate
ventilation, even when the weather permits of their being open.
When the windows are shut and there is no exhaust system the at­
mosphere is heavy with steam.
While the humidity is not so difficult to control in other depart­
ments, with the possible exception of a flat-work ironing room con­
taining several large machines, both the heat and humidity generated
by the damp clothes, heated machines, and hot starch render ample
scientific ventilating facilities indispensable to health and comfort in
all the mechanical departments of power laundries, if for no other
purpose than to reduce the humidity. It should be remembered in
considering the following table, showing atmospheric conditions in the
several workrooms, that the records were taken when the outdoor tem­
perature ranged from 31° to 75°, and reached those extremes but
once while records were being taken in the laundries, the prevailing out­
door temperatures being between 45° and 65°. The outside humidity
for the same period ranged between 30 and 75, the records showing a
prevailing humidity of from about 45 to 70.



36

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

It is apparent from this table that exhaust systems are playing an
important part in keeping down the humidity under a wide range of
temperatures. It is significant that the wash rooms in 19 of the 31
power laundries were without exhaust systems. The effect of ex­
haust systems, as shown by the table, is somewhat obscured by other
factors. For example, a wash room in one establishment did not have
an exhaust fan, but did have a mechanical drying device which in
itself was equipped with an exhaust, and undoubtedly did much to
reduce the humidity which in other wash rooms reached 90 when the
temperature in each case was 70°.1 A study of the following table
should include careful consideration of the footnotes, which in this
case are vitally important in gaining a correct idea of the prevailing
atmospheric conditions as affected by equipment.
COMPARISON OF TEM PERATU RE AND HUM IDITY RECORDS FOR PLANTS EQUIPPED
AND NOT EQUIPPED W ITH EXH AU ST SYSTEMS.
PLANTS EQUIPPED W ITH E XH AU ST FAN OR PIPE.
Num­
ber
Num­
of
laun­ Num­ ber
ber
of
dries
of work­
hav­ work­ rooms
Kind of room. ing rooms where
work­ re­
rec­
rooms port­ ords
of
ed. were
speci­
taken.
fied.
kind.

Temperature (degrees F.) and humidity records.

Taken In laundry workrooms.

Range
of tem­
pera­
ture.

CorreEumid-g
ity.

Corre­
Range spond­
ing
of hu­
mid­
tem­
ity.
pera­
ture.

Corresponding records taken out
of doors.

Range
of tem­
pera­
tures

Corre­
spond­ Range
of hu­
ing
humid­ mid­
ity.8 ity. «

Corre­
spond­
ing
tem­
pera­
ture.5

12

6 13

9

63-785

79-47

43-79

74-63

65-75

30-60

68-30

10

8 12

6

64- 78

43-59

43-74

64-76

46-65

72-43

72-69

46-31

13

W ashroom___
Flat-work iron­
ing room----B o d y -lin e n
ironing room.

916

12

64- 82

52-55

42-72

73-70

48-65

73-30

55-72

45-46

59-65

PLANTS NOT EQUIPPED W ITH EXH AU ST FAN OR PIPE.

Washroom___
Flat-work iron­
ing room----B o d y -lin e n
ironing room.

19

19

12

12

17

17

[12 8
61
14 1070- 84 li. 72 -1335
86
90
11 70- 86 f 681f-4 2
t 90j
13

70- 86

90- 93

f51l
J

42-90

84-881 u, 6 i r 75
37
86- 70

39-91

86-781

35-91

37-64

EU 60-58
68j
{ 1 31-37
IH
68-31

31-58

75-73
64-68
64-73

1 The special bulletin on safety and sanitation in the laundries, issued by the Wisconsin Industrial Com­
mission contains a recommendation, but not an order, that wash rooms be equipped with exhaust systems.
See p. 30.
2 Corresponding to range of temperatures taken in the workrooms and shown in column 5.
3Corresponding to outside temperatures shown in preceding column.
4 Corresponding to range of humidities taken in the workrooms and shown in column 7.
®Corresponding to outside humidities shown in preceding column.
6 One laundry has 2 wash rooms, one with and the other without exhaust equipment.
i
Two large flat-work ironers were also in the wash room. The laundry wash room haying a higher tem­
perature, of 89°, was not given because, although equipped with an exhaust pipe, its proximity to the
neighboring buildings prevented this from operating effectively.
®Two laundries have two flat-work ironing rooms, each having one room with and one room without
exhaust equipment.
® One laundry has 3 body-linen ironing rooms; another has 2 such rooms.
1 The laundry wash room having a lower temperature, 68°, was not taken because, having but 2 wash­
0
ing machines, its temperature and humidity were not comparable with other rooms having 9 or more.
1 The records braced are for different establishments having the minimum workroom temperature
1
shown in column 5.
12 See physician’s statement for unfavorable working temperatures and humidities, p. 23.
13 The wash room was situated on second floor, and washers placed but a few feet from dry room, which
reduced the humidity.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

37

Adequate toilet facilities are not more essential doubtless in power
laundries than in the majority of other industries. The Wisconsin
law compels all employers to provide separate toilets for the sexes
and to shield the approach to such toilets from undue exposure.
The table following shows the equipment of the 31 laundries in this
particular:
TOILET FACILITIES IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES.
Number of women em­
ployed.

Laundries in which sanitary
condition was—

Laundries not
having separate
toilets ior
sexes.

Num­
ber of Small­
est
Toilet equipment.1 laun­
dries
num­
re­
ber in
ported.
any
one
laun­
dry.

Great­
est
num­
ber in
any
one
laun­
dry.

Total.

3
10
40
80

45
82
66
118

304
145
205
198

6
4
4
2

11

4

54

5

38

852

16

11

4

54

5

38

One toilet only.........
Two toilets...............
Three toilets.............
Four toilets..............

21
4

Total...............

31

4
2

Poor.4

Good.2 Fair.3

Num­ Women Num­ Women
af­
af­
ber.
ber.
fected.
fected.

1 Referring to women’s toilets only, with the exception shown in the last two columns of the table.

2 “ Good” signifies sanitary in construction and condition.

s “ Fair” signifies unkept but not obviously insanitary.
4 “ Poor” signifies insanitary in construction, in condition, or in both.

As in the case of other industries, too, other hygienic provisions
measurably affect the comfort of the workers. Lunch rooms, apart
from the hot and humid workrooms, rest rooms for the noon hour,
and, more than all, lockers which will protect the outer garments
from the moisture in the workrooms, conserve the health and comfort
of workers.
The following table shows the extent of these provisions in the 31
establishments:
PROVISIONS AS TO LOCKERS OR CLOAKROOMS AND REST OR LUNCH ROOMS IN
M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES.

Provisions in laundries as to lockers or cloakrooms and rest or lunch rooms.

Number of Number of
establish­
women
ments.
employed.

Having lockers or cloakrooms.....................................................................................
Not having place separate from workroom for wraps...............................................

i 20
11

694
158

Having rest or lunch rooms........................................................................................
Not having rest or lunch rooms..................................................................................

7
24

428
424

Total laundries...................................................................................................

31

852

i Although a cloakroom was provided in two of these laundries on the lower floor, garments were found
hanging on the walls in the upstairs workrooms.




38

B ULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.
D E SC R IPT IO N OF O C C U PATIO N S.
M A R K IN G .

Laundry occupations really begin with the collection of soiled
clothes by men known as drivers. When these men deposit their
loads in the marking rooms, girls called markers undo the bundles,
mark each piece for identification, either by hand or by machine, call
the pieces out for the other girls to list or list them themselves, and
deposit the marked articles in places specified for the various washing
groups of clothes. There may be separate bins or places for collars
and cuffs, shirts, shirtwaists, handkerchiefs, bed linen, table linen,
woolen and cotton flannels, or whatever subdivisions the extent of
the laundry’s trade may permit. The girls who mark must have con­
siderable experience and good judgment as to the character of fabrics,
else too much sorting falls upon the washman. In laundries doing a
large amount of hotel flat work or hospital work the lot is kept to­
gether during the washing process and the only marking done, when
any is done at all, is on a single piece in the lot.
No laundries take clothes from houses placarded with contagious
diseases,1 but Milwaukee laundrymen have no way of knowing
whether the clothes are infected with ©ther communicable but not
placardable diseases, such as tuberculosis and the venereal diseases.
Neither laundrymen nor workers handling the soiled clothes are con­
cerned over the situation. The attitude toward any possible dangers2
lurking in the soiled clothes is reflected in the following description of
the marking occupations in selected laundries, together with the
measures of protection taken by the management. The examples
cover the whole range of methods prevailing in the 31 power laundries
of Milwaukee.
Example No. 1.—The soiled clothing is brought by the driver into the marking and
listing room in the basement. The bed linen, towels, and table linen—all known as
flat work—are put into one room and the body linen into the other. In these two
rooms the girls open the bundles, marking and listing each article and sorting all arti­
cles according to washable groups, i. e., white goods, colored clothes, flannels, etc.
There are no rules or special precautions in connection with the work.
Example No. 2.—The markers do not handle a garment extensively to find whether
a mark is already on it, but usually put one on the first edge or comer picked up in case
no mark is on it. Except for the fact that the markers wear aprons, there is no
precaution against infection from the clothes. The manager of the laundry explained
that the drivers had strict orders to take no laundry from placarded houses nor from
the red-light district and that no orders were taken from hospitals. The laundryman
taking bundles from agencies on a commission basis, however, usually does not know
anything about the house or people from which clothes come.
Example No. 3.—The work is received in bundles at the marked and listers’ tables,
where the girls open the bundles one at a time. The markers and listers generally work
1 One laundryman said that he had taken clothes from a man who lived in a placarded house, but who
Was allowed to go to his work daily.
2 For discussion of dangers from infection, see pp. 11 to 14.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

39

in pairs; one girl opens, counts, and lists the articles, the other marks them. When
asked about precautions taken against infection, the manager said he thought the
health department should get out lists of places in which there are contagious diseases
of any kind, including tuberculosis, and provide the laundries with such lists, so that
they might refuse to receive clothing from these places until it had been properly
disinfected; that the health department should make it a business to disinfect laundry
regularly at places where there is infectious disease, thus protecting the laundry
workers and helping a family at a time of great need. The superintendent advocated
an ordinance forbidding laundries to have agencies and compelling drivers to call at
the homes for all laundry. He believed that such an ordinance would reduce the
danger of receiving bundles in which there is contagious disease. “ Suspicious looking
laundry bundles are not opened, but are returned to the sender/’
This laundry does a large amount of steamboat work.
Example No. 4.—The drivers unload the bundles of clothing through the back door
on the first floor in the rear end of the washroom. The marking and listing are done
here on a long table along the side wall. From 5 to 14 girls are engaged in marking,
listing, and distributing the clothes. They also spend part of their days upstairs fold­
ing and sorting. A girl standing at the middle of the long table takes the clothing
out of the bundles, throwing the white articles and flat work to the tjvo girls at her right
and the colored garments, etc., to the two at her left. The markers and listers work in
teams, one marking and throwing the articles into the proper pile, and the other listing.
This department is in rather bad condition. The clothing, instead of being put into
proper baskets or trucks, is thrown in piles on the floor or into barrels. The clothes
are divided into the following piles for washing: Woolen underwear (to be washed by
hand); white personal wearing apparel; colored wearing apparel; collars and cuffs;
white flat work; flat work with colored borders.
The flat work—i. e., table linen and bedding—is washed together.
There is no protection against infection for the girls doing this work, except that they
receive no work from hospitals or hotels, or placarded houses, or from houses where
they suspect infection. The manager admitted the danger of infection from non­
placarded diseases. If when a bundle is opened the clothing looks suspicious, it is put
into a bag which i3 immersed in a solution of washing soda and cold water and then
dried. After this treatment the articles are marked and listed and wached in the same
way as all other clothes. If a bundle looks too bad it is returned unwashed to the
sender. The girls are not required to change their clothing or to bathe before leaving
the building.
Example No. 5.—No precautions taken other than refusing work from hospitals and
placarded houses, and no material difference in methods. Manager told of case where
a man was taken to the pesthouse the day after a bundle was received from his home.
The girls were all vaccinated when the fact was learned and no contagion resulted.
Example No. 6.—No difference in system and no precautions taken other than
refusing work from placarded houses. Work is accepted from the red-light district,
however.
Example No. 7.—Flat work from hotels and hospitals is not marked but is kept
separate throughout the washing process. The markers of other clothes do no other
work in the laundry, and the washmen and markers remove their working garments
and bathe before leaving the establishment at night. The working garments are
washed before being donned again next day.
Example No. 8.—Front part of first-floor room used for marking soiled clothes, check­
ing, and bundling of clean clothes. No precautions against infection except refusal
to accept bundles from placarded houses, hospitals, or, knowingly, from the red-light
district.




40

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

The table which follows shows the protective measures which are
taken against possible contagion or infection from soiled clothing.
It will be observed that 4 of the 31 power laundries have no agen­
cies. This is important, as before intimated, because an agency
usually takes orders on commission and turns over the bundles to the
laundry, whose management is not aware of their source. As the
agencies do not handle the soiled clothing, there is a temptation to be
optimistic concerning the condition of the garments and to take much
on faith.
The impressive feature of the table is that 20, or 64.5 per cent of
all the establishments, employing more than half of all the markers
scheduled, took no precautions against contagion except to refuse
orders from placarded houses. Just how much danger of infection to
laundry employees lurks in soiled clothing sent to the laundries is
discussed at length on pages 11 to 14.
Protective measures taken in marking rooms of Milwaukee power laundries against 'pos­
sible infection from soiled clothes.1
Total number of laundries...................................................................................
Protective measures against contagion or infection—
For general public:2
Number of firms allowing soiled clothes handlers to do no other work.
Number of firms compelling soiled clothes handlers to bathe and
change garments before leaving laundry...........................................
For markers:
Total number of markers reported.........................................................
Number of firms refusing work from red-light district..........................
Number of firms having no agencies................. ....................................
Number of firms taking other precautions.............................................
Number of markers affected..................................................................
No precautions taken except against placarded houses:
Number of laundries.....................................................................................
Number of markers affected........................................................................

31

1
1
83
5
4
33
36
20
47

CH E M ICA L P R EP A RA TIO N OF W A S H W A T E R S .

This is a man’s work in the power laundries. The first problem
of the washman is the water; for the character and degree of its
hardness and the extent to which it is affected by deposits injurious
to fabrics determine—or are supposed to determine—the amount of
neutralizing chemicals necessary to soften and clear it. As the sub­
stances used and the degree of accuracy with which they are used
affect not only the fabrics but have some bearing upon the working
conditions of women handling the clothes in the succeeding laundry
1 The figures are not mutually exclusive; one laundry may take one or more of the precautions indicated.
2 Statements of physicians, p. 12, indicate that there is no appreciable danger to the public from the
commingling of soiled clothes.
3 One laundry subjects all suspicious-looking bundles to a soak in a washing soda solution and dries them
before they are marked; the second washes such bundles separately, thus not necessitating marking; the
third fumigates the clothes from homes known to have nonplacardable disease.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

41

processes, a brief review of the methods prevailing in the wash rooms
of Milwaukee power laundries is pertinent here.
The use of chemicals in the laundry has four distinct purposes,
viz: (1) Softening the water; (2) loosening the soil; (3) whitening
the clothes; and (4) removing traces of chemicals employed in accom­
plishing objects 1, 2, and 3. The fourth process is known as
souring.
Softening the water.

The quality of water varies not only in different places but at
different times of the year in the same place. Therefore if laundry
chemical processes are to be scientific, frequent analyses of the water
are essential. At the time of this investigation, the city chemist
reported Milwaukee hydrant water to contain 9.9 degrees of “ perma­
nent” hardness. While permanent hardness can not be reduced by
the simple process of boiling as can temporary hardness, both can be
reduced by dry soda or washing soda. The following table for soften­
ing water is given in a technical work on the power laundry:1
AMOUNT OF SPECIFIED CHEMICALS REQUIRED TO SOFTEN W A T E R OF VARYIN G
DEGREES OF HARDNESS.
Required
amount of Required
dry soda amount of
(58 per cent washing
alkali or soda (soda
98 per cent crystals)
carbonate
per 100
of soda)
gallons
per 100
of water,
in ounces
gallons,
avoirdu­
in ounces
pois.
avoirdu­
pois.

Degree of hardness.

10...................................................................................................................................
15.......................................... .......................................................................................
20...................................................................................................................................
25...................................................................................................................................
30...................................................................................................................................

3*
5
6}
7*

3f
71
ll|
15
18|
22J

Only one laundryman in Milwaukee analyzed the water often
enough to keep posted as to its variations. In this laundry analyses
were made at least twice a week and at certain seasons every day.
The records of these tests showed the hardness to vary from 4 to 14
degrees at different times of the year. Assuming the foregoing table
to be a reasonable standard of measurement, any laundryman who
treated the water with either of the sodas all the year round for a
given degree of hardness—as, for example, the approximately 10°
reported by the city chemist—was at times failing to soften the water
and thus impeding the work and increasing the demands upon the
workers; or was overloading the water often to the detriment of the
i “ Chemistry for Launderers,” American edition.




Appendix A , p. 179.

42

B ULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

fabric, and frequently to the discomfort of those charged with the
responsibility of the later processes.
Ordinarily the waters treated only with softening agents are such
as are used for soaking. Some Milwaukee laundries do not soften
these first waters at all, deferring this treatment to the sudsing waters.
The following table summarizes the softening processes prevailing in
the power laundries of Milwaukee:
AGENTS USED FOR SOFTENING W A TE R IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES.
[Of the 31 laundries studied 17 used softening agents.]
Average amount of softening
agent used in a 100-shirt ma­
chine.2
Softening agent.1
Pounds.

Quarts.

Boiling.............................................
Distilling.........................................
Softening plant4.............................
Washing soda compounds..............
W ashing soda compound solution
Caustic soda....................................
Borax...............................................
Ammonia.........................................

2.50
.34
1.00

2.00
.38

Number Number
Wash waters in of laun­ of laun­
Number which softener is dries us­
dries
of laun­
ing each regularly
used.
dries not
specified analyzing
agent. 3
measur­
water.
ing
amount
used.
Second to fourth,
inclusive.
Third to fifth,
inclusive.
Second to sev­
enth, inclusive.
1 First...................
....... do.................
....... do.................
1 . ..d o ..
l First to fourth,
inclusive.

1
1
1

1

11
1
2
2

1 One laundry was reported as relying upon filtering for softening water; this merely removes the iron
and suspended matter without reducing the hardness.
2 The standard amount of water used in a 100-shirt machine is 50 gallons, except in the suds, for
which from 42 to 46 gallons are used. Milwaukee laundrymen, however, with one exception, do not measure
the water used accurately.
s These numbers are not mutually exclusive, some laundries using more than one softening agent.
* A system whereby large quantities of water are mixed with softening chemicals and then filtered.

Loosening dirt and grease.

The second object to be achieved by the use of chemicals is to
loosen the dirt and grease. This is usually done by combinations of
soda and soaps or soap solutions. The sodas, in addition to soften­
ing the water, and thus making the soap more effective, aid in render­
ing albuminous matter soluble. All of the 31 power laundries in
Milwaukee used some form of detergent in addition to soap in the
first or second suds and some used them in both suds. The following
table reveals the character and quantity of chemicals used chiefly as
detergents and the method of their application.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

43

DETERGENTS (D IR T AND GREASE LOOSENERS) USED ON SOILED CLOTHES IN
MILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES.
[All of the 31 laundries studied used detergents.)

Detergents.

Soap solution.......................................
Solution1of

ageing soda compound. . .

Solution of{caustic soda....................
Solution °f|i$orax compound.................
(Soap......................................
Solution of< Washing soda compound. . .
ICaustic soda.........................

Aver­
age
percent
of each
sub­
stance
in solu­
tion.

9.25
4.20
2.85
4.57
.275
3.75
2.45
3.92
.93
.38

Aver­ Num­
Num­
age
ber of
num­ ber of Num­
laun­
ber of laun­ ber of
laun­
dries Usual wash quarts dries
not
dries
water in
solu­
not
meas­ meas­
meas­ which deter­ tion
uring uring
uring gent is used. used in
amount water
“ 100parts
in solu­
shirt of solu­ in ma­
tion
chine.
ma­
tion.
chine.’ ' used.
/Second and ]■ 8.40
\ third.
/Second and } 9.68
\ fourth.
/Second and ]• 5.62
\ third.
/Second and
12.44
\ fourth.
..d o .........

Num­
ber of
laun­
dries
using
speci­
fied
deter­
gents.

4
19
2

4

16.25

i One laundryman makes a solution of soap and water, puts it in the wash machine, and then adds “ about
a tablespoonful of soda.”

The most striking thing in connection with the use of chemicals
does not appear in the foregoing table nor in any of the tables sum­
marizing the use of chemicals. For, while the number of laundries
is given in which there is no system of measurement at all, a large
proportion of the others reported the amount used as “ about” so
much. It is also noteworthy that in one establishment sodas are
applied in a solid or dry state rather than in solution, as strongly
advised by one authority.1 Carefully prepared solutions insure a more
thorough mixture of the substances with the washing water and guard
against lumps of soda deposits which work damage to the clothes,
impede the progress of garments through the laundry, and in a dry
state are likely to irritate the hands of the workers. It is important
to note that these u detergents’■ are used in the second, third, and
’
fourth waters, as the several waters which follow carry off at least
a part of any overload of chemical.
The matter of securing satisfactory soaps is not the least of wash­
room problems. The ingredients of soaps used to a large extent in
Milwaukee laundries are tallow and caustic soda. Theoretically, 12
parts of caustic soda to 88 parts of stearic acid (the acid in tallow)
will produce saponification. In actual practice, however, the tallow
which comes to the soap factories contains other acids which must
be reckoned with in determining the proportion of caustic to be used.
The large soap factories, therefore, analyze the tallow before making
combinations, and the laundryman who makes his own soap is under
i “ Alkali in any form should never be put into the machine in the solid state but always dissolved in
water.” See Chemistry for Launderers, p. 156.




44

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

the same necessity if he is to avoid using too much caustic, which
produces a caustic soap, discomforting to the worker and injurious
to the fabric; or too little, which leaves a free fatty acid that loosens
the dirt but is itself prone to leave grease spots.
The form of soap most generally used in Milwaukee laundries is a
“ soap chip.” When this is dissolved in water there is a noticeable
amount of free fatty acid. In all cases except one where this form of
soap was used the washmen added an alkali (in the form of soda)
to resaponify this free fat. In three laundries the washmen made the
soap and in no case was the tallow analyzed, hence there was not
adequate means of control over the acids therein.
Bleaching and bluing.

In 30 of the 31 powe# laundries some substance was used in the
r
first or second suds, and sometimes in both, to whiten the clothes;
and in all the establishments the traditional bluing formed a part of
the whitening process, though this was applied usually with the last
water. The common bleaching agent in Milwaukee laundries was
chloride of lime, though oxalic acid and a market compound 1 pur­
porting to be both a bleach and a detergent were also used. Unless
care is taken in regard to the amount of bleach used, not only will
the fabric suffer, but irritating fumes 2 will be given off from the
clothes during the ironing process.
The table below shows the bleaching methods, the substances and
amounts used, and the prevailing application of the bluing, which is,
after all, but a supplement or finishing touch to the whitening proc­
ess. The table shows that the bleaches proper are put into the
second, third, or fourth waters. Reference to the table on page 47
will reveal the fact that the prevailing number of waters for clothes
treated to a bleach is from 7 to 9, hence there are at least three waters
to rinse out any ordinary excess of chemicals used for this purpose.
1Analyzed, this substance contained: Sodium carbonate, 30.74 per cent; sodium hydrate, 5.6Q per cent;
fatty acid, 10.8 per cent; combined alkaline, 25.7 per cent; moisture, 27.16 per cent.
2 For physicians’ opinions as to the effect of chloride of lime upon workers, see footnote to p. 16.




EM PLO YM EN T OP W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWEB LAUNDRIES.

45

BLEACHES USED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES.
[ Of the 31 laundries studied 30 used a bleach.]

Average
per cent
of each
substance
in solu­
tion.

Bleach.*

Electrolytic bleach................................
Oxalic acid.............................................
Washing-soda compound3....................
Liquid chlorine......................................
Solution oi...............S ^ ° n im e"
\ammonia............
Chloride of lime solution.......................
Commercialized hypochloride of soda
solution.
Qnintirvn nf
/Chloride of lime..
Solution of.............. \Caustic soda........
~
._» (Chloride of lime....................
Solution of••[^ashing soda compound..

Number
of laun­
dries not Usual wash
water in
measur­
ing parts which bleach
is used.
in solu­
tion.

20.0 }
80.0
1.0 1
11.1
2.8 \
5.8
4.1 {
6.2 I

Fourth........
.......do..........
Third...........
Second.........
Fourth........
i Fourth and
fifth.
Fourth........

Average
number Number
of quarts o f laun­ Number
substance dries not of laun­
dries
or solu­
meas­
using
tion used
uring
specified
in “ 100 amount bleaches.2
shirt ma­
used.
chine.”
2.25
.13
4.31
.25
.88
1.00

1

1

2.00

1

1.00
, ....... do..........

1

1.67

2
1
4
1
1
2

4

20

1 Bleach is used almost entirely on white linen; but four laundries use it on flannels, and three use it
on colored clothes.
2 These numbers are not mutually exclusive; one laundry may use more than one bleach.
* Upon analysis this advertised bleach was found to contain sodium carbonate, 30.74 per cent; sodium
hydrate, 5.60 percent; fatty acid, 10.80 per cent; combined alkaline solution, 25.70 per cent; moisture, 27.16
per cent; or was without bleaching properties.
4 Pounds.

Removing traces of chemicals.

Where a softening plant is not in use, and water is softened by the
direct application of sodas, an appreciable amount of the carbonates
of lime, formed as the lime salts in the water, are thrown out of solu­
tion and deposited in crystalline form in the fabrics. Also when these
lime salts unite with the soap a pasty material forms on the clothes.
Furthermore, the chloride of lime used as a bleach likewise leaves a
deposit in the form of sodium hypochlorite. To remove all such
deposits, rinsing waters are treated with acids which unite with the
lime and leave the other acids free to pass off in the water. They
likewise decompose the deposit left by the bleach. This process is
known'as “ souring.”
To remove the lime soap, it is of course necessary to use hot water
in order to keep the fatty acids melted. As a majority of the laun­
dries use the acetic acid as the souring agent in cold water, this lime
soap is not removed. Furthermore, the acetic acid is often put into
the bluing water, which is the last water through which the clothes
are put. Consequently, the acid is not itself thoroughly rinsed out
of the clothes before they are ironed. The other acid used as a “ sour ”
is oxalic. This is more corrosive, but as it is usually put in the sixth
water and several waters follow, there is ordinarily ample rinsing to
remove all trace of the souring acid.
In three laundries no souring acid is used at all, and in two others
practically none, because it is used in small quantity in combination
with the bluing solution, which is itself put into the water in very



46

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

limited amounts, as the table at the bottom of this page shows.
Again, attention may be called to the fact that the bearing of this
subject upon the working conditions in power laundries lies wholly
in their effect upon workers who handle clothes out of which the
chemicals have not been thoroughly rinsed.1
The following table shows the use of “ sours ” in Milwaukee laun­
dries:
CHEMICALS USED FOR “ SOURING” CLOTHES IN M ILW AUKEE FOW ER LAUNDRIES.
[Of the 31 laundries studied, 26 used a “ sour.” ]
Average
number
of pounds
of acid
used in a
100-shirt
machine.

“ Sours.” *

Acetic acid......................................................................
Oxalic acid.....................................................................

Number Number
Usual
of laun­
wash
dries not of laun­ water in
dries
measur­
using
which
ing
amount specified souris
sour.s
used.
used.

A
*

4
2

21
10

Eighth..
Sixth__

Number
of laun­
dries
using
sour in
last
water.
13
1

As before intimated the use of “ blue” in the laundries is but a sup­
plemental whitening process. Its only bearing upon the working
conditions lies in the effect upon the workers of the acetic and oxalic
acids often used in combination with the bluing. Since this solution
is applied to the last water, it would be of much importance were it
not that the prevailing amounts used, as shown in the following table,
are so small as to make the effect inconsequential. In a few laundries,
however, the acid is used so excessively as to be of considerable
importance, because of the irritating fumes that arise from the clothes
during the ironing process. But such cases are markedly exceptional,
and the following table is presented more to complete the description
of the use of chemicals in the Milwaukee power laundries than because
of any significant situation which it reveals:
BLUING SOLUTIONS USED IN MILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES.
[All of the 31 laundries studied used bluing.]

Bluing solution.

Average
per cent
of sub­
stances in
solution,

Aniline solution............
Solution

7.00
.77
5.10

Solution ofjoxalicfaeid
Aniline___
Acetic acid.
Oxalic acid

2.40
.50
3.00
1.50

Number
of laun­
dries not Usual wash
water in
measur­
ing parts which bluing
is used.
in solu­
tion.

{

Eighth..
----- do..

.92

..........

Seventh and
ninth.
Eisrhth.........

Average
ounces of
(liquid)
solution
used in a
100-shirt
machine.

Number
of laun­ Number
dries not of laun­
dries
measur­
using
ing,
specified
amount
bluing.
used.
17

11
2

1

1 For effect of chemicals used see footnote to p. 16.
2 Soaring is used on white linen almost entirely; but six laundries sour colored clothes and but two sour
flannels.
* These numbers are not mutually exclusive. One laundry may use both sours.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

47

TH E W A S H IN G PROCESS.

Machine washing.

Although all the washing machines in Milwaukee power laundries
except one were operated by men, and a detailed description of the
occupational demands are therefore not pertinent, the method and
efficiency which characterize the several washing processes have a
more or less direct bearing upon the demands of succeeding occupa­
tions. Consequently an outline sketch of the methods of procedure
will not be amiss.

The clothes are taken from the markers to the washmen who, in a
large laundry, re-sort them according to the degree of soil. However
minutely the general washable groups may be subdivided, the washman usually had one washing formula for each of the four general
classifications of clothes: (1) Plain unstarched linen, known as “ flat
work” and made up of table linen, bed linen, towels, and handker­
chiefs; (2) white body linen; (3) colored linen; and (4) flannels. In
eight of the laundries woolens are treated as a fifth class. The for­
mula used for each washing group is varied slightly in quantity of
chemicals used, and washing and rinsing time in accordance with the
degree of soil. In this particular the laundryman doing a small busi­
ness is at a disadvantage because his “ loads” of clothes are not large
enough to permit of a fine grading according to degree of soil. Hence
the whole load in a machine must be treated both as to quantity of
chemicals and length of washing on the basis of the needs of the
dirtiest pieces in the lot. Under such circumstances the cleaner
clothes get more treatment than they really need.
Eeference to the following table will show that all clothes except
flannels are subjected to from five to eleven separate waters, beginning
with a soapless soak and ending either with a bluing or a clear-water
rinse:
WASHING PROCESSES USED IN M ILW AUKEE PO W E R LAUNDRIES FOR SPECIFIED
W ASHING GROUPS OF CLOTHES.

Laundries using specified number of wash
waters for entire washing process.

Principal washing
groups.
Less
than
5.

5

Plain unstarched
p i e c e s ( f l at
work)................. None.
2
White body linen. None. None.
Colored body linen None. None.
Flannels................
8
2

6

7

8

2
1
3
2

2
4
7
3

9
10
10
4

9

10

11

Number of
laundries
using soap
in—

Average
duration (in
minutes) of
suds.

Num­
ber of
laun­
dries
bring­
ing
linen
to
boil
Only Two First Sec­ in at
ond
one
wa­
water. ters. suds. suds. least
one
wa­
ter.

1
2
6
2
6
3 None.
7
5
1
1 None.
4
1 None. None.

22
31
27
16

23.0
21.0
23.7
19.4

22.1
26.2
25.0
22.4

22
31
1
1

1 Eight of these laundries gave special formulas for woolens, not included in this table.




Num­
ber of
laun­
dries
giving
formu­
las for
speci­
fied
wash­
ing
group.

24
31
27
120

48

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

All these processes for a given load of clothes are carried on in a
cylindrical washing machine, the outer cylinder being stationary and
the inner perforated cylinder, into which the clothes are put, being so
constructed and controlled as to alternate the direction of its revo­
lutions.
The standard size is known as “ a hundred shirt machine” and
usually carries besides its load of clothes from 42 to 50 gallons of
water, less water being used for suds than for rinses, in standard
laundries.
The lack of standards of exact measurement referred to in the
comment on the tables summarizing the chemical formulas is further
complicated by the fact that there is no standard of exact measure­
ment for the amount of water used for each “ run.” The measure­
ment is only an estimate made with the unaided eye, sometimes by
observing a glass tube at the side of the machine. Obviously if the
water is not accurately measured, the value of any standard of meas­
ure for mixing chemicals is seriously impaired.
It is important to note that all white flat work in all but 2 cases and
all white body linen are subjected to a sterilizing heat during the
course of the washing process. Such sterilization as the flannels and
colored clothes get in the washing process is mechanical, but it should
be remembered that most of these garments are later subjected to
the same thermal sterilization during the ironing or steaming processes
as is given to other clothes. This of course has a direct bearing upon
the question of the possible spread of contagious diseases from an
aggregation of soiled clothing.
Only five laundries stated definite temperature for warm-water
washing. In four other cases, however, a maximum temperature
was given for colored clothes. In the first suds the temperature is
generally raised to “ hot,” which, according to men having a definite
standard, varies from 100° to 180° F. After this suds comes a rinse
in water of the same temperature, then a second suds, which is heated
from the temperature of the last water to 212°, and boiled a few
minutes. Two laundries only do not wash unstarched pieces in water
heated beyond 190° F. The suds are run from 10 to 40 minutes in
different laundries. The average as well as the prevailing time for the
first and second suds is 20 minutes for plain linen. The average and
prevailing time for the first suds in body linen is 20 minutes, but for
the second suds it is 30 minutes. Some laundries run the second suds
the same time as the first, some for a longer period, and some for a
shorter period. One washman said he did not time the run at all. As
a rule 5 minutes is the time reported for the rinses. This is undoubt­
edly the time aimed at, but it is only an estimate in many cases.




PLATE 3 — EXTRA CTO R: SECTIONAL VIEW SHOWING INNER, PERFO RATED,
ROTARY TU B OR BASKET.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWEE LAUNDKIES.

49

H AND W A SH IN G .

The finer or frail pieces hi all laundries and the flannels in six laun­
dries are washed by hand. For this work women are employed, the
individual schedules showing but nine of such workers among the
554 reporting and indicating that only an inconsiderable amount of
hand work prevails in this department of the laundry. While the
chemicals are mixed in the usual way by the washmen, the processes
to which the women subject the clothes depend entirely upon the
nature and condition of the articles and vary much more than do
the machine processes.
W R IN G IN G THE CLOTHES (E X T R A C T IN G ).

The washman removes the clothes from the washing machines into
trucks in which they are taken to the extractor, a machine which
has entirely supplanted the old wringing devices. This machine is
shown in the accompanying illustration (pi. 3). It consists of a
metal tub on a steel stand; inside of the tub is a perforated copper
basket into which the wet clothes are placed. This basket is so
adjusted that it can be set to revolving at a speed of from 900 to
2,000 revolutions a minute. The speed at which it is revolving
presses the linen tightly against the sides of the basket, the water
escaping through the perforations into the outer shell from which
it empties into the dram. These machines take 75 per cent of the
water from the clothes. Among the most serious accidents that
have occurred in the laundries are those chargeable to these extrac­
tors. The most common peril lies in the risk of getting the hand
caught in a loose end of the clothes aiid having the arm broken or
jerked from the socket. Covers have been devised which can not
be lifted until the power is turned off. These have proved inade­
quate, however, as the momentum created causes the machine to
revolve with dangerous speed for some minutes after the power is
off. By pressing a foot treadle the whirling basket can be stopped,
but to operate this treadle requires a pressure in most cases of
more than a hundred pounds, the amount depending upon the size
of the load and the speed at which the machine is running. As the
treadle is usually under the tub, there is a natural'tendency to place
the hands upon the edges of the outer shell, thus increasing the
danger of getting the hand caught in loose ends of the load. Most of
the extractors in Milwaukee laundries were not equipped with other
covers than a canvas cloth which was wrapped around the clothes
when the load was large to keep pieces from flying out. There is
further danger of the extractor being driven at such speed as to
cause it to burst. Of the 63 extractors used in Milwaukee laundries,
5 were attended by women. One woman attended two of these
93371°—Bull. 122—13
i



50

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

five extractors. Only one of tlie five was guarded. Aside from
the hazard of accidents there are no unusual demands in connection
with the operation of the machine. However, the fact that all
extractors are in the washrooms subjects the operators to the in­
fluences of any defective drainage or ventilation.
“ T U M B L IN G ’ ’ OR

1 S H A K IN G .9
1
1

When clothes come from the extractor, they are packed, by the
centrifugal force, into hard masses and must be disentangled and
straightened out before they can be run through the ironing machines.
In the case of small fiat pieces, this takes much time if done by
hand. In some laundries the small flat pieces were shaken apart
by a woven wire “ tumbler,” which on the outside looks like a cylin­
drical washing machine, but has an interior wire revolving cylinder
which “ tumbles” the goods about until they are loose.
If the clothes are shaken out by hand, the girls usually stand to
do the work, though there is nothing in the nature of the occupation
which would interfere with satisfactory work if the girls alternated
the standing position with the use of high stools, especially when
shaking out the small pieces. The chief demand of the occupation
is the constant motion involved in snapping the clothes straight,
and calling for the continuous use of the muscles of the arms, back,
and chest.
F L A T -W O R K IR O N IN G .

The flat work, that is the bed and table linen, towels, and hand­
kerchiefs, is dried and ironed at the same time by being fed into
the flat-work ironers. The prevailing type of flat-work ironer is a
succession of padded rollers, about 100 inches in length and ten to
12 inches in diameter, running in concave chests heated by steam.
Between these revolving rollers and the steam chests the goods are
fed, the heat and pressure being sufficient to iron and to dry the
fabric. The number of padded rollers on this type of ironer varied
in Milwaukee laundries from one to six. Eleven of the 27 fiatwork machines of this type were equipped with one roll only.
Four of the 38 fiat-work ironers were of the steam cylinder type
shown in plate 4. In. this machine a conveyor apron carries the goods
around the steam-heated drum over which run with considerable pres­
sure six padded rolls about 7 inches in diameter.
Seven of the machines were a combination of the steam-cylinder
and steam-chest type. (PI. 5.)
While 27 of the 38 fiat-work ironers in use in Milwaukee at the
time of the investigation were of the steam-chest type, plates 4 and
5 are inserted to show the two types of machines which are conspic­
uous as heat radiators. It should be remembered, however, that
less than 30 per cent of the fiat-work machines were equipped with
the large cylinders, shown in these illustrations.






PLATE 5 — COMBINATION OF STEAM CH ES T AND STEAM CYLINDER FLA T-W O R K IRONER.




PLATE 4 — STEAM CYLINDER FLA T-W O R K IRONER.

EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

51

The flat-work ironers are not difficult to operate. They run with
a continuous motion, the girls using sometimes a hand lever and
sometimes a treadle to start or stop the machine, neither requiring a
significant amount of pressure. At times as many as four girls feed
the flat pieces into the front of the machine when an equal or greater
number may be needed to take the finished linen from the machine
and fold it for inspection and bundling. The number of feeders and
folders—as the number of rolls—depends upon the amount of flat
work which the laundry handles. The number of feeders or folders,
however, does not affect the physical demands of the work except
where the work is so limited that one girl feeds the pieces into a oneroll machine, allowing them to drop into a receptacle on the folding
side, and then at intervals changes her occupation from feeding to
folding.
The essentials of the occupation of “ feeding” are laying the pieces
straight upon the feeding apron or along the small feed roll and
keeping the pieces smooth and even in their progress into the machine.
On this type of machine the majority of feeders in Milwaukee laun­
dries stood at their work, though there was no apparent obstacle in
the way of using stools—except the absence of such accommodations.
These as well as the other type of flat-work ironers are distinctly
dangerous machines when not adequately equipped with finger
guards to keep the hands of the feeders from being drawn under the
hot rollers. The girls running four of the big six-roll steam-chest
machines and the girls operating one steam-cylinder machine were
protected from accident by an automatic screen guard running in
front and along the whole length of the first roll. If the fingers of
the operator pressed against this guard enough to move it toward
the rolls, the machine was stopped automatically. This, of course,
guards only the first roll. If a girl is reckless enough to reach over
the first, to get or straighten something between the first and second
rolls, she puts herself in jeopardy. Because there have been cases
of such recklessness, with distressing consequences, a device is now
on the market which screens all the rolls and which can not be
removed until the machine has been brought to a standstill.
Eight of the two or more roll steam-chest machines and two of the
four big cylinder machines were equipped with a small feed roll placed
in front of the first ironing roll. While this roll is heavy enough to
draw the goods into the machine, it does not endanger the hands of
the feeder unless it is revolved by other power than the motion of
the traveling feed apron. In such cases the feed roll may itself be
dangerous in that its action is powerful enough to draw the hands
against the ironing rolls.
Two of the 38 flat-work ironers were equipped with converging bars
which permitted the insertion of fabrics but would not admit the
fingers.



52

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Seven one-roll chest machines were not equipped with any guards
at all. Without in the least belittling the need of guards on these
machines, it should be said that the one-roll machines run at a low
speed and have a stationary feed plate which render them less
dangerous than the other type of machines. This is not true of the
big steam-cylinder or steam-chest machines, one of each kind having
no guards at all save the feed plate.
Belts and gearing on all these machines, of course, require guarding.
The following table summarizes the prevailing conditions in the
matter of guards against accidents to flat-work ironing feeders in
particular, and against accident from exposed gearing to workers in
general.
The table shows some serious deficiencies in accident equipment.
There were 17 of the 38 flat-work ironers without finger guards,
18 without gear guards, and of the 32 belt-driven machines, only 12
were properly guarded.1
ACCIDENT GUARDS ON FLAT-W O R K IRONERS IN THE 23 LAUNDRIES USING SUCH
MACHINES.
Guards.

Type of machine.

Num­ Num­
ber of ber of
chests
ma­
or cyl­ chines
inders. in use.

1
2

3
4
5

Steam chest..........................

6

Total...........................

Finger.
Num­
ber of
ma­
chines
having
guards.

3
11 s{
1
2
1 None.
1
1
5
7

{
{

27

Steam cylinder..................... I
l

i
2

Steam chest and cylinder... f

I

3
5

'i

Belt.

Num­ Num­ Num­
ber of ber of ber of
ma­
beltma­
chines driven chines
having
ma­ having
guard. chines. guard.

R o ll................................
Converging ba rs............ }
Roll.................................
Converging bars..............
Roll and apron feed.......
R o ll............................... }
Automatic safety guard.
Roil.................. ............... }

17

1
1
1

1
1

4

2

1

4

3
14 #

Automatic safety guard.
1 RoU................................. }
41 .......d o .............................

5

8 10
2

None.
s3

•

1

23

9

2

None.

2

2

2

3

4

2

2

4 4 None.
3
41

1
1

4
3

None.

2 \
2

4

Total...........................

3

Character of guards.

Gear
wheel.

Roll.................................

1

Total...........................

7

1

2

7

1

Grand total.................

38

21

20

32

12

1 Since this investigation was made the Industrial Commission of Wisconsin has issued orders that gear­
ing and belts on machinery in all industries be guarded, and that finger guards be provided for all flatwork ironers in laundries.
2 The 7 machines not included have a steel plate over which linen was fed, which served as a slight guard to
the fingers.
3 Two machines were so placed as to make belt guards unnecessary.
4 One other machine had a steel plate over which linen was fed which served as a slight guard to the
fingers.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWEE LAUNDRIES.

53

That laundrymen of Milwaukee recognized the necessity of equip­
ping all flat-work ironers with adequate finger guards is evidenced
by the following rules and recommendations submitted to the Wiscon­
sin Industrial Commission by the subcommittee on safety and sanita­
tion in the laundries. The subcommittee was composed of three mem­
bers, two of whom were laundrymen of Milwaukee. On the matter of
finger guards for flat-work ironers the tentative rules and recommen­
dations read:
All flat-work ironers must be equipped with guards in front of the
feed rolls to prevent the hands of operators from being drawn into the
rolls. When the so-called doffer roll is used and is propelled by other
power than the ribbon or apron feed a guard must be placed in front
of this roll.
N o t e .—It has been found from experience that the most efficient
guard on flat-work ironers is the automatic stop guard which disen­
gages the power when the hand of the operator strikes the guard.
The ribbon or apron feeds are not adequate safeguards, as there is
nothing to prevent a thoughtless or reckless operator from feeding
over the apron and getting her hands dangerously close to the rolls.1
The girls who receive the ironed pieces for folding, in the majority
of cases, were standing to do their work, though here, too, there is no
reason why the work could not be done in a sitting position, if stools
or chairs were always provided. As the name “ receiver” or “ folder”
indicates, the essential features of the occupation involve only the
receiving and folding of the goods that come from the last roll of the
flat-work ironers. As the rolls are running toward the folders, there
is no danger of getting the fingers crushed, but in all the types of
machines, they get the added heat of the ironed and steaming linen
constantly traveling toward them, which results in raising the gen­
eral average temperature for the folders 2J° above that in the work­
ing zone of the feeders, where the clothes are handled in a wet but
not a hot state. When sheets and tablecloths, or any other “ big”
flat-work pieces are “ speeded” through the large machines it is often
necessary for the receivers and folders to wear gloves to protect the
fingers from the hot linen.
As the damp linen passes through any of these machines, but par­
ticularly as it passes through the large fiat-work ironers, great clouds
of steam rise and are diffused about feeders and folders, and fre­
quently throughout the whole room, unless there is an adequate ex­
haust system to draw off the steam and excessive heat generated by
these combination driers and ironers. Because of the extent of heatradiating surface involved, the number of machines with two or more
rolls shown in the foregoing table becomes important.
1 In one Milwaukee laundry an operator was observed to be ignoring entirely the fact that such an
apron made it unnecessary for her to put her hands into danger, for she was feeding directly into the
roll.




54

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

That all the flat-work ironers should be equipped with exhaust
systems was recognized by the subcommittee heretofore mentioned
as recommending to the Wisconsin Industrial Commission rules for
safety and sanitation in laundries. In this connection the suggested
rules read: “ Wherever flat-work ironers are operated, the room must
be provided with an exhaust fan of sufficient capacity to draw out the
excessive steam or heat which arise.”
The proper placing of machines with reference to exhaust fans or
other air currents, and especially with reference to other heat-radiating
machines, has so much to do with the atmospheric conditions, not only
in the working zones of operators but in the room at large, that the
following table has been constructed on the basis of advantageous
placing and adequately equipping with exhaust systems. A flat-work
ironer may be equipped with an exhaust of reasonable capacity for
that machine, but the ironer may be so placed that it draws the heat
and humidity of a neighboring machine and overtaxes what would
otherwise be adequate ventilating equipment.
The table shows some remarkable ranges in temperature and humid­
ity, in view of the outdoor atmospheric conditions prevailing at the
same time. What the table does not show is the significant fact that
in one case there was a range of from 78° to 95° in the working zones
of flat-work ironers in the same room at the same time when the out­
door temperature was 75°. This was a striking example of the im­
portance of intelligent placing of machines, for these two machines
were not over 8 feet apart. The machine showing the lower temper­
ature was really the greater heat radiator, but it was so placed that
the folders got all the benefit of the air current, while the feeders of
this machine got none, and worked in a temperature of 94° as com­
pared with 78° on the folders’ side. Furthermore, the heat and
humidity were carried by the air current directly on the operators
of the other machine, whose folders and feeders both worked in a
temperature of 95°. To add to the discomfort, the exhaust pipe
which was supposed to carry the humidity off from the washing
machines to the outer air was so placed that the moisture was drawn
upon the operators of the flat-work ironers.
Of course, the floor space and endurance and the shafting possi­
bilities restrict the opportunities for an advantageous distribution of
these big machines, but as far as such factors will permit, the recom­
mendations of the Wisconsin subcommittee on laundry safety and
sanitation deserve careful consideration. These recommendations
read:
Where practicable, all machines throwing off heat should be so
placed that the heat of one machine is not thrown on the operator
of another machine.



55

E M PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

TEM PERATURES AND HUMIDITIES IN THE OPERATING ZONE OF F LA T-W O R K
IRONERS.

Flat-work ironers well placed and well equipped.1
Temperature (degrees F.) and humidity.

Type of machine.

Records in operating zone.2

Number Number
of chests of ma­
or cylin­ chines
near
ders.
which
records
were
taken.
f

1

I

5
6

Steam chest.................................
Steam chest and steam cylinder.

5

Average
temper­
ature.

2
1
2
1

72.5
72.0
72.8
75.0

Corre­
Temper­ sponding Humid­
ature
ity
humid­
range.
range.
ities.

71-74
70-74
69-75
74-76

5G-47
48-47
51-44
40-38

47-56
47-48
44-51
38-40

Corre­
sponding
temper­
atures.

74-71
74-70
75- 5 {72
76-74

Flat-worJc ironers not well placed or not well equipped,4
1
2
4
5
6
1
2
3
5

Steam chest.
Steam cylinder............................ /
I
Steam chest and steam cylinder. /
I

7
2
1
4
5
2
2
2
1

78.3
75.5
88.0
85.1
71.2
76.8
80.3
78.8
76.5

73-86
72-80
87-89
75-95
74-86
74-82
69-94
71-86
75-78

40-36
57-54
34£-33£
55-32
62-37
50-31
68-41
56-39
48-46

34-57
50-59
33J-34J
32-55
37-62
31-52
44-68
35-58
46-48

80
73-77
89-87
695-75
86-75
82-76
94-69
84-74
78-75

Flat-work ironers well placed and well equipped.1
Temperature (degrees F.) and humidity.
Corresponding out-

Corresponding rccords in room at large.
Type of machine.
Average
temper­
ature.

f
Steam chest................................. |
I
Steam chest and steam cylinder.

70
70
74

Corre­
Corre­
Corre­
Temper­ sponding Humid­ sponding Temper- sponding
ature
ature
ity
humid­
temper­
humid­
range.
range.
range.
ities.
atures.
ities.
8-70
70
70-78

(6)

0-68

68
68-46

68-«
68
46-68

70- 8
70
78-70

51-68
52
65-51
45

75-47
30
30-75
55

46-75
46-66
64
61-75
49-64
54
59-75
37-54
65

72-60
72-49
31
61-60
61-31
35
68-60
68-48
43

1

Flat-work ironers not well placed or not well equipped,5

Steam chest.
Steam cylinder.......................
Steam chest and steam cylinder.

74.8
70.5
86.0
80.8
75.0
74.0
78.5
72.5
78.0

64-85
64-77
86
74-85
74-86
74
72-85
70-78
78

43-47
43-63
42
58-47
58-39
58
46-47
90-67
59

46-57
43-63
42
47-58
58-39
58
47-46
67-90
59

78-80
64-77
86
85-74
74-86
74
85-72
78-70
78

1 The total number of well-placed and well-equipped ironers in all laundries was 6.
2 The records were taken on the feeders’ and on the folders’ side of the flat-work ironer.
3 Temperatures for different machines having maximum humidity shown in preceding column.
4 The total number of ironers not well placed and equipped in all laundries was 32.
5 The temperature near one machine was 92°, with humidity 54.
• Not reported.




56

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

In the case of the combination steam chest and cylinder flat-work
ironers (pi. 5) and in two of the exclusively steam-chest construction
the folders work under the additional handicap of the heat radiated
by the last steam cylinder or chest, which is above rather than beneath
the padded, and hence somewhat protecting surfaces. In only one
case were the feeders affected by this transposition of steam chest
and padded roll.
Washing, extracting, shaking or tumbling, combined drying and
ironing, and folding complete the laundering process for flat work.
B O D Y L IN E N

IR O N IN G .

Starching.

The course of body linen through the laundry is much the same
as that for flat work up to and including the extracting process.
From the extractor such body linen as must be starched is sent to
the starching division, where the work is done both by hand and
machine in the Milwaukee laundries.

If the essentials of operation are taken as a basis for classifying
types of starching machines, there are three distinct groups used in
Milwaukee power laundries, viz, (1) those requiring only to be loaded,
started, and stopped; (2) those requiring “ feeding,” and (3) those
requiring feeding and foot-treadle operations.
The first group make no constant operating demands other than
are involved in loading and unloading the machine. In the table
(p. 58) these machines have been described as requiring only “ at­
tendance.” While there were four styles of such machines aside
from the starch extractor, the prevailing devices were the “ brass
pan” machines. Of 23 starchers requiring attendance only, 15
were of this construction.
These machines are hot, but as the attendant is not confined to
the immediate vicinity of the machine while it is in operation, but
only when loading and unloading, no temperatures are given in the
tables for the “ working zones.”
The starch extractors—used to eliminate excess starch from gar­
ments done by hand or on machines where there is no regulation of
amount to requirements—are classed among the machines requiring
“ attendance” only. For while such machines are equipped with foot
treadles, pressure is exerted only to bring the whirling interior basket
to a standstill when the process of extracting is completed. The
machines are built on the principle of the water extractors (see p. 49),
but are not run at such high speed.
The essentials of operation in the second group of machines are
feeding the machines and wiping off excess starch. There were 19
machines of this type. Eighteen of them were known as “ collar



PLATE 6.— BAND STARCHER W IT H FOOT
TR EAD LE.




PLATE 7.— BOSOM STARCHER.

EM PLOYM ENT OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWEE LAUNDBIES.

57

rolls.” One girl feeds the collars into the machine and another girl
at the opposite side of the machine receives them and “ wipes off”
the excess starch, usually with a bone implement. All of the girls
operating these machines stood at their work, though, as in the
case of a number of other machines, there was no feature of the
work that apparently would be impaired if the operators sat.

The other machine of the second group was a brass pan containing
a perforated top, over which the garment was placed and through
which the starch w forced by power, the flow being regulated by
^as
a hand lever. The essential of operation, however, was placing the
article 011 the machine and then rubbing in and wiping off the starch.
In the third group of machines are all those types which require the
use of foot treadled as an operating essential. There were three of
such types and 15 machines in all. Of these, 10 were known as
band rolls, 4 were bosom rolls, and 1 a brass pan with perforated
surface like the one described under the second group, except that
the starch was forced through the perforations by the use of a foot
treadle instead of by power.
Plate 6 illustrates the prevailing foot-treadle starching machine.
The parts of the garpaent to be starched are fed between two rolls,
the lower one of which is constantly supplied with hot starch from the
starch pan. Pressure on the foot treadle exerted in a slow treading
motion brings the two rolls together with sufficient force to work the
starch thoroughly into the fabric. The character of the operation
necessitates a standing position. The amount of pressure required on
these band starchers ranged from 12| to 55 pounds. In the case of
the bosom starchers (see pi. 7) the pressure ranged from 28 to 65
pounds.
The following table shows the prevailing groups of starching
machines, the essentials of operation and, in the case of foot-treadle
devices, the number of pounds pressure required, the height of
treadles from the floor, and the distance driven in the course of
operations.




58

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

ESSENTIALS OF OPERATION

OF STARCHING MACHINES USED IN M ILW AUKEE
POW ER LAUNDRIES.

[Of the 31 laundries studied, 29 had starching machines.]
Foot treadles.

Essentials of
operation.

Num­ Height and distance treadle moves
Pounds pressure
ber
(in inches).
required.
of
Types of machines ma­
requiring specified chines
Distance
Num­
operation.
of
Height.
Num­
moved.
ber of
speci­ ber of
trea­
fied
trea­
dles Range. Aver­
types.
dles
age.
re­
report­ Range. Aver­ Range. Aver­ port­
ed.
age.
age.
ed.

(Brass pan..............
Cylinder................
Barrel....................
Dip wheel.............
Extractor 2............
(Collar roll..............
Feeding and wip­
*Perforated surface
ing.
pan.
Bosom (roll).........
Feeding and foot Band (roll)............
treadle
pres­ ' Perforated surface
sure.
pan.

Attendance (load­
ing, starting,
stopping, and
unloading).

15
1
2
5
7
18
1
4
10
1

0)
(i)
(l)
(i)

5

6-12

9

2-9

2
6
1

2£-3
1-3
1

21
2£

2-2 £

*1

6 25-100+ 3 58.5

2i
1*

2
8
1

28-65
12J-55
36

46.5
27.3

1 No foot treadles.
2 Foot treadle pressure is used on the extractor only to bring basket to a standstill.
8 Exact average not computable because the exact pressure for machines requiring more than 100 pounds
was not obtained.

The subjoined table shows the records for temperature and humid­
ity in operators’ working zones for such starching machines as require
more than mere attendance. For the purpose of comparison there
are also given the records for the room at large and for out doors.
This table contains further evidence of the effect of careful placing of
machines. The starch machines were hot, but there were some so
placed that the operators were working in less heat than prevailed in
the room at large. The humidities, however, were higher in the work­
ing zone of the larger group of machines. The explanation is found
in the fact that hot ironing machines, usually present in the starching
rooms, do much to dry out the air, while in the immediate vicinity
of the starchers the humidity is increased by the vapors from the hot
starch.
In a few cases the starching machines were so close to the “ driers”
as to effectively reduce the humidity in the working zone of the
operators.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

59

TEM PERATURES AND HUMIDITIES IN THE W ORKING ZONES OF STARCHING
MACHINES, REQUIRING MORE THAN MERE ATTENDANCE, IN M ILW AUKEE PO W E R
LAUNDRIES.
[Machines requiring attendance only are not included in this table because workers stand near machine
only while loading and unloading machine.]
Temperature (degrees F.) and humidity.

Types of machines.

Collar roll.....................................
Perforated surface pan................
Bosom roll...................................
Neckband roll.............................

Number Number
of ma­
of ma­
Records in operating zone.
chine
chines
temperar
of
specified
tures
Cor­
Cortypes. reported. Average Tempera­ respond- Humid­ respond­
tempera­
ture.
ing
ity
range. tempera­
humid­
ture.
range.
tures.
ities.
18
2
4
10

15
2
2
10

77.4
81.0
79.5
78.3

68-89
74-88
75-84
74-84

54-43
43-38
48-47
37-47

39-66
38-43
48-47
35-57

73-75
88-74
75-84
80-80

Temperature (degrees F.) and humidity.
Corresponding out
door.

Corresponding records in room at large.
Types of machines.
Cor­
Average Temperar respond­
tempera­
ture
ing
ture.
humid­
range.
ities.
Collar roll....................................
Perforated surface pan................
Bosom roll...................................
Neckband roll.............................

77.6
81
78
78

78-86
78-84
76-80
76-80

46-39
46-35
45-57
45-57

Cor­
Cor­
Humid­ respond­ Tempera­ respond­
ture
ing
ing
ity
range. tempera­ range.
humid­
tures.
ities.
48-41
35-46
45-57
30-57

70-80
84-78
76-80
78-81

65-75
65-75
31-66
31-66

30-60
30-60
69-f49
69-49

Drying.

Drying in the modern laundry is done entirely with mechanical
devices. The shirts, collars, or other articles of body linen are hung
upon racks that are pushed or automatically drawn into sectional
hot-air chambers which are kept at a temperature of from 300° to 350°.
The device is so constructed that little heat escapes except as the
doors are opened and shut. As a rule, the girls doing the starching
hang up their pieces on the drier and remove them when dry. Except
for this the machine requires no attention from the women.
Dampening.

The clothes were dampened on machines of two types, the operation
of neither of which required more physical exertion than was involved
in feeding collars and cuffs into the rolls, or passing the garments
through the sprays. In Milwaukee laundries, 27 of the 32 machines
were of a single type. The attendance upon this machine involves so
much moving about that sitting while at work is not practicable.
On the collar and cuff dampener, of which there were four, however,
the feeders could, and did sometimes, sit at their work. On the shirt



60

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

dampener, which is also of the roll variety, the height of the machine
was such that girls could not sit while at work except upon a high
stool.
Collar and cuff ironing.
Collars and cuffs are ironed on machines of various styles, all of
them, however, being built on the general principle of the steamcylinder flat-work ironers described on pages 50-56. There were 24
collar and cuff ironers in Milwaukee’s 31 power laundries. Eighteen
of them were of the large padded-roll type with small heated cylinders.
Of the 18 machines of this type there were 11 which were equipped
with three heated cylinders, six with one, and one with two hot
cylinders. The one-cvlinder machines having the heated surface
under the padded roll do not especially need heat deflectors. The
two and three cylinder machines, however, do need heat deflectors,
as the heated surfaces are exposed either on the feeders’ or folders’
side. In other words, of the 18 machines of this type in use, 12
require heat guards. The table on page 61 shows that only four
were so equipped.
The second type of machine has the large steam cylinder beneath
small padded rolls, and is to that extent shielded. There were
but two of these machines in Milwaukee laundries.
The combined large and small heated cylinders and small padded
rolls (illustrated in pi. 8) require heat guards as they have an
exposed cylinder on the feeders’ side. Two of the four machines of
this type found in Milwaukee laundries were without heat deflectors.
The temperatures in the immediate vicinity of nearly all the collar
ironers were so obviously affected by their positions in the various
laundries as to obscure the records showing effect of heat guards.
For example, machines with heat guards were in some instances so
badly placed with reference to other hot machines that the temper­
atures about the operators were higher than about the operators of
some other machines not equipped with heat deflectors but so placed
that the women got the benefit of the currents of air from fans or
other ventilating devices. Of two similarly constructed machines
equally well placed, however, it is obvious that the one having the
heated cylinders covered with nonconductive material will be more
comfortable for the operators.
The essentials of operation in connection with all these collar and
cuff ironers consist in feeding and receiving, though in nearly all
cases there was but one girl at a machine, as the finished articles
were allowed to drop into a receptacle on the receiving side. The
operators can, and in some cases do, sit while at work.
Where there are no accident* guards there is the same danger of
getting the fingers caught between the rolls as in the flat-work ironers,
but because of the smaller size of the rolls the accidents resulting are



PLATE 8.— COLLAR AND CUFF IRONER W IT H COMBINED SMALL AND LARGE H E A TE D CYLINDER.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

61

not so likely to be fatal. The tentative rules and regulations of the
Wisconsin Industrial Commission provide that—
All collar and cuff ironers must be equipped with guards in front
of the first rolls to prevent the hands of the operator from being
drawn into the rolls.
The following table shows the number and kind of collar ironers
found in Milwaukee power laundries and the number equipped with
heat deflectors and accident guards.
ACCIDENT AND HEAT GUARDS ON COLLAR IRONERS USED IN 24 M ILW AUKEE POW ER
LAUNDRIES.
Guards.

Type of machines.

Small heated cylinder and
large padded rolls.
Large heated cylinder and
small padded rolls.
Combined large and small
heated cylinders and
small padded rolls.
Total.........................

Num­
ber of
heated
cylin­
ders.

r

I

l

Num­
ber of
ma­
chines Num­
in use. ber of
ma­
chines
having
guards.

I

6
1
11

l

2

2

15

1
8
1

4

il

24

Finger.

Character of
guards.

Gear
wheel.

Belt.

Num­ Num­
ber of ber of
ma­
beltchines driven
having ma­
guards. chines.

Heat.

Num­ Num­ Num­
ber of ber of ber of
ma­
ma­
ma­
chines chines chines
having requir­ having
ing
guards. guards. guards.

Converging bars.
Bar.....................
Bar, roll, or con­
verging bars.
Converging bars.

2
1
8

6
1
9

1 None.
1
1
3
11

2

1

1 None.

....... do.................

3

3

1

4

2

16

20

7

16

6

16

1
3

i One machine not included, had a steel plate over which linen is fed, which serves as a slight guard to the
fingers.

Collar finishing.

After collars come from the ironers they are shaped and otherwise
finished on a variety of finishing machines, none of which except the
wing tipper call for more physical exertion than is involved in the
occupation of “ feeding.” None of these machines radiate any con­
siderable amount of heat, nor does the operation of any of them
entail risk of serious accident. Most of the operators were standing
though not because of the operating requirement. The machine
found most often in Milwaukee laundries both dampened the seams
(so the starched fabric would not be cracked or broken in process of
bending) and shaped the collars.
Machine pressing.

Starched body linen, other than detached collars and cuffs, is
sent from the dampeners to the press-machine operators. Shirts or
other garments with attached cuffs are first put into the cuff, neck­
band, and yoke presses. The part of the garment to be pressed is



62

BU LLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

placed oyer a shaped and padded press bed. By the operation of a
foot treadle a steam-heated brass plate, constructed to fit the press
bed exactly, is clamped down on the yoke, cuff, or neck, as the case
may be. The accompanying illustration (pi. 9) shows the structure
of these machines.
In each case the hot press is “ clamped” onto the press bed,
released, the cuff turned, the press again clamped. When the treadle
is once down, the operator is free to put the yoke or other cuff onto
the second bed, by which time the first is ready to be taken out. The
height of the “ clamping” treadles from the floor ranged from 4 to
12 inches in the machines studied. The first few inches they were
driven down with little difficulty. When they struck the “ knuckle,”
over which they must be forced, the scale showed a pressure require­
ment ranging to more than 100 pounds, with averages of from ap­
proximately 66 to 82 pounds. The treadles by means of which the
presses are released, or raised from the beds, did not always require
so much pressure, as will be seen by the table on page 64. The num­
ber of operations per minute is determined by the number of garments
done per hour, the condition of the machine, and the efficiency of the
operator. Each cuff is turned at least once, which involves clamping
the press down twice and releasing it twice, making four foot-treadle
operations for each cuff, or eight for each shirt.
There are three other styles of machines constructed and operated
upon the same principle as the cuff, yoke, and neckband presses.
These are the sleeve and collar presses and the wing collar tipper,
which is a device for bending and pressing the points of men’s standup collars. It should be remembered that all these press machines
are not only controlled, but are driven by foot power. The ease or
difficulty with which the treadles in all such machines are operated
depends upon the extent to which the clamp has been tightened. It
was the custom in Milwaukee laundries to permit the operators to
adjust these clamps, and as many of the girls believed that only by
great pressure could proper finish be secured, there were many cases
of a pressure requirement far exceeding the needs of the garment
and materially increasing the “ jar” incident to the operation.
The other type of press machines was power driven, but was con­
trolled by either treadles or hand levers. It was significant, however,
that in some cases the treadle required as much as 60 pounds pressure
to operate. In these cases the high pressure was undoubtedly due
to the fact that the machines were in bad repair.
The individual machines of this type were the bosom press ma­
chines, 9 of the 26 being controlled by treadles and 17 by hand
lever, and a skirt press which was operated with foot treadles. The
press and press beds are constructed on the same principle as the



PLA TE 9.— NECKBAND AND YOKE PRESS.




PLATE 10.— BOSOM PRESS W IT H FO O T-TR EA D LE CONTROLLER.

EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

63

foot-driven machines, but the nature of the garments to be treated
calls for a larger heated surface.
Machines of both types (except hand-controlled bosom presses)
are equipped with two treadles, which would permit operators to
alternate the right and left foot in the course of operations. As a
matter of fact, however, the girls in Milwaukee laundries were
observed to be using one foot, if not to the exclusion of the other, at
least much more than the other. Plate 10 is a fair illustration of the
prevailing style of power-driven press.
Only 22 of the 31 power laundries in Milwaukee used press machines at
the time of this study. The table following shows the number and
character of press machines found in Milwaukee, together with the
essential operating requirements for each style. The demands of
these machines are such that the workers must stand to perform
their duties.
The footnote to the table in reference to the number of cuff, yoke,
and neckband presses should not be overlooked. A great many of
these presses have double press beds or saddles, but as each press
bed is equipped with a set of treadles and involves the same foot
operation as if the beds were separate, the basis of the count was the
number of presses rather than the number of press frames or supports.
The latter part of the following table showing records for tempera­
ture and humidity gets its especial significance from the operating
requirements of the foot treadles shown in the first part of the table.
It is noteworthy that the humidity in the working zones of these
machines is in many cases not as high as in the room at large, though
the temperature is frequently so high as to render the attending
humidity more discomforting.1
1 For relative temperature and humidity conducive to comfortable working conditions see physician’s
statement, p. 23.




64

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
OPERATING DEMANDS OF PRESS MACHINES IN 22 M ILW A U K E E PO W E R
LAUNDRIES.
Foot treadles.
Height of treadle and distance
moved.

Num­
ber of
speci­
Type and name of machine. fied
Function
ma­
chines. of treadle.

Power-driven presses:
Hand-controlled bosom
press.
Foot-controlled bosom
press.
Skirt press.......................
Total.
Foot-driven presses:
Cuff press...............
Neckband press___
Yoke press..............
Sleeve press............
Wing collar tipper.
Collar press.............
T otal.

17

Height
(inches).

Pressure required.

Distance
moved
(inches).

Num­
ber
of
trea­
Av­
dle Range er­
pres­ (lbs.). age
sures
(lbs.).
re­
port­
ed.

2%

10- 60
15- 55

Num­
ber of
treadle
heights
A v­
re­
Avported Range,
Range. er­
age.

None........
C Starting
l.
[2. Release,
fl. Starting
[2. Release.

2-6
2-6

2
2

1

-

1-6'
2
2

33.1
26.6

6.0
6.0

27
1. Clamp..
[2. Release,
1.
124 L C lam p.,
2. Release,
1. Clamp.
1 23 \2. Release
1. Clamp.
.2. Release
1.
4 ,2. Clamp.
Release
1. Clamp.
,2. Release

14
5

1
2

1

4 -10
1i -

2 -1 0

i-n

8j

4^-12
1 -10
4J-12

4 -10

6J- 7
4

2- S
i
2b 4
£
5
1
4
2h

1 -10

51-7h

3-p
4
i

1 -10
-10

4

1-9

5J- 6*

66.6
13-100
5-100
37.7
23-100 283.3
10-100 255.5
27-100 2 81.7
44.4
13- 85
100 100.0
90-100 2 95.0
1&- 89
60.5
46.3
24- 77
85.0
85
10.0
10

108

1 The basis of the count is the single press machine; wherever two or more pressbeds are mounted on one
stand they are counted as two or more machines.
2 The exact average can not be computed, as the exact pressure of machines requiring more than 100 pounds
was not obtained.




65

EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.
OPERATING DEMANDS OF PRESS MACHINES IN 22 M ILW AU KEE PO W E R
LAU ND RIES—Concluded.
Foot treadles.

Temperatures (degrees F) and humidity.

Treads per minute.

Records in operating zone.

Type and name of machine.
Num­
ber of
opera­ Range.
tors re­
ported.

Power-driven presses:
Hand-controlled bosom
press.............................
Foot-controlled bosom
press.............................
Skirt press.......................
Foot-driven presses:
Cuff press.........................
Neckband press..............
Yoke press.......................
Sleeve press.....................
Wing collar tipper..........
Collar press......................

Num­
ber of
ma­
Aver­ chine
tem­
age.
pera­
tures
re­
ported.

Aver­
age
tem­
pera­
ture.

Corre­
Corre­
Tem­ spond­ Humid­ spond­
pera­ ing huing
ity
ture
tem­
midi- range.
range.
pera­
ties.
tures.

17
9

0)
C)
1

71-88

49-35

18 -62

72-74

79.3
79.0

73-86
79

53-39
37

27^-60
37

81-78
79

}

52

76.0

66-90

39-34

34 -57

90-81

j-

23

78.0

70-89

}

20

77.3

71-89

48"{38 j-29 -59
5^ 3 8 j-29 -59

83-76

\
2
/
1
4
/
jNone.

73.0

73

57

57

73

76.5

70-SI

48-33

33 -66

81-75

(4

r 4-14
19 \ 4-14
/ 2-10
«18 I 2-10
22 i
I
1 I
I
4 1
I
1 {
\

78.1

9
1

i
4

1
4
1
4
1
1

8.0
7.1
5.6
5.1
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
1.0
1.0

83-76

Temperature (degrees F.) and humidity.

Corresponding records in rooms at large.

Corresponding
outdoor—

Type and name of machine.
Corre­
Corre­
Corre­
Tem­
Average
Tem­
sponding
sponding Humid­ sponding
tempera­ perature humidi­
ity
tempera­ perature humidi­
range.
ture.
range.
range.
ties.
tures.
ties.
Power-driven presses:
Hand-controlled
bosom
press..................................
Foot-controlled bosom press
Skirt press............................
Foot-driven presses:
Cuff press..............................
Neckband press...................

75.3
76.5
78.0

70-86
70-85
78

90-39
48-38
30

52-72
30-41
30

64-70
78-80
78

37-64
49-75
54

75.3
75.7

67-86
64-86

46-39
52-39

39-91
3-30

86-81
3-78

46-64

Yoke press............................
Sleeve press..........................
Wing collar tipper...............

75.5
70.0
75.5

3-86
70
70-78

3-39
48
48-30

3-30
48
30-58

3-78
70
V8-74

49
49-54

68-31
61-60
35
72-31

} 73~{eo
}

H 61
I
61-35

1 Treadles are operated about three times each every 2 minutes.
2 Whenever a neckband and a yoke press were being operated by one person, the count of treads per
minute on both machines has been included under the neckband press.
3 Not reported.

There is an obvious chance of getting the fingers caught between
the press bed and press, but in the case of the foot-driven machines
the pressure is entirely under the operator’s control, so there is no
danger of crushing. In the case of the power-driven bosom presses
93371°—Bull. 122—13------5



66

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF, LABOR STATISTICS.

the garment must be adjusted while the bed is swung out of the line
of the hot press.
In the nine establishments haying no press machines, the neck­
bands and cuffs were ironed on small hot-roll machines, illustrated
in plate 11, and similar in construction to the more universally used
body ironer, shown in plate 13. The operating demands of this type
of machine are discussed in connection with the “ body ironers/’ on
page 60.
Where bosom presses were not used the bosoms were also ironed
on hot-roll machines, but of a somewhat different construction, illusstrated in plate 12.
The last machines used in the process of ironing a shirt or similar
type of body linen are the “ sleeve ironer” and the “ body ironer.”
These are devices equipped with an upper power-driven cylinder, or
stationary shoe, and a lower padded roll of equal length but of
shorter diameter. The upper cylinder or shoe is heated by gas or
electricity and is about 12 inches long and 6 inches in diameter on
sleeve ironers and about 30 inches long and 7i inches in diameter on
body ironers. The lower padded roll, over which the garment is
drawn, is brought in contact with the upper ironing cylinder by
pressure on a foot treadle.1 After the sleeve of the garment has been
ironed on the sleeve ironer and the body on the body ironer it is
passed to the “ finishers,” who look for and remedy by hand iron
places which the several machines may have skipped. The garment
then goes to the inspector, and from her to the delivery department.
The description and illustrations show plainly enough the nature
of the body and sleeve ironing processes, but the demands made upon
operators by the body ironers and other similarly constructed foottreadle ironers deserve further attention.
There were 107 machines of the foot-pressure ironer type used in
the 31 Milwaukee power laundries at the time of this study. In the
case of all of them the amount of ironing pressure put on tlje garment
was determined by the degree of pressure exerted by the operator
upon the foot treadle. But while all foot-treadle ironers call upon
the operator for ironing pressure, there are three important varia­
tions in the operating requirements which mark these devices into
three distinct subdivisions. The variations in operating essentials
are caused by a variation in treadle equipment. This variation in
equipment is shown in the following reproductions of the three styles
of sleeve or body ironers, which are the conspicuous examples of foottreadle ironing machines.
The first group is made up of the single-treadle machines. A onetreadle machine involves the use of the same foot almost uniformly, in
order to keep a proper position before the rolls, and the amount of



i See plates 13 to 16.

PLATE 11.— BAND IRONER.




PLATE 12.— BOSOM OR COMBINED IRONER.

PLATE 1 3 —SINGLE-TREADLE IRONER.

PLATE 1 4 —TWO-TREADLE SLEEVE IRONER.




EM PLOYM ENT OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

67

pressure required renders standing a necessity. As the heated
cylinder revolves in but one direction, the pressure must be relaxed
frequently to permit the adjustment of the garment, a fact which
involves a slow but constant treading motion and swaying of the
body as the operator turns the garment in the process of ironing.
Of the 53 body ironers in Milwaukee laundries, 29 were of this single­
treadle, one-way* cylinder style. In addition to the 29 single-treadle
body ironers, there were 33 other foot-treadle ironing machines, not
body ironers, but of the same construction, as the table on page 70
will show, making a total of 62 one-treadle machines in the 31
laundries, the operation of which involved a rather uniform treading
motion by the same foot. The table below shows that some of the
treadles were nearly 12 inches from the floor in the case of the body
ironers, but less than 2 inches in case of some of the bosom ironers.
In 19 cases platforms were used to bring the treadle within easier
reach of the operator. In the tentative laundry rules and regula­
tions issued by the Wisconsin Industrial Commission (see pp. 29-31)
there is a recommendation that “ on all one-way, single-treadle, body
ironers the operator should be furnished with a platform which
should be the height of the foot treadle when at the lowest point.”
In the second group are the two-treadle machines, illustrated
in plate 14, showing the two-treadle sleeve ironer, and plate 15,
showing the two-treadle body ironer. All of these two-treadle
machines introduce a sharp variation into operating requirements,
in that the use of the second treadle breaks the uniform treading
motion incident to the operation of single-treadle machines. In
ail cases the use of the second treadle reverses the direction of the
cylinder revolutions. There are, however, two general styles of
double-treadle machines. On one style1 the operator removes the
foot from one treadle before using the reverse treadle, thus calling
for an entire shifting of the weight of the body. On the other style of
machine the operator must stand on the pressure treadle with one foot
at the time she is pressing the reverse treadle with the other foot; the
result of this arrangement of treadles eliminates much of the treading
motion necessary in the other two-treadle machines, but involves
another element of exertion to maintain the equilibrium when
operating two treadles at the same time. There were in all 35 twotreadle ironing machines used in Milwaukee laundries. Twenty-four,
including 10 body ironers, were of the style requiring a complete shift
from one foot to the other whenever the reversing treadle was used.
The other 11, including 8 body ironers, were so constructed that the
second or reverse treadle had to be used in conjunction with the
1 The sleeve Ironer of this style, which is not less exacting than the body ironer, is illustrated in plate 14.




68

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOK STATISTICS.

pressure treadle. Eight of the 35 machines of this group were sup­
plied with platforms to reduce the height of the treadle from the
operator’s standing level.
The third group of foot-treadle ironing machines are those equipped
with a sewing-machine style of treadle and involving a heel-and-toe
movement. A body ironer thus equipped is illustrated in plate 16.
It will be observed that this treadle is so placed that the operator
will ordinarily stand on the floor with the left foot and use the right
for operating. Pressure with the toe and ball of the foot forces the
shaft down and brings the rolls into contact. Pressure with the heel
reverses the travel of the rolls. There were 10 machines of this type,
including 6 body ironers. In three cases the operators used plat­
forms.
About the time that this investigation closed a fourth type of foottreadle machine appeared upon the market, but had not yet been
installed in any of the Milwaukee laundries, though one firm had
ordered a number of the machines and was preparing to install them
in place of the older type of machines. These were ironers, and also
presses, on which ironing pressure was supplied by compressed air.
The device was controlled by foot treadles (pi. 2), which required
only a slight pressure and which could be operated in either a standing
or sitting position, because there were two sets of treadles on each
machine, one set placed with distinct reference to the use of a stool,
the other set placed with equally distinct reference to a standing
position. As none of these machines were in operation in Milwaukee
laundries at the time of this study, no data are included concerning
them in the following table, which summarizes the essential oper­
ating demands made by the 107 foot-treadle ironing machines actu­
ally in use.
There is an important difference between the pressure requirements
of the press machines and the body ironers which is not revealed by
the tables. The foot-treadle requirements of the press machines
could be accurately determined because it was only necessary to
force the treadle until the press was clamped upon the press bed.
Upon the adjustment of this clamp alone depended the degree of
pressure applied to the garment, the operator’s foot not being required
on the treadle at all when once it was forced down. To determine
the pressure requirement, therefore, it was only necessary to impose
the scale upon the treadle and take the record when the operation
was complete.
Taking the records on the foot-treadle ironing machines was a much
more difficult matter, as the amount of pressure varied not only with
the character of the garment but with the idiosyncracies of operators.
No garment got more pressure than the operator put on the foot
treadle, nor for a longer time. The customary way of operating these



PLATE 1 5 —TWO-TREADLE BODY IRONER.

PLATE 16.“ SEWING-MACHINE TREADLE BODY IRONER.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

69

machines was to use the whole weight of the body, or nearly so, on
the treadle, as that was easier than to force the treadle down by pure
muscular exertion. To determine, therefore, how much pressure was
really required to do proper work, it was necessary to impose the
scale upon the treadles and force them down until the foreman or
inspector or operator said the garment being ironed was receiving the
proper finish, or until such garment compared favorably with gar­
ments which had passed muster. At that point the scale record was
taken in each case and the amount of pressure required, as shown in
the following table, will readily explain why using the whole weight
is the prevailing way of operating these foot-treadle ironing machines.
What was said with reference to the importance of temperatures
and humidities in connection with the operation of the foot-treadle
press machines is even more applicable in connection with these foottreadle ironing machines, because there is no time during the process
of ironing when the operator of the body ironer is not exerting some
pressure. The operator of the press machine gets some respite while
adjusting the garment, but the ironing-machine operator must keep
her foot on the treadle all the time. The greater the demand for
physical exertion the more important becomes the atmospheric con­
ditions. Therefore, the records for heat and humidity should not be
overlooked in the table following.




70

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
OPERATIN G DEMANDS OF 107 FOOT-PRESSURE IRON ERS

Type of foot-pressure iron­ Num­
ers and. movement in­ ber of
volved, and name of ma­
chines.
machine.

Pressure
exerted on
operating
treadle
(pounds).

Height of operating treadle
and distance moved.

Heated surfaces.

Distance
moved
(inches).

Num­
ber of
ma­
chines
with
speci­
fied
heated
sur­
face.

Num­
ber
hav­
ing
heat
de­
flec­
tor.

[Cylinder..

Height
(inches).

17

9

(Shoe.........
fCylinder..
5.0 \Shoe.........

12
9
4
e
c
8

Kind.
Aver­
Aver­
Range. age. Range. age. Range. Aver­
age.

Single
treadle—uniform
tread:
Body ironer..................

29

20-100

52.6 6 4-HJ

Sleeve ironer.................

13

15-100

45.6

Neckband ironer..........

12

19-90

Bosom ironer...............
Two
treadles—irregular
tread
on
operating
treadle with shift to re­
versing treadle:1
2
Body ironer.................
Sleeve ironer................
Neckband ironer.........
Two treadles—prolonged
depression of operating
treadle with simultane­
ous use of reversing
treadle:
Body ironer.................
Sleeve ironer................
Sewing-machine heel-andtoe movement:
Body ironer.................
Sleeve ironer................
Bosom ironer...............

8 1 25-63
1

10
12
2

33-100
30-75
35-40

7.7

2-9J

3-10

6.8

iH f

46.4 i<>3H0

5.7

2-7

46.9 io 1£- 4£

2.8

1 -4J

[Cylinder..
[Shoe.........
2.3 Cylinder..

64.2
52.0 “ I t l l
37.5
i»51

6.8 3£-n
6.0 I f - 9*
5.3
2£

6.0 Cylinder..
4.7 Cylinder..
2.3 Cylinder..

10
12
2

6
4
1

8.4 3J- 8f
6
6.0

5.8 Cylinder..
6.0 Cylinder..

8
3

4
2

7.3 2 - 7
5.4 2 i- 4
1
2.0

4.4 Cylinder..
3.1 Cylinder..
1.0 Cylinder..

6
3
i

2

8
40-80 61.0
3 H22-100 1 74.0
3
6
3
1

30-66
35-68
20

H -1 0 i

io 6

47.1 1 6 -10
0
54.3 io 4|- 6
2
20.0

5.4

4.8

4
1

1 Corresponding to temperature range recorded in operating zone.
2 Corresponding to temperatures in room at large shown in preceding column.
3 Corresponding to humidity range recorded in operating zone.
* Corresponding to humidities in room at large shown in preceding column.
6 Corresponding to outside temperatures shown in preceding eolumn.
6 27 treadle heights reported.
7 The records braced are for different establishments in which the minimum machine temperature
shown in column 13 was recorded.




E M P L O Y M E N T OF W O M E N I N M IL W A U K E E P O W E E L A U N D R IE S .

71

FOUND IN 29 M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES.
Temperature (degrees) and humidity.
Corresponding records in room at large.

Records in operating zone.

Num­
ber of A v­
ma­ er­
chine age Tem­
tem­ tem­ pera­
ture
pera­ pera­ range.
tures ture.
report­
ed.

Corre­
Corre­
spond­ Hu­ spond­ Num­
ing hu­ mid­ ing ber of
ity
tem­
midi­ range. pera­ rooms.
ties.
tures.

Aver­ Tem­
age
pera­
tem­
ture
pera­ range.1
ture.

Corre­
Corre­
Corre­
spond­ Hu­ spond­ Tem­ spond­
ing
pera­ ing huing hu- mid­
ity
ture
midi- rangeJ tem­
pera­ range.1 midities.a
ties.5
tures.4

’401
47-47 32-60

76-78

13

75.0

~)
(8

K8
)

48-47 12-49
47-29 29-55
51-42 27-51
38-77
48-43 42-48
33-56

75-84
83-75
75-71
70-70
77-83
71-71

9
7
4
5
5
5

75.4
75.1
72.5
71.8
77.2
75.4

64-86
72-80
70-86

52-39
46-44
42-39

^6i81
7

77.3 70-84
78.0 66-89
73.5 72-75

46-41 41-63
66-41 32-66
35-37 35-37

84-76
77-1
75-72

80.0
76.5
69.5

( 8)-8G
78-85
69-70

(8)-57
46-38
55-48

57-64
30-46
48-51

79.5 72-90
71.3 70-74

45-37 31-50
46-50 46-50

84-74
70-74

68.0

72.0

78-86
72

46-39
57

73.6 68-80
74.7 72-78
73.0
73

46-44 37-54
35-46 35-50
57
57

70-74
72-74
73

72.6
73.6
70.0

78-74
69-74
70

46-47
55-47

78.3 74-90
78.6
77.0
77.3
74.5
78.3
76.0

69-85
74-83
71-J
70-81
75-83
71-84

51*^
5,
4

'GfH-

Correspond­
ing outdoor—

48-47

70-74

30-91 78-81
44-(8) 80-(8)
39-90 86-9 70
46-(8) 67—
(8)
(8)-38 38-45 85-73
(8)-85
(8) 6 7 -0
{ I f } - 1 91 46—
0

6}-80
8
7

L
l
J

—
31
47,
37-73 68-58
59-61 68-54
37-64 68-31
66-75

49-60

80-78
78-78
70-69

31-66
65-75
48-49

69-49
30-60
73-61

30-48
57

7&-70
72

65-64
31-

30-31
69-68

55-46
55-46

69-78
69-78
70

65-54
48-54
62

30-54
73-54
54

68

8 Not reported.
9 For physician’s statement in regard to unfavorable temperatures and humidities sec page 23.
1 Height of treadle on one machine was not reported.
0
1 Pressure needed to operate one machine was not reported.
1
1 The figures are given for operating treadles only; the reversing treadles were on the whole less exacting
2
in their demands.
1 The exact average pressure can not be computed, as the exact pressure on treadles requiring more than
3
100 pounds was not obtained.




72

BU LLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

There is little or no danger of fatal accidents on these foot-treadle
ironing machines, as the rolls are not large or heavy and the degree
of pressure is under the control of the operators. There is, however,
some danger of burning and pinching the fingers, but on none of these
machines in Milwaukee were there finger guards.
There is a considerable heat-radiating surface, especially on the
body ironers, which obviously requires some sort of heat deflector as
the operator stands with the face within a short arm’s length from
the hot cylinder. That there were a number of the machines without
these heat guards the foregoing table will show.
Paddle fans placed above the body ironers and other foot-treadle
machines tend to reduce the fatigue occasioned by their operation.
Where the cylinders of ironing machines are heated by gas there
is an obvious necessity of keeping the jets in good repair as a guard
against hurtful fumes. On the subject of foot-treadle press and
ironing machines the tentative rules of the Wisconsin Industrial
Commission read:
On all roll body ironers, the hot roll must be equipped with a heat
deflector which must be lined with nonconductive material. The
deflector must extend far enough down in front to deflect the heat
and prevent it from being thrown out toward the operator. On all
shoe body ironers, the shoe must be covered with nonconductive
material.

The proprietors and foremen of laundries should do everything in
their power to educate operators of cuff, neckband, and yoke presses
to use the minimum amount of foot pressure necessary to do proper
work. It has been found from careful experiments made by com­
petent laundrymen that 75 pounds is the maximum amount of
pressure necessary to do perfect work on any of the above-mentioned
machines. Additional pressure is, therefore, not only a waste of the
operator’s energy, but a needless wear on the machinery.
Hand ironing.

As heretofore indicated, the hand ironers are still a factor in power
laundries, as they “ finish” what the machines have left undone, and
frequently do pieces which can not be done at all by machines.
Those who do the fine handwork are naturally older and more expe­
rienced women. The “ finishing work” does not require great skill.
Aside from the difference in skill and the difference in the degree of
equipment, the demands of all hand ironing are much the same in
the power laundry as they are in the home, and call for no special
description.
After the inspector has passed the laundered linen it is assorted
into the proper lots, checked with the original lists, and wrapped for
delivery.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

73

R E C A P IT U L A T IO N OF OCCUPATIONS.

The successive occupations in Milwaukee power laundries were:
Marking (involving a sorting of soiled clothes), washing, extracting,
shaking, flat-work ironing and folding (involving drying), starching,
drying, dampening, body linen ironing and “ finishing,” inspecting,
assorting, and wrapping.
In this succession women were found almost exclusively as markers,
shakers, flat-work ironers and folders, starchers, dampeners, bodylinen ironers (or pressers), finishers, inspectors, assorters, and wrap­
pers. Men operated the washing machines and extractors and
usually controlled mechanical drying rooms (though the starchers
usually loaded the frames).
It will be observed from the descriptions, illustrations, and tables
in the foregoing pages that these machine occupations as performed
in the power laundries of Milwaukee varied greatly in the demands
made upon the operators. These differences were in all cases meas­
ured mechanically and are not the result of personal judgment. It
will not be disputed that on this basis the machines making the
largest demands are the foot-treadle press and ironing machines, and
chief among these are the body ironers.
HOURS OF LABOR AND EARNINGS.

In view of these differences in occupational demands a study of
the hours and earnings by occupations becomes more than ordinarily
significant.
HOU RS OF L A B O R .

During the time covered by this investigation the Wisconsin laws
limiting the working hours for adult women to 10 a day and 55 a
week, and to 8 a day and 48 a week for all minors under 16 had
gone into effect. Under the present law no minors are permitted to
do night work, and adult women are limited to 48 hours a week if
they work at night.
For reasons explained in the summary of this report, the working
hours do not fluctuate greatly with the seasons, though a holiday
may cause an increase in the daily hours for the rest of that week.
The average hours for the 26 weeks covered by the study did not
amount to 52 per week for all the establishments, nor did the aver­
age maximum week for the 31 establishments exceed 55 hours.
There were individual laundries, however, in which some workers
reported weeks of 60 working hours, and 9 of the 554 women report­
ing individual details gave maximum hours per day as in excess of
10, as the table at the end of this report will show. It may be said
that on the whole the working hours for women employed in the
31 power laundries of Milwaukee fell slightly below the limit allowed
by law.



74

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

The following table summarizing the industrial data concerning
women workers contains much matter for consideration:
SUMMARY OF HOURS AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EMPLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE
PO W E R LAUNDRIES.

Occupations.

Hand occupations:
Markers and sorters...................
Hand washers...........................
Shakers......................................
Hand starchers..........................
Hand finishers...........................
Fancy clothes ironers...............
Miscellaneous hand workers...
Machine
occupations
(powerdriven machinery):
Water-extractor operator.........
Starchers....................................
Dampeners................................
Flat work and collar ironer
feeders.....................................
Flat work and collar ironer
receivers..................................
Coliar-shaper operators.............
Bosom and shirt press operators
Machine occupations (foct-pressure
machinery):
Starchers....................................
Cuff, yoke, and neckband press
operators................................
Body and sleeve ironer opera­
tors..........................................
Neckband and bosom ironer
operators................................
Menders (machine)...................
Supervisory occupations:
Department heads....................
Totals and aggregate averages

Aver­
age
Num­
ber
dura­
Aver­ tion of
of
wo­
age employ­
men Aver­ laun­ ment in
in
age
dry, weeks
speci­ age. experi­ within
ence in period
fied
years. covered
occuby in­
tions.
vesti­
gation.

183
29
9
3 14
4 61
5 65
«8

71

8 38

3

Working hours.
Workers hav­
ing 2 or more
Aver­ short days.
age
hours
per
usual Num­ Per
day.
ber. cent.

62

21.5
40.0
28.0
26.6
28.9
30.5
28.6

4.4
2.9
1.5
4.4
4.9
7.3
2.5

24.7
24.7
19.3
23.1
25.1
23.8
25.4

25.0

5.5
4.1

28.0
24.1
21.3

10.0

2.1

10.0

33
3

22.2

18.0

9.7
9.9
10.0
10.0

9.9
9.9
9.6

9.9

6

7

12

56
50
7
1

Aver­
age
hours
per
week.

Aver­
age
earn­
ings
per
week

74.7
66.7
77.8
85.7
91.8
76.9
87.5

52.2
50.2
54.4
51.9
50.5
49.7
50.6

$7.18

100.0
86.8
100.0

55.0
50.3
50.0

8.25
6.30
5.50

7.15
5.02
6.01

7.15

8.02
6.20

9 55

19.7

2.5

24.4

9.9

54

98.2

52.5

5.54

10 45
12
11 22

18.9
20.7
22.9

1.7
4.4
5.0

20.6

9.7
9.8

37

82.2

12
22

100.0
100.0

52.7
49.8
50.6

5.03
6.29
6.92
6.10

24.7
23.8

10.0

1 16
2

20.8

3.5

23.9

9.4

15

93.8

50.5

1 21
3

18.4

1 .8

24.6

9.9

20

95.2

50.5

5.45

14 66

20.8

2.9

23.7

9.9

63

95.5

51.1

6.04

1512
4

36.3

20.2

3.4
5.0

25.9
26.0

9.7
9.8

11

91.7

49.9
50.3

6.42
6.31

10

32.4

11.8

26.0

9.7

6

60.0

52.4

11.47

554

23.8

4.1

24.0

9.8

481

86.8

51.2

6.58

4

100.0

1 Six of these workers are employed at power-driven machines part of the time.
2 Five of these workers are employed at power-driven machines or shaking part of the time.
3 All of these workers tend the dry room; 4 do other kinds of starching part of the time.
4 Three of these workers do other work, as cufi-prcss operating, mending, or starching, part of the time.
* Ten do dampening, 2 do mending, when necessary; 1 starches and feeds flat-work ironer part of the

time.
« Includes flannel steamers, stocking stretchers, helpers, and cleaners, all of whom do several kinds of
work.
7 This was the principal occupation of the women shown. Three other women operated water ex­
tractors, but not as their principal occupation.
♦ s All of these workers do some other work in the starch room, such as dampening, dry-room tending, or
operating other starch machines, part of the time.
s Twenty-three are employed at receiving or other machine work, usually light in character, part of the
time.
w Seventeen are employed at shaking, collar finishing, marking, and sorting or dampening part of the
time.
1 Thirteen do some dampening; 5 of these also operate foot-pressure machines.
1
1 Thirteen do hand starching cr ironing or operate other starch-room machines part of the time.
2
is Seven do some dampening.
1 Twenty-three are employed at other work part of the time, 7 do heavy machine or hand work, 3 tend
4
dry room, 7 dampen, and 2 operate moderate and light machines.
is Sevon do starching, dampening, hand ironing, or operate other heavy machines part of the time.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWEE LAUNDRIES.

75

It will be observed that the occupations have been grouped accord­
ing to the character of work done and, in case of machine operators,
on the principle underlying the classification of laundry machinery.
For example, all operators of foot-treadle machines, such as cuff
presses and body ironers, are grouped under one general head. The
operators of machines making less demands for physical exertion,
such as the flat-work ironers, finishing machine operators, etc., are
likewise segregated, as are also the light and heavy hand occupations.
The significance of the foregoing table develops upon comparing
it with the tables which show the demands of the several machine
occupations.1 The foregoing table shows that the hours for all
machine occupations (the water-extractor operator excepted) vary
less than three hours per week, while the occupational demands for
machine work vary from requirements of only such physical exertion
as is involved in attending or feeding a power-driven, unheated
machine, to the exactions of the foot-treadle, steam-press, and gasheated ironing machines, which involve continual standing and the
exertion of a foot pressure ranging to over 100 pounds for each opera­
tion, and frequently aggregating 100,000 pounds an hour.
Attention should sharply be called to the fact, however, that this
grouping shows a comparatively small proportion of laundry women
engaged on what the foot-pressure records mark out as fatiguing
machines. Out of 554 women workers scheduled there was a total of
123, or scarcely 23 per cent, operating exacting foot-treadle machines.
The other women, constituting three-fourths of the whole number
employed, were operating machines which the records show to be
making no unusual demands, or were engaged in hand occupations.
It is fair to say here, too, that when the one establishment in which
pneumatic treadles had been ordered on all foot-pressure machines
gets these devices in operation there will be a smaller proportion of
exacting foot-pressure occupations than the figures here show. At
the time of this study, however, there were 123 women reporting the
running of a foot-treadle machine as their principal occupation. The
question naturally arises as to whether the women are kept at the
same machine work all day, week in and week out, particularly when
such a machine makes a double demand upon the operator because
of foot-pressure requirement and the radiation of heat and humidity.
Careful questioning as to the interchange of occupations brought out
instructive reports.




1 See pp. 58,64,65, and 70.

76

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Of the 123 operating foot-treadle machines 51, or approximately 41
per cent, reported an interchange of occupations during the course of
an ordinary day’s work. The other 72 foot-treadle machine operators
kept steadily at their work all day long. The shift of occupations is
given in detail in the following table:
INTERCHANGE

OF OCCUPATIONS OF IN DIVIDUAL FOOT-TREADLE
OPERATORS DURING AN O R D IN A R Y D A Y ’S W ORK.

MACHINE

Other occupation.

Type of machine.

Principal
occupation.

Total
num­
ber
sched­
uled.

Num­
ber
hav­ Num­
ing ber of
other indi­
occu­ vid­
pa­
ual
tions. opera­
tors.

Character of occupation.

Heavy.

Moderate.

Dry room tender
Collar i r o n e r
feeder.

Body ironer___

13

Light.

Dampener.
Hand k e rchief fold­
er.

Hand starcher..
___d o................. Dry room tender Dampener.
Hand ironer.......
Hand ironer and Dry room tender
Do.
hand starcher.
Sleeve ironer___
Do.
Sleeve and neck­
b a n d ironer
and cuff, neek-

b a n d, a n d
yoke press op­
erator.
Flat work ironer,
fe e d e r , and
folder.
Foot-p r e s s u r e
ironers.

Sleeve ironer...

24

Neckband ironer.

Bosom press op­
erator.
Hand ironer____
Neckband ironer
and cuff press
operator.
Cun, neckband,
and yoke press
operator.
Hand ironer.......
Hand starcher.
— d o..............

Band

Bosom ironer..

P resses
driven).

(foot-

Cuff, neckband,
and yoke
press opera­
tors.^

starcher.

21

Do.

roll

Starch machine
attendant.
Collar roll starch­
er, and starch
m ach in o at­
tendant.

Do.
Do.
Do.

Hand ironer___
Do.
Cuff press opera­
Do.
tor and neck­
band ironer.
6 ............................................................
Do.
1 .............................1
.............................. Dampen er
and collar
shaper.

i As one operator uses two or more similar or different press beds in immediate succession, their opera­
tion is classed as one occupation.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

77

INTERCHANGE OF OCCUPATIONS OF IN DIVIDU AL FOOT-TREADLE MACHINE
OPERATORS DURING AN O R D IN A R Y D A Y ’ S W O R K —Concluded.
Other occupation.

Type of machine.

Presses (powerdriven with foot
control).

Principal
occupation.

Total
num­
ber
sched­
uled.

Num­
ber
hav- Num­
ber of
other indi­
occu­ vid­
pa­
ual
tions. opera­
tors.

8

Bosom press
operator.

1
1

1

•

1

6
j

1
1
1
1
1

Foot-p r e s s u r e
starchers.
B a n d r o ll
starcher op­
erator.

P e rfo ra te d
surface pan
starcher op­
erator.
Total..........

1

Heavy.

Moderate.

1

12

1
B osom r o ll
starcher op­
erator.

Character of occupation.

6

1

1

1

1
1
1

123

Light.

Dampened
Dry room tender
Collar roll starcher feeder.
Collar roll starcher? feeder and
wiper.
B a n d starcher Starch machine
operator.
attendant and
d ry room
lender.
Hand ironer.......
Hand ironer and
hand starcher.
Drvroom tender
vdo................
Dry room tender
and c o lla r
wiper.
Hand starcher
and starch ex­
tractor opera­
tor.
....... do................. Dry room tender
11and ironer.......
Dry room tender

Do.

51

•

i The second person also operated a foot-pressure ironer, but the kind of machine was not reported.

To the physicians invited by the Wisconsin Industrial Commission
to pass upon matters affecting the health of industrial workers, the
records of operating requirements on these machines were shown.
On the whole their opinions, which will be found on page 21 of
this report, furnish a strong argument in favor of a careful and dis­
criminating assignment and interchange of occupations, pending the
elimination of foot-pressure requirements, as a guard against the
health hazard involved in the operation of the foot-treadle machines
now in use. The ages of the operators of such machines are particu­
larly to be noted in connection with the statements of physicians.
A material obstacle in the way of this interchange is the sense of
proprietorship which girls sometimes feel in a certain machine and a
sense of resentment, as if a reflection had been cast upon them, when
“ their” machines are assigned to others. That this is not an insuper­
able difficulty, however, is shown by the fact that the girls do inter­
change occupations, as the foregoing table has shown.
While the difference in the aggregate weekly hours for women in
the several occupations is insignificant, there is quite a variation in



78

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

the “ busy days.” For example, good management can ordinarily
arrange so that a “ load” of soiled clothes is ready for the w ashmen
early Monday morning, but this is not true of work for ironers, as
clothes that were started in the washing process the previous week
must be “ run through” and delivered by Saturday night. Hence
the ironers and starchers come late on Monday. On the other hand,
there may be an accumulation of soiled clothes to be marked, and
there is sure to be a heavy inflow of bundles from the drivers to keep
the markers busy for the full period during the early days of the week.
In many establishments they spend the late hours of the afternoon
assorting clean clothes. During the latter part of the week, when
the soiled clothes have been pretty well “ marked in” for the week,
the markers spend more time assembling the clean clothes in the
proper lots for delivery. In one establishment only are the markers
confined exclusively to the business of marking. The ironers and
starchers, who come late Monday, are rushed Wednesday, Thurs­
day, and Friday in order to get the work out in time for delivery
Saturday. Nearly all the overtime reported during the time of this
investigation was reported by the ironers for Thursday and Friday.
Naturally the starchers come a few hours ahead of starched-clothes
ironers in the beginning of the week, and leave a little earlier at
the end.
W EEKLY

E A R N IN G S .

The average earnings for all of the 554 women individually sched­
uled in Milwaukee power laundries was $6.58 a week, as will be
observed from the table on page 74. The average for no occupation
fell below $5, and for none except for the heads of departments did
it rise above $8.25. For machine operators, with the exception of
the single operator of two water extractors, the average weekly
earnings ranged from $5.03 in the case of girls receiving ironed
pieces from the power-driven flat-work and collar machines to $6.92
in the case of women running the bosom ironers or presses, which
are also power-driven machines. It is significant that the operators
of the cuff, yoke, and neckband presses and of the body and sleeve
ironers, which are the foot-treadle machines shown by the records to
make excessive occupational demands, average $5.45 and $6.04 a
week, respectively. The significance lies in the fact that the earnings
of women operating such machines differ but slightly from those
running much lighter machines, in one instance the difference being
in favor of the lighter-running machines. If, therefore, earnings are
in any sense based upon degree of skill required, it would seem that
there was no good reason why there should not be such an interchange
of the machine occupations as would distribute the strain involved in
running the foot-treadle machines until such time as these trouble
makers can be entirely eliminated.



79

EM PLO YM EN T OP W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWEE LAUNDEIES.

The average age and averageyears of experience of women operating
the foot-treadle machines and of those running such light machines
as the collar shapers would likewise indicate approximately the same
degree of operating skill.
DURATION OF EMPLOYMENT.

The table on page 74, showing also the number of weeks of employ­
ment, indicate that while the earnings in Milwaukee power laundries
are not high, they are at least fairly steady, as the 554 women show
an average of approximately 24 weeks out of the 26 covered by this
investigation. As the six months are fairly representative of the
year’s work in the industry for reasons explained heretofore, it is
apparent that the fluctuations of trade do not cause an average loss of
more than one month in twelve.
RACE AND CONJUGAL CONDITION.

Nearly three-fourths of the women scheduled in Milwaukee po^er
laundries were either Polish or German, the Germans having only
five more representatives than the Polish. Only 90 of the 554 were
of American parentage. This is not surprising in view of the large
German and Polish population in Milwaukee.
The table below which summarizes the data as to race also shows
the number and per cent of each group that were single, married, or
divorced. It will be observed that the largest proportion of single
women were Polish. The largest proportion of married and divorced
in the three groups named were American; the Irish exceeded the
Americans in this particular, but their number was too small to make
the percentage significant.
RACE AND CONJUGAL CONDITION OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER
LAUNDRIES.

Single.

Married.

Widowed, di­
vorced, or de­
serted.

Total.

Race.
Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

German.................................................
Polish....................................................
American..............................................
Irish......................................................
Other nationalities1
.............................

174
198
74
17
27

84.1
97.7
82.2
81.0
79.4

17
3
11

8.2
1.5
12.2

6

Total...............................................

4S8

88.1

37

Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

17.7

16
3
5
4
1

7.7
1.5
5.6
19.0
2.9

207
202
90
21
34

37.4
36.5
16.2
3.8
6.1

6.7

29

5.2

554

100.0

1In this group are represented Freneh, English, Scotch, Bohemians, Roumanians, Slavonians, Syrians,
Austro-Hungarians, Greeks, Italians, Hebrews, Norwegians, Swedes, Welsh, and Dutch.




80

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

HOURS OF LABOR AND DURATION OF EMPLOYMENT AS REPORTED
BY EMPLOYERS.

The information from employers as to the industry’s activity, the
number of people employed in various seasons, etc., is summed up
in the following table and shows a substantial correspondence with
the returns from individual workers in matters of common report:
HOURS OF LABOR OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN MILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES
SEPT. 1, 1911, TO MAR. 1, 1912, AS R E PO RTE D B Y EMPLOYERS.
Busy sea­
son.

Normal season.
Estab- Num­
lish- ber of
men
ment em­
num­ ployed.
ber.

Dull season.

Maximum
Hours ol Average Average
hours of
usual day. short day. hours per hours per
week. Dura­
Dura­
Dura­
tion Hrs. tion Hrs.
per
tion
per
in week. in week.
16 Un­ 16
16 Un­ 16 Un­
16 Un­
weeks.
weeks. yrs. der yrs. Un­ yrs. der yrs. der weeks.
der
yrs. der To­
and 16 and 16 and 16 and 16
and 16 tal.
over. yrs. over. yrs. over. yrs. over. yrs.
over. yrs.
Number of
women
employed.

26

5
*

10

13 !

10

9
*

7*
7
1

10

6

9
1

3
1

26
21§ 10

5
*

10
118

21§2

5

<
9

10
10
9!

?

10

6

6
1
7*

10

9
1
10

55

26

7

26

12

26

10

26

110
\ 10

'no'

9

11

23

12

30
4

13

66

14

10

10

21§:

82

15

13
26 2

26

16

80

30

52
31 43* 38*
51
46
48
55
51*
53*
51"
52
521
53*
50
48
'54
55
55
52
52
52*
52*
51
51
53*
53*
50
50
52
53*
53i
50*
50j
49J
49*
52
52
53
53
51
51
45
*54}
*54*
55*
55*
51
51
55
55
48*
49*
4S
3
49§
55
50
50

513

26

8
f

7*

1 4 additional in busy season.
2 Working schedule varies according to occupation.

6
1

53*

5i
4
52

48

45

45

45
52
53*
50*
49*
52
53
51
45
54*
55*
51

5;
1

49*
51*
52*
51*
5H
54"
55

26 2

17

50*
53*
54*
52
43*
51
46
55
511
53*
51
52
52*
53*
50

5*
4

55
*5

10

10
10

50*
53*

48

49i
51*
52*
51*
51*
54
' 55
48

81 month within period (10 per cent increase in force).
« No short day, 1 long day of 10 hours.
* Frequently work overtime one-half hour or more, particularly on Fridays; 1 sorter sometimes 1 to 2
hours overtime on Saturday.
6 Occasionally, after a holiday.




EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

81

HOURS OF LABOR OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAU ND RIES
SEPT. 1, 1911, TO MAR. 1, 1912, AS R E PO RTE D B Y EMPLOYERS—Concluded.
Busy sea­
son.

Normal season.
Estab- Num­
lish- ber of
ment men
em­
num­ ployed.
ber.

3

Hours of Average Average Maximum
hours of
usual day. short day. hours per hours per
week. Dura­
week.
Dura­
Dura­
tion Hrs. tion Hrs.
per
per
tion
m week. in week.
in
16 Un­ 16 Un­ 16 Un­ 16 Un­ weeks.
16 Un­
weeks.
weeks. yrs. der yrs. der yrs. der yrs. der
yrs. der To­
and 16 and 16 and 16 and 16
and 16 tal.
over. yrs. over. yrs. over. yrs. over. yrs.
over. yrs.
Number of
women
employed.

18
19

4

18
13

20

2

22

21

8

22

3

23

4

24

1

25

1

Dull season.

43

18
13
1
1

1

26
26 1

23

26 i

44

26 i

10

/

1
0
[ io*

8

11
0
r*9i

8

26 i \ 9h

25

25

7

7

10
26 i {( 10
f 10
26 i
V 9
f 10
26 i
11
0
I 10
/ 10
26 i
I 10
f 9
9
26 i
I 1
0
26
26 i / io
I io
f io
10
26 i < 9
I 1
0
26
'*9*

12 .......

26

1

13

27

4

42

28
29

7
1

3
9

30

2

22

31

1

11

12
13

3

45
3
9

3

25
11

7*
6*

6

* 7

'"h i

*

7
8 .....

5
3

6*
5
6*
6|
6

J1
0

"io*

52
51
50
55
62J

?

1

3 28

27

6

I 1°
f 10

*‘ 49*
55
52
53
50
50*

46

43

51
50
55
53
53
54
55

?
?
5
8

40
50
54
. 51
50
51*
52

5
7

?
5

‘ *48*

46
*55*
54

” 46*

53k
52

5

8 .....

55
54

52
51
50
55
52*

**48*

*49*
55
52
53
50
50*
53*
52
51
50
55
53
53
54
55
40
50
54
51
50
51*
52

45

**48*

‘ *45*
43

4+
4+
4+
(2
)
(2
)
(2
)
9
9
9

55
52*
46

49*
55“
43

(4)
(4)

48

**45*

M*
54*
54*
64*
54*
(6)

51
50
51*
52
45

1 Working schedule varies according to occupation.
2 Summer busier, but only moderately so, increase 16 per cent in force.
3 About 18 per cent increase in force during summer months or “ white clothes season.”
* Holiday weeks, but no increase in force or lengthening of hours.
s Increase force about 12* per cent.
6 One or two operatives added around holiday season on account of increased business.

93371°—Bull. 122—13----- 6




8*
8A
8|

55
54
45

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

82

STATISTICAL DATA IN REGARD TO INDIVIDUAL LAUNDRY WORKERS.

The tabulation of the individual data relating to 554 women
laundry workers which follows has been arranged in occupational
groups because of the differences in the physical demands of the
various occupations pointed out in the summary and in the body
of the report:
AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LA U N D R Y EXPE R IE N C E, AND HOURS OF WORK:
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE PO W E R LAUNDRIES.
M ARKERS, LISTER S, SORTERS, AND CHECKERS.
Hours.

No. Age.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47

20
16*
17
17
21
18
17
17
17
22
18
16
16
19
17
27
21
20
18
18
21
23
18
28
19
16
24
20
18
19
17
21
22
18
19

2
0
21
19

2
0
18
23
19
20
25
20
23
20

Race.

American
Polish___
German..
American
French...
Polish—
German..
Polish___
German..
Irish.......
German..
. . .do........
American
Polish___
...d o ........
American
...d o ........
German..
Polish....
German..
American
German..
American
German..
American
Polish___
German..
French...
German..
.. .do........
American
German..
Irish.......
German..
American
German..
American
German..
American
German..
Polish___
American
Polish....
German..
...d o ........
...d o ........
American




Usual.
Con- Laun­
ju- dry
gal
con­ expe­
di­ rience
tion. (yrs.). Work­ Num­
ing
hours ber of
per short
days.
day.

M.
S.
S.
S.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
w.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
M.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

Maximum.

Av­
er­ Hrs. Hrs.
age per
per
hrs. day. week.
per
wk.

Other em­
ployment
Num­ oe tween
Earnings.
ber of Sept. 1,1911,
and
weeks
em­ Mar. 1,1912.
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
Total
earn­
Sys­ Week­ Aver­ 1911,
ings
age
to Num­ for
tem
ly
rate week­ Mar. ber of such
of
ly
of
wks. other
pay­
earn­ 1,
ment. pay. ings. 1912.
em­
ploy­
ment.

2 120
10
20 Time $3.00
11
59* ..d o.. 4.00
1 59*
2
51
10
51 ..d o.. 4.00
2
54
10
54 ..d o.. 4.50
1 55
55 ..d o.. 4.50
1
9*
2
54
10
54 ..d o.. 5.00
54 ..d o.. 5.00
2
54
94
52
52 ..d o.. 5.00
16
10'
2
48
10
50 ..d o.. 5.00
2^
2
50
10
50 ..d o.. 5.00
2
52
10
52 ..d o.. 5.00
2
2
49* ..d o.. 5.00
2
9*
50
10
50 ..d o.. 5.00
2
2
2
48
10
48 ..d o.. 5.04
3
51 ..d o.. 5.10
51
2
10
2
40
10
40 ..d o.. 5.25
2
10
52 ..d o.. 5.46
2 52
3T
%
2 54*
9*
54* ..d o.. 5.50
1 50
10
50 ..d o.. 5.50
3
10
4
2
46§
13
63 ..d o.. 5.70
10
2
50
10
50 ..d o.. 5.75
8
10
55 ..d o.. 5.85
1 55
9*
1T
\
9*
55 ..d o.. 6.00
10
2
55
10
3
15
10 None 40
10 2 40 ..d o.. 6.00
3
2
534
10
53f ..d o.. 6.00
t
30
2
56
10
56* ..d o.. 6.00
2
10
1 55
55 ..d o.. 6.00
3
9*
9*
94
4
1 54*
544 ..d o..
9*
4
9i
2 50*
10“
53* ..d o.. 6.50
2
54
10
54 ..d o.. 6.21
3
10“
1 3 49
49 ..d o.. 6.37
10
3
10
50
8*
50 ..d o.. 6.50
2
8*
54 ..d o.. 6.50
54
5
10
10
2
2
50
8*
50 ..d o.. 6.50
8*
2
55
10
55 ..d o.. 6.60
10
It6
*
55 ..d o.. 6.55
1 55
9*
9*
55
10
55 ..d o.. 6.60
2
10
5
53 ..d o.. 7.00
2
53
9*
9*
9
48 ..d o.. 7.00
3
48
9
3
9
48
9
48 ..d o.. 7.00
1 55
9*
55 ..d o.. 7.00
3
9*
10
53 ..d o.. 7.00
3
10
53
55 ..d o.. 7.15
55
10
10
2
54* ..d o.. 7.00
3
1 54*
9*
9*
53*
10
5
534 ..d o.. 7.00
10
2
9
10
2
53
10
53' ..d o.. 7.50
3
10
50
10
50 ..d o.. t . 2o
1 Works only 1 full day and 2 half days per week.
2 Works only 4 days per week.
3 Works only 5 days per week.
1

IV
x
T
I
T
2

2

6
a

10
10
10
10
9*
10
9*
10
9
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10

4*
9

n

60
.0

2
6
T
S
6

2
2
2
2

$3.00
4.00
4.00
4.40
4.40
4.95
5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
5.00
5.05
5.10
5.25
5.45
5.50
5.50
5.70
5.75
5.85
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.15
6.25
6.35
6.50
6.50
6.50
6.50
6.55
6.55
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.20
7.25

8

26
26
26
18
26
25
26
25

6

11
26
26
26
26
26
24
26
26
24
26
26
26
26
26
26
28
24
26
26
25
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26

2
2
25
26
24

None
None
None
None
3 §9.00
None
None
None
None
20 150.00
None
None
None
None ......
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Nono
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES,

83

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, L A U N D RY EXPERIEN CE, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OE WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE PO W E R LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
M ARKERS, LISTERS, SORTERS, AND CHECKERS—Concluded.
Hours.

No. Age.

48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83

23
22
22
26
19
23
19
21
22
26
21
26
20
19
20
24
21
33
23
19
19
23
20
19
31
21
36
25
22
18
36
30
25
31
38
17

Race.

Con- Laun­
ju­
gal dry
con­ expe­
di­ rience
tion. (yrs.).

American S.
Polish___ S.
...d o ........ S.
German.. M.
Polish___ S.
German..
S cotch ... S.
Polish___
...d o ........
American
...d o ........
German.. M.
Polish___ S.
German..
Polish___
Irish.......
German..
American
German..
American
Polish___
American
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
German..
American
Polish___
German..
American
...d o ........
German..
American
...d o ........
German..
American

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
w.
s.
s.
s.
w.
s.

Other em­
ployment
Num­ between
Earnings.
ber of Sept. 1,1911,
Maximum.
and
Usual.
weeks
em­ Mar. 1,1912.
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
Total
earn­
Work­ Num­ Av­
Sys­ Week­ Aver­ 1911,
ings
er­
age
to
for
ing ber of age Hrs. Hrs. tem
ly
week­ Mar. Num­ such
per
of
rate
ber of
hours short hrs. per
ly
1,
week. pay­
per
of
earn­ 1912. wks. other
days. per day.
ment. pay. ings.
em­
day.
wk.
ploy­
ment.

2t
V
4
1

G
*
Y
s*
7
10
5
4
6
5*
3^

«*

15
4
3
4
5
4
5
9
2
20
13

1*

3
7
7
9
11
15
2

n
9f
94
9f
10
9*
9*
9
9
9
9
9*
9*
9
9*
10
9*
91

n

10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
9*
10
10
10
10
9f
10
9*
9*

2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2

53J
56f
54
53*
55
54*
55
50
50
50
50
53|
53
48
55
55
55
51*
53*
54*
57*
54*
54*
53i
54*
54|
53
51
55
54
55
52
52J
50
55
55

9f
9f
10
9*
10
9*
9*
9
9
9
9
9*
9*
9
9*
10
9*

n

91
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
2 9*
10"
10
10
10
9|
10
9*
9*

53J Time
56| ..d o ..
55 ..d o ..
53* ..d o ..
55 ..d o ..
54* ..d o..
55 ..d o..
50 ..d o..
50 ..d o..
50 ..d o..
50 ..d o..
53* ..d o..
53 ..d o..
50 ..d o ..
55 ..d o..
55 ..d o ..
55 ..d o..
51* ..d o ..
53* ..d o..
54* Piece
57* Time
54* ..d o ..
54* ..d o ..
58* ..d o..
54* Piece
54f Time
56* ..d o..
51 ..d o..
55 ..d o..
54 ..d o..
55 Piece
52 ..d o..
52f Time
50 ..d o..
55 ..d o..
55
(4)

$7.50 $7.35
7.50 7.50
7.70 7.70
7.70 7.70
8.00 7.85
8.00 7.85
8.00 8.00
8.00 8.00
8.00 8.00
8.00 8.00
8.00 8.00
8.00 8.00
8.20 8.20
8.50 8.20
8.50 8.20
8.80 8.50
8.50 8.50
8.75 8.75
8.82 8.85
8.90
9.00 9.00
9.00 9.00
9.00 9.00
9.00 9.00
9.25
0)
9.50 9.50
10.00 9.60
10. C 10.00
O
10.45 10.45
10.50 10.50
(3) 11.05
(3) 11.30
12.00 12.00
12.00 12.00
12.00 12.00
(4)
(4)

26
26
23
26
26
26
21
26
26
26
6
26
21
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
25

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
20
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

52 Time $6.00 $5 .75
52 ..d o.. 6.50 6.50
48 ..d o.. 6.95 6.95
48 ..d o.. 6.95 6.95
48 ..d o.. 7.20 7.20
49* ..d o.. 7.50 7.50
50 ..d o.. 7.50 7.50
55 ..d o.. 7.50 7.50
49 ..d o.. 8.50 8.50

26
26
26
26
26
26
26
17
23

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

(0

HAND W ASH E R S.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

55
35
38
45
26
35
46
57
23

German..
Roumafn
Polish___
...d o ........
...d o ........
Irish.......
German..
...d o ........
...d o ........

W.
M.
S.

w.
s.

Des.
W.
W.
S.




1
2
6
3
4

1Z
T
A

5"
3

9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

2
2
2
2
2
51

52
52
48
48
48
49J
1 50~
1 55
2
49

9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

1 8* cents per 100 pieccs.
2 Average.
3 7 cents per 100 pieces.
4 Not reported.
6 Works 5 days a week only.

”$iso
......

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

84

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LAU N D RY EXPE R IE N C E, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AU KEE PO W E R LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
SHAKERS.
Hours.

Maximum.

Usual.

No. Age.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Race.

Conjugal
con­
di­
tion.

Laun­
dry
expe­
rience
(yrs.) Work­
ing Num­
hours ber of
per short
day. days.

20 Polish___ S.
16 Ger.-Am. S.
_ s.
40 Dutch_
49 American M.
17 ...d o ........ S.
24 . ..d o ........ s.
50 Irish....... s.
19 . ..d o ........ s.
17 Pol.-Am . s.

1
if
f*
5
1*
T?
2t%
1

10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

2
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
2

Av­
er­
age Hrs. Hrs.
per per
hrs. day. week.
per
wk.

58*
51
52
59*
55
52
52
57*
52

10
10
10
10*
10
10
10
10*
10

Num­
Earnings.
ber of
weeks
em­
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
1,
Aver­ 1911,
Sys­
to
tem Week- age
of
ly , week­ Mar.
pay­ rate of ly
pay. earn­ 1912.
ment.
ings.

58* Time $4.00 $4.00
51 ..d o.. 4.00 4.00
52 ..d o.. 5.00 5.00
59* ..d o.. 5.00 5.00
55 ..d o.. 5.25 5.25
52 ..d o.. 5.40 5.25
52 ..d o.. 5.50 5.50
57* ..d o.. 5.50 5.50
52 ..do.. 5.72 5.70

Other em­
ployment
Detween
Sept 1,1911,
and
Mar. 1,1912.
Total
earn­
ings
Num­ for
ber of such
wks. other
em­
ploy­
ment.

26
12
21
11
26
21
5
26
26

None
14 $100.00
None
15 105.00
None
4 **20.‘ 66
None
None
None

22
6
26
9
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26

None
9 $31.50
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

HAND STARCHERS.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14

16 German..
18 Polish___
18 Pol.-Am .
26 American
20 ...d o ........
19 Ger.-Am.
17 Polish___
19 Pol.-Am .
55 American
39 Italian...
25 American
32 Polish....
22 German..
46 ...d o ........

S.
S.
S.
M.
S.

H
TS

1
5-ff?
6
5
1
2
3
6

s.
s.
s.
w.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

7

9
1x2
15

9f
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
2
2

5H
58'
52
52
52
53
54
52
48*
53*
50
46
53
51*

9!
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
2
10
10
9*

51* Time $2.00 $2.00
58 ..do.. 4.00 4.00
52 ..d o.. 5.72 5.70
52 ..d o.. 6.00 6.00
52 ..d o.. 6.00 6.00
53 ..d o.. 6.00 6.00
54 ..d o.. 6.00 6.00
52 ..d o.. 6.24 6.25
48* ..d o.. 6.50 6.50
53* ..d o.. 6.50 6.50
50 ..d o.. 7.00 7.00
46 ..d o.. 7.59 7.35
53 ..d o.. 7.50 7.40
51* ..d o.. 7.50 7.50

FINISHERS AND PLAIN HAND IRONERS.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

23
19
19
22
18
42
23
19
46
20
26
52
19
18
28
19
18
25
25
24
21
26
23
18
42

Polish....
German..
Polish___
.. . d o ........
German..
French...
German..
Polish___
German..
.. . d o ........
Polish___
Swedish..
German..
Polish___
Irish.......
Polish___
.. . d o ........
.. . d o ........
.. . d o ........
. . . d o ........
. . . d o ........
.. . d o ........
. . . d o ........
German..
. . . d o ........

S.
S.
S.

s.
s.

M.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

M.

i Five-day week.




2
1
2
3
2
2

A

5
11
3
6
7
8
TS
3
2
1
2
2
9
5
5
3
8
2
2

48 Time $4.32 $4.30
2
48
10
10
24 None
2
50
10
50 ..d o.. 4.50 4.50
10
26 None
1 146
10
46 ..d o.. 4.60 4.60
10
24 None
2
48
10
48 ..d o.. 5.28 5.30
10
26 None
2
10
10
51
51 ..d o.. 5.50 5.50
26 None
1 149
10
49 ..d o.. 5.88 5.90
10
26 None
2
43*
43* ..d o.. 6.00 5.90
22 None
9*
9*
54
54 ..d o.. 5.94 5.90
2
10
10
26 None
53* 10
10
2
53* ..d o.. 6.00 5.95
26 None
2
50
10
50 ..do.. 6.00 6.00
10
26 None
2
48
48 ..d o.. 6.00 6.00
10
10
26 None
2
48| ..d o.. 6.00 6.00
48|
26 None
9!
91
2
51
10
51 ..d o.. 6.00 6.00
10
25 None
2
50
50 ..d o.. 6.00 6.00
26 None
10
10
2
55
22 None
10
10
55 ..d o.. 7.15 6.05
2
55
55 ..d o.. 6.05 6.05
26 None
10
10
10
2
53
10
53 ..d o.. 6.36 6.10
26 None
1 145
45 ..d o.. 6.30 6.30
26 None
10
10
24 None
2
50
10
10
50 ..d o.. 7.00 6.45
2
48
10
48 ..d o.. 6.48 6.50
26 None
10
2
26 None
49
10
49 ..d o.. 6.13 26.50
10
3
45
10
45 ..d o.. 6.75 6.65
26 None
10
2
50
10
50 ..d o.. 7.00 6.73
26 None
10
52 ..d o.. 6.76 6.75
2
52
26 None
10
10
2
48* 10
48* ..d o.. 7.00 6.95
26 None
9*
2 p aid for 3 hours extra for lighting burners under irons.

. . . . . . .

EM PLO YM EN T OE W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

85

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LAU ND RY EXPERIEN CE, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EMPLOYED IN MILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
FINISHERS AND PLAIN HAND IRONERS-Concluded.
Hours
Earnings.
Maximum.

Usual.

No. Age.

26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61

46
51
38
22
37
29
32
22
20
28
33
41
26
26
23
23
22
21
44
26
48
39
37
23
25
36
22
21
25
25
45
39
21
27
43
42

Race.

German..
.. .d o ........
American
German..
.. . d o ........
.. . d o ........
Polish___
German..
Polish___
American
. . . d o .......
Polish___
German..
.. . d o ........
American
.. . d o ........
German..
. ..d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
Irish.......
German..
Polish___
German..
.. .d o ........
Irish.......
Bavarian.
Polish___
Swiss___
Polish___
American
German..
Bohemian
American
German..
.. .d o ........

Con- Laun­
ju: dry
gal expe­
con­ rience
di­ (yrs.). Work­
tion.
ing Num­
hours ber of
per short
day. days.

M.
M.
M.
S.
S.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.

M.
S.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
w.
s.
M.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
w.
w.

'T
S

T
7

3

4
4
3
4
6
4
xlf
5
8
4
5
4
3
8
2
5
10
2
3
9
4
4
5
2
6
20
17
6x310
16
17

11
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9£
10
9£
9*
10
10
10
10
9£
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
M

Num­
ber of
weeks
em­
ploy­
ed,
Sept.

Other em­
ployment
between
Sept. 1,1911,
and
Mar. 1, 1912.

ver­
A v­
Sys­ Week­ Aage m i ,
er­
to
ly
age Hrs. Hrs. tem rate week­ Mar. Num­
ber of
per
of
hrs. per week. pay­
ly
1,
of
wks.
earn­
per day.
ment. pay. ings. 1912.
wk.

59£
51
50
51
53
44
49
51£
45
51
55
50
47
50
53
53
51J
52£
52
53
52
52
48J
51
51
51
50
47*
51
52
51
51
57
52
53£
50

11
591
10
51
10
50
10
51
10
53
9£ 44
10
49
10
51J
9| 45
10
51
10
55
10
50
10
47
10
50
10
53
10
53
10
51£
52£
10
9£ 52
53
10
9£ 52
9h 52
9£ 48i
51
10
51
10
51
10
10
50
9\ 47£
51
10
52
10
10
51
51
10
10
57
52
10
10
53£
10
50

Time $7.00 $7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.35 7.35
..d o.. 7.35 7.35
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 7.52 7.50
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 7.75 7.75
..d o.. 7.66 7.75
..d o.. 8.00 7.90
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.50 8.35
..d o.. 8.50 8.50
..d o.. 8.50 8.50
..d o.. 8.50 8.50
..d o.. 9.00 9.00
..d o.. 9.00 9.00
..d o.. 11.00 11.00
..d o.. 12.00 12.00

26
26
22
26
26
26
26
26
26
22
19
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
24|
26
17
26
26
26
26
26
14
22
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26

Total
earn­
ings
for
such
other
em­
ploy­
ment.

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

LADIES’ CLOTHES AND OTHER FANCY HAND IRONERS.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

21 German..
19 American
50 German..
20 ...d o ........
37 American
24 Polish....
30 German..
20 ...d o ........
35 Polish.. ..
32 German..
19 Polish....
33 German..
33 Polish___
24 Irish.......
38 German..
21 Polish_
_
22 American
23 ...d o ........

S.
S.
M.
S.
M.
S.
S.
S.
S.
M.
S.
M.
W.
S.
M.
S.
S.

s.

Tar

1
7
3
13
2
3
13
9
3
13

•h
■h

5
8

10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9f
10
10
10
10
10

2
2
2
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
2
2
2
2
2

1 Works only 4 days per week.




53
53
140
50
55
54
55£
245
140
140
51J
245
54*
51
51
53
53
53

10
10
10
10
10
10
10|
10
10
10
10
10
10J
10
10
10
10
10

53
53
40
50
55
54
55i
45
40
40
51J
45
51
51
53
53
53

Time $4.50 $4.50
..d o.. 5.00 4.80
..d o.. 5.80 5.80
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.30 6.05
..d o.. 6.20 6.20
..d o.. 6.40 6.40
..d o.. 6.43 6.45
..d o.. 6.75 6.75
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00

21
26
26
26
13
21J
25
13
26
26
25
8
8
2
26
26
26
26

1 Works only 5 days per week.

None $515.00
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

86

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LAU N D RY E XPERIEN CE, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
L A D IE S ’ C L O T H E S AND O T H E R F A N C Y HAND IR O N E R S —Concluded.
Hours.

Other em­
ployment
Num­ between
ber of Sept. 1,1911,
Maximum.
and
weeks
em­ Mar. 1, 1912.
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
Total
1,
earn­
Sys­ Week­ Aver­ 1911,
ings
age
to Num­ for
tem
Hrs. Hrs.
ly
per
of
-rate week­ Mar. ber of such
per
ly
1,
of
day. week. pay­
wks. other
ment. pay. earn­ 1912.
em­
ings.
ploy­
ment.
Earnings.

No. Age.

19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65

21
27
26
31
29
19
28
26
23
29
23
24
24
25
23
26
28
21
33
40
45
27
26
48
25
38
38
27
29
31
46
27
36
29
33
36
37
28
42
33
37
39
41
26
55
28
48

Race.

German..
Polish___
...d o ........
...d o ........
American
...d o ........
...d o ........
Dutch_
_
German..
American
Polish....
American
Polish___
...d o ........
German..
...d o ........
American
Polish....
German..
Irish.......
French...
German..
Polish___
German..
Polish___
Irish.......
Dutch_
_
Polish___
Irish.......
German..
Irish.......
Polish___
...d o ........
German..
...d o ........
...d o ..,..
Irish.......
American
German..
.. . d o ........
.. . d o ........
.. . d o ........
.. .d o ........
...d o ........
Polish___
. . . d o ........
German..




Usual.
Con- Laun­
ju- dry
gal expe­
con­ rience
di­
tion. (yrs.). Work­ Num­
ing
hours ber of
per short
day. days.

S.
S.
S.

S.
S.
S.

s.
s.
s.

M.
S.

s.

s.
M.
S.
S.
M.
S.

w.
s.
w.
s.
s.
w.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
w.
w.
w.
s.
s.
w.
s.
M.

s.
s.
s.

M.

1
5
11
8
11
l’pr
6
6v%
4
8
4
8
7
3
4tV
8
9
7
10
13
12
13
5
13
HxV
3
10
1
20
5
11
6
14
1
20
2T
%
24
12

1
3f5

2
12
20
15
5

10
10
9$
10
10
10

n

10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9
-2
10
10
10

n

10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
94
9f
10
10
10
10
10
9
9
9
10
10
10
9

1
1
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

A v­
er­
age
hrs.
per
wk.

544
145
45J
140
145
52
48-|
51
344
48
53f
52
48
51|
50
146
53
49
53
51
51
51
48
51
51
51
53
52
51
51
51
50
55
49
*47f
54
51J
51
146
51
45
44
45
53
50
51J
45

544
45
454
10
42
10
45
10
52
9| 48f
10
51
10
44
10
48
10
55
10
52
10
48
10
514
9f 50
10
46
10
53
10
50
53
n 51
10
10
51
10
51
10
48
10
51
10
51
10
51
10
53
10
52
10
51
10
51
10
51
10
52
10
55
49
94
9| 471
10
54
10
51J
10
51
10
46
10
51
9
45
9
44
9
45
10 53
10
50
10
511
9
45

10
10

Time
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
Piece
Time
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
Piece
Time
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
Time
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
..d o..
Piece
..d o..
..d o..
Time
..d o..
..d o..
Piece

1 Works only 5 days per week.
2 25 per cent of charge to customer.
3 Works only 4 days per week.
* Six to 9 cents per shirt.

$7.00
6.97
7.00
6.80
7.20
(2)
7.50
7.50
7.04
7.68
7.75
8.00
7.92
8.24
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
7.68
8.25
(2)
8.50
8.50
8.50
8.50
8.50
8.50
9.00
8.80
9.00
9.00
9.00
9.00
9.00
9.60
10.45
(4)
(4)
(*)
12.00
12.25
10.47
(4
)

$7.00
7.00
7.00
7.15
7.20
7.30
7.50
7.50
7.55
7.70
7.75
7.90
7.90
7.90
7.95
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.00
8.20
8.25
8.30
8.50
8.50
8.50
8.50
8.50
8.50
8.65
8.80
8.95
8.95
9.00
9.00
9.00
9.50
10.45
10.50
10.75

11.00

12.00
12.25
12.55
13.00

26
22
26
24
26
26
26
17
26
15
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
17
17
25
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
24
26
26
26
26
26
26
25
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWEE LAUNDRIES.

87

A G S, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LA U N D RY EXPERIEN CE, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EMPLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
MISCELLANEOUS HAND AND MACHINE W ORKERS.
Hours.

No. Age.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
19

Race.

Usual.
Con- Laun­
ju- dry
gal expe­
con­ rience
di­
tion. (yrs.). Work­
ing Num­
hours ber of
per short
day. days.

16 German.. S.
16 Ger.-Am. S.
22 German.. S.
27 Polish___ S.
54 German.. w.
24 ...d o ........ s.
25 American s.
45 German.. M.
25 ...d o ........ s.

1
2&
7
A
3
2X
%
2
5itt

10
10
10
10
7
10
n

10
10

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

Maximum.

A v­
er­
age Hrs. Hrs.
per
per
hrs. day. week.
per
wk.

53*
51
52*
51
42
50*
48f
55*
55

10
10
10
10
7
10

n

10
10

Other em­
ployment
Num­ between
Earnings.
ber of Sept. 1,1911
and
weeks
em­ Mar. 1, 1912.
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
Total
Aver­
earn­
Sys­ Week­ age 1911,
ings
tem
week­ to Num­ for
ly
Mar. ber of such
rate
of
ly
of
earn­ 1,
pay­
wks. other
ment. pay. ings. 1912.
em­
ploy­
ment.

53* Time $4.00 $4.00
51 ..d o.. 5.00 5.00
5.50
52* ..d o.. / 6.00 j-5.3
0
1
51 ..d o.. 6.12 6.12
42 ..d o.. 7.00 7.00
50* ..d o.. 8.00 7.15
48f ..d o.. 7.50 7.50
55* ..d o.. 7.50 7.50
55 ..d o.. 8.25 8.25

26
26
26
22
26
26
25
26
26

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

4
24
26
23
26
22
25
13
26
26
26
2
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
24
26
26
26
23
26
26
26
26

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
12
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

STARCH MACHINE ATTENDANTS.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
28
27
23
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38

17
19
17
16
18
40
20
17
20
18
18
37
24
19
16
22
23
22
17
19
18
20
37
23
25
26
28
19
21
22
21
32
20
19
24
21
25
24

Bohem’n.
German..
Polish___
American
Polish___
German..
...d o ........
Polish___
...d o ........
.. .d o ........
German..
English..
German..
...d o ........
American
Polish_
_
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
German..
...d o ........
Polish....
German..
Polish___
...d o ........
...d o ........
German..
...d o ........
_
Polish_
American
German..
Polish....
American
German..
Polish___
German..

S.
S.
S.
S.

IT
2
1

A

s.

Y
2
2
7

s.
s.

6
1A

M.
S.
S.
S.
M.
S.

s.
s.
S.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

Div.




A

*
5
4*
1
2
7
8*
2
3
3
5
9
7
6
5
5
5
1
It
Y
15
4
3
3j j
t6
10
7

10
10
10
10
10
16
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9
10
10
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
2
1
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2

49
51*
49
52
50
50
49
54
49
53
52*
52"
51i
3 48*
53'
51*
49*
501
54
50*
3 48*
50|
4 42

m

3 48*
47*
3 39'
55
49*
50
52*
*48*
52
: 52
50*
52
49*
55

10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9
10
10
9*
9
10
10
10 i
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

49 Time
51* ..d o..
49 ..d o..
52 ..d o..
50 ..d o..
50 ..d o..
49 ..d o..
54 ..d o..
49 ..d o..
53 ..d o..
52* ..d o ..
52' ..d o..
51* ..d o..
48*;..d o..
53 1 o..
..d
51*! ..d o..
49*!..d o..
50*!..d o ..
54 j..d o ..
50**..d o..
48*j..d o ..
55 !..d o..
44 ..d o..
50*' ..d o..
48|!..d o..
47*|..d o ..
39 ..d o..
55 ..d o ..
49*!..d o..
50 !..d o..
52*! ..d o..
48J|..d o ..
52**...d o..
52 ..d o..
501-...d o..
53 . .d o..
49*1..do..
55 j..do..

$4.00
4.00
4.41
4.50
5.00
5.00
5.39
5.65
5.39
5.56
5.50
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.18
6.44
6.31
6.50
6.50
6.50
6.83
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.50
7.50
7.28
7.50
8.00
8.00
8.50

1 This worker is the only machine operator.
2 Not reported.
8 Worked 5 days a week only.
4 Does not work every other Saturday.

$4.00
4.00
4.40
4.50
5.00
5.00
5.30
5.40
5.40
5.50
5.50
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.00
6.25
6.30
6.30
6.50
6.50
6.50
6.55
6.80
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.00
7.20
7.25
7.30
7.50
8.00
8.00
8.50

(2
)

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
N one.........
None!.........
Nonej.........
Nonej.........
None!.........

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

88

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LAU ND RY EXPERIEN CE, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EMPLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
MACHINE DAMPENERS.
Hours.

Other em­
ployment
Num­ between
ber of Sept. 1,1911,
Maximum.
weeks
and
em­ Mar. 1, 1912.
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
Total
earn­
Sys­ Week­ Aver­ 1911,
ings
age
Hrs. Hrs. tem
ly week­ to Num­ for
Mar. ber of such
per
per
of
rate
ly
1,
of
day. week. pay­
wks. other
ment. pay. earn­ 1912.
em­
ings.
ploy­
ment.
Earnings

No. Age.

1
2
3

17
17
20

Race.

German..
Polish___
German..

Usual.
Con- Laun­
ju- dry
gal expe­
con­ rience
di­
tion. (yrs.). Work­ Num­
ing
hours ber of
per short
day. days.

S.
S.
S.

U

2
4

10
10
10

2
2
2

A v­
er­
age
hrs.
per
wk.

50
50
50

10
10
10

50
50
50

Time $5.00 $5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 6.50 6.50

12 None
26 None
26 None

FLAT-W O R K IRONER AND COLLAR-IRONER FEEDERS.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55

17
17
0)
17
17
16
16
17
19
16
19
17
17
16
30
23
16
19
17
16
21
17
17
16
418
20
25
21
18
17
19
20
23
19
19
25
18
22
22
17
21
19
19
20
19
22
28
21
20
17
19
24
19
37
25

German..
...d o ........
...d o ........
Polish_
_
American
Polish_
_
...d o ........
...d o ........
Norw'g’n
German..
...d o ........
Polish_
_
American
German..
Slavonian
German..
...d o ........
English..
Greek—
English..
Slavonian
German..
...d o ........
...d o ........
Polish_
_
...d o ........
German..
...d o ........
Syrian...
_
Polish_
German..
...d o ........
Polish_
_
German..
Polish_
_
German..
...d o ........
...d o ........
Swedish.
German..
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
Slavonian
Polish_
_
...d o ........
American
Polish_
_
German..
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
Polish_
_
...d o ........
...d o ........




S.
S.
s.
s.

2
2
1

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

*
2
2

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
g
s’
.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

7

M.*
M.
S.

Div.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s,
s.
s.
M.
s.

*

A
TS

«
IfW
1
2
4
1
3
2
1
1
1
•
I
ts
1*
2
U

A

2
3*1
3*
4
4
5
6
2
1
2
3
1e
JT
-TT
5
1
5
4
5
3
2
2
3
7
5
5
4

9*'
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10"
10
10
10
9*
10
9*
10'
10
10
10
10
10

Io
10
10
10
10

2
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

53
50
50
51
53
52
52
55
55
53
51*
51
56
54
54*
50"
50
51
56
56
55
55
51
52
52
53
51*
50
50
51*
51
50
50
48*
53
49*
53
53*
51*

9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
91

10
10

9*

50

10"
10
10
10
10
9*
10"
10
10
10

53
54*
53
55
53
53
50
58
55
54
5lh
50"
53
51
58*

10
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10

9b

1 No'; reported.

53
50
50
51
53
52
52
55
55
53
51*
51
56
54
54*
50
50
51
56
56
55
55
51
52
52
53
51*
50
50
51*
51
50
50
m

58'
49*
53
53*
51*
50
53
54*
53
55
53
53
50
58
55
54
51*
50
53
51
58*

Time S3.00 $3.00
..d o.. 3.50 3.50
..d o.. 4.00 4.00
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
..d o.. 4.94 4.75
..d o.. 4.94 4.75
..d o.. 5.25 4.75
..d o.. 5.00 4.80
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.05 5.05
..d o.. 5.20 5.20
..d o.. 5.46 5.25
..d o.. 5.30 5.30
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 6.00 5.50
..d o.. 6.57 5.55
..d o.. 5.90 5.65
..d o.. 6.00 5.75
..d o.. 5.83 5.80
..d o.. 6.14 5.95
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.36 -6.20
..d o.. 6.36 6.35
..do\. 6.50 6.35
..d o.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o .. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00

26
17
26
26
13
26
26
26
26
26
8
26
26
26
26
26
26
21
26
26
26
9
26
26
26
26
25
26
26
26
26
18
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
4
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
20
26
26

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
8 0)
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
13 $39.00
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W AU K EE POWER LAUNDRIES.

89

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LAU ND RY E XPERIEN CE, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EMPLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
F L A T -W O R K AND COLL AR-IRONER RECEIVERS.
Hours.

No. Age.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

1
2

13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
• 39
40
41
42
43
44
45

15
17
18
15
15
16
19
17
17
15
16
15
23
18
17
16
27
16
16
19
18
17
16
16
19
16
17
21
21
39
16
22
17
28
20
18
16
24
18
18
20
30
19
21

Race.

Usual.
Con- Laun­
ju- dry
gal expe­
con­ rience
di­
tion. (yrs.). Work­ Num­
ing ber of
hours short
per days.
day.

Polish_
_
HungVn
German..
Polish_
_
...d o ........
German..
Polish_
_
Irish.......
Polish_
_
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
German..
American
Polish_
_
German..
...d o ........
American
German..
P olish...:
American
German..
American
Polish_
_
Irish
German..
Polish_
_
English..
Slavonian
American
_
Polish_
...d o ........
German..
French...
German..
Polish_
_
...d o ........
German..
Polish_
_
...d o ........
...d o ........
American
German..
Polish....

S.
S.
S.

t
V

s.
R
S.
S.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

?

A
2
It?
T?
1
4
3
1
5
»
2
X
T
2
1*
TZ

8
2”
A

M.
M
.|

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

3
TF
3
'h

1
1*
H

It6
*
5
2
4
3
3
5
A
4
4

8
10
10
8
8
10
10
9*
10
10
8
10
8
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*

Maximum.

A v­
er­
age Hrs. Hrs.
per
per
hrs. day. week.
per
wk.

48*
50
54
45
48
2 51
2 58*
1 55*
2 48
2 50
1 45
2 54
1 46
2 54
2 50
2 52
2 51
2 55
2 51
2 52
2 52
2 53
2 56
2 55
2 55*
2 54
2 54*
2 51
2 55*
2 56*
1 59*
2 58*
2 53
2 51
2 54
2 51*
2 52
2 55
2 51
1 59
2 58*
2 51
2 54
2 52
2 50

2
2
1

8*
10
10
8
8
10
10
9*
10
10
8
10
8
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*

48*
50'
54
45
48
51
58*
55*
48
50
45
54
46
54
50
52
51
55
51
52
52
53
56
55
55*
54
54*
51
55*
56*
59*
58*
53
51
54
51*
52
55
52
59
58*
52
54
52
50

Other em­
ployment
Num­ between
Earnings
ber of Sept. 1,1911,
weeks
and
em­ Mar. 1, 1912.
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
Total
1,
earn­
Sys­ Week­ Aver­ 1911,
ings
age
to Num­ for
tem
ly
week­ Mar.
of
rate
ber of such
ly
1,
pay­
of
wks. other
ment. pay. earn­ 1912.
em­
ings.
ploy­
ment.
Time $4.00 $4.00
..d o.. 4.00 4.00
..d o.. 4.00 4.00
..d o.. 4.00 4.00
..d o.. 4.00 4.00
..d o.. 4.23 4.20
..d o.. 4.25 4.25
..d o.. 4.50 4.40
..d o.. 4.42 4.40
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
..d o.. 4.75 4.75
..d o.. 4.75 4.75
..d o.. 4.94 4.75
..d o.. 4.80 4.80
..d o.. 5.00 4.85
..d o.. 4.90 4.90
..d o.. 4.94 4.95
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.30 5.30
..d o.. 5.40 5.40
..d o.. 5.50 5.40
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 6.00 5.90
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.38 6.35
..d o.. 7.00 6.60
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.50 7.50

11
2
4
6
26
25
26
26
26
8
25
8
26
26
24
26
26
26
19
26
26
26
26
26
4
26
26
26
9
26
8
22
26
26
11
3
26
26
26
26
26
25
17
IS
26

15 (0
24 $192.00
18 81.00
20 90.00
None
None
None
None
None
18 54.00
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
13 260.00
None
18 90.00
None
None
None
15 i27*50
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

Time $4.00 $4.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.09 5.15
..d o.. 5.45 5.35
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.50 6.25
..d o.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 6.75 6.75
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 8.50 8.50

12
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
24

14 152.50
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

COLLAR SHAPERS.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

16
18
20
19
20
20
20
20
22
24
21
28

Polish....
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
American
German..
...d o ........
Polish_
_
German..
_
Polish_
...d o ........
American




S.
S.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

TT
1
2&

3A
4
7
5
5
8

4

5
7

H

9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
9*
10

i Not reported.

2
2
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

42
49*
48*
49*
51
53
51*
50
50
51
49*
52

9*
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
9*
10

42
49*
50
50*
51
53
51*
50
50
51
49*
52

2 And board.

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

90

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LA U N D RY E XPERIEN CE, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
BOSOM -PRESS OPERATORS.
Hours.

Other em­
ployment
Num­ between
ber of Sept. 1,1911,
Maximum.
and
weeks
em­ Mar. 1,1912.
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
Total
earn­
Sys­ Week­ Aver­ mi,
ings
age
to Num­ for
Hrs. Hrs. tem
ly
per
of
per
rate week­ Mar. ber of such
ly
1,
day. week. pay­
of
wks. other
ment. pay. earn­ 1912.
em­
ings.
ploy­
ment.
Earnings.

No. Age.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22

24
17
20
21
23
17
25
23
18
28
26
22
28
20
21
24
20
19
21
24
31
32

Race.

Usual.
Con- Laun­
ju- dry
gal
con­ expe­
di­ rience
tion. (yrs.). Work­ Num­
ing
hours ber of
per short
day. days.

German.. S.
Polish___ S.
.. .do........ s.
German.. s.
.. .do........ s.
...d o ........ s.
. . .do........ s.
.. .do........ s.
Polish___ s.
German.. s.
.. .do........ w.
...d o ........ s.
Polish___ w.
. . .do........ s.
. . .do........ s.
...d o ........ s.
German.. s.
Polish___ s.
German.. s.
Irish....... s.
Polish___ s.
German.. s.

0)

2
t\
3tj
6
3

T
S

2
5

7

3

A
7

6

U

4
3
9
5

m

8
14
15

10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

A v­
er­
age
hrs.
per
wk.

2 49*
2 54
2 48*
2 52
2 50
2 47*
2 52
2 53
2 50
2 50
2 50
2 49
2 53
2 50
2 50
2 *45
2 50
2 52
2 53*
2 52}
3 49f
2 51

10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

m

54
48*
52
50
47*
52
53
50
50
50
49
53
50
50
45
50
52
53*
52*
49f
51

Time $5.00 $5.00
..d o.. 5.94 5.80
..do.. 5.82 5.95
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..do.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.50 6.35
..do.. 6.76 6.75
..d o.. 7.00 6.75
..do.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..do.. 7.00 7.00
..do.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
Piece
7.05
(2
)
Time 7.42 7.35
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 8.00 7.70
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
..d o.. 8.50 8.50

0)
26
24*
13
26
26
26
26
26
13
21
26
15
24
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
11 $66.00
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
.........
1

FOOT-POWER STARCHER OPERATORS (NECKBAND ROLL, BOSOM ROLL, AND
PERFORATED SURFACE PAN STARCHERS).
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

8

9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16

16
21
17
17
21
19
26
17
18
27
18
16
19
24
33
23

German..
...d o ........
Polish___
...d o ........
American
Polish___
American
Polish___
...d o ........
German..
Polish___
. . .do........
...d o ........
...d o ........
German..
...d o ........

S.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
Div.
S.

s.
s.
s.

M.
S.

It*

3
1

3
Itt

7

T?

4&
5
4
1
5
8
4
6

10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10

2 451
2 53
2 48
2 49*
3 49*
2 52*
1 548*
2 52i
2 51
2 *46i
2 47*
2 49i
2 53
2 48
2 55
2 53*

1 Not reported.

2 25 cents per 100.

a Worked but 5 days a week.
* Does not work every third Saturday.




10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9*
10
10
10
10
10
10

51
53
48
49*
49*
52*
48*
52J
52*
48*
47*
49J
53
48
55
53*

Time $4.00 $4.00
..d o.. 4.00 4.00
..d o.. 4.80 4.80
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.45 5.30
..do.. 5.51 5.45
..do.. 6.00 5.75
..do.. 5.75 5.75
..d o.. 5.87 5.85
..do.. 6.00 6.00
..do.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.16 7.00
..do.. 6.48 7.50
..d o.. 8.00 8.00
Piece
9.50
(7)

24
26
26
4
26
26
26
26
26
22
22
26
26
25
26
25

None
None
None
18
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

s A 5-day week.
6 Does not work every other Saturday,
7 5 to 9 cents per 100 pieces.

0)

EM PLO YM EN T OF W O M E N IN M IL W A U K E E POWER LAUNDRIES.

91

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LA U N D RY EXPERIENCE, AND HOURS OF W O R K
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES—
Continued.
FOOT-POW ER MACHINE OPERATORS (CUFF, YOKE, AND NECKBAND PRESS
AND COLLAR TIPPER OPERATORS),
Hours.

Other em­
ployment
Num­ between
ber of Sept. 1,1911,
Maximum.
and
weeks
em­ Mar. 1,1912.
ploy­
ed,
Sept.
Total
earn­
Aver­
Sys- Week­ age 1911,
ings
to
Hrs. Hrs*. tom
ly
week­ Mar. Num­ for
per
of
ber of such
per
rate
ly
1,
of
wks. other
day. week. pay­
earn­
ment. pay. ings. 1912.
em­
ploy­
ment.
Earnings.

No. Age.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

17
16
18
16
17
17
18
16
16
19
19
18
16
18
19
16
18
19
29
24
20

Race.

Polish___
...d o ........
German..
Polish___
German..
Polish___
American
Polish....
. . .do........
. . .do........
German..
Polish___
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
German..
. . .do........
American
Polish___
German..
American

Usual.
Con- Laun­
ju- dry
gal expe­
con­ rience
di­
tion. (yrs.). Work­ Num­
ing ber of
hours short
per days.
day.

S.
S.
S.
S.
S.
S.
S.
S.
S.

A
1
3
A
1
2
1
T*
2
A
l
2

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
w.
s.

3
1A
2*
2
5A
■ ?
I'n
4

10
n

10
10
9*
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

A v­
er­
age
hrs.
per
wk.

51
45*
50
50
46
46*
49
60
53*
50
52
53
52
50*
49
50*
49*
50
51
50
50

10
9f
10
10
9*
9
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10

51
46*
50
50
46
46*
49
60
53*
50
52
53
52
50*
49
50*
49*
50
51
50
50

Time $4.08 $4.10
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
..do.. 4.50 4.50
..do.. 4.50 4.50
..do.. 4.65 4.65
..do.. 4.90 4.90
..do.. 5.00 5.00
..do.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..do.. 5.20 5.20
..do.. 5.30 5.30
..d o.. 5.50 5.40
..do.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.88 5.90
..do.. 6.00 5.98
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
Piece
7.00
0)
Time 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.50 7.50

26
25
26
7
22
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
24*
26
26
26
22
26
26

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
4 $24*00
None
None

BODY AND SLEEVE IRONER OPERATORS.
1
2
3
4
5
. 6
: 7
, 8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
23
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36

30
19
17
17
19
17
20
37
28
18
21
16
17
19
16*
26
20
17
18
18
17
17
17
19
18
19
20
17
17
16
19
23
21
17
20
26

Polish___
Irish.......
American
Polish___
American
Polish....
German..
American
German..
American
German..
...d o ........
Polish___
German..
Polish___
...d o ........
German..
...d o ........
Polish___
...d o ........
...d o ........
German..
Polish___
...d o ........
...d o ........
American
Polish___
...d o ........
American
Slavonian
...d o ........
German..
American
German..
Polish_
_
German..

S.
S.
S.
S.
S.
S.
S.
M.
M.
S.
S.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
M.
s.
s.
s.

1 14 cents per 100.




10
TZ

l

A
A
T
jjf

A
4
2
3
A
*
Mr

A
4
4

Mr

1
2
2
3

Mr

7
5
1
5
2
2
2
1
3
2
1
3A
4

8*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
' 10
10
91
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
91
10
10
9i
9*

1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

226
53
52
53
54
53
50
53
50
52
50
501
51*
50
50*
343
48
53
51
52*
52*
52*
52*
53*
53
51
49
52
53
53*
52*
52*
52
51
42
49*

8*
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
n

10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9f
10
10
9i

26
53
52
53
54
53
50
53
50
52
50
50£
51*
50
50*
43
48
53
51
52*
52*
52*
52*
53*
53
51
49
52
53
53*
52*
52*
52
51
42
49*

9*
2 Works 4 days a week. '

Time $4.16 $4.16
26 None
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
26 None
..d o.. 4.50 4.50
17 None
..do.. 4.50 4.50
8 None
..do.. 4.50 4.50
5
21 $52.50
..d o.. 4.77 4.75
26 None
..d o.. 5.00 4.90
8
18 54.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
9
17 85.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
26 None
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
26 None
24§ None
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
6
20 83.00
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
26 None
..d o.. 5.00 5.00
26 None
24 None
..d o.. 5.05 5.05
..d o.. 4.98 5.20
26 None
..d o.. 5.28 5.25
26 None
..d o.. 5.30 5.30
26 None
..d o.. 5.35 5.35
26 None
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
26 None
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
26 None
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
26 None
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
26 None
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
26 None
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
26 None
4
22 99.00
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..d o.. 5.64 5.55
26 None
..d o.. 5.72 5.70
26 None
..d o.. 6.00 5.75
26 None
..d o.. 6.00 5.80
26 None
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
17
9 48.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
23 None
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
24* None
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
26 None
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
26 None
..d o .. 6.00 6.00
26 None
8 Works 5 days a week.

92

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

AGE, RACE, CONJUGAL CONDITION, LA U N D RY EXPE R IE N C E, AND HOURS OF WORK;
AND EARNINGS OF WOMEN EM PLOYED IN M ILW AUKEE POW ER LAUNDRIES—
*
Concluded.
B O D Y AND SLEEVE IR O N E R O P E R A T O R S —Concluded.
Hours.

No. Age.

37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66

27
23
21
17
16
16
18
19
22
18
23
22
20
19
29
37
19
20
21
22
34
17
22
21
27
18
20
23
25
23

Race.

Usual.
Con- Laun­
ju- dry
gal expe­
con­ rience
Work
di­
tion. (yrs.). ing Num­
hours ber of
per short
day. days.

German.. S.
Polish___ S.
...d o ........ s.
...d o ........ s.
German.. s.
...d o ........ s.
Irish....... s.
Polish___ s.
...d o ........ s.
...d o ........ s.
German.. s.
...d o ........ s.
Polish___ s.
...d o ........ s.
American s.
Saxon___ M.
Russian.. s.
Polish___ s.
...d o ........ s.
Welsh___ s.
German.. s.
...d o ........ s.
Polish___ s.
...d o ........ s.
American s.
Polish_
_ s.
...d o ........ s.
German.. s.
Polish___ s.
...d o ........ s.

3
7
3

8
1”
2
1
5
5
4
2
5
4
lxe
2
2*
1-re
5
5
5
5
3
1
5
13
n

2
4
5
3

101
10
10
10
10
10
9J
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
91
10
10
10
91
10
10
10
10
10
91
10
10
10
10
10

2
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

Maximum.

A v­
er­ Hrs. Hrs.
age per per
hrs. day. week.
per
wk.

58i
51
50
60
M91
53
491
52
49
56
51
52
50
54
511
521
53
50
491
51
50
50
50i
50
49i
53
53
53
50
53

HI
10
10
10
10
10
91
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
9|
10
10
10
91
10
10
10
10
10
9|
10
10
10
10
10

58*
51
50
60
491
53
491
52
49
56
51
52
50
54
511
521
53
50
491
51
50
50
50i
50
49*
53
53
53
50
53

Other em­
Num­ ployment
Earnings.
ber of between
weeks Sept. 1,1911,
and
em­
ploy­ Mar. 1,1912,
ed,
Sept.
Total
1,
earn­
Sys­ Week Aver­ 1911,
ings
age
tem
ly week­ to Num­ for
Mar. ber of f ich
of
rate
ly
1,
pay­
of
wks. other
ment. pay. earn­ 1912.
em­
ings.
ploy­
ment,
Time $6.00 $6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.07 6.10
..d o.. 6.25 6.25
..d o.. 6.50 6.25
..d o.. 6.37 6.35
..d o.. 6.44 6.40
..d o.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 6.50 6.50
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..do.. 7.00 7.00
..do.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..do.. 7.00 7.00
Piece (2)
7.40
Time 8.00 8.00
Piece (3)
8.00
..d o.. (3)
8.50
..d o.. (4)
8.50
Time 9.00 8.90
Piece (4)
9.15

26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
20
26
26
26
21
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

NECKBAND, BOSOM , AND COLLAR IRONER OPERATORS.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

23
18
18
18
19
16
20
23
18
23
23
23

American
Polish___
German..
Polish....
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
...d o ........
German..
American
Polish___
German..

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

21
35
25
37
33
28
32
33
42
38

Polish___
American
...d o ........
German..
...d o ........
Polish___
...d o .....
German..
. ..d o ........
...d o ........

S.
S.
S.

s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

2
4
3
1
4
1t
%
n

8
2
5
5
4

9i
10
9|
10
10
10

91
9£
91

9i
10
10

2 421
2 51£
2 521
1 55
2 50
2 54
2 491
2 491
2 481
2 421
2 50
2 53

9J
10
9|
10
10
10

91
91
91

9i
10
10

421
511
521
55
50
54
491
491
48£
421
50
53

Time $5.00 $5.00
..d o.. 5.50 5.50
..do.. 6.00 6.00
..do.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 6.00 6.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.00 7.00
..d o.. 7.50 7.50
..d o.. 8.00 8.00

26
26
26
26
26
25
26
26
26
26
26
26

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None

DEPARTMENT SUPERVISORS.
S.
S.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.
s.

s.

5
10
10
15
12&
ir
15
8
13
18

10
10

91

9
10
10
10
10
9

91

2
2
1

1
1

2
2
2

1

2

55
52
55
51
50
53
50
54
50
531

Aver­
1.6 52.35
9.7
ages. 32.4 ................. ....... Hi
1 Works 5 days a week.
2 25 per cent of charge to customer.




10
10

91

9
10
10
10
10

9
91

55
52
55
51
50
53
50
54
50
53£

9.7 52.35

Time $8.00
..d o.. 10.00
..d o.. 10.00
..d o.. 11.00
..d o.. 11.00
..d o.. 12.00
..d o.. 12.00
..d o.. 12.00
..d o.. 14.00
..d o.. 15.00

$8.00
9.95
10.00

1 .0
10

11.00
11.75
12.00
12.00
14.00
15.00

11.50 11.47

3 14 cents per coat.
4 25 cents per 100 pieces.

None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
26 None
26 None

26
26
26
26
26
26
26
26

26

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