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U . S. D E P A R T M E N T O F

LABOR

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
ROYAL M E E K E R , Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES \
(WHOLE
BU REAU OF LABOR S T A T I S T I C S / * * ‘ (NUMBER
W O M E N

I N

I N D U S T R Y

S E R I E S :

^ I C
L 1J

N O .

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE
OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS
IN M A S S A C H U S E T T S




O C T O B E R , 1917

WASHINGTON
G O V E R N M E N T P R I N T I N G OFF ICE
1917

10




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CONTENTS.
Page.

Chapter I.—Introduction..................................................................................................
7-13
7, 8
Problem of trade training for girls.........................................................................
Growth oi trade schools for girls in Massachusetts.............................................
8, 9
New questions involved in industrial education............................................... 9,10
Methods and scope of this survey.......................................................................... 10-13
Chapter II.— The school problem.................................................................................. 15-66
The school................................................................................................................... 15-22
Growth of enrollment in trade schools.......................................................... 15,16
Noncompetitive character of trade and ordinary schools......................... 16-18
Courses offered in the different trade schools.............................................. 18-20
Relative demand for the different courses.................................................. 20-22
The pupils and the school....................................................................................... 22-65
Age and previous schooling of pupils entering the trade schools........... 22-26
Degree to which trade training is utilized................................................... 26, 27
Relation of age at leaving school to utilization of trade training........... 27-30
Relation between amount of previous schooling and tendency to enter
trade for which trained................................................................................. 30-34
Relation between length o f trade-school course and use of trade training. 34-41
Time actually spent in trade school...................................................... 35-38
Distribution, b y length of trade training, of girls using their trades. 38-41
Placement b y Boston Trade S ch ool..............................................................41-44
Reasons for leaving trade sch ools,................................................................. 44-46
Prevailing misconceptions of scope of trade-school work........................ 46-48
Adjustment of trade-school pupils to the trade........................................... 48-55
School tests for ascertaining trade ability.................................................... 55 -58
Special methods for adapting pupils to trade demands............................ 58-60
Stability of trade-school girls in trade positions......................................... 60-63
Cooperation between trade school and employers..................................... 63, 64
Methods b y which trade-school pupils secure positions........................... 64, 65
Summ ary.................................................................. ................................................. 65, 66
Chapter H E.—Industrial experience of Boston trade-school g ir ls ........................... 67-96
Difficulty of determining effectiveness of trade-school training..................... 67-69
Statistical basis of study of industrial experience............................................. 69-72
Age and. length of working experience of Boston Trade School girls
stu d ied............................................................................................................. 70-72
Girls who did not use the trade for which they were trained....................... . 72-75
Girls who used the trade for which they were trained..................................... 75-95
Stability in industry......................................................................................... 75-78
Sifting-out process in school.................................................. ................. 75-77
Industrial distribution at end of specified periods out of trade
school....................................................................................................... 77,78
Stability in trade for which trained.............................................................. 78-90
Age in relation to permanence in trade................................................84, 85
Shifting of individual trade-school girls..................................... ..
85-88
Movement of trade-school girls from one trade to another, or from
one position to another......................................................................... 88-90
Secondary em ploym ents.................................................................................. 90-93
Reasons for leaving primary tr a d e ................................................................ 93-95
Summary........................................................................................................... . ....... 95, 96




3

4

CONTENTS.
Page.

Chapter IV.— Wages of Boston Trade School G irls................................................. 97-147
Introduction............................................................................................................... 97, 98
Reasons for studying wages.............................................................................
97
Real versus nominal wages............................................ ................................ 97, 98
Difficulty of securing data...............................................................................
98
Average weekly wages in successive years........................................................ 98-106
Girls remaining in trade for which trained and those leaving it for other
occupations................................................................................ . ................. 99,100
Girls who never used trade for which trained......................................... 100,101
Time required b y different groups to reach $8 a w eek.............................
101
Rate of advance in different groups.......................................... .............. 101,102
Relation of wages of individual workers to average wage.................... 102,103
Average wages of trade-trained workers................................................... 103-105
Average wages of trade-school girls compared with those of tradetrained workers........................................................................................... 105,106
Classified weekly wages in successive years in sewing trades..................... 107-113
Initial wage of the trade-school g irl.................................................................. 114-116
Policy of school in respect to initial wage....................................................
114
Initial wage for two five-year periods....................................................... 114,115
Rate of wage advanced compared with initial wage.............................. 115,116
Wages and occupations of trade-school girls at specified periods in their
working experience........................................................................................... 117-127
Girls remaining in trade for which trained and those leaving it for other
occupations.................................................................................................. 117-123
Girls never using trade for which trained....................................................
124
Comparative wages of trade-school and trade-trained dressmakers and
factory sewers at specified periods......................................................... 124-127
Factors determining wage advancement.......................................................... 127-142
Length of working experience..................................................................... 127-133
Age at beginning work................................................................................ - 133-138
Effect on wages of trade-school girls............................................ ..... 133-136
Effect on wages of trade-trained girls.................................... .......... 136-138
Academic education...................................................................................... 138-142
Wages of trade-school dressmakers, classified according to previous
schooling............................................................................................... 138-141
Wages of trade-trained dressmakers, classified according to previous
schooling............................................................................................... 141,142
Wages and length of working season.................................................................. 143-146
Length of season, b y trades, for 533 trade-school girls........................... 143-145
Wages of trade-school girls trained for sewing trades, classified accord­
ing to length of working season and trades................................... 145,146
Summary................................................................................................................- 146,147
Chapter V.—Industrial experience and wages of Worcester and Cambridge
trade-school girls...................................................................................................... 149-172
Worcester Girls’ Trade School............................................................................ 149 -165
Age and industrial distribution of girls studied...................................... 149,150
Employment in successive years............................ .................................... 150 -153
Length of working experience and employm ent.................................... 153,154
Age and employm ent........................................................................................
154
Reasons for not using trade.............................. .......................................... 154,155
Average wages at specified periods............................................................ 155-157
Classified wages at specified periods..............................................................
157
Wages and occupations at specified periods............................................ 157-160




C O N T EN TS.

5

Chapter V .—Industrial experience and wages of Worcester and Cambridge
trade-school girls— Concluded.
Worcester Girls’ Trade School— Concluded.
Page.
Factors affecting wages................................................................................. 160-163
Length of working experience..................... .................................... 160-162
Age at beginning work..............................................................................
162
Academic and trade-school training....................................... ......... 162,163
Wages and length of working season......................................................... 163-165
Trade-trained sewing girls in Worcester........................................................... 165-168
Cambridge Girls’ Trade School......................................................................... 169-171
Age, industrial distribution, and wages of girls studied....... ............... 169-171
Summary...................................................................... ........................................... 171,172
Chapter VI.— The girl who lias been trained in the trade sch ool....................... 173-194
Location in regard to school................................................................................ 173-176
Area from which Boston Trade School girls are d ra w n ........................ 173, 374
Distance from school and persistence in attendance............................. 174,175
Distance from school and use of trade...................................................... 175,176
Nativity of trade-school girls.............................................................................. 176-181
Economic status of families of trade-scliool girls............................................ 182-188
Occupations of fathers of trade-school girls.............................................. 182-184
Girls employed during interval between grammar-school and tradeschool attendance.. ................................................................................... 184-186
Age at beginning work.................................................................................. 186-188
Family condition of trade-school girls.............................................................. 188,189
Contribution to family incom e........................................................................... 189-192
Marriage as an interruption to working career................................................ 192.193
Summary................................................................................................................ 193,194
Chapter VII.—Industries for which trade schools train........................................ 195-233
Basis of trade training...............................................................................................
195
W omen’s clothing trades................. .............. . ........ ...................................... 195-199
Decrease in number of custom workers.................................................... 196,197
Decrease in proportion of young workers em ployed.............................. 197-199
Custom sewing trades............................................................................................ 200-210
Evolution of custom dressmaking.............................................................. 200-205
Attitude of employers toward beginners........................................... 201, 202
Attitude of employers toward trade schools and trade-school girls 202-205
Evolution of the millinery trade................................................................ 205-209
Growth of factory and decrease of custom work............................. 205-208
Attitude of employers toward trade-school girls............................. 208, 209
Summary of effect of changes in custom sewing trades upon opportuni­
ties for trade-school girls........................................................................... 209. 210
Power machine sewing trades....................................................................... .
210-233
Need of training for these trades................................................................ 211-213
Extent and character of these trades in Boston and W orcester.------- 213, 214
Analysis of characteristics of production in factories making light­
weight products.......................................................................................... 214-217
Opportunities and requirements in different branches of these trades 217-230
Dresses and waists.................................................................................. 217-221
Neckwear................................................................................................ 221, 222
Children’s dresses.............. *.................................................................. 222, 223
Underwear............................................................................................... 223-225
Shirts............................................................................. ...............................
225
Aprons and rompters. - ..................................................................- ...........
226
Curtains........................................................................................................
227
Skirts........................................................................................................ 227,228
Straw hats................................................................................................ 229, 230




6

CO N TEN TS,

Chapter VII.— Industries for w hich trade schools train— Concluded.
Power machine sewing trades— Concluded.
Page.
Methods of learning in the trades............................................................... 230,231
Cost of teaching in the factory.................................................................... 231, 232
Amount of shifting among factory em ployees......................................... 232, 233
Summary.....................................................................................................................
233
Chapter V m .— Summary and conclusions............................................................... 235-242
Appendix A.— Courses and administration of the trade schools for girls in
M assachusetts............................................................................................................ 243-256
Courses in the trade schools................................................................................. 243-246
246-253
Courses of departments in the Worcester Trade School.......................... ..
Dressmaking.................................................................................................... 247,248
Power-machine operating....................................................................
248, 249
M illinery.......................................................................................................... 249, 250
Trade cooking.....................................................................................................
250
Academ ic, art, cooking (general) courses, and physical edu ca tion ... 250-253
Administration of girls’ trade schools................................................................ 253-256
Appendix B.—Evening industrial schools for girls................................................ 257-269

This study was undertaken in September, 1914, b y the Department of Research of
the W om en’s Educational and Industrial Union of Boston, under the direction of
Dr. May Allinson, associate director, and with the advice and criticism of Dr. Susan
M. Kingsbury, director of the department. The study covered a period of eleven
months, seven months being devoted to field work and four months to writing the
report. Three fellows, Louise Moore, Edith Gray, and Cora Parkhurst, with two
secretaries in the office, constituted the working force. Special recognition should
be given Louise Moore for her independent work in planning and presenting the
material in Chapter I I on The school problem, her analyses of the machine-operating
trades (pp. 210 to 233), and for Appendixes A and B.




BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
WHOLE NO. 215.

W A S H IN G T O N .

OCTOBER, 1917.

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS
IN MASSACHUSETTS.
CHAPTER I.—INTRODUCTION.
PROBLEM OF TRADE TRAINING FOR GIRLS.

Trade training for girls has proved to be one of the most difficult
problems of present-day education. Federal, State, and private
reports on industrial conditions under which women work show the
need for some kind of more adequate preparation for life.1 With an
appreciation of the significance of these conditions has come a new
conception of education: a realization, first, that some sort of edu­
cation must be developed for those girls who can not be profited by
existing forms and, second, that teaching for trades must be under­
taken by educators in cooperation with employers.
Naturally, conflicting theories have arisen as to where, when, and
how this trade training can best be given. First, some educators
and employers insist that it can and should be given only in the
factory.2 Second, some maintain that systematic training can be
given only in special trade schools, because training and production
on a profit basis are incompatible.3 Third, others are still debating
as to whether this trade training can best be given preliminary to
1 Massachusetts. iCeport of the Commission on Industrial and Technical Education. April, 1906.
National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education. Reports and bulletins.
United States Bureau of Education, A trade school for girls, Bulletin, 1913, No. 17.
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics publications:
Bui. No. 145. Conciliation, arbitration, and sanitation in the dress and waist industry of New
York City. Appendix I—A study of the dress and waist industry for the purpose of industrial
education, p. 155.
Bui. No. 146. Wages and regularity of employment and standardization of piece rates in the dress
and waist industry: New York City.
Bui. No. 193. Dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts.
Report on condition of woman and child wage earners in the United Stages (S. Doc. No. 645, 61st
Cong., 2d sess.). 1910-1912.
All bulletins in Women in Industry series.
Reports of the Massachusetts Minimum Wage Commission.
Lorinda Perry: Millinery as a trade for women. New York, 1916.
Mary Van Kleeck: Wages in the millinery trade. (In Fourth Report of New York State Factory In­
vestigating Commission, 1915. Vol. II, pp. 361-469.)
Mary Van Kleeck: Women in the bookbinding trade. Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1913.
Mary Van Kleeck: Artificial-flower makers. Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1913.
s Anna C. Hedges: Wage worth of school training. Teachers’ College, Columbia University, New York,
1915.
3 Florence M. Marshall: Industrial training for women. Bulletin 4, National Society for the Promotion
of Industrial Education, October, 1907.




7

8

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRADE-SCITOOL GIRLS.

employment or in the form of continuation schooling, either in parttime day classes or in evening classes.1 Fourth, still others oppose
special industrial schools for the 14 to 16 year old child on the ground
that they must either deplete or unnecessarily duplicate the present
educational system and.tend toward class distinction.2
Whether a long or short period of training is required, what pro­
portion of time should be devoted to practical trade work and what
to related academic training, and how the academic and trade work
can best be combined, are questions still argued. The administrative
system by which these schools shall be controlled is another source
of controversy and both the unit and dual systems exist in Massa­
chusetts.3
Even if an agreement were reached upon the where, when, and how
of industrial education, the most perplexing question of all, What shall
constitute the basis of trade training— that is, for what trades shall
these schools train ?— is after ten years still an open question.
GROWTH OF TRADE SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS IN MASSACHUSETTS.

The first so-called trade school for girls in the United States was
established by private initiative in New York City in 1902. It was
planned to meet local problems and to train girls for the sewing
trades which occupy so important a place in that city,1 and which
offer good opportunities for the girl who has sufficient fundamental
training to gain entrance. In 1904, the Boston Trade School for
Girls was established by private initiative, also giving its main em­
phasis to training for the custom sewing trades, which occupy a
much smaller place in Boston, but still, at that time, presented good
openings. After five years’ experimentation under private manage­
ment, both schools were taken over as a part of tha public-school
system. In 1911, the Worcester and Somerville schools were estab­
lished, in Worcester as a part of the Independent Industrial Schools
and in Somerville5 as a part of the public-school system. In 1913, the
Cambridge Trade School was established as a part of the public-school
system.
1 Massachusetts, Board of Education: Special report on tlie needs and possibilities of part-time educa­
tion, 1913. Also Mary Van Kleeck: Working girls in evening schools. Russell Sage Foundation, New
York, 1914. Also Anna C. Hedges: Wage worth of school training.
2 John Dewey: Industrial education and democracy, in Survey, Mar. 22, 1913, p. 870. See also David
Snedden and John Dewey: Communications on vocational education in New Republic, May 15,1915, pp.
40-43.
3 The question of the dual system, in Survey, Jan. 18, 1913, p. 490.
II. E. Miles: Work and citizenship—The Wisconsin experiment in industrial education, in Survey,
Feb. 15, 1913, p. 682.
E. H. Fish: Revolution in school control, in Survey, June 21,1913, p. 407.
4 Mrs. Mary Schenck Woolman: The making of a girls’ trade school. Columbia Univ ersity Press, New
York, 1909.
5 The Somerville School was changed to the Vocational School for Girls—offering training for home mak­
ing—in 1913-14.




IN TR O D U CTIO N .

9

All the trade schools have been organized on the model of the
Manhattan Trade School, giving the main emphasis to the custom
sewing trades. But, while the Manhattan Trade School might train
and place advantageously any number of girls who applied for train­
ing in the custom sewing trades, the Massachusetts trade schools soon
found that this opportunity was limited. In Worcester, for instance,
only a small proportion of the young girls trained for dressmaking
and millinery can utilize their training in a wage-earning capacity
because of the limited number of openings in this city. The schools
in the different localities, therefore, are gradually being forced to
adjust their training to local trade conditions, and to realize certain
fundamental facts: First, that there is a fairly constant but very lim­
ited demand for young girls with some degree of skill and maturity
in the custom sewing trades, and, second, that the school must de­
velop new lines of work for those without special aptitude in the
trades originally selected by the school.
NEW QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION.

Trade schools at first met much serious criticism and there was a
conscious emphasis by their supporters on their educative value and
their development of the girl as a future home maker. After these
new schools became established as a recognized part of the school sys­
tem, a new and more insistent issue was faced— that of the pupils7 ca­
pacity to meet trade standards. The new emphasis, therefore, is laid
on trade efficiency. But since trade efficiency means personal ad­
vancement, the two motives are by no means divorced but very
intimately connected.
A new and most serious situation, however, now confronts the trade
schools for girls, for the sewing trades have undergone a tremendous
industrial evolution during the twelve or more years these schools
have been training for these trades.
Opportunities for trade-school pupils are decreasing in the custom
trades, not only from the standpoint of decreasing numbers employed
but also because of the industrial demands for increasing maturity,
skill, and experience. The insistent problem of the immediate future
is, therefore, twofold: To develop a type of trade training in accord­
ance with the specific industrial needs of each of these custom trades,
and to divert the pupils to some extent into other lines of work, so
that the number of trained workers turned out shall not exceed the
capacity of their trades to provide them employment. %
Industrial education thus involves many new questions which are
increasingly demanding consideration.
1.
A trade school must know the trend and the demands of the
trades, (a) from the standpoint of numbers that it may not over­




10

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E D IE N C E

OF TEA D E-SCH O O L GIRLS.

stock the supply, and (b) from the standpoint of qualifications of
the workers that its pupils may be able to meet trade demands.
2. Trade practice and products which change greatly and without
reason in the fashion trades constitute the basis of instruction.
3. A new conception of school administration becomes a necessity,
for the trade school must be allowed a large degree of independence,
flexibility, and correlation with and adjustment to the industries to
which it caters. Its methods, hours and atmosphere must approxi­
mate trade rather than school conditions.
4. Since the efficiency of a vocational school is judged by the suc­
cess of its pupils, the trade school must study the industrial experience
of its pupils that it may, on a basis of concrete knowledge, develop
and readjust its curriculum to meet the changing needs and condi­
tions.
METHODS AND SCOPE OF THIS SURVEY.

To provide some concrete facts on these many points of debate,
this study was undertaken. The main purpose has been to see to
what extent the trade school can equip a girl as an efficient producer.
To draw fair and intelligent conclusions, we must know:
1. What proportion of the girls complete their trade course—that
is, what degree of selection is represented by the girls who utilize
their training in a wage-earning capacity ?
2. What has been the aim of the school and the methods by
which it has sought to prepare the girl for wage earning ?
3. What are the processes and conditions of employment in the
industries and what demands do they make on their workers ?
4. How does the trade-school girl meet these demands in compari­
son with the girl who has acquired her training in the industry itself ?
Because of the comparatively short existence of these schools, it
was within reason to attempt a complete survey of the total number
who had gone out from the three trade schools, Boston, Worcester
and Cambridge, as a basis for conclusion, rather than to employ
the more usual sampling method. The records of all girls leaving
school were t&ken from the school files, 2,044 girls leaving the Boston
Trade School from September, 1904 to September, 1914, 343 from
the Worcester Trade School from September, 1911 to February,
1915, and 113 from the Cambridge Trade School from February,
1913 to February, 1915, making a total of 2,500 trade-school girls.
Since the trade schools make an effort to place their pupils and
to keep a record of their subsequent experience, some index was
provided as to those using and not using their training in a wageearning capacity. These records also provided data on the date of
birth, previous schooling, date of entering the trade school, course,
and usually the father's occupation, taken at the time of registration.




IN TR O D U CTIO N .

11

An intensive study of the working experience through personal inter­
views with all girls who used their training in a wage-earning capacity
and all others who attended the trade school nine months or more was
determined on for Boston and Worcester, and of the total group from
the Cambridge Trade School, since the comparatively small number
made this possible. Because the effort has been made to give a
complete picture of all girls who used their training, the total number
is accounted for in most of the tables, even though there may be no
data on some one point, because the girl could not remember this
particular item.
In Boston, records were found of 788 who had used their training
one week or more and of 135 who had attended the trade school nine
months or more but had not used their trade, making a total of
923, or 45.2 per cent of the total number leaving during the school's
10 years* existence. This number was checked from every possible
source. Girls from different classes went through the lists and fre­
quently contributed helpful information. All girls visited in their
homes were asked for information concerning their classmates and
sometimes contributed new names which had not appeared on the
trade-schooi records. Forty-four additional girls whose names were
secured in this way were followed up on one clue or another, but
were found not to have used their trade. Seventy-four of the 923
could not be located, leaving 849, of whom 744 used their trade and
105 attended the trade school nine months or more but did not use
their trade.

The problem was simpler in Worcester because the experience of
the school covered only three years. Of a total of 343 girls, 166
had used their trade or attended the trade school nine months or
more and all were found and interviewed. In spite of the short
period (two years) covered by the Cambridge Trade School, 15 of
the total 113 girls could not be located, making 98 girls the basis of
study for this school.
Of the total, 2,500 girls, therefore, leaving the three trade schools,
1,202 girls, or 48.1 per cent, were chosen for an intensive study of
their working experience, and of these 1,113, or 92.6 per cent, were
found and interviewed.
Naturally many difficulties were encountered in securing these
“ experience ” records. Some of the addresses dated 10 years back,
and a long trip to a remote suburb sometimes brought the investi­
gator to an empty lot or to a big factory where once may have stood
a house. The girls had scattered to all parts of the United States,
and a few of the records had to be secured by correspondence, several
letters sometimes being required to clear up one fact. One record
came from Detroit, another from Austin, Tex., another from New
York, another from New Jersey. Names had changed for various




12

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

reasons. Mary Smith was reported by a neighbor to have married a
Mr. Pistachio, who worked in the Palace of Sweets in Lynn. A letter
to Mrs. Pistachio brought no response, and as^a last resort, before
making the trip, the investigator secured telephone connection with
the Palace of Sweets and asked for Mr. Pistachio. The blur of sounds
served the investigator well, for the voice at the other end asked,
“ You wish Mr. Rustaccio?” The investigator, assenting, found that
Mr. Rustaccio was the husband of Mary Smith and received a
hearty invitation to come to-morrow afternoon at 3 o’clock and she
would be sure to be at home.
Maria Martinucci was sought far and near. Neighbors, teachers,
settlement workers in the neighborhood were interviewed. Tracer
letters were sent to 110 avail. One day another trade-school girl
mentioned that Maria was working at Madame X ’s. The investi­
gator hurried to the shop and was met with the statement that no
such person ever worked there. “ Ask Madame X ,” insisted the
investigator, “ if she knows her.” Madame came out and, after listen­
ing to the story, said, “ Oh, you must mean Mary Martin.” Mary
Martin was called out and proved to be Maria Martinucci, the tradeschool girl.
Clues no more definite than “ I don’t know where she lives, but
she is cashier i n --------- , in the grocery department on the fifth floor,
right opposite the meat” ; or “ Ask the undertaker on the corner; he
buried her brother last year,” brought the investigator i*i touch with
girls from whom the trade school had had no information for years.
The most difficult situation to surmount was occasioned by precau­
tionary measures against being traced by bill collectors. In several
cases the investigator secured certain information of a girl but could
not personally reach her. “ Oh, she’s a friend of mine; I wouldn’t
put a collector on her track,” was the reply to inquiries and all efforts
to locate her proved futile.
From these girls was sought their complete working experience by
successive years, after leaving the trade school, that information
might be gained on such points as these:
1. What types are coming to the trade school for training and how
do they correspond to the types already in these trades ?
2. What are the requisite qualifications for success and what pro­
portion complete the course of training?
3. What proportion enter their trade and in what length of time do
they become self-supporting ?
4. What influences determine advancement and success?
For some basis of comparison it was decided to secure the experi­
ence record of 100 girls in dressmaking and in the cloth machineoperating trades in Boston. The method by which these should be
secured was one for serious consideration. The first attempt was
made to secure cases from the educational certificates in the school




IN TRO D UCTIO N .

13

offices, all girls of 16 to 21 years being so registered by law. This
was soon found impracticable as the sole basis, since the new law
of 1913, under which a new system was inaugurated, had been in
force only one year, and the types secured by this means proved to
be below normal, drifting from industry to industry and from shop
to shop.1 Complete lists of all girls not exceeding 25 years were
next taken from pay rolls of typical shops and factories. This
method excluded the drifter in most cases, since the girl remaining
less than one week did not appear on the pay roll. The lists were
supplemented by names secured through other girls, or from people
in touch with girls in the sewing trades. Forty-six girls who were
under 25 years and were employed in the sewing trades in Worcester
were secured through the Worcester Evening Trade School. Through
these different methods a group of girls were secured who corre­
spond to a surprising degree in age, education, and wage with the
trade-school girls.
A study of the three trade schools to discover their purpose, the
needs which they attempt to meet, and the methods by which they
are trying to fulfill their aim, and a cursory survey of the industries
to see to what extent the school has grasped its problem rounded
out the study.
The following chapters therefore seek to show:
1. The problems with which the trade school has been confronted
from the standpoint of—
(a) The girl who comes for training.
(b) The industries for which it trains.

2. The 'specific problems which it has attempted to solve and the
extent to which it has succeeded or failed.
3. The conclusions which may be drawn for future development
and adjustment.




i Bee Table 50, p. 87.




CHAPTER II.—THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.
THE SCHOOL.

The leaders in the movement to establish trade schools for girls,
an experiment in education begun outside the regularly established
school system, found it necessary very early to formulate a state­
ment of their aim. This, briefly stated, is to “ give girls an educa­
tion that will fit them for industrial work as distinguished from office
work and teaching.” a That the public desires this type of education
is proved by the adoption of the Boston Trade School for Girls by
the Boston School Committee and the Massachusetts State Board of
Education, and by the founding of similar schools in the cities of
Worcester and Cambridge.
GROWTH OF ENROLLMENT IN TRADE SCHOOLS.

The action of these three cities seems to have been justified by
the number of girls who have taken advantage of the opportunity
thus presented. The growth in membership of the trade schools as
compared with the growth of the other schools under public manage­
ment is striking. In 1905 the enrollment in the Boston day schools
T able

1.—RELATIVE INCREASE IN ENROLLMENT IN TRADE SCHOOLS AND OTHER
PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN BOSTON AND WORCESTER, BY YEARS, 1906 TO 1914.
Boston.

Worcester.

Per cent of increase in enrollment in—

Year.

Day schools.1

High and
normal
schools.1

Over
pre­
ced­
ing
year.
1906..................
1907........ .........
1908..................
1909..................
1910..................
1911..................
1912..................
1913..................
1914..................

Over
1905.

Over
pre­
ced­
ing
year.

2.2
1.2
2.0
2.9
5 .2
*1.1
3.6
1.2
3.1

2.2
3.4
5.5
8.6
8.3
7.2
11.0
12.3
15.8

4.2
1.6
6.7
20.9
12.9
9.6
7.7
1.5
5.1

Over
1905.

Trade school Day schools.3 High schools.3 Trade school
for girls.2
for girls.4
Over
pre­
ced­
ing
year.

Over
1905.

4.2
14.0 14.0
5.4 20.2
5.9
13.0 63.5 96.5
36.6 58.9 212.3
54.2 523.6 138.6
69.1 25.0 198.2
82.0 15.3 243.9
84.8 28.6 342.1
17.9 421.1
94.3

Over
pre­
ced­
ing
year.

Over
1912.

Over
pre­
ced­
ing
year.

Over
1912.

Over
pre­
ced­
ing
year.

Over
1912.

..........!...........
....... .......

2.1
4.9

2.1
7.1

7.4
5.6

7.4
13.4

66.7
21.8

66.7
102.9

1 From annual reports of the Boston School Committee, 1905 to 1914.
2 From annual reports of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1905 to 1909; annual reports of the Boston
School Committee, 1910 to 1914.
3 From annual reports of the Worcester Public Schools, 1912 to 1914.
4 From data furnished by the Worcester Trade School for Girls.
1
5 Decrease.
® Worcester, Report of Trustees of Independent Industrial Schools for the year ending June 30, 1911,
p. 622.




15

16

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRADE-SCHOOL G IRLS.

was 102.880, in the high and normal schools 8,115, and in the trade
school for girls 114. In 1912, when the Worcester Trade School for
Girls was opened, the enrollment in the Worcester day schools was
23,539, in the high schools 3,101, and in the trade school 102. Table 1
shows the relative increase in enrollment for these various schools,
giving both the increase each year over the enrollment of the preceding
year and the increase over the year in which the trade schools were
founded, respectively.

In Boston the average annual increase in the total enrollment of
the day schools from 1905 to 1914, inclusive, was 1.7 per cent, in the
high and normal schools, 7.9 per cent, and in the trade school for
girls, 22.8 per cent. That is, the enrollment in the trade school has
increased about thirteen times as rapidly as that of all the public day
schools, and almost three times as fast as that of the high and normal
schools. During the whole period, while the enrollment in all day
schools has increased by a little less than one-sixth and the enroll­
ment in the high and normal schools has not quite doubled, the
enrollment in the trade school for girls has more than quadrupled.
The trade school in Worcester has had a far shorter period of growth,
but is showing the same tendency to a rapid increase. During the
first year of its history its enrollment increased two-thirds, and the
next year a little more than one-fifth. The total number of pupils
registered in 1914 was a little more than twice the number enrolled
in 1912. Meanwhile, the day schools had increased their numbers
by 7.1 per cent and the high schools by 13.4 per cent.
Striking as these comparative percentages of increase are, they do
not tell the whole story, since the actual enrollment has not at any
time since the first year represented all who wished to enter the trade
r
schools. Since then the schools have been unable to accommodate
all applicants, so the number has been limited and pupils are allowed
to enter as vacancies occur, in the order of their application. The
consistently rapid growth of the trade schools for girls shows the
value set upon this sort of training by the community, the girls, and
their parents.
NONCOMPETITIVE CHARACTER OF TRADE AND ORDINARY SCHOOLS.

The very rapid increase in the trade-school enrollment naturally
raises the question, “ Are these schools competing w^ith ordinary high
and grammar schools or are they satisfying a need not previously
met by other educational institutions?” Certainly they are not
competing on the same terms, owing to the great difference between
the trade-school courses and those offered in any other kind of schools.
There is good reason for thinking, however, that they are not com­
peting at all. A comparison between the rate of increase shown in
the preceding table for the high schools and the trade schools does
not indicate that the high schools have suffered from the establish-




17

T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

ment of the trade schools. In both Boston and Worcester the per­
centage of increase in the-high schools since the establishment of the
trade schools has been normal, the increase being in Boston about
five times as rapid as in all schools and in Worcester about twice as
rapid. Moreover, in the years 1908 and 1909, when the Boston
Trade School showed the largest increases, 63.5 per cent and 58.9 per
cent, respectively, the high school increases, also, were unusually
large (6.7 per cent in 1908 and 20.9 per cent in 1909).1 As to com­
petition with the grammar schools, the age of the trade-school pupils
seems to show that if it exists at all it is too small to have any impor­
tance. Girls may not enter the trade schools until they are 14 years
of age, and in the Boston school two-thirds of the total number of
pupils enrolled since its opening have been over this age. (See Table
5.) But in June, 1914, only 1.9 per cent of all pupils in the elemen­
tary schools of Boston were over 14, and in 1913 the proportion was
3.9 per cent.2 Evidently the field of possible competition between
grammar and trade school is very limited.
Another indication that the trade schools reach a type of girl not
attracted to the regular school, or, at least, not held by it, is found in
the rather large proportion of the pupils in both the Boston and the
Worcester trade schools who had been out of the regular schools for
some time before entering the trade schools. In Boston 849 girls
and in Worcester 166 were visited. The following table shows how
many of these had been out of school for four months or more before
entering the trade school:
T a b le

2.—INTERVAL BETWEEN LEAVING REGULAR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND ENTER­
ING TRADE SCHOOL, FOR 164 GIRLS IN BOSTON AND 45 IN WORCESTER.
Number of girls out of school
specified length of time be­
fore entering—
Total.

Time intervening.
Boston Trade
School.

W orcester
Trade School.

4 and under 8 months..........................
8 and under 12 months.........................
12 and under 16 months.......................
16 and under 20 months.......................
20 and under 24 months.......................
2 and under 3 years..............................
3*and under 4 years..............................
4 and under 5 years..............................
5 years or more.....................................

58
34
28
11
2
1
1
10
5
5

17
6
13
3
1
3
2

75
40
41
14
3
14
12
5
5

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

14
G

45

209

It appears from this that in Boston nearly one-fifth of the girls
visited (18.1 per cent), and in Worcester more than one-fourth
1 The rapid increase in the number of pupils in the high schools of Boston in 1909 was partly due to chang­
ing the number of grades in the grammar school from nine to eight, thus throwing into the high school the
pupils of one grade which had previously been included in the grammar course.
2 Report of the Boston School Committee, 1913, Document 9, p. 17; 1914. Document 6, p. 15.

85225°— 17— Bull. 215-------2




18

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OE TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

(27.1 per cent) had been out of the regular public schools from
four months to nearly four years before entering the trade schools.
If the girls visited are representative of the whole body of pupils—
and there is no reason to suppose that they are not—it is evident that
there is a considerable proportion of the trade-school pupils for whom
the question of competition between the two kinds of schools could not
arise; they had definitely left one before planning to enter the other.
When the trade schools were started it was with the purpose of
reaching the kind of girl who did not wish to attend high school, or
who could not afford the time for it, and this purpose has been borne
in mind throughout. In both the Boston and the Worcester 'trade
schools it is customary to send back to the grammar and high schools
all pupils who their instructors have reason to think will do better in
academic than in trade work. In Worcester 7.3 1 per cent of all the
pupils leaving the trade schools for any reason returned to other
schools. On the Boston records 11.6 1 per cent are set down as
having returned to school.
Summing up the situation, then, such information as is available
seems to show that the trade school is not a competitor of the regular
grammar and high schools, because: (1) The character of the work
done is so different from that carried on in other public schools
that it would scarcely attract children likely to make a success of the
ordinary school studies. It is primarily attractive to the girl whose
chief interest is to earn money as soon as possible, but who is willing
and able to give a short time for preparation. (2) The pupils do not
come in any large measure from those of ordinary grammar school
age. (3) Na change in the percentage of increase in high and nor­
mal schools can be discovered in the 10 years subsequent to the
founding of the trade school in Boston. (4) Many of the pupils
(20.6 per cent of those visited in Boston and Worcester) had definitely
left the regular public schools before entering the trade schools.
(5) The trade schools have sent back to grammar and high school 10.5
per cent of the whole number of pupils leaving the trade schools. . The
increase in the enrollment seems to indicate, therefore, that the trade
schools are filling a need not hitherto met in the system of education,
and that instead of competing with the other schools they supplement
them, giving a training which the regular schools can not supply but
for which there is a real demand.
COURSES OFFERED IN THE DIFFERENT TRADE SCHOOLS.

The courses offered in the trade schools differ essentially from those
given in any other educational institution, both in object and in
method of presentation. The selection of the trades to be taught
in the several communities has been a matter of much difficulty.




i See Table 28, p. 45.

T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

19

The bases of selection may be three: First, a general survey of trade
opportunities for women in the city, including occupations for which
women are generally supposed to be best adapted, particularly those
connected with the making of clothing and the preparation of food;
second, a scientific survey of a community to determine which lines
of work offer the best opportunities; and, third, the experience of
the school itself, resulting in the modification of old courses and the
introduction of new ones, in accordance with the demands of the
public with which the school comes in contact.
Boston followed the first of these plans. From a study of such
data as were available it was decided that “ clothing trades offer
women the greatest opportunities.” 1 A brief survey of the dress­
making, millinery, and ready-made clothing industries was then
made to determine the content of the proposed courses. Sewing
only was offered in the summer course given in 1904,2 and millinery
and power-machine operating on cloth were added in the fall.
In addition to these three trades, selected on the basis of the first
general survey, training in three other trades is now offered, as a
result of the experience of the school. Power-machine operating on
straw hats has been taught since 1905-6,3 and trade cooking and
design were first offered in 1912-13.4
In the other three cities the second plan of selection was followed.
The board of trustees of the Independent Industrial Schools in
Worcester and the superintendents of schools in Cambridge and
Somerville were instrumental in securing a survey of their cities
before the girls* trade schools were established.5 Dressmaking,
millinery, and power-machine operating on cloth have been taught in
Worcester since the opening of the school; trade cooking was intro­
duced in September, 1914. In Cambridge, at first, dressmaking,
cooking, and millinery were offered. The course in millinery was
discontinued in October, 1914, because the management believed
that, as a trade, it offered too little opportunity. In Somerville,
dressmaking and millinery were taught in 1911-12. The following
year, the household arts side of the training received more emphasis
than the trade side, and in 1913-14 the name of the school was
changed from the Trade School for Girls to the Vocational School for
Girls. Dressmaking, millinery, and cooking are taught as homemaking vocations with trade standards.

In 1914-15, then, the Boston Trade School for Girls offered six
courses, dressmaking, millinery, power-machine operating on cloth,
1 Fifth Annual Report of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1909, p. 11.
First Annual Report of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1905, pp. 6, 7.
3 Second Annual Report of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1906, p. 14.
4 Trade School Bulletin IV, April, 1912; Trade School Bulletin VI, May, 1913.
s Department of Research, Women’s Educational and Industrial Union: A trade school for girls, United
States Bureau of Education, Bulletin, 1913, No. 17, p. 9.
2




20

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

power-machine operating on straw hats, catering, and design; the
Worcester school trained girls in four subjects—dressmaking, mil­
linery, power-machine operating on cloth, and trade cooking. In
Cambridge, instruction was offered in dressmaking and in trade
cooking.
Besides these trade courses, of which each girl selects one, supple­
mentary courses in cooking, art, academic branches, and physical
training are required of all pupils. The Boston Trade School, ever
since it was founded, has required its pupils to take design and
physical training.1 The course in cooking, with household arts in­
tent, has been obligatory since the summer of 1905, and academic
work since 1906-7.2 The other schools, founded since the Boston
Trade School, and profiting by its experience, have had supple­
mentary work since the beginning.
RELATIVE DEMAND FOR THE DIFFERENT COURSES.

The number of girls enrolled in each course in the several schools
since their foundation shows where the emphasis of the teaching has
been placed. The following table shows the distribution of the
2,500 pupils among the courses offered:
T able

3.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS TRAINED IN EACH SPECIFIED TRADE
IN BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOLS.
Girls trained in specified trades.
Number.

Course.

Per ccnt.i

Wor­ Cam­
Wor- Cam­
Boston. cester. bridge. Total. Boston. , cester. bridge. Total.
1,255
426

224
53

178
137
19
10
19
2,044

343

1,557
500

62.0
21.0

66.3
15. 7

239
137
33
10
24

8.8
6.8
.9
.5

18.0

113

2,500

100.0

100.0

61

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

78
21
14

Dressmaking......................................
Millinery.............................................
Power-machine operating on—
Cloth...........................................
Straw hats...................................
Trade cooking....................................
Design................................................
Not reported......................................

5

69.0
18.6

62.9
20.2

12.4

9.7
5.5
1.3
.4

100.0

100.0

i Based on the number of girls whose course was reported.

It will be seen that of all the girls who have gone out from the
three trade schools, almost two-thirds (62.9 per cent) have taken
dressmaking and one-fifth have been trained in millinery. That is,
four-fifths of the girls (83.1 per cent) have been trained in the two
custom or hand sewing trades, while only one-fifth have taken* advan­
tage of the other four trades offered. These proportions have been
1 First Annual Report of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1905, p. S.
2 Third Annual Report of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1907, p. 14.




21

T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

nearly the same in all the schools, even in Boston, which offers the
greatest variety of other courses. Worcester shows a much larger
percentage than Boston of girls learning power-machine operating on
cloth, and Cambridge has relatively a large proportion who have
chosen trade cooking, but in each of the three cities more than 80
per cent of the pupils have enrolled in the two hand-sewing trades.
A study of the enrollment in 1915 shows that this situation has not
changed. The following table, compiled from data furnished by the
three trade schools, shows the number enrolled in the different courses
in January, 1915:
4.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF PUPILS ENROLLED IN SPECIFIED COURSES
IN BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOLS AT THE TIME OF THE
INVESTIGATION, JANUARY, 1915.

T able

Girls enrolled in specified trades.
Number.

Course.

Per cent.*

Wor­ Cam­
Wor­
Boston. cester. bridge. Total. Boston. cester. Cam­ Total.
bridge.
Dressmaking......................................
Millinery............................................
Power-machine operating on—
Cloth............................................
Straw hats...................................
Trade cooking....................................
N ot reported .....................................

343
70

108
15

26
30
14

18
12

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

483

153

82

533
85

71.0
14.5

70.6
9.8

44
30
38
*
2

5.4
6.2
2.9

11.8

12
2

7.8

12.8

6.0
4.1
5.2

98

732

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

87.2

73.0
11.6

i Based on the number of girls whose course was reported.

The proportions shown here in the twro custom sewring trades are
curiously close to those shown in the preceding table. In all three
cities millinery has lost ground and dressmaking has gained, but these
two trades still account for over four-fifths of the total enrollment.
Of the other trades offered, cooking is the only one that shows a
gain, and its increase is less than half of that shown by dressmaking.
There is little doubt that these proportions fail to correspond to
the trade demands in any of the three cities. The emphasis on
training for the custom sewing trades is due not so much to the needs
of the industries as to the attitude of the schools and their patrons.
One important reason for the numbers found in these courses is the
disfavor in which factory work is held. Power-machine operating
leads to factory work, which the girls do not wish to enter. This
dislike is probably due mainly to misconceptions and lack of knowl­
edge of conditions in the modern clothing factory, which compares
favorably with the custom shop in sanitary conditions, wage oppor­
tunities, and working conditions in general. Again, dressmaking and
millinery, occupations which have always been followed by women,




22

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

h a v e b e e n o ffe r e d as tr a d e co u rse s sin c e th e sc h o o ls w e re o p e n e d , a n d
c o n s e q u e n t ly tr a in in g i n th e se s u b je c t s h a s b e e n m o r e c lo s e ly s t u d ie d
a n d is o r g a n iz e d o n a m o r e c a r e fu l a n a ly s is o f p r o c e sse s t h a n is th e
c a s e w it h s o m e o f th e n e w e r t r a d e s .

T h e s c h o o ls th e r e fo r e t e n d t o

m a k e th e s e c o u r se s m o r e a t t r a c t iv e to th e p u p ils .

M o r e o v e r , d r e ss­

m a k i n g a n d m illin e r y c a n a lw a y s b e u t iliz e d b y th e g ir l a t h o m e ,
a n d th e p u b lic , th e s c h o o l, a n d t h e p u p il are lik e ly t o o v e r e m p h a s iz e
t h is p h a s e , fo r g e t t in g t h a t th e fu n c t io n o f a tr a d e s c h o o l is t o fit fo r
a tr a d e , a n d t h a t p r o c e sse s s u c h as c u tt in g a n d fit t in g , w h ic h a re
e s s e n tia l fo r h o m e u se ,

are n o t g iv e n e x c e p t to

th e m o r e m a t u r e

p u p ils w h o r e tu r n fo r a d v a n c e d tr a in in g , sin c e t h e y w o u ld n o t b e o f
im m e d ia t e v a lu e t o t h e y o u n g b e g in n e r in th e s h o p .

THE PUPILS AND THE SCHOOL,
AGE AND PREVIOUS SCHOOLING OF PUPILS ENTERING THE TRADE SCHOOLS.
A l t h o u g h t h e t r a d e sc h o o ls h a v e a c le a r ly , d e fin e d a im a n d a fa ir ly
s im p le p r o g r a m o f a c t iv it ie s , t h e y fa c e a d iffic u lt p r o b le m in a d ju s t in g
th is p r o g r a m t o th e v a r ie d a g e a n d e d u c a t io n a l a c q u ir e m e n ts o f th e ir
5.—AGE AT ENTRANCE OF GIRLS ENTERING THE BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND
CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOLS AND THE VOCATIONAL SCHOOL OF SOMERVILLE.

Table

NUMBER.
Pupils of specified, age entering—
Age at entering trade school.

Boston Trade School.
19041909

Worces­
ter
Trade
1909- Total. School.
1914 1

Cam­ Total Somer­
ville
bridge entering Voca­
Trade trade tional
School. schools. School.

Under 15 years................................................
15 and under 16 years.......................................
16 and under 17 vears.......................................
17 and under 18 years. ..................................
18 and under 19 years......................................
19 and under 20 years.......................................
20 and under 2 years.......................................
1
21 years and over.............................................
Not reported....................................................

289
236
157
77
26
12
4
5
2

392
354
240
145
43
22
9
20
11

681
590
397
222
69
34
13
25
13

143
93
56'
24
13
6
2
1
5

41
*32
21
6
7
3
1
1
1

865
715
474
252
89
43
16
27
!9

52
50
38
16
8
3
2
2
1

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

808

1,236

2,044

343

113

2,500

172

PER CENT OF EACH SPECIFIED AGE.2
Under 15 years.................................................
15 and under 16 vears......................................
16 and under 17 years.......................................
17 and under 18 vears......................................
18 and under 19 years......................................
19 and under 20 years......................................
20 and under 21 years......................................
21 years and over........................ ....................

35.9
29.3
19.5
9.6
3.2
L5
.5
.6

32.0
28.9
19.6
11.8
3.5
1.8
.7
1.6

33.5
29.0
19.5
10.9
3.4
1.7
.6
1.2

42.3
27.5
16.6
7.1
3.8
1.8
.6
.3

36.6
28.6
18.8
5.4
6.3
2.7
.9
.9

34.9
28.8
19.1
10.2
3.6
1.7
.6
1.1

30. 4
29.2
22.2
9.4
4.7
1. 7
1.2
1.2

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1 From July, 1904, to August, 1909, inclusive, the Boston Trade School was under private management
and from September, 1909, was a part of the public-school system.
2 Based on number of pupils whose age at entering trade school was reported.




T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

23

pupils. The only limitation on admission to the trade schools made
by the State board of education relates to age. Up to its capacity
each school admits all applicants who are 14 years old and under 25.1
This results in a condition which does not exist in any other part of
the day-school system. The trade-school pupils range in age from
14 to 20 and over and in previous schooling from those who have
never gone beyond the third grade to high-school graduates. Natu­
rally this wide variation in age and acquirements increases materially
the difficulty of adapting the courses to the needs of the pupils.
Table 5 shows the classification by age at entrance of the pupils of the
three trade schools and the one vocational school.
Considering the whole group who have entered the trade schools,
it appears that over one-third were under 15 at the time of entrance,
and that only in Worcester does this proportion differ much in the
individual schools. The next largest group is also the next most
youthful group, the girls between 15 and 16 years forming nearly
three-tenths of the total. In other words, more than three-fifths
have been under 16 when they entered the trade schools. Nearty
three-tenths have been 16 but under 18, while those aged 18 or over
form only 7 per cent of the whole.
It is interesting to notice that a trade school seems to attract a
younger group when first opened than later. During the first five
years of the Boston Trade SchooPs existence, 65.2 per cent of the
pupils were under 16 when they entered; during the next five years
this proportion sank to 60.9 per cent. Again, 15.4 per cent of those
entering from 1904 to 1909 against 19.4 per cent of those entering
from 1909 to 1914 were 17 or over at entrance. In Worcester the
trade school was opened in 1911 and in Cambridge in 1913, so that
both these schools may be regarded as still in their first period,,
In Worcester 69.8 per cent and in Cambridge 65.2 per cent of the
pupils have entered before they were 16. These proportions corres­
pond very closely to those of the Boston Trade School up to 1909, as
do also the 13.6 per cent in Worcester and the 16.2 per cent in Cam­
bridge entering at 17 or over.
From a school point of view this variation in age makes an extremely
difficult situation, since pupils of 14 and 16 must be taught in the
same classes. Girls of 16 can be taught with older girls more easily
than with younger girls. The 36.3 per cent of the pupils who enter
when they are 16 or over present a serious problem for adjustment
on the part of the school.
The variation in previous schooling at time of entrance is even
greater than the variation in age. The following table shows the
extent of variation in this respect:




1 Massachusetts Acts of 1911, ch. 471, sec. 3.

2 4

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

T a b l e 6 . — NUMBER

AND PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE
SCHOOL PUPILS HAVING EACH SPECIFIED AMOUNT OF PREVIOUS SCHOOLING.
Pupils with specified schooling.
Per cent.i

Number.
Previous schooling.

Boston Trade
School.
Wor­ Cam­
cester bridge Total.
Trade Trade
1904- 19091904- 1909- Total, School. School.
1909 1914 Total.
1909 1914
Boston Trade
School.

Wor­ Cam­
cester bridge
Trade Trade Total.
School. School.

GRAMMAR SCHOOL.

Third grade................
Fourth grade..............
Fifth grade.................
Sixth grade................
Seventh grade........... .
Eighth grade.............
Ninth grade...............
Graduate...................
Foreign.....................
Unclassified2
.............

1
4
26
54
124
133
28
286
1
12

2
16
21
71
143
156
44
432
14
57

Total, grammar
school...........

669

956 1,625

3
20
47
125
267
2S9
72
718
15
69

4
10
31
65
75
25
31

4
4
14
35
12
1
25

0.1 0.2 0.1
.5
1.0
1.3
61 3.2
1.7 2.3
170 6.7 5.8 6.2
367 15.4 11.7 13.2
376 16.5 12.8 14.3
98 3.5 3.6 3.6
774 35.4 35.4 35.4
15
.1
.7
1.1
75 1.5 4.7 3.4

96 1,967

3.6
12.7
31.8
10.9
.9
22.7

1.5

.9

0.1
1.1
2.5
6.9
14.8
15.2
4.0
31.3
.6
3.0

73.4

78.3

1.2
3.0
9.3
19.4
22.4
7.5
9.3

87.3

79.5

15.2
7.8
2.1
.3
.6
.3

5.5
5.5

11.6

12.7

20.2

26.6

12.7

20.5

100.0

100.0

SECONDARY SCHOOLS.

Hir.h school:
First year_
_
Second year..
Third year...
Fourth year..
Graduate___
Unclassified..

147
56
21
3
22
13

287 10.3
126 4.7
.6
33
4
33
16

230
94
26
3
29
15

Tot al , hi gh
school.............
Technical school....... .

135

262
3

397

138

265

403

14

15

16

4.6
1.7
.2
1.8
1.1

11.3
4.6
1.3
.1
1.4
.7

16.7
.4

21.5
.2

19.6
.3

17.1

21.7

14

Total, secondary
schools........ I.

12.0

Schooling not reported.
Grand total.......

1,236 2,044

506

5.1
1.3
J2
1.3
.6
.3

27
113 2,500 100.0

100.0 100.0

1 Based on number of pupils whose previous schooling was reported.
2 Including ungraded schools, special schools, country schools, etc.

It will be seen that 51.8 per cent of the 2,500 girls considered have
been grammar-school graduates, and 20.5 per cent of the 2,500 have
had some high or technical school training. As representing the
extremes, 10.6 per cent have gone no further than the sixth grade
and 1.3 per cent have graduated from the high school. In so far
as this variation means simply a difference in the amount of infor­
mation acquired, it presents no serious difficulty to the trade school,
since the trade training calls for a kind of power very different from
that developed by mere memory training. But since the difference
means also a difference in the development of mental capacity, the
school is confronted by the problem of adjusting its course to pupils
varying both in development and in natural ability to grasp it. It
is not merely a question of allowing one pupil to progress more




T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

25 -

rapidly than another; some pupils can actually be trained to a
higher degree of skill in each process than can others.
It has been seen that the tendency of the trade school, as it
becomes better established, is to attract a group slightly more mature
at entrance. It also seems to draw a group better prepared from the
standpoint of previous education. Of the pupils entering the Boston
Trade School during its first five years, 47.5 per cent were not grad­
uates of the grammar schools; during its second five years only 42.9
per cent of its pupils had entered without first graduating from the
grammar schools. The proportion of girls who had attended high
or technical school increased from 17.1 per cent in the first period
to 21.7 per cent in the second.1
Naturally in a group as young and as untrained as the majority of
these pupils are on their entrance to the trade schools, there are
many who have no real taste for the kind of instruction provided,
and who come with no very clear idea of what they wish to get or
what use they will make of their training, if they persevere long
enough to get it. In Cambridge the whole group of trade-school
girls were asked why they had come to the school, and the various
reasons were grouped under the following heads:
T able

7.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS ENTERING THE CAMBRIDGE TRADE
SCHOOL FOR EACH SPECIFIED REASON.
Girls giving speci­
fied reason.
Reason for entering trade school.
Number. Per cent.i
Wanted a trade........................................
Liked to sew.............................................
Wanted the training for home use...........
Too large for her grade, disliked school__
1 1 health...................................................
1
Advised to by employer...........................
Too young to go to work..........................
Did not know what else to do, friends
were there..............................................
Not reported.............................................

23
24
3
20
5
1
1

31.1
26. 7
3.3
22.2
5.6
1,1
1.1

8
223

8.9

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

113

100.0

.

1 Based on number who reported reason for entering school.
2 Of these 15 could not be located.

The girls who wanted a trade or liked sewing or wanted the train­
ing to use at home all presumably brought to the work of the school
a definite purpose and interest which would make it probable that
they would benefit by the courses given, and they constituted a
little more than three-fifths (61.1 per cent) of those reporting.
Over one-fifth came because they could not adapt themselves to
1 The number of grammar grades was decreased from nine to eight, which resulted in the entrance of
many pupils to high school, not because they wanted to go to high school but because they were under 14
and must attend some school.




26

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

the requirements of the ordinary schools, and one-tenth because
they did not know what else to do or were too young to begin
work, or had friends in the school. Such aimlessness on the
part of a pupil gives little promise of success. It is hardly to be
expected that such young girls should have very definite motives
for entering the schools, yet the intensive kind of work done in a
trade school presupposes at least a slight interest in handwork.
There is little doubt that in this respect the conditions found in
Cambridge are common to all trade schools. The lack of real interest
or even of a conception of the school's aim on the part of so many
pupils certainly hampers the school7 activities and complicates its
s
problems.
DEGREE TO WHICH TRADE TRAINING IS UTILIZED.

In a body of pupils predominantly young, who have had relatively
little previous training and many of whom enter the school with no
definite aim in view, it might naturally be expected that many
would fail to use their training after they leave the school. But
even making due allowance for these points, the proportion of girls
who failed to utilize their trade training seems large. Less than
two-fifths of all who have left the three trade schools have taken
up the trade for which they had been trained. ,The number taking
each trade course has already been discussed (see Table 3); the
proportion of these who, having left the school, entered their trade
is shown in the following table:
8.—PER CENT OF GIRLS TRAINED IN SPECIFIED TRADES IN BOSTON, WOR­
CESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOLS WHO UTILIZED THEIR TRADE TRAIN­
ING.

T able

Per cent using trade in—
Trade.
Boston.

Worces­
ter.

Dressmaking............................
Millinery..................................
Power-machine operating on—
Cloth..................................
Straw hats.........................
Trade cooking..........................
Design......................................

35.4
38.5

22.3
39.6

50.0
58.4
26.3
60.0

37.7

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

38.6

27.4

Cam­
bridge.
19.2
19.0
50.0
23.0

The relatively large proportions shown for cooking and design
are based on very small actual numbers, cooking having been taken
by only 19 in Boston and 14 in Cambridge and design by 10 in
Boston. The differences shown in the other trades are to some extent
explained by a difference in demand for workers of a given kind.
Thus the demand for young girls trained for dressmaking is known




T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

27

to be larger in Boston than in Worcester or in Cambridge. In dress­
making the percentage in their trade varies from under one-fifth to
a little over one-third, in millinery from under one-fifth to nearly
two-fifths, and in the cloth power-machine operating trades from a
little over one-third to one-half. Such a disproportion between the
number taking training and the number using their training is a mat­
ter for serious consideration by the trade schools. To some extent, it
is explained by the desire of the girls and their parents for courses
which do not correspond to the industrial demands of the commu­
nity. But from the standpoint of the school the question of main
interest is, given a certain number of industrial openings, why does
one girl secure a foothold while another does not ? How far can the
tendency not to use her trade be ascribed to the girl herself ? Has
age anything to do with it, or the amount of schooling she had before
taking up her trade training ? Has the length or type of her trade
training any effect on the matter? It seems worth while to study
each of these details in connection with the use—or failure to make
any use—of the trade training.
RELATION OF AGE AT LEAVING TRADE SCHOOL TO UTILIZATION OF TRADE TRAINING.

This question may be considered from two aspects: It may be
asked (1) what is the age of the girls who succeeded in gaining
access to their trade on leaving the trade school, and (2) to what
extent may their age explain their success? Taking up the first
question, Table 9 shows the age distribution of the girls recorded as
using and not using their trades.
It is at once evident that the girls who made use of their trade were
an older group at the time of leaving school than those who did not.
Of the latter from one-half to three-fifths, according to the school,
were under 16 at the time of leaving, while of those who used their
trades the proportion in that age group was only from one-fourth to
one-third. The group aged 16 and under 18 has about the same
numerical importance among those using their trade that the group
aged under 16 has among those not using it; that is, about one-half
of all using their trade were 16 but not yet 18 when they left the
school. The group aged 18 or over forms from one-sixth to very
nearly one-fourth (17.3 per cent to 23.3 per cent) of those using their
trade, while among those who did not use it less than one-tenth had
reached the age of 18. Of the total group, 44.6 per cent left the trade
school before the age of 16, but only 26.1 per cent of those who used
T
their trade as against 56.6 per cent of those who did not were under
16 years old when they left school. Approximately, for every tradeschool girl of less than 16 years who gained access to her trade, three
did not succeed in entering it.




IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

28

T a b l e 9 .— AGE

AT LEAVING SCHOOL OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE
TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS WHO USED AND WHO DID NOT USE THEIR TRAINING.
NUMBER.
\
Locality and use of trade.

Pupils leaving trade school at each specified age.
18
19
20
15
16
17
21 Not
Un­ and and and and and and
der under under under under under under years re­ Total.
and
15
21 over. port­
19
20
18
16
17
ed.
years. years. years, years. years. years. years.

BOSTON.

Using their trade:
1904 to 1909 i ....................................
1909 to 1914 2....................................

10
13

58
122

68
159

62
117

33
75

6
32

7
10

3
13

247
541

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

23

180

227

179

108

38

17

16

788

1904 to 1909 i ...................................
1909 to 1914 2 ....................................

209
93

146
145

111
129

60
74

20
33

3
14

4
8

4
14

4
185

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

302

291

240

134

53

17

12

18

189

1,256

Total, Boston...............................

325

471

467

313

161

55

29

34

189

2,044

Not using their trade.............................

8
73

17
73

24
48

23
26

13
14

5
5

2
3

2
2

5

94
249

Total, Worcester..........................

81

90

72

49

27

10

5

4

5

343

Using their trade...................................
Not using their trade.............. .............

3
31

5
22

7
23

4
3

2
5

1
1

1

1
1

3

26
87

Total, Cambridge........................

34

27

30

7

7

2

1

2

3

113

Using their trade...................................
Not using their trade.............................

34
406

202
386

258
311

206
163

123
72

44
23

19
16

19
21

3
191

908
1,592

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

440

588

569 | 369

195

67

35

40

197

2,500

2.4
5.9

Not using their trade:

561
695

WORCESTER.

CAMBRIDGE.

TOTAL.

PER CENT.3

Using their trade:
1904 to 1909 i ..
1909 to 1914 2 ..

22.6

27.5
29.4

25.1
21.6

13.4
13.9

22.8

28.8

22.7

13.7

37.5
18.2

26.2
28.4

19.9
25.3

10.8

3.6
6.5

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

28.3

27.3

22.5

5.0

Total, Boston..........

17.5

25.4

25.2

18.1
29.9

25.5
19.7

24.5
10.7

13.8
5.7

24.0

26.6

21.3

14.5

8.0

13.0
35.6

21.7
25.3

30.4
26.5

17.4
3.4

8.7
5.8

27.3

6.4

6.4

22.8

11.7

13.6
5.2

4.9
1.6

16.0

8.5

2.9

4.0
2.4

Total.
Not using their trade:
1904 to 19091.........
1909 to 1914 2 .........

23.5

1.2

100.0
100.0

2.2

2.0

100.0

.5
2.7

.7
1.6

.7
2.7

1.6

1.1

1.7

3.0

14.5

2.4

1.6

5.3
2.0

2.1

100.0

100.0

100.0
100.0

WORCESTER.

Using their trade...........
Not using their trade.......
Total, Worcester_
_

2.1

100.0

1.2

100.0

4.3

1.1

100.0
100.0

1.8

100.0

2.1
1.1

2.1
1.5

100.0
100.0

1.5

1.7

100.0

1.2

1.5

100.0

CAMBRIDGE.

Using their trade..............
Not using their trade.......
Total, Cambridge.
TOTAL.

Using their trade.......
Not using their trade.
Total.

3.8
29.0

22.3
27.6

28.5

19.1

25.5

24.7

22.2

4.3
1.1

1 Under private management.
2 Under public management.
“~
1 on the number of pupils whose age at leaving the trade school was reported.




T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

29

Taking up the other side of the question, the significance of maturity
in the girl's ability to enter her trade is strikingly illustrated in the
following table:
10.—PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL
GIRLS WHO ENTERED AND WHO DID NOT ENTER THEIR TRADES, BY AGE AT
LEAVING TRADE SCHOOL.

T able

Per cent of trade-school pupils in—
Boston—

Worcester—

Cambridge—

Per cent of
total tradeschool pupils—

Age at leaving trade school.
Who
Who
Who
Who
Who did not Who did not Who did not Who did not
used
used
used
used
use
use
use
use
their
their
their
their
their
their
their
their
trades. trades. trades. trades. trades. trades. trades. trades.
Under 15 vears...................................
15 and under 16 years........................
16 and under 17 years.........................
17 and under 18 years.........................
18 and under 19 years.........................
19 and under 20 years.........................
20 and under 21 years.........................
21 years and over...............................

7.1
38.2
48.6
57.2
67.1
69.1
58.6
47.1

92.9
61.8
51.4
42.8
32.9
30.9
41.4
52.9

9.9
18.9
33.3
46.9
48.1
50.0
40.0
50.0

90.1
81.1
66.7
53.1
51.9
50.0
60.0
50.0

8.8
18.5
23.3
57.1
28.6
50.0
50.0

91.2
81.5
76.7
42.9
71.4
50.0
100.0
50.0

7.7
34.4
45.3
55.8
63.1
65.7
54.3
47.5

92.3
65.6
54.7
44.2
36.9
34.3
45.7
52.5

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

38.6

61.4

27.4

72.6

23.0

77.0

36.3

63.7

The large proportion of those in the younger groups who did not
enter their trades shows the importance of maturity in gaining a foot­
hold in the industrial world. Ninety-two (92.3) per cent of- those
leaving the school under 15 years, 65.6 per cent of those 15 years and
under 16, and 54.7 per cent of those 16 but under 17 did not enter
their trade. Of the girls leaving the trade school at 17, more entered
their trade than did not, and the proportion entering increases with
each year up to 20. Girls going out at the age of 20 or over are about
equally divided in their use of the training. It is to be noted in this
connection that while a large proportion of the girls under 16 can not
enter their trade because of their immaturity, the girl who is 20 or
over frequently does not use her training because of better oppor­
tunities which are open to her. The young girl can not get into her
trade, the older girl can get into something better. In Boston, where
trade opportunities are more favorable for the young girl than else­
where, the proportions in each age group entering and not entering
the trade are very similar to those shown for the group as a whole,
and all the advantage in entering a trade lies with the girl of 16 or
over when she leaves the trade school.
There are perhaps three causes for this condition; first, the childlabor laws of Massachusetts make it increasingly difficult for children
under 16 years to enter industry; second, all the skilled industries are
making higher demands for maturity and judgment, demands which
a girl under 16 is quite unable to meet; and third, conditions in the
sewing trades make the employment of young and inexperienced
workers peculiarly unprofitable.




30

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SC1I00L GIRLS.

Comment has already been made on the fact that in its earlier
years a trade school tends to attract a slightly younger group of
pupils than is enrolled after the school is better established. In­
evitably, this leads to an increase in the age at leaving school. The
following table shows the age distribution at time of leaving of the
pupils of the Boston Trade School during the first and second five
years of its existence:
11.—AGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE PUPILS LEAVING THE BOSTON TRADE
SCHOOL UNDER PRIVATE MANAGEMENT, 1904 TO 1909, AND UNDER PUBLIC MAN­
AGEMENT, 1909 TO 1914.

T able

Per cent of girls of specified age
leaving the trade school.
Age at leaving trade school.
1904 to
1909

1909 to
1914

Total.

Under 15 years.............................................................................................
15 and under 16 years...................................................................................
16 and under 17 years...................................................................................
17 and under 18 years...................................................................................
18 and under 19 vears........... .......................................................................
19 and under 20 years...................................................................................
20 and under 21 years...................................................................................
21 years and over.........................................................................................

27.2
25.4
22.3
15.2
6.6
1.1
1.4
.9

10.1
25.4
27.4
18.2
10.3
4.4
1.7
2.6

17.5
25.4
25.2
16.9
8.7
3.0
1.6
1.8

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

The. change in the group under 15 is particularly striking. From
the preceding table it appeared that not 1 in 10 of those leaving
the school under the age of 15 made use of her trade, so this decrease
is emphatically a change for the better. Since a girl under 16 has
little opportunity to make use of her training, the general increase
in age of leaving shown in the second period means that more pupils
should be able to enter their trades immediately on leaving. A
comparison of this table with Table 5 shows that the increase in
the percentage of older pupils leaving the school is greater in the
second period than the increase in the percentage of older pupils
entering it, indicating that the pupils are spending a longer time
in their training now than formerly. This very patent change
must mean that more and more young people will depend on the
trade school for a fairly complete training, instead of going into
the industry after having obtained only the rudiments of their trade
in the school. It may also be another indication that trade schools
must be depended on to give young people the training they for­
merly received in the industry.
RELATION BETWEEN AMOUNT OF PREVIOUS SCHOOLING AND TENDENCY TO ENTER
TRADE FOR WHICH TRAINED.

The following table shows the proportion which girls with a
specified degree of previous school experience formed of those who
used and of those who failed to use their training:




T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

31

12.—PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL
PUPILS WITH SPECIFIED PREVIOUS SCHOOLING WHO USED AND WHO DID NOT
USE THEIR TRADE TRAINING.*

T able

Girls using their trade.

Girls not using their trade.

Boston.

Previous school­
ing.

1904 1909
to
to
1909 1914

Boston.
Wor­ Cam­ To­
ces­
To­ ter. bridge. tal.
tal.

1904 1909
to
to
1909 1914

To­
tal.

Wor­ Cam­ Toces­ bridge. taL
ter.

Grand
total.

247

541

788

94

26

908

561

Grammar - school
nongraduates:
Below sixth
grade.......... 0.8
Sixth grade... 3.2
Seventh grade 5.7
Eighth and
ninth grades 13.8
Unclassified..
.4

1.1
4.3
10.4

1.0
3.9
8.9

4.3
2.1
13.8

3.8
3.8
19.2

1.4
3.8
9.7

5.2
8.2
19.6

4.8
7.0
12.8

5.0
7.6
15.9

4.1
12.0
21.6

11.1
1.7

12.0
1.3

33.0

19.2

14.3
1.1

22.7
2.1

20.5
9.1

21.5
6.0

28.6
2.1

28.6

27.1

53.2

46.2

30.4

57.9

54.3

55.9

68.5

70.2

58.6

48.2

48.4
23.0

49.5
23.4

11.7
35.1

26.9
26.9

44.9
24.7

28.2
13.9

25.1
20.7

26.5
17.6

8.3
23.2

21.4
8.3

23.4
18.0

31.3
20.5

100.0 100.0

100.0

Total number___

Total.......... 23.9
Grammar - school
graduates.......... 51.8
High school___
24.3

Grand total. 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

695 1,256

249

100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

87 1,592

2,*500

5.0
8.7
17.8

3.7
6.9
14.8

9.5 21.9
1.2 5.1

19.2
3.6

8.3
15.5
35.7

1 Percentages are based on number of girls whose previous schooling was known.

As Boston furnished a little over four-fifths of all who have gone
out from the girls’ trade schools of the State, its figures are more
significant than those of the other cities. In Boston nearly threefourths (72.9 per cent) of those using their trades had graduated
from the grammar schools, and nearly one-fourth (23.4 per cent)
had gone on to the high school. On the other hand, not half (44.1
per cent) of those who did not use their trades had graduated from
the grammar school, and only about one-sixth (17.6 per cent) had
entered the high school. In the o-ther two cities the nongraduates
of grammar schools furnish a far larger proportion of those using
their trades, but it must be remembered that in these schools they
also form a much larger proportion of the total enrollment than
in Boston. Reference to Table 6 shows that of the Worcester pupils
64.1 per cent and of the Cambridge pupils 64.6 per cent, against 44.7
per cent in Boston, had not graduated from the grammar schools.
But in Worcester this 64 per cent furnished 68.5 per cent of those
who did not use their trades, and in Cambridge 70.2 per cent, while
the 36 per cent who had finished the grammar-school work provided
in Worcester 46.8 per cent and in Cambridge 53.8 per cent of those
using their trades. These figures are not, of course, conclusive, but
they seem to indicate that a girl with a good academic preparation
gains access to her trade more readily than one with less education.
This indication is strengthened by a comparison of the proportion
of those having each specified degree of previous education who
used or did not use their trades. The following table gives the
figures on this point for the three trade schools:




32

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

TRA D E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

13.—PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL
PUPILS WITH SPECIFIED PREVIOUS SCHOOLING WHO USED AND DID NOT USE
THEIR TRADE TRAINING.

T able

Per cent of trade-school girls who used and did not use their trades.
Boston.
W orcester. Cambridge.
Previous schooling.

1904-1909
Us­
ing
their
trade.

Not
using
their
trade.

1909-1914
Us­
ing
their
trade.

Not
using
their
trade.

Total.
Us­
ing
their
trade.

Not
using
their
trade.

Grammar-school nongrad­
uates:
Below sixth grade........ 6.5 93.5 15.4 84.6 11.4 88.6
Sixth grade.................. 14.8 85.2 32.4 67.6 24.8 75.2
Seventh grade.............. 11.3 88.7 39.2 60.8 26.2 73.8
Eighth and ninth
grades....................... 21.1 78.9 30.0 70.0 26.0 74.0
Unclassified.................. 7.7 92.3 12.7 87.3 11.9 88.1
Total......................... 15.4

84.6

Grammar-school graduates. 44.8 55.2
High school........................ 43.5 56.5
Not reported......................
100.0
Grand total............... 30. 6 69.4

29.4

Us­
ing
their
trade.

Not
using
their
trade.

Us­
ing
their
trade.

Not
using
their
trade.

The three
schools.

Us­
ing
their
trade.

Not
using
thentrade.

87.5 14.1
92.9 20.0
85.7 24.0

85.9
80.0
76.0

28.6 71.4
6.5 93.5
20.0 80.0

12.5
7.1
14.3

69.0
100.0

38.5

61.5
100.0

27.4
11.1

31.0

72.6
88.9

70.6

23.5

76.5

23.3

76.7

16.9

83.1

23.1

76.9

60.4 39.6
46.8 53.2
13. 3 86.7

54.2
45.7
12.5

45.8
54.3
87.5

35.5
37.1

64.5
62.9
100.0

28.0
50.0

72.0
50.0

52.6
44.3
7.4

47.4
55.7
92.6

43.8

38.6

61.4

27.4

72.6

23.0

77.0

36.3

63.7

56.2

It is at once apparent that relatively few of the girls who had not
completed their grammar-school course succeeded in gaining a foot­
hold in their trade. The proportion of this group who used their
trade never rises to one-fourth, and in Cambridge is little over onesixth. As opposed to this showing the proportion of grammarschool graduates using their trade varied from nearly three-tenths (28
per cent) in Cambridge to well over one-half (54.2 per cent) in Boston.
In Worcester and Cambridge the high-school students show a larger
proportion using their trade than is found among the grammarschool graduates; in Boston the proportion is not quite so large, but
is still considerably larger than the proportion found among the
nongraduates from grammar schools. Whether the advantage which
the pupil who has completed the grammar-school course apparently
has over the one who leaves before its completion is due to maturity
or to the individual capacity indicated by the ability to complete
the grammar-school work remains a matter of doubt. The fact is
clear that the girl who has not done full grammar-school work has,
as shown by the figures for the total group, only one chance in four
to enter her trade, while the girl who has completed the elementary
training has one chance in two.
A comparative study was made of 200 dressmakers and powermachine operators on cloth, which seems to show that the academic
education of women in the sewing trades is an important factor
in their success. The distribution of these women as to school
training is shown by the following table:




33

T H E SCHO OL P R O B L E M .
T a b l e 1 4 .— DISTRIBUTION

AS TO PREVIOUS SCHOOLING OF 200 WOMEN EMPLOYED
IN THE DRESSMAKING AND POWER-MACHINE OPERATING TRADES.
Girls with specified schooling.
Number.

Per cent.1

Schooling.
PowerDress­ machine
making. operating
on cloth.
Grammar-school nongraduates:
Below sixth grade..............................
Sixth grade..........................................
Seventh grade.....................................
Eighth and ninth grades.....................
Foreign................................................
Not reported.......................................

7
6
4
4
1
2

8
1
6
19
15
3

Total.

PowerDress­ machine
making. operating
on cloth.

15
7
10
23
16
5

7.2
6.2
4.1
4.1
1.0
2.1

8.1
1.0
6.1
19.2
15.2
3.0

Total.

7.7
3.6
5.1
11.7
8.2
2.6

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

24

52

76

24.7

52.5

38.8

Grammar-school graduates......................
High school..............................................
Schooling not reported..............................

46
27
3

28
19
1

74
46
4

47.4
27. 8

28.3
19.2

37.8
23.5

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

100

100

200

100.0

100.0

100.0

1 Based on number of girls whose schooling was reported.

It appears that among the 100 trade-trained® dressmakers 3 girls
in every 4 had at least completed the grammar-school course, and
1 in 4 had taken high-school work. In Boston 444 girls trained as
dressmakers in the trade school made use of their trade; of these,
26.4 per cent were nongraduates of the grammar schools, 51.4
per cent had graduated from the grammar schools but had gone no
further, and 22.1 per cent were high-school students. These last
two percentages are slightly below the corresponding ones for the
trade-trained dressmakers. Among the power-machine operators a
lower educational equipment prevailed; lower both as compared
T able 1 5 .— PER

CENT OF TRADE-TRAINED WORKERS AND OF BOSTON TRADE
SCHOOL PUPILS HAVING EACH SPECIFIED SCHOOLING—DRESSMAKING AND
CLOTH POWER-MACHINE OPERATING.
Per cent having each
specified schooling.
Trade-school
pupils—

Schooling.
Tradetrained
workers.

Grammar-school nongraduates.
Grammar-school graduates......
High-school students...............
Total..............................

Using
trade.

Not
using
trade.

Per cent. Per ccnt. Per cent.
29.6
38. 8
57.2
37. 8
50.0
26.7
16. 1
20.3
23.5
100.0

100.0

100.0

a The term “ trade trained ” is used for simplicity to mean those girls who have acquired their train­
ing through actual experience in the trade.

85225°— 17— Bull. 215------ 3




34

IN D U S T R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRA D E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

with the trade-trained dressmakers and with the trade-school
girls who had taken the cloth power-machine operating course. Only
46.1 per cent of the latter, as compared with 52.5 per cent of the
trade-trained girls, had not at least graduated from grammar school.
Comparing the whole group of trade-trained workers with the
pupils of the Boston Trade School trained in dressmaking and cloth
power-machine operating, we have the proportions shown in Table 15.
The trade-trained group does not show quite so high a level of
education as the trade-school girls who used their trade, but surpasses
the trade-school girls who did not use their trade. The trade-trained
group is small, and it is doubtful whether any significance can be
attached to the difference in education between it and the trade-school
girls who used their trades. The close resemblance between these two
groups, however, and their common difference from the group of
trade-school girls who did not use their trades make it seem probable
that both in dressmaking and in cloth power-machine operating
education is an important factor, and that in both these trades the
majority of workers require for success at least the degree of educa­
tion implied by graduation from the grammar school. This seems
to hold good whether the workers are trained in the trade or in the
trade school.
RELATION BETWEEN LENGTH OF TRADE-SCHOOL COURSE AND USE OF TRADE TRAINING.

Before discussing this relationship it seems desirable to give some
statement of the time a trade school course is normally expected to
cover, and how it compares with the courses of other public schools in
this respect. Comment has already been made on the great variation
in age and school experience of the girls who come as pupils to the trade
schools, a variation much greater than is found in other day schools.
This variation increases so greatly the difficulty of handling the pupils
in classes that it is practically necessary to give individual instruc­
tion. The course must be extremely elastic, but in each case its
end is the same, to equip very young pupils adequately for the
demands of exacting trades. The content of each course is, there­
fore, variable according to the needs of the pupils, and the length is
not always definitely fixed.
Short and intensive courses have been planned in order to meet
the needs of the girl who must be prepared as quickly as possible to
enter the industry. The school has devised a course designed to
supply the pupil with both the minimum of skill demanded by the
trade and such general understanding of trade processes and methods
as will allow her to advance in her work. Critics have sometimes
objected to this latter feature, urging that intensive courses in a
single process or group of processes should be given. Experience
has shown that this is not desirable. Even the greatest amount of




T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

35

skill in an elementary process can never equip a girl with the general
knowledge of her craft, which she needs if she wishes to progress.
The difficult way of acquiring these general facts is by observation
in a shop while actually working at the trade; the easier way is by
learning systematically in the school. Yet this general training
necessarily makes the course longer, and increases the need for work­
ing with each pupil individually.

The trade schools attempt to meet the complex demands made on
them by giving a long school day and a long school year, and by
making their courses as flexible as possible. When the Boston Trade
School was opened the sessions lasted from 8.30 a. m. to 5 p. m. five
days a week; of the 37J hours thus obtained 29 were devoted to
trade work, 3 to design, 1J each to gymnasium and cooking, and 2|
to assemblies.1 These are approximately the established hours still,2
25 hours being spent in trade practice, 8 in arithmetic, English,
design, and textiles, and 4J in gymnasium and general training. In
the Worcester Trade School the hours are from 8.30 a. m. to4.45p.m .,
and in Cambridge from 8.30 a. m. to 4.30 p. m. The division of time is
substantially the same as that in the Boston school. The trade-school
week is thus longer by about seven hours than that of the ordinary
school, and is a fair approximation to a working week. The school year
is in Worcester 42 weeks and in Cambridge and Boston 40 weeks.
In order to make the training as nearly continuous as possible
Boston and Worcester have, for several years, offered summer school
courses, the trade school in Worcester holding a six weeks7 and the
Boston school an eight weeks7session. This summer session, besides
allowing girls already in school to continue their training without
interruption, is considered an “ especially favorable time for elementary-school graduates to enter, as they may complete their prepara­
tory sewing before September and gain a season in going out to work.73
7
The enrollment in the summer schools is constantly increasing; in
Boston it has risen from 134 in 1911 to 201 in 1914, and in Worcester
from 43 in 1912 to 88 in 1914.
The trade schools, then, endeavor to meet the varied needs of their
pupils by devising a short, intensive course, by offering training which
is practically continuous throughout the year, and by approximating
trade hours in the length of the day sessions.
TIME ACTUALLY SPENT IN TRADE SCHOOL.

In Worcester the trade-school course is two years (21 months) in
length, during which time 1,700 hours must be spent in trade work.
In Boston a girl is placed as soon as the school thinks she is ready to
do the work. This time varies according to the ability, age, and
1 First Annual Report of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1905, p. 4.
2 Trade School Bulletin IV, April, 1912.
3 Trade School Bulletin IX, May, 1915.




36

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

previous general training of the pupil, but two-thirds of the pupils
placed by the school have been in attendance more than 12 months.
Virtually, therefore, the school may be said to have established a
course of at least 12 months for the majority of its accredited pupils.
The trade schools, however, like all other schools, have many pupils
who do not in any sense complete their courses. The following
tables show for each of the schools the number and per cent of girls,
by trades, who remained in attendance for specified periods:
16.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL PUPILS WHO
ATTENDED THE TRADE SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME, CLASSIFIED
BY COURSES.
NUM BER.

T able

Girls attending trade school specified length of time.

Period of attendance in trade school.

Dress­ Milli­
making. nery.

Power-machine
operating on—

Cook­ Design. Not re­ Total.
ing.
ported.

Cloth.

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

1,255

124
51
63
37
79
30
42

54
30
18
13
44
15
4

28
25
20
13
28
12
11

3
2
2
2
2
1
7

1
1
3
1
2
2

3

593
264
260
191
387
169
180

426

Under 3 months.................................
368
154
3 and under 6 months........................
154
6 and under 9 months......................
9 and under 12 months......................
125
232
12 and under 18 months.....................
111
18 months and over ...................
111
......................................
Not reported

Straw
hats.

178

137

19

10

19

2,044

31.0
17.2
10.3
7.5
25. 3
8.6

22. 2
19.9
15.9
10.3
22. 2
9.5

25.0
16. 7
16.7
16. 7
16. 7
8.3

12.5
12.5
37. 5
12. 5
25.0

93. 8
6.3

31.8
14.2
13.9
10.2
20. 8
9.1

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

15
1

PER- C EN T.1
32.2
32.3
Under 3 months................................
13.
........................
3 and under 6 5
13. months 3
16. 4
6 and under 9 months........................
13. 5
9 and under 12 months............. .........
10. 9
9. 6
12 and under 18 months.....................
20. 6
20. 3
7.8
18 months and over...........................
9. 7
Total.........................................

100.0

100.0

1 Based on number of girls whose length of attendance was reported.
17.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL PUPILS WHO
ATTENDED TRADE SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME, CLASSIFIED BY
COURSES.

T able

Girls attending trade school specified length of time.
Number.
Period of attendance in
trade school.
/

Under 3 months...................
3 and under 6 months..........
6 and under 9 months..........
9 and under 12 months.........
12 and under 18 months.......
18 months and over..............
Graduation...........................
Total...........................




Dress­
mak­
ing.

.

Per cent.

Powerma­
Milli­ chine Not re­ Total.
nery. operat­ ported.
ing on
cloth.

Dress­
mak­
ing.

Powerma­
Milli­ chine Total.
nery. operat­
ing on
cloth.

73
32
17
35
15
12
40

16
2
7
5
4
1
18

19
13
5
12
3
1
8

5

113
47
29
52
22
14
66

32.6
14.3
7.6
15.6
6.7
5.4
17.9

30.2
3.8
13.2
9.4
7.5
1.9
34.0

31.1
21.3
8.2
19.7
4.9
1.6
13.1

32.9
13.7
8.5
15.2
6.4
4.1
19.2

224

53

61

5

343

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

37

T H E SCHOOL P R O B L E M .

18.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOL PUPILS WHO
ATTENDED TRADE SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME, CLASSIFIED BY
COURSES.

T able

Girls attending trade school specified length of time.
Number.

Period of attendance in trade school.

Per cent.

Dress­
mak­
ing.

Milli­
nery.

Cook­
ing.

Total.

Under 3 months.................................
3 and under 6 months........................
6 and under 9 months........................
9 and under 12 months.......................
12 and under 18 months.....................
18 months and over...........................

36
19
13
8
1
1

4
6

3
5
1
5

43
30
14
19
6
1

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

78

21

14

113

6
5

Dress­
mak­
ing.

Milli­
nery.

46.1
19.0
24.4
28.6
16.7
10.3 ""*28*6*
1.3
23.8
1.3
100.0

100.0

Cook­
ing.

Total.

21.4
35.7
7.1
35.7

38.1
26.5
12.4
16.8
5.3
.9

100.0

100.0

Summarizing these figures for the pupils of each school, regardless
of the trade they studied, omitting those for whom time is not
reported, we have the following proportions for specified periods of
attendance:
T

able

1 9 . — PER

CENT OF GIRLS ATTENDING TRADE SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED
PERIOD OF TIME, IN THE THREE CITIES.

Period of attendance in trade
school.

Per cent of girls attending
trade school each specified
period of time.
Boston.

Worces­
ter.

Cam­
bridge.

Under 3 months........................
3 and under 12 months.............
12 months and over...................

31.8
38.3
29.9

32.9
37.4
29.7

38.1
55.7
6.2

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

The close similarity in the figures for Boston and Worcester is
striking. The divergence shown by Cambridge is perhaps due to the
fact that this school had been in existence, at the time of this inves­
tigation, only three years; that is, it was still in the early period in
which the type of pupil has not become established. In Boston and
Worcester approximately one-third of the pupils attend for less than
three months, and this proportion holds good for each of the principal
trades in which courses are given.
Reference has already been made to the tendency of pupils entering
the Boston school during the second five years of its existence to
spend a longer time in training than did those entering in the earlier
period. The following table shows the change in this respect:




38

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

20.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF PUPILS ATTENDING BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL
FOR SPECIFIED PERIODS UNDER PRIVATE MANAGEMENT, 1904 TO 1909, AND UNDER
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT, 1909 TO 1914.

T a b le

Number.
Period of attendance in trade school.

1904 to
1909

1909 to
1914

Per cent.1
Total.

1904 to
1909

1909 to
1914

Total.

Under 3 months.........................................
3 and under 6 months................................
6 and under 9 months................................
9 and under 12 months.....................r.......
12 and under 18 months.............................
18 months and over....................................
Not reported..............................................

411
113
101
70
94
19

182
151
159
121
293
150
180

593
264
260
191
387
169
180

50.9
14.0
12.5
8.7
11.6
2.3

17.2
14.3
15.1
11.5
27.7
14.2

31.8
14.2
13.9
10.2
20.8
9.1

Total-...............................................

808

1,236

2,044

100.0

100.0

100.0

1Based on number whose length of attendance was reported.

The increase in the number taking the longer periods of training
and the decrease in those taking the shorter are alike striking. Pro­
portionately, nearly three times as many dropped out within three
months during the first period as during the second, while the pro­
portion remaining for 12 months and over was just three times as
great during the second as during the first period—41.9 per cent against
13.9 per cent. An interesting corollary to this increasing length of
attendance is the increasing proportion, 30.6 per cent of the first
group and 43.8 per cent of the second group, who used their trade.
(See Table 13, p. 32.)
DISTRIBUTION, B Y LENGTH OF TRADE TRAINING, OF GIRLS USING THEIR TRADES.

Of the 2,500 trade-school pupils studied, 908 entered their trades.
The distribution of these by time spent in the trade school is as
follows:
2 1.—NUMBER OF GIRLS IN THREE TRADE SCHOOLS ATTENDING FOR SPECI­
FIED PERIODS, AND NUMBER AND PER CENT IN EACH CLASS WHO ENTERED
THEIR TRADES.

T a b le

Period of attendance in trade school.

Number Number
using
of
pupils.
trade.

Pfer cent
in each
class
using
trade.

Under 6 months..
........................................................................
6 and under 12 months..:.............................................................................
12 and under 18 months...............................................................................
18 months and over......................................................................................
N ot reported................................................................................................

1,090
565
415
250
180

93
249
349
217

8.5
44.1
84.1
86.8

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

2,500

908

36.3

More than two-fifths of the total pupils (1,090, or 43.6 per cent)
attended school for less than six months, but of these only 8.5 per
cent used their trades. The per cent who used their trades shows




THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

39

marked increases as the length of schooling increases. Thus in the
group of those who had six months7 and under 12 jnonths7 training
44.1 per cent entered their trades; of those who had 12 months7 and
under 18 months7 training 84.1 per cent; while in the last group 86.8
per cent used their trades.
It has already been mentioned that two-thirds of the pupils
whom the Boston Trade School sends out as accredited have been
in training for over 12 months. This corresponds closely to the pro­
portion in training for 12 months or over among those who used
their trades.
These figures are for the girls of the trade school, regardless of the
trade for which they were trained. The following table shows for
the sewing trades the proportion using their trade in each group
having a specified length of training:
22.—NUMBER OF GIRLS TRAINED IN SEWING COURSES FOR SPECIFIED PE­
RIODS IN BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOLS, AND PER
CENT IN EACH CLASS WHO ENTERED TRADES.

T a b le

Boston Trade School.1
Power-machine operating on—
Millinery.

Dressmaking.

Period of attendance in
trade school.

Total.
Cloth.

Straw hats.

Per
Per
Per
Per
Per
Num­ cent Num­ cent Num­ cent Num­ cent Num­ cent
ber
ber
ber
ber
ber
using trained. using trained. using trained. using trained. using
trained. trade.
trade.
trade.
trade.
trade.
Under 6 months..............
6 and under 12 months...
12 and under 18 months..
18 months and over.........
Total.....................

522
279
232
111

4.6
43.0
86.6
89.2

175 10.3
100 49.0
79 84.8
30 100.0

1,144

38.8

384

84 16.7
31 64.5
44 90.9
15 100.0
174

42.7

53 41.5
33 66.7
28 85.7
12 100.0
126

51.1

Worcester Trade School.

Period of attendance in
trade school.

Dress­
making.
1„
Num­ Per
ber cent
train­ using
ed. trade.

Millinery.

Num­ Per
ber cent
train­ using
ed. trade.

Under 6 months.................
6 and under 12 months......
12 and under 18 months_
_
18 months and over............
Graduation.........................

105
52
15
12
40

2.9
13.5
46.7
41.7
70.0

18
12
4
1
18

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

224

22.3

53 39.6

16.7
50.0
100.0
88.9

Powermachine
operating
on cloth.

Total.

Num­ Per
ber cent
train­ using
ed. trade.

Num­ Per
ber cent
train­ using
ed. trade.

32
17
3
1
8

9.4
52.9
66.7
100.0
100.0

61 37.7

155
81
22
14
66

3.9
22.2
50.0
50.0
78.8

338 27.8

63.5

9.4
47.6
86.7
92.8

1,828

42.5

Cambridge
Trade
School:
dressmaking
and
millinery.

The three
schools.

Num­ Per
ber cent
train­ using
Num­ Per ed. trade.
ber cent
train­ using
ed. trade.
65 7.7 1,054
27 37.0 551
6 50.0 411
1 100.0 183
66

8.4
43.4
84.2
89.6
78.8

99

39.3

1Not including 167 whose length of attendance was not reported.




834
443
383
168

19.2 2,265

40

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

It appears from this table that in the Boston Trade School only
9.4 per cent of those enrolled in the sewing courses for less than six
months entered their trades as compared with 86.7 per cent of those
who attended for a period of 12 months but less than 18, and 92.8
per cent of those attending 18 months or more. There is some varia­
tion in the different trades in this respect. A girl has little chance to use
the dressmaking trade unless she has attended trade school six months
or more. Her chances are better in power-machine operating on
cloth, as one-sixth (16.7 per cent) of the girls remaining less than six
months in this course used their trade, and in power-machine oper­
ating on straw hats, where 41.5 per cent of the pupils who had at­
tended less than six months used their trade. The belief that a
course in power-machine work may be shorter than a course in
dressmaking or in millinery seems to be substantiated by the large
proportions, two-thirds, of the girls remaining in these courses from
6 to 12 months who were able to use their trade, while only two-fifths
of the dressmakers in attendance for this length of time went into
dressmaking.
In the way of equipment for entering the trade in Worcester, the
girl taking a sewing trade who has graduated from the school has a
great advantage over the nongraduate. Only 15.4 per cent of the
nongraduates against 78.8 per cent of the graduates have used their
training. One-fifth (19.2 per cent) of the girls choosing the sewing
trades have graduated, and this one-fifth has supplied more than onehalf (55.3 per cent) of the girls who have used these trades. In
Worcester a girl taking a sewing trade and remaining in the school
less than six months has 1 chance in 25 to enter her trade; in Boston
she has 1 chance in 11. On the other hand, if she remains in the school
for 12 months or more she has in Worcester 7 chances in 10 and in
Boston nearly 9 chances in 10 of entering her trade.
Taking all the schools together, without distinction as to trade
studied, a course of 12 months seems necessary to give a girl a reason­
able chance of entering her trade. There may be some question,
however, whether this expenditure of time is due to the present organ­
ization of the courses or whether most of the girls would, under any
circumstances, find it necessary for the development of the requisite
degree of skill.
1
So far the discussion has related to those who entered their trade
without reference to the time they remained in it. The question
naturally arises whether length of training has any effect upon per­
manence in the trade after entrance. To test this a study was made
of the pupils from the Boston school who had used their trades for
at least one week, excluding those whose total working experience
had been less than one year. With these limitations the group num­
bered 633, of whom 515 remained in the trade for which they had




41

THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

been trained one year or longer, and 118 remained less than a year.
The following table shows the distribution of these two classes by
length of training:
23.—DISTRIBUTION, BY LENGTH OF TRADE TRAINING, OF BOSTON TRADE
SCHOOL GIRLS USING THEIR TRADE LESS THAN ONE YEAR, AND FOR ONE YEAR
OR MORE.

T a b le

[This table includes all girls who used their trades for one week or more, but does not include those whose
total working experience had been less than one year.]
Using trade less
than one year.

Using trade one
year or more.

Period of attendance in trade school.

Total.
Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent.

Under 6 months..........................................................
6 and under 12 months................................................
12 and under 18 months.............................................
18 months and over.....................................................

11
28
52
27

9.3
23. 7
44.1
22.9

42
147
226
100

8.2
28.5
43.9
19.4

53
175
278
127

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

118

100.0

515

100.0

633

It is impossible to discover in this table any particular relation
between length of training and permanency in the trade. Of those
who followed their trades less than one year, 33 per cent had less than
12 months in the school, while 67 per cent had 12 months or more; of
those who followed their trade one year or more, 36.7 per cent had
less than 12 months’ training, and 63.3 per cent had 12 months or
more. The percentages are so nearly the same that no conclusion can
be drawn until more data upon the point caij be obtained.
To sum up the situation, then, it appears that age, education, and
length of trade training are important factors in determining whether
or not a trade-school pupil will make use of her trade. Under 15, a
girl has very little chance of entering her trade, and not until she is
16 are her chances even. From that age to 20 the likelihood of her
using her training increases, but at 20 it begins to decrease, owing
partly to the frequency with which she finds herself fit for better
paying work. In regard to previous education, the girl who has com­
pleted the grammar grades has a far better chance of entering her
trade than the one who leaves school before finishing the elementary
grades. The length of trade training necessary for the best results
varies widely, but in general the girl who wishes really to use her
trade should take at least 12 months of training, while a longer
period may or may not be advantageous, depending upon her natural
aptitude, previous training, etc.
PLACEMENT BY BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL.

Another factor having an important bearing upon the girl’s success
is the manner of obtaining her first position. As has already been
said, in Boston the school authorities try to place girls as soon as they
are considered really qualified to enter their trades. Many of the pupils,




42

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

however, are unwilling to or can not wait for the school’s indorsement.
Relatively only a small proportion of these enter their trade. Of the
788 girls from the Boston Trade School recorded as having used their
trades, 658 were placed originally by the school; that is, practically
five-sixths of all who entered their trades were placed by the school,
against one-sixth who found places for themselves. The pupils placed
by the school show a wide variation in their length of training, since,
owing to differences in previous training and natural aptitude, one
24.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS ATTENDING
TRADE SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED PERIOD, CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO TRADE AND
WHETHER PLACED BY THE SCHOOL OR SELF-PLACED.

T a b le

[This table includes all the girls visited who used their trade one week or more, irrespective of the length
of their total working experience.]
NUMBER.
Girls attending trade school each specified period.
Occupation and how obtained.

6 and
12 and 18 months
Under 6
months. under 12 under 18 and over.
months. months.

Placed by the school:
Dressmaking........................................................
Millinery..............................................................
Power-machine operating on—
Cloth..............................................................
Straw hats......................................................
Cooking................................................................
Design....................................................... - .......

Total.

8
7

90
24

342
127

11
18
3
3

32
21
1
2

15
12
1

69
63
5
5

38

151

280

142

611

13
6

36
8

23
12

9
4

81
30

5

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

169
55

11
12

Self-placed:
Dressmaking........................................................
Millinery................................................ .............
Power-machine operating on—
Cloth..............................................................
Straw hats......................................................
Design..................................................................

75
41

6
2
1

6
2

12
9
1

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

24

53

43

13

133

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

62

204

323

155

744

2. 3
5. 5

21.9
32. 3

49.4
43. 3

26.3
18.9

100.0
100.0

15. 9
19.0

15. 9
28. 6
60.0
60.0

46.4
33. 3
20. 0
40.0

21.8
19.0
20.0

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

6.2

24.7

45.8

23.2

100.0

16.0
20.0

44. 4
26. 7

28.4
40.0

11.1
13.3

100.0
100.0

55.6

50. 0
22. 2
100.0

50.0
22.2

PER CENT.
Placed by the school:
Dressmaking........................................................
Millinery..............................................................
Power-machine operating on—
Cloth..............................................................
Straw hats.....................................................
Cooking................................................................
Design..................................................................
Total.................................................................
Self-placed:
Dressmaking...................................................
Millinery.............................................................
Power-machine operating on—
Cloth..............................................................
Straw hats.....................................................
Design..................................................................
Total.....................................................

18.0

39.9

O o
it.

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

8.3

27.4

43 4




100.0
100.0
100.0
Qo
y. ft
on q
/U. o

100. 0
100.0

43

THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

girl may be prepared for a trade in half the time required by another,
and the placement depends upon ability to meet industrial demands
without regard to length of time spent in the school. In general,
however, length of training aids in giving the qualifications for a
successful worker. Table 24 shows for each trade the number of
girls from the Boston school who have been placed by the school and
who have placed themselves, classified by the length of time spent
in the school.
This table shows a striking increase in the proportion of girls placed
by the school as the length of training increases. Summarizing its
figures with respect to this feature, we have the following:
T a b le

25,—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS PLACED BY SCHOOL AND SELF-PLACED,
BY LENGTH OF TRADE TRAINING IN BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL.

Period of attendance in trade school.

Total
girls
placed.

Girls placed, by
school.

Girls self-placed.

Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent.

Under 6 months.........................................................
6 and under 12 months...............................................
12 and under 18 months.............................................
18 months and over....................................................

62
204
323
155

38
151
280
142

61. 3
74. 0
86. 7
91.6

24
53
43
13

38. 7
26, 0
13.3
8.4

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

744

611

82.1

133

17.9

This table shows how much more generally the school indorses and
finds places for the girls taking a longer training than for those leaving
under 12 months, but it shows little as to how helpful the school is
in finding places. From Tables 16 and 25 the following figures on
this point are obtained:
26.—NUMBER OF GIRLS NOT PLACED BY SCHOOL AND PER CENT OF THESE
WHO WERE SELF-PLACED, BY LENGTH OF TRADE TRAINING IN BOSTON TRADE
SCHOOL.

T a b le

Pupils S lf-placed.
3
Period of attendance in trade school.

Number Number
Total
not
Per cent
leaving placed by placed by
of num­
school.1 school.
school. Number. ber not
placed by
school.

Under 6 months..........................................................
6 and under 12 months...............................................
12 and under 18 months..............................................
18 months and over....................................................

857
451
387
169

38
151
280
142

819
300
107
27

24
53
43
13

2.9
17.7
40.2
48.1

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

1,864

611

1,253

133

10.6

i Not including 180 whose length of attendance was not reported.

This gives some idea of the handicap under which a girl labors
who is not placed by the school. The probability that she will enter
her trade is never great, although it increases with her length of




44

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

training. Still, even for the girl who has spent 18 months or more
in the trade school, the chance that she will enter her trade, if she
depends upon placing herself, is something less than 1 in 2, while for
the girl who has had less than six months’ training it sinks to about
3 in 100. It is worth noticing that the school’s assistance seems more
necessary in the less common trades than in dressmaking and milli­
nery. The proportion of those entering each trade who were placed
by the school and who placed themselves was as follows:
T a b le

27.—PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS ENTERING EACH SPECIFIED
TRADE WHO WERE PLACED BY THE SCHOOL AND SELF-PLACED.

Trade.

Dressmaking.............................................
Millinery...................................................
Power-machine operating on—
Cloth............/....................................
Straw hats..........................................
Cooking.....................................................
Design......................................................

Percent Per cent
placed by self­
school.
placed.
80.9
80.9

19.1
19.1

85.2
87.5
100.0
83.3

14.8
12.5
16.7

The cooking, it must be remembered, is practically catering, a
difficult business for any young girl to get into unaided.
From the standpoint of permanence in the trade, the school's
judgment in placing the girls seems to be justified. Considering
only the 633 girls who have had at least a year’s industrial experience,
105 had secured their own positions and 528 had been placed by the
school. Of those placed by the school only 15.9 per cent failed to
remain in their trades for at least a year, while of those who placed
themselves 32.4 per cent dropped out within a year.
REASONS FOR LEAVING TRADE SCHOOLS.

Less than one-tliird of the pupils leaving the Boston Trade School
were accredited by the school; less than one-fifth of those leaving
the Worcester Trade School had graduated. The reasons for leaving
the schools are suggestive to educators, particularly to teachers in
vocational schools. The trade schools try to learn from each pupil
her reason for leaving and to record this for future use. Table 28
gives the recorded reasons for leaving of 2,066 girls, the reasons not
having been ascertained or at least not recorded for the remaining 434.
There is a discrepancy between the numbers shown on these records
as having left school to go to work, and the numbers found by this
investigation to have gone to work. Thus, the figures given in this
table show that 32.9 per cent of the Boston Trade School pupils left
to go to work in their own trades, while the figures of this investiga­
tion1 show that 38.6 per cent used their trade a week or more; for




1See Table 10, p. 29.

45

THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

Worcester the records show 22.7 per cent going into their own trades,
while the investigation showed 27.4 per cent of the total of 343 girls
had used their training. In Cambridge the investigation showed 23
per cent, instead of the 9.7 per cent reported, going into their trades.
It is evident, then, that the schools have sent more pupils into their
trade than the records indicate.
28.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE
TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS LEAVING TRADE SCHOOL FOR EACH SPECIFIED REASON
AS GIVEN IN THE TRADE-SCHOOL RECORDS.

T a b le

Girls reported as leaving each trade school for specified reason.
Number.

Reason for leaving trade school.

Per cent.

Wor­ Cam­
Boston. cester. bridge. Total. Boston. Wor­ Cam­ Total.
cester. bridge.
585
88

i 78

50
16
39
22
23

Total.......................
W o r k u n k n o w n ......... .............

Placcd by the school..........................
Other work:
M a n u fa c tu rin g ................

Personal service...........................
Store.............................................
Office...........................................
U n classified _________________________

School reasons:
Absence.......................................
V acation........................... ..........
Expulsion....................................

8
3

593
169

24
*11
11
4

6

80
27
50
26
3

130

50

6

186

6.4

141

7

148

6.9

82
22
335
1

88
39
36
1

140

6
17
1
‘ ''
24

237

25

1

263

29
48
9

29
7
2

4
25

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

86

38

29

123

38

13

3
83
8

1
36
4

14
17
3

41

34

38
1
381

7
35

2,044

343

23.7
6.8

t
1
l
i

i
i

14.6 |

5.3 1

2.0

7.4
5.9

18
136
15

94

7.1
2.7

22.7

62
80
H 11

H e a lth _____________ _________

28.6
4.3

O t h e r ............................................... .............

Total.......................
W on t, to another school

Personal:
Incapacity...................................
In c o m p a ta b ility .....................................
Marrip.d......... ..............................................

Home causes:
Economic pressure......................
Needed........................................
O th e r ............................................................

Total.......................
Movf>ri

_

_____

Died.
......................................
N ot, ren orted ......................................................
Grand t o t a l _________

164

1
I
1
I
6.8 |

i

I
i
i
6.5

7.0

11.6

7.3

.9

10.5

153

4.2

11.1

25.7

6.1

174

6.0

11.1

11.5

7.0

169

4.6

12.0

30.1

6.8

1
18

45
2
434

1.9
(4
)
18.6

2.0
10.2

.9
15.9

1.8
.1
17.4

113

2,500

100.0

100.0

100.0 | 100.0

136 said that the trade school helped them to get the first position.
21 taught kindergarten, 1 taught music, 1 went into dancing.
31 too old to enter trade school.
4Less than one-tenth of 1 per cent.

Taking the reasons as recorded, however, in Boston and Worcester
the most influential reason was the desire to go to work, accounting
for two-fifths of those leaving in Worcester and for almost onehalf in Boston, while no other single cause accounts for as much
as one-sixth of the group. A matter of interest is the small pro­




46

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

portion of cases in which economic pressure is the direct cause of
leaving school, only three pupils in Boston and one in Worcester
leaving on this account.1 Another point of interest is the proportion
of pupils who were deemed better fitted for the work of other schools
and accordingly were transferred. In Boston 11.6 per cent of the
trade-school pupils are reported to have returned to other schools.
Of these, however, two-thirds (65 per cent) were pupils who enrolled
in the summer course. Omitting these summer school pupils, 4.1
per cent of the whole Boston group returned to high or grammar
school. The trade-school history thus throws some light on the
much vexed school question of “ drop-outs.”
Summing up this study of the trade-school pupil, it appears
that the type of pupil attending the Boston Trade School has
changed somewhat in the 10 years covered by this investigation.
Pupils are a little more mature at entrance than they were when the
school began; they have reached a somewhat higher level of academic
education, and they spend a longer time at the trade school. The
change has been slow; but the conclusion that it has not been entirely
due to changed conditions in industry seems to be supported by the
discovery that the experience of the recently established schools in
Worcester and Cambridge resembles the history of the Boston school
from 1904 to 1909, rather than that of the succeeding five years. In
general, however, the trade schools still attract the same kind of
girl they attracted in the beginning— the girl who must enter industry
at a comparatively early age, but who can afford a limited time for
preparation.
There can be no doubt as to the public demand for training such as
the girls’ trade schools offer for this type of pupil, and the variations
within the type seem fairly fixed. The future success of the trade
school will depend on its ability to adapt its courses (1) to the type
of pupil it has attracted in such numbers, and (2) to the changing
demands of the trades for which it attempts to train.
PREVAILING MISCONCEPTIONS OF SCOPE OF TRADE-SCHOOL WORK.

The trade school for girls “ seeks to direct them into better indus­
tries and to increase their wage-earning powers to such an extent that
the wage lost by spending time at school is more than made up in
the first year at the trade.” 3 But from numerous directions come
complaints that the school has not fulfilled its purpose. Says the
social worker, “ She was exceptionally bright but she hated to work
with the needle, so the school did not help her at all.” The com­
1The comparatively small part played by economic necessity in forcing children to go to work has been
brought out in other investigations. See Report on conditions of woman and child wage earners in the
United States, Vol. VII (S. Doc. No. 645, 61st Cong., 2d sess.); Report of Massachusetts Commission on
Industrial and Technical Education, April, 1906; A trade-school for girls, U. S. Bureau of Education,
Bulletin, 1913, No. 17; Helen T. Woolley: Charting childhood in Cincinnati, in Survey, Aug. 9, 1913.
2Third Annual Report of Boston Trade School for Girls, 1917, p. 19.




THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

47

plaint comes from the parent, “ She graduated at school as a dress­
maker, but she could not cut or fit,” and from the employer, UI
supposed when I got a trade-school girl, 1 had an experienced
worker.” Another employer turned a trade-school girl off because
“ at the rate she was going she would earn about 19 cents a week,
yet they recommended her at the school as a good worker.”
All these criticisms are based on a misconception of what the trade
school does and can do. In answer to the complaint of the social
worker, the schools reply that they do not undertake to teach all
trades, but have chosen a few which, they believe, offer opportunity
for skilled work. Those who can not acquire the requisite skill or
who do not like these trades are necessarily sifted out. The trade
schools are, however, continuously seeking new fields which may
offer good work for girls. In reply to the parent's complaint, the
schools point out that they do not aspire to teach the whole
trade in the short time they are able to hold the girl, but try
instead to give her some of the fundamentals which she can
utilize immediately. She does not, therefore, with one year’s
training cut and fit, though cutting and fitting are offered to former
pupils of the Boston Trade School who return for further training.
The employer’s complaint, likewise, is looked upon as due to a
misunderstanding of what the school can do and what its indorse­
ment of a pupil means. If it were possible to duplicate shop condi­
tions exactly in the school, some of the difficulties of adjusting a pupil
to trade conditions might be met. But believing this to be incom­
patible with the best interests of training, the school seeks to give
the fundamental principles of each trade, and the ability to apply
these principles to new problems must come with experience. While
the girl thus gains a more extensive knowledge of the work than she
would probably get during the same length of time in the shop, she
can not be called an experienced worker in any one process. Nor
can she always “ see what to do next ” or how to “ keep busy ” without
direction, for she has been accustomed to close supervision in the
school. The teacher can not always gauge correctly a pupil’s trade
proficiency, for the girl who is successful in school may be paralyzed
by the rush and requirements of the shop, while the girl who in school
is lackadaisical may respond with enthusiasm to the stimulus of the
actual shop. The schools try, however, to give a training which will
enable the girl to meet to some degree the demands of the shop.
Before a pupil graduates from the Worcester school or is placed by
the Boston school she must have attained a requisite minimum of
speed, as well as a trade standard of finish. This speed is measured
by time cards, kept by the girls, from which they must themselves
estimate the wages they are worth. Each garment is marked with
the cost of materials and the number of hours required by the girl for




48

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

its construction. By these means it is possible to form some idea
of what a girl’s industrial capacity is, but the difference between shop
and school conditions prevents this idea from being more than a
mere approximation. It is impossible to require actual trade speed
in the school; the pupils must acquire this in the shop.
ADJUSTMENT OF TRADE-SCHOOL PUPILS TO THE TRADE.

Under any circumstances a worker coming into a factory or shop
where she has never worked before has to go through a process of
adjustment to the new conditions before she can gain her maximum
productivity. How does the trade-school girl compare in this respect
with the untrained worker, or with the worker who has gained her
experience in the trade ? The question is an important one, on which
it is difficult to secure data. A curtain factory in Boston, however,
has a very unusual and complete system of records which gives some
light on this much-discussed question.1 It pays a fixed minimum
weekly wage with a bonus for all work produced in excess of a certain
established standard; new workers are supposed to be able to reach
this standard in eight weeks. The records of three girls employed
here were taken for comparison. Case A was a young, untrained
worker, aged 19 years, running a power machine at a minimum $6
rate.2 Case B was a trade-school girl, aged 18, who had attended the
dressmaking course in the trade school 22 months, worked for a dress­
maker eight months, and then returned to the trade school for a six
weeks’ course in power-machine operating. She went into the cur­
tain factory on a $6 weekly rate. Case C was an experienced worker
who had been a machine operator on curtains for two years previous
to entering this factory, and who worked at a weekly rate of $7.
Table 29 shows the value of the work produced by each of these workers
each week for the first eight weeks of her engagement.
Comparing the two young workers, it appears that, with the
exception of the second week, the untrained girl exceeded the
trade-school girl in value of product turned out for six weeks.
During this time she twice turned out work to a value exceeding
her weekly rate, while the trade-school girl never reached her rate.
In the seventh week, however, the trade-school girl suddenly
sprang to the lead with a productivity which not only earned
her wage but a substantial bonus. In the eighth week her product
was more than half as large again as the untrained girl’s. During the
whole eight weeks case A turned out product to the value of $45.24,
1 Six trade-school girls appeared on the pay roll of this factory, and the experience of five of them is given.
The sixth remained only four weeks, produced work to the value of $1.30, for which she was paid $20.70,
and returned to the trade school,, Physical conditions in this factory are unusually good, the attitude of
the management is kindly, and all the trade-school girls were treated with great consideration.
2 All the data as to wages in this factory were obtained from the pay roll. Data as to amount of product
were obtained from the factory records of individual girls.




49

THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

and case B to the value of $47.66. The trade-school girl appears to
have been somewhat slower in getting used to the shop than the
untrained girl, but the first period of adjustment over, gave indications
of being a more even and reliable worker than the other. For the
eight weeks regarded as a usual training period, her record is slightly
better than that of the untrained girl. Case C shows that even an
experienced worker is handicapped in a new position by the necessity
for adjustment. For her first week she made a far worse showing than
either of the two young girls, and it was not until the fifth week that
she earned the minimum wage at which she entered.
29.—COMPARATIVE PRODUCTIVITY DURING FIRST EIGHT WEEKS IN FACTORY OF AN UNTRAINED GIRL, A TRADE-SCHOOL PUPIL,i AND AN EXPERIENCED
WORKER.

T a b le

Value of work produced b y -

Week.

First.........................................
Second.....................................
Third.......................................
Fourth.....................................
Fifth........................................
Sixth........................................
Seventh................
........
Eighth.....................................

Case A:
Un­
trained
worker.2

Case B:
Tradeschool
girl.2

Case C:
Experi­
enced
worker
in a new
factory.3

$3.99
4.65
5.53
6.33
6.16
5 5.14
8.00
5.44

$5.21
4.66
4. 21
5.73
45.78
4.37
8. 62
9.08

$2.54
6. 22
5.39
6.59
7.11
7.42
6.78
7.02

1 Placed by the trade school in dressmaking September, 1913, December, 1913, and January, 1914, and in
this position, August, 1914.
2 Working on a $6 rate.
* Working on a $7 rate.
* Five days.
s Four days.

Since all these workers were being paid a fixed minimum wage with
a bonus for production above a certain standard, the difference be­
tween this flat rate and the value of their production may be regarded
as the employer’s profit or loss, according to where the difference lies,
on their work for the eight weeks, or as his cost of inducting them into
the ways of his factory. The average value of product during the
eight weeks was for the untrained girl $5.66, for the trade-school
girl $5.96, and for the experienced worker $6.13. Since the two girls
were being paid $6 and the experienced worker $7 a week, the em­
ployer’s cost of training was for the untrained girl 34 cents, for the
trade-school girl 4 cents, and. for the experienced worker 87 cents a
week. Apparently in this case, experience in the trade was of no
benefit in falling into the ways of this particular factory.
Another illustration of the difficulty a young trade-school girl finds
in meeting shop demands, and of the cost to the employer of inducting
such girls, is shown in the following table:
85225°— 17— Bull. 215-------4




50

INDUSTRIAL .EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
30— WORK DONE AND AMOUNT PAID TO A TRADE-SCHOOL GIRL FOR 10
WEEKS IN HER FIRST POSITION, AS HEMSTITCHER, IN A CURTAIN FACTORY.1

T a b le

Amount Value
of
Amount
of work
work
paid.
done
(pairs). done.

Day.

First week.....................
Second week:
Isl day.....................
2d day.....................
3d day.....................
4th day....................

Sixth week:3
1st day
2d day...................
3d day...................
4th dav..................
5th day..................
6th day..................

235
109
166
344
162
211

11.18
.54
.83
.72
.81
1.05

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

1,027

5.13

6.00

Seventh week:3
1st dsty
2d dav...................
3d day...................
4th dav..................
5th day..................
6th day...............

257
128
206
216
221
49

1. 28
.64
1.03
1.08
L 10
.49

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

1,077

5. 62

Eighth week:3
1st day
2d dav...................
3d day...................
4th day..................
5th dav..................
6th day................

(4
)
135
93
90
108
68

.67
.47
.45
.54
.34

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

494

2. 47

80.58

Gth day....................

(2).,s
29
36
18

1.16
.58
.72
.36

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

170

3.40

29

.58

50
25
63
37

1.00
.50
1.26
.74

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

204

4.08

6.00

Fourth week:
1st day.....................

24

.48

1.08

(2)

fReturned to trade school for three months.!
3d day 3
4th day 3..................
5th dav 3
6th day 3..................

Amount Value
of work
of
Amount
done
work
paid.
(pairs). done.

S3.24

(2
)
29

Third week:
1st day.....................
2d day....................
3d day.....................
4th day....................
5th day
6th day....................

Day.

.65
.09
. 66

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

129
18
131
(4
)
278

Filth week:3
1st day.....................
2d day.....................
3d dav.....................
4th day....................
5th day
6th day....................

(2)
(2)
(2)
160
216
210

.80
1.08
1.05

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

586

2.93

1.40

Ninth week..................
3.24

Tenth week:5
2d day..................
3d dav................
4th day............
5th dav..................
6th day...............

C 23
.

6.53

6.07

(4)
.32

16
(2>
105*
94
90
105

2.11
1.88
1.80
2.10

410g

8.21

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

8.68

6.13

1 Placed in her position here by the trade school, July, 1914.
2 Not- recorded.
s Hemming tops.
4 Absent.
6 Hemstitching curtains.

This girl was placed in her position by the trade school, July, 1914,
at an initial wage of $6 a week, and was supposed to hemstitch on the
machine 50 pairs of curtains a day at 2 cents a pair to earn the $1
a day which she was being paid. For the first week her daily pro­
duction was not recorded. The second week she turned out work to
the value of $3.40 and the third to the value of $4.08, and at the be­
ginning of the fourth week went back to the trade school for further
training. Returning after three months she was set to hemming
tops, the simplest of all the processes, and at this worked five weeks
without once reaching the standard of production. Then the tenth
week she was put back to hemstitching curtains, and like the tradeschool girl shown in the preceding table, suddenly shot up to a pro­
ductivity considerably in excess of the standard. During the eight




THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

51

weeks of employment she turned out work to the value of $33.72, for
which she was paid $49.96. Thus it cost the employer, without
counting supervision, trouble, etc., $16.24 to induct her into the shop.
While a trade-school girl can not immediately do the full amount of
work she is capable of, the training she has received should shorten
the period of adjustment to factory conditions and make her induc­
tion less expensive to the employer than that of an untrained girl.
This was actually so in the case of the two workers without trade
experience shown in Table 29. The relative cost of adjustment of
two other workers, one a trade-school girl, the other an inexperienced
worker, is shown in the following table:
T a b le

31.—RELATIVE COST TO EMPLOYER OF TRAINING A TRADE-SCHOOL GIRL AND
AN UNTRAINED GIRL IN POWER-MACHINE OPERATING.1
Trade-school girl.2
Date.

Mar. 27......................
Mar. 28......................
Mar. 30......................
Mar. £L......................
Apr. 1........................
Apr. 2........................

Amount
of work
done.
Pairs.
91
41
81
77
( 3)

Value
of work
done.

290

2.90

3........................
4........................
6 .......................
7........................
8 ......................
9........................

79
57
70
110
90
91

1.49
.39
.34
.30
.53
.18
.45

219

2.19

.79
.57
.70
1.10
.90
.91

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

497

4.97

Apr. 10......................
Apr. 11.....................
Apr. 13. ....................
Apr. 14......................
Apr. 15......................
Apr. 16......................

86
50
83
100
7 82
848

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

9 449

4.34

17.....................
18......................
19......................
21......................
22......................
23......................

1178

86.00

(3
)

.86
.50
.83
1.00
.73
.42

Apr.
Apr.
Apr.
Apr.
Apr.
Apr

S . 55
O
.06
.32
.14
. 12
.50

39
34
30
53
18
45

(3
)

Value
of work
done.

149

Loss to
firm.

Amount
of work
done.
Pairs.
35
6
32
14
12
50

Amount
paid.

S . 91
O *
.41
.81
.77

Total................
Apr.
Apr.
Apr.
Apr.
Apr.
Apr.

Untrained girl.

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

50

.99
.98
1.05

H429i

4.21

SI. 03

(12)

Loss to
firm.

$6.00

14. SI

6.00

8.81

4.92

3.79

4.92

3.66

( 3)

(4
)
5 12
655
90
55
6.00

io 212

1.13

68
9

.34
.05
.24
.35
.28

250

1.26

(i2)

*

4.92

.12
.28
.45
.28

48
70
55

1.66

.69
.50

99
98
104J

6.00

Amount
of work

.71

1 Standard rate, 100 hems a day, one cent each, or 200 headings a day, one-half cent each. Minimum
fiat rate, $1 a day, $6 a week.
2 Had attended trade school 17 months and had had 2 months7experience in machine operating. First
placed by the trade school February, 1 1 .; replaced February, 1914, and received her certificate April, 1914.
&3
3Record not complete.
<Fixing poor work.
5 Hems.
1 From this time on this girl worked on headings.
6
7Including 19 pairs of headings,
s Including 12 pairs of tops.
9Including 19 pairs of headings and 12 pairs of taps.
1 Including 12 hems.
0
1 Including 18 pairs of tops.
1
6 Holiday.




52
T a b le

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
31.—RELATIVE COST TO EMPLOYER OF TRAINING A TRADE-SCHOOL GIRL
AND AN UNTRAINED GIRL IN POWER-MACHINE OPERATING—Concluded.
Trade-school girl.
Date.

Amount
of work
done.

Value
of work Amount
paid.
done.

Apr. 24......................
Apr. 25......................
Apr. 27......................
Apr. 28......................
Apr. 29......................
Apr. 30......................

Pairs.
105
26
163
111
99
131

Untrained girl.
Loss to
firm.

SI. 05
.26
1.63
1.11
.99
.15

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

2 535

5.19

May 1........................
May 2........................
May 4........................
May 5........................
May 6........................
May 7........................

82
43
80
3105
<149
i 99
&
558

4.94

1 Headings.
2Including 31 pairs of headings.

Value
of work Amount
paid.
done.

Pairs.
85
39
64
89
71
78
$6.79

6.48

$1.60

1.52

426

2.14
.31
.20
.30
.16
.42
1.92

660

3.31

Loss to
firm.

S . 42
O
.20
.32
.45
.36
.39

61
40
60
32
84
383

.82
.43
.80
.93
1.46
.50

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

Amount
of work
done.

$6.00

$3.86

6.00

2.69

3 Including 24 pairs of headings. 5 Including 129 pairs of headings.
* Including 6 pairs of headings.

In this case the first girl had spent 17 months in the trade school,
and had also worked 2 months on a power machine in another factory,
while the second girl was wholly inexperienced and untrained.
They entered the factory at the same time. At the end of her fifth
week in the factory the trade-school girl had come within 81 cents of
producing the minimum amount of work for which she was paid.1
Not until the thirteenth week did she produce the full amount, and
she did not produce this amount regularly until she had been at
work for five months. The inexperienced girl worked 12 weeks
before she produced the $6 she was paid. During the first six weeks
covered by the table, the employer, apart from cost of supervision,
etc., lost $6.52 on the work of the trade-school girl and $22.32 on the
work of the untrained girl. After 26 weeks he gave this second girl
up as hopeless, and she was dismissed. The trade-school girl in April,
1914, received her certificate from the school.
There seems some reason for concluding that a trade-school girl
reaches her full productivity in a factory in a shorter time than an
untrained girl, i. e., that her shop training is less expensive for the
employer. After this period of initiation does her school training
give her any permanent advantage ? The following table gives the
weekly product for a number of weeks of two pairs of workers, each
pair consisting of one trade-school and one trade-trained girl, the
members of each pair having approximately the same amount of
experience, and all having served their initiatory period in the factory
in which they were employed when these records were kept.
1 If the worker exceeds the standard rate of $1 a day on any particular day, this excess amount is paid
as a bonus, even though she may fall below the standard amount of production on another day. Thus,
this girl in her fifth week received $6.79, because she had exceeded the standard on three days, but her
weekly output was below the standard rate.




53

THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

32.—COMPARATIVE PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY OF TRxYDE-SCHOOL AND TRADETRAINED GIRLS IN POWER-MACHINE OPERATING AFTER THREE AND AFTER
FIVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.

T a b le

Amounts earned each specified week in power-machine operating after—

Week.

Three years’ expe­
rience by—
TradeTradeschool
trained
girl.1
girl.
(Case D.) (Case E.)

September:
1st week..
2d week..,
T
3d week..
4th week.
5th week.
October:
1st week..
2d week..
3d week. *
4th week.
November:
1st week..
2d week..
3d week..
4th week.
December:
1st week..
2d week..
3d week..
4th week.
5th week.
Total............................ .
Average wage for above
period.........................
Average weekly wage
for the year............... .

$8.94
6.38
7.08
6.30
9.34
7.73
6.16
8. 87
10.21

9.30
10. 45
10.25
7. 85
11.20

8.28
8.91
7.00
5.36

135.71

149.61

7.54

8.31

Five years’ expe­
rience by—
Week.

May:
1st week............................
2d week.............................
3d week.............................
4th week...........................
June:
1st week............................
2d week.............................
3d week"...........................
4th week...........................
July:
1st week............................
2d week.............................
3d week.............................
4th week...........................
August:
1st week............................
2d week.............................
3d week.............................
4th week...........................
Total..............................
Average wage for above
period........................
Average weekly wage
for the year................

TradeTradeschool
trained
girl.2
girl.
(Case F.) (Case G.)

$6.60
8. 88
8.13
8.04

$10.27
4. 74
8. 53
9. £

6.48
8.00
6. 64
4.80

7.50
9.15
7.65
5. 74

5. 76
8.00
8.00
8.00

5.04
7.00
7.00
7.00

8.25
6. 56
8.14
8. 21

6.37
7.00
9.15
10.98

118. 49

122.69

7. 41

7.67

7.49

7.85

1 Placed by the trade school in straw stitching, December, 1912, and June, 1913; placed in this position
November, 1913.
2 Placed by the trade school April, 1911, in another curtain factory. Received her certificate, October,
1913.

Cases D and E were the same age, 21 years, and each received a
flat rate of $7 a week, with a bonus for overproduction. Case D,
the trade-school girl, had worked 18 months on handwork in a cur­
tain factory before entering the trade school. After a ten months’
course in power-machine operating on straw hats, she entered a hat
factory for 5 months. She returned in the dull season to the school
for a four months’ course in power-machine operating on cloth, and
when interviewed had been for a year and three months in the cur­
tain factory. Case E, the trade-trained girl, had had three and a
half years’ experience in selling and office work, and three years’
experience in power-machine operating. Case D, who had had three
years and two months’ working experience and 14 months in the
trade school, earned during the last four months of 1914, as shown
in the table, $135.71, and her average weekly wage for this period was
$7.54. Case E earned during the last four months of 1914, $149.61,
and her average weekly wage for this period was $8.31. If the tradeschool training equals the trade experience, both had had about




54

* INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

three years’ experience in power-machine operating, and they were
the same age, but the trade-school girl earned, on an average, 77
cents per week less than the trade-trained girl.
In the second group, Case F, a trade-school girl who had spent two
years in the dressmaking and machine-operating courses and had been
working at power-machine operating for three years and three months,
might be said to have had five years7 experience. Comparing her
productive capacity v/ith that of a trade-trained girl (CaseG) w had
^ho
had five years7 experience we find that while their production for any
given week may vary rather widely, for the four months covered it
averages very nearly the same— $7.41 against $7.67. Their average
weekly wages for the whole year were also nearly the same, the tradeschool girl's being $7.49 and the other's, $7.85. In both these
instances, therefore, the trade-school girl falls a little below the tradetrained girl in productive capacity after an equal experience in the
trade.
A few cases, of course, offer a wholly insufficient basis for any con­
clusion, but the pay roll of this factory gives further evidence in the
same direction. Capable workers can earn a fair wage, about 60
per cent earning $7 or over per week. The trade-school girls in this
particular factory do not show superior productive capacity. The
chief advantage they gain from their trade-school work is greater
ease in securing access to the factory, for comparatively few employers
will take wholly inexperienced workers. The school aids its pupils
in securing entrance and offers supplementary training to strengthen
their deficiencies. But this limited data does show the trade school
which has sought to train these girls, and educators, who after one
glance, assume that power-machine operating is a simple process
which can be acquired in a few hours, that there is a pressing need
for a more careful analysis of the occupations in this industry and
their requirements from the ’ standpoint of trade knowledge, skill,
maturity, and adjustment. The Boston Trade School, as has been
shown by the enrollment in its courses, has given little emphasis to
this factory industry. But the growth of the wholesale manufactur­
ing and the decline of the hand trades will require that more atten­
tion be given to this branch of the sewing trades, and when the
trade school attacks this problem in the same spirit as that in which
it has taken up the custom trades, a better showing may be expected.
Returning to the length of time required for adaptation to actual
trade conditions, it may be noted that this seems to be underestimated
by most writers, who are inclined to think that “ at the present
day this mechanical skill is easily obtained. To the young school­
girl whose muscles are all responsive and trained, a little practice
on power machines in the schools would prepare her to be employed
in the factory at once at the wage of an experienced worker. She




THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

55

could sit down at a power machine and become a pieceworker without
delay because she knows how to control her machine.” 1 The pay
roll data of production and the unanimous report of all the employers
visited seem to indicate (1) that experienced workers require a
month to adjust themselves to new conditions; (2) that untrained
workers require from one month to two to reach even once the
minimum standard of production, and a still longer time to maintain
it continuously; and (3) that judgment, speed, and manual dexterity
are the real basis of success, not merely “ a little practice on power
machines in the schools.”
SCHOOL TESTS FOR ASCERTAINING TRADE ABILITY.

The trade school admits every girl between 14 and 25 years of age
who applies, but since the trades for which it offers training require
certain definite qualities, and since not all girls possess these qualities,
it is most important that some devices should be evolved to ascertain
as soon as possible the pupil's fitness for these trades. Three such
devices are in use, preliminary conferences with child and parent,
emphasis on the summer school session as an opportunity for testing
out the pupil, and subsequent shifting from one course to another
in order to find out for what the pupil is really adapted.
In Worcester the first device is emphasized. The applicant must
register at the school and fill out a detailed application blank which
requires some intelligence and thought and provides some index
of the girl's capacity. Her parents are urged to come and discuss
with the teachers the course she has chosen, that they may clearly
understand what to expect of the girl and of the school, and they
are kept informed of her progress by weekly or monthly reports.
In both Boston and Worcester the summer session of the school is
used extensively as an opportunity for testing out applicants with
less loss to both pupils and school. In Boston there has been a
change of policy in this respect. From 1904 to 1909 pupils were
allowed to enter the summer school in order to make their own
clothes even though they had no intention of remaining for the
regular term. Since 1909, however, the summer session has been
conducted under the same rules as the regular term, and only pupils
who have some intention of remaining are admitted. The Worcester
Trade School definitely requires that all new pupils wishing to enroll
in September shall enter in June; the Boston school does not make this
course obligatory, but urges it. Those who enter have the oppor­
tunity of finding out during this short term whether the training is
what they wish, and whether they are qualified to take it to advan­
tage; if not, they can reenter the regular schools at the fall term
without any loss of time such as they would incur if they entered the




* Anna C. Hedges: Wage worth of school training, p. 7.

56

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OP TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

trade school in September and later found themselves unsuited to it.
The following table shows for each year what proportion of the pupils
entering the summer session of the Boston and the Worcester trade
schools remained for the fall term:
33__NUMBER AND PER CENT OF PUPILS ENTERING THE SUMMER SESSION
OF THE BOSTON AND WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOLS WHO REMAINED AND WHO
DID NOT REMAIN FOR THE FALL TERM.

T a b le

BOSTON TRAD E SCHOOL.
Girls enrolled in the summer session.1
Number.

Summer of—

Remain­ Not re­
maining.
ing.

Per cent.2

Not re­
ported.

1904............................................
1905............................................
1906............................................
1907............................................
1908............................................
1909............................................

15
14
25
36
45
37

16
22
39
42
96
49

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

172

264

19113..........................................
1912............................................
1913............................................

26
30
22

10
4
20

24
3

Total.

Remain­ Not re­
maining.
ing.

Total.

31
36
64
78
141
86

48.4
38.9
39.1
46.2
31.9
43.0

51.6
61.1
60.9
53.8
68.1
57.0

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

436

39.4

60.6

100.0

60
37
42

72.2
88.2
52.4

27.8
11.8
47.6

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

78

34

27

139

69.6

30.4

100.0

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

250

298~

27

575

45.6

54.4

100.0

W O R CESTER TR AD E SCHOOL.
1912............................................
1913............................................
1914............................................

7
3
9

15
11
25

22
14
34

31.8
21.4
26.5

68.2
78.6
73.5

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

19

51

70

27.1

72.9

100.0

1 Includes only girls entering trade school for the first time in the summer.
2 Based on number for whom reports were received.
8 No summer session was held in 1910.

In the Boston school the proportion remaining for the fall term
has increased materially since 1909, when the summer session was
put under the same rule as the regular sessions. This may be due
to the fact that the earlier plan attracted a number who had no
intention of remaining, or it may simply be a change similar to that
found among the pupils of the school as a whole; it will be remem­
bered that those entering during the last five years of the period
studied were a less shifting group than those of the first period.
In Worcester the proportion remaining for the fall session has been
small for the whole period considered; no explanation of this fact
is offered.
Classified by the reasons they give for not continuing in the trade
school, the pupils of the trade schools in the two cities show a very
different grouping. The following table gives the number and pro­
portion leaving for each reason:




57

THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS WHO ENTERED THE SUMMER SESSION
OF THE BOSTON AND WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOLS, GIVING EACH SPECIFIED
REASON FOR NOT REMAINING FOR FALL SESSION.

T a b le 3 4 .—

Girls entering summer session of specified trade school but not
remaining for fall session.
Number.
Reason for not remaining for fall
session.

Per cent.1

Boston Trade School.
19041909

19091914

W orcesBoston Worces­
ter
ter
Trade
Trade Total. School. Trade
Total. School.
School..

Went to work:
In her trade..........
In manufacturing.
In personal service
In a store.............
In an office...........
W ork unknown...
Total.................

31

School reasons:
Absence................
Expulsion............
Vacation...............
Total.................

10.3

9.7

10.2

181 I

Returned to school___

62.6

32.3

59.5

31

4

10

45

45

Personal reasons:
Health..................
Incapacity............
Ineompatability...
Total.................

19

20

13

7.3

Home causes:
Economic pressure
Needed.................
Moved..................
Other reasons.......
14 I

Total.................
Grand total.......

3.3

16.1 I

4.6

349 I 100.0

100.0 -

100.0

20 I

Not reported...............
264

34

51 i

i Based on number of girls whoso reasons for leaving were known.

In Boston by far the largest proportion left in order to return to
the regular schools, and the next largest for some school reason.
These school reasons, however— absence, expulsion, and vacation—
were given in the Boston school only during the first five years of its
history, before its purpose and methods were thoroughly under­
stood. In Worcester the largest number left for personal reasons,
among which incapacity plays the most prominent part, and the
number returning to the regular schools is, proportionately, only
about one-third as large as in Boston. The proportion leaving in
order to go to work is small in both cities, and so is the proportion
leaving for home causes. Among these pupils economic pressure as
a reason for leaving is even less important than among the pupils of
the school as a whole.




58

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

The preliminary conference with pupils and parents and the sum­
mer sessions are both useful in discovering what aptitude a girl may
possess for her chosen trade, but in addition both schools make use
of the plan of changing a pupil from one course to another, if she does
not seem suited to the first. In the Boston Trade School records 123
pupils, 6 per cent of the total group of 2,044, were reported as en­
rolled in two or more courses. The most frequent sequence seems
to be from custom work in dressmaking or millinery to power-machine
operating on hats or cloth. Of the 123 girls who changed from one
course to another, two--fifths (40.7 per cent) never used either trade;
this probably means that the pupils were unfitted to succeed in any
of the trades taught by the school. In Worcester, 12 girls, 3.5 per
cent of the whole number, took a part of two courses, beginning
usually with dressmaking or millinery and then being tried on powermachine operating.
SPECIAL METHODS FOR ADAPTING PUPILS TO TRADE DEMANDS.

In addition to a general knowledge of the trade they have chosen,
industry demands of the workers “ common sense7 or general intelli­
’
gence, and trade skill, and an important part of the trade-school
work consists of qualifying the pupil to meet these demands. The
task of developing common sense, which is difficult because of the
immaturity of the girls and the indefiniteness of the demand, devolves
partly on the trade teachers and partly on the academic teachers in
the trade schools. The academic teachers have reduced to as sys­
tematic a form as possible the general knowledge about the trades
which the trade teachers have acquired by experience. As the pupils
are too young to be taught theory alone, they are given such
principles as they need to do their work intelligently. The teaching
in arithmetic, art, and English is based on the trade work, and in the
trade classes a constant demand for reasoning is made. As it is a
manifest impossibility to develop resourcefulness in pupils by unsys­
tematic means, the blending of theory and practice devised by trade
schools in their supplementary courses is probably the best available
substitute for actual shop experience as a training for meeting new
problems.
The demand for trade skill is less indefinite than that for common
sense, and is easier to meet, since skill can be given by repetition and
variation of processes. The acquisition of skill requires practice on
the actual product which the trade produces. For this reason, the
production of salable articles has been the goal since the beginning
of the trade-school experiment. The rooms used for trade work, the
methods, standards, and materials resemble as closely as possible those
of the trade, and the uroduct of each school is sold at market prices to
regular customers.




THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

59

The making of a salable product holds two elements of danger,
recognized as such by the schools themselves: First, the gauging of
the success of the school by the money value of the product, and sec­
ond , the subordinating of the training of the pupil to the production
of standardized goods. As to the first, it must be borne in mind that
trade schools can never hope to be even approximately self-support­
ing. The revenue derived from the sale of their products varies from
14.7 per cent to 29,5 per cent of their cost of operation.1 The real test
of the success of a trade school is the success of its pupils in their
trades, and it is a menace to the fundamental conception of the school
to apply any other test to its work.
The second danger is closely connected with the first. When a
pupil has learned to perform a given process well and quickly there is
a temptation to keep her on that process for the sake of the output,
if the product is to be sold, and if, therefore, her skill and speed have a
money value. In fact, parents are inclined to complain that their
daughters are kept too long on processes in which they exhibit unusual
skill, but the complaint does not seem well grounded. The figures
already given (see Table 24) show that among the girls placed
by the Boston Trade School there was a wide variation in the time
spent in training; if the school were trying to keep a girl as long as
possible in one process for the sake of utilizing her special skill, it
would hardly have placed nearly 200 girls who have been in training
for less than 12 months. In Worcester, it is true, no girl may graduate
with less than two years of training, but the girl of unusual ability can
complete in this time work much greater in amount and more varied
in process than the girl of less capacity, and her time is spent in gaining
this extra experience, not in repeating one process.
When the experiment in trade training was still new the possibility
of a third danger was seen in the opportunity for competition between
the trade school and the manufacturer in the disposal of their prod­
ucts, but this fear has proved unfounded. Trade schools sell at
regular market prices, and produce a relatively small amount, which
is not of uniform quality; hence employers do not fear them as com­
petitors.
The production under trade-school conditions of salable goods,
although a valuable means of training, does not give the pupil the
familiarity with trade conditions which will enable her to fit easily
and quickly into an actual shop or factory, and to supply this several
devices have been tried. In Boston, trade shops, opened in 1907,2
were established to “ combine the necessity of earning a weekly wage
with the opportunity of prolonging trade training.” 3 The girl who
1See Table 140,, p. 256.
Second Annual Report of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1906, p. 14.
3Third Annual Report of the Boston Trade School for Girls, 1907, p. 15.

2




60

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

had spent one year at the trade school was paid $4 to $7 a week in
these shops, where she was taught new processes under trade condi­
tions, and was acquainted with the items of shop expense, so that she
could see her own place in the industry.1
A second experiment, part-time work, was tried later. The girls
were to work in the shop and in the school on alternate weeks until
their work was worth $6 a week to their employers.2 This plan failed,
because girls who had begun to earn were unwilling to return to the
school.
A third method has been tried in Worcester in connection with
the millinery courses. The school has not as yet enough orders for
work to give girls the requisite training in meeting custom demands,
so they are expected to spend from three weeks to five months before
graduation in shops. Seventeen girls have had this training; their
wages vary from $1.50 for part time to $6 for full time.
T h e s c h o o ls h a v e , t h e n , t r ie d in v a r io u s w a y s t o fit th e ir p u p ils to
m e e t t h e d e m a n d s th e ir t r a d e s w ill m a k e u p o n t h e m .

B y a com ­

b in a t io n o f t h e o r y w i t h tr a d e w o r k t h e y h a v e e n d e a v o r e d to d e v e lo p
“ c o m m o n s e n s e 7 o r g e n e r a l in te llig e n c e .
7

By

in s is tin g t h a t th e ir

t r a d e w o r k s h a ll p r o d u c e a s a la b le p r o d u c t , a n d b y tr a d e t e s t s , t h e y
h a v e t r ie d t o g iv e s k ill in th e h a n d lin g o f m a t e r ia ls a n d in t h e p r o ­
c esse s w h ic h th e ir p u p ils w ill b e r e q u ir e d to u se in i n d u s t r y ; a n d t h e y
h a v e a lso tr ie d t o

m a k e t h e m fa m ilia r w it h th e c o n d it io n s u n d e r

w h ic h t h e y w ill h a v e t o w o r k la te r , w it h a v ie w t o s h o r te n in g th e
t im e r e q u ir e d fo r “ fit t in g i n ” t o th e a c t u a l s h o p o r f a c t o r y .
STABILITY OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS IN TRADE POSITIONS.

The real test of the success of these devices comes when the pupils
go into industry, or rather, when they go into industry with the
approval of the school. The conditions under which this approval
is given are different in the two leading schools. In Worcester the
pupils are required to graduate before the school will pronounce them
fit, and for graduation they must have had 1,700 hours of trade work
with required supplementary work. When this has been satis­
factorily completed the school will recommend girls for positions,
but believing that they should have the discipline of finding posi­
tions for themselves the school refuses to place them. In Boston the
pupils are placed as soon as the school believes that they have suffi­
cient ability to succeed. The school has a list of cooperating employ­
ers who send to it when they need young workers, and thus it is
usually able to send a girl to a position as soon as she is fitted for it.
In lieu of diplomas, the Boston school grants certificates to girls
1 Florence M. Marshall: Shops for trade training, Federation Bulletin, November, 1907.
2 Trade School Bulletin, April, 1911.




THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

61

placed in industry after they have worked, satisfactorily to their
employer, for three months.1
Most studies of young workers emphasize their tendency to shift
from one position to another especially in the first years after going
to work. In this respect the trade-school pupils make a fairly good
showing. Table 35 gives the number and proportion of pupils
from the Boston Trade School remaining for specified periods
in their first position, and for purposes of comparison similar figures
are given for the 200 girls, discussed above, who had acquired their
training in the trade.
Considering first the trade-school pupils, it appears that about onehalf remained in their first position for six months or longer, about
one-fifth remained longer than six months but less than one year, and
about three-tenths for a year or more. The trade school, however,
frequently moves a girl on its own initiative as better openings ap­
pear or as the placement agent learns of positions for which these
young people are better equipped. The girls who found their own
positions show a little more stability than those placed by the school,
though the difference is small, and appears principally among those
who made a very short stay in the first position, those who held
it for less than a month being proportionately twice as numerous
among the school-placed as among the self-placed pupils. There
seems less stability among those placed by the school in the last five
years than among those placed in the first period, and like the con­
trast between the school-placed and the self-placed this is most evi­
dent in those staying but a short time in the first position; those leav­
ing within three months formed only 25.2 per cent of those placed
in the period 1904-1909 against 32.8 per cent of those placed in
the period 1909-1914. Since the school has now a much larger
number of cooperating firms than in its earlier period it can use more
care in its placements, and since it keeps its pupils for a longer time
they should be better prepared to hold their first position; hence the
increase in the proportion failing to do so is doubly curious. It is
suggested, however, that the lesser stability may be due to changes
in industry, particularly in the trades for which the school offers
training, which militate against a long tenure of the initial position.
Turning to the second part of the table, it is evident that the girls
who acquired their training in the trade excel the trade-school girls
in the length of time spent in their first position. Only 28.8 per cent
of the trade-trained girls left their first position in less than six months,
as against 49.9 per cent of the whole group of trade-school girls.
The proportion of the trade-trained girls holding their first position
less than a month is almost negligible, and the proportion leaving it
under three months is not quite one-eighth. It is to be remembered,




1 Trade School Bulletin V II, N ovem ber, 1913.

62

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

however, that these trade-trained girls are “ survivors/’ girls who have
worked their way up in the trade, and that there is no means of know­
ing how many others, starting out at the same time they did, failed
to hold their first position or any subsequent one, and drifted out of
the trades altogether.
35.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO USED
THEIR TRADE AND OF TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS REMAINING IN THEIR FIRST POSI­
TIONS FOR SPECIFIED PERIODS.

T a b le

B O STO N TR AD E SCHOOL G IR L S .
Number remaining specified time in first position.
1909-1914

1901-1909

Total.

Length of time in first position.
Grand
Not
Not
Not
Placed placed Placed placed Placed placed total.
by the by the by the by the by the by the
school. school. school. school. school. school.
15
114
i 23
3 16

1

54
84
i 78
50
431
123
7

1

8

2

10

43

427

90

611

133

744

Under 1 month................................................
1 and under 3 months......................................
3 atnd under 6 months.....................................
6 and under 9 months......................................
9 and under 12 months....................................
1 year and over................................................
Not known......................................................

19
27
41
26
16
54

3
9
9
3
17

1

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

184

1

2

73

8

23

81
134
151
95
56
217

8

23
32
19
9
40

111

119
76
47
177

' Per cent remaining specified time in first positions
Under 1 month..............................................
1 and under 3 months.....................................
3 and under 6 months......................................
6 and under 9 months......................................
9 and under 12 months.....................................
1 year and over................................................
Total......................................................

10.4
14.8
22.4
14.2
8.7
29.5
1 0 0 .0

7.1
21.4
21. 4
7.2
2.4
40.5
1 0 0 .0

5.6
15.7
25.8
18.0
9.0
25.8

1 2 .8
2 0 .0

18.6
11. 9
7.4
29.3

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 2 .1

18.4
19. 7
12 . 6
7. 8
29.4
1 0 0 .0

6 .1

17. 6
24.4
14. 5
6.9
30.5
1 0 0 .0

1 1 .0

18.3

20 . 6

12. 9
7.6
29.6
1 0 0 .0

TRAD E-TRAINED W O RKERS.
Girls remaining specified time in first position: Dress­
making and cloth power-machine operating.
Number.

Per cent.5

Time in first position.
PowerDress­
ma­
mak­ chine
ing. operat­
ing.
Under 1 month................................................
1 and under 3 months.................................
3 and under 6 months......................................
6 and under 9 months....................................
9 and under 12 months....................................
1 year and over.................................................
Not known.....................................................
Total......................................
1
2

4
8

17
11

5
53

1
11

16
4
11

5
19
33
15
16

57

110
2

100

2 00

2
100

Total.

PowerDress­ machine
making. operat­
ing.
4.1
8 .2

17.3
11 . 2
5.1
54.1
1 0 0 .0

1 .0
1 1 .0

16.0
4.0

1 1 .0

57.0
1 0 0 .0

Including 1 still in initial position.
s Including 3 still in initial position.
Including 2 still in initial position.
* Including 4 still in initial position.
&
Based on number of girls whose time in first position was known.




Total.

2.5
9.0
.16.7
-7. 6
s!i
55.5
inn. U
1 Un
U

THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

63

In practice, it is not necessarily a misfortune for a Boston Trade
School girl to fail to hold her first position, since it may mean better­
ment and also because the school encourages its accredited pupils to
return for further training whenever they are out of work. At such
times they may take advanced courses, such as cutting and fitting, or
may gain speed on power machines, and are ready to be re-placed at
the earliest opportunity. The crowded condition of the school, how­
ever, causes this plan to work some hardship to new pupils who desire
trade training, as old pupils are given some preference. A special
workroom in which girls may increase their efficiency while out of
work has been suggested as a means of meeting this difficulty.
COOPERATION BETWEEN TRADE SCHOOL AND EMPLOYERS.

Since the Boston Trade School makes a point of placing its pupils
it naturally strives to cultivate such relations with employers as will
forward this work. Employers have proved willing not only to take
trade-school girls, but to discuss with the school the points in their
training which need improvement, a proceeding which is helpful to
the school in its efforts to make its training really effective. In the
matter of taking girls from the school, there has been a steady growth
from the beginning in the number of employers willing to cooperate.
The following table shows how many employers have taken pupils,
and the number of girls to whom each employer has given positions:
36.—NUMBER OF FIRMS WITH WHICH GIRLS TRAINED IN THE BOSTON
TRADE SCHOOL HAVE BEEN PLACED, AND NUMBER OF GIRLS TAKEN BY EACH.

T a b le

Number of firms taking specified number of
Boston Trade School girls.
Number of girls placed with each firm.
19041909
One girl.......................................................................
Two girls.....................................................................
Three girls............................................................
Four girls..........................................................
Five girls.................................................................
Six girls......................................................................
Seven girls..................................................................
Eight girls..................................................................
Nine girls.................................................................
Ten and under 15 girls................................................
Fifteen girls and over1 ...... ........................................
Total.................................................

19091914

39
10

6
2
x

19041914

102

37
14
10

6
2
1
2
2

Per cent
of total.

Total.

15
10
g
4
2
4
5
1

141
62
30
17
11

4

5
7

48.0
21.1
10.2
^ ft
0. o
^ i
0. 7

1. 4
1 .7
2. 4

9

3
9
5

3.1
1.7

60

294

1 00 0

5

58

176

1 0

i One firm took 19 girls, another 23, another 29, and a fourth 34. The Women’s Educational and Ind jstnal Union, where the trade-school shops were conducted, took 8 6 .

These firms have taken 849 girls either on original placements or
on re-placements by the school; over two-fifths of these, 43.7 per cent,
were taken by 31, or about 10 per cent, of the firms. Nearly half of
the firms, 48 per cent, have taken only one girl. A list of 294
cooperating firms shows great activity on the part of the place­




64

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

ment agents, and it is encouraging to see that 60, or one-fifth of
the total number, have cooperated with the school since the
beginning of its work. There has naturally been some loss of firms
cooperating in the earlier period, but this has been more than com­
pensated by the new firms who have taken up the plan. Of the
whole number, the cooperation of 176 firms, or 59.8 per cent, was
gained during the second period of the school's history and 20 per
cent held over from the first period, so that only about one-fifth
of all the firms cooperating at any period have ceased cooperating.
M E T H O D S BY W H IC H T R A D E -S C H O O L PUPILS SECURE P O S ITIO N S.

Schools, particularly vocational schools, are constantly assuming
more of the responsibility of finding positions for their pupils, and
trade schools have not fallen behind in this part of their work.
Nevertheless, while the school's placement is the most important
single method by which its pupils have secured work, the school
can not as yet claim credit for quite half of the positions secured by
trade-school girls. The 744 Boston Trade School girls who were
found by investigation to have used their trades for wage earning for
at least a week reported their methods of securing an aggregate of
2,131 positions, and the 166 girls visited in Worcester reported for
203 positions. The methods used, and the number and proportion
of positions secured by each, are shown in the following table:
T a b le

37.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF PUPILS OF THE BOSTON AND WORCESTER
TRADE SCHOOLS SECURING POSITIONS BY EACH SPECIFIED MEANS.
Girls securing positions by specified means.
Number.

Means of securing positions.

Boston Trade School.

Per cent.
W orcester
Trade
School.

19041909

190&
1914

Total.

Placed by trade school................
Relatives or friends......................
Former employer .
Position offered...........................
Application.................................
Advertisement.............................
Recalled......................................
Agency........................................
Other means................................

302
150
29
9
125
69
89
17
2

625
244
23
4
238
85
94
18
8

927
394
52
13
363
154
183
35
10

57
48

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

792

1,339

2,131

203

3
76
4
13
2

Boston Trade School.

Worces­
ter
Trade
School.

19041909

19091914

Total.

38.1
19.0
3.7
1.1
15.8
8.7
11.2
2.1
.3

46.7
18.2
1.7
.3
17.8
6.3
7.0
1.3
.6

43.5
18.5
2.4
.6
17.0
7.2
8.6
1.6
.5

28.1
23.6

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1.5
37.4
2.0
6.4
1.0

As mentioned before, the trade school in Worcester does not make
any point of securing places for its graduates, believing that the
practice in securing their own positions is good for them. Hence,
the proportion securing positions by this method differs widely in
the two cities. Nevertheless, even in Worcester, well over a fourth




THE SCHOOL PROBLEM.

65

of the positions were obtained through the school. In Boston the
school is by far the most important single agency, but even so it
does not account for one-half of the positions reported on. Ahead
of the trade school in Worcester, and next but one to it in Boston,
stands the oldest and simplest of methods, the personal application
to employer after employer until one is found who needs the help
the applicant can give. This method is looked upon with disfavor as
wasteful and unsafe— wasteful because the applicant may spend days
before happening upon the one employer who needs her, and unsafe
because the applicant has no means of knowing the character of the
employer whose service she enters or the conditions under which she
will have to work. In Worcester, a smaller city in which all the firms
are well known, this method holds a smaller element of danger than
in Boston. It is also much more frequently used, the proportion of
positions thus found being more than twice as great in Worcester
as in Boston. The next most important means, the help of relatives
and friends, is more commonly used in Worcester than in Boston,
but the difference is not great. In both cities paid agencies play a
very unimportant part.1
In Boston the second five-year period studied shows a considerable
increase in the proportion of positions secured through the trade
school. This is due to the attitude of the school, which is constantly
assuming more of the burden of helping the pupils in their search for
“ jobs,” and it seems likely that the proportion of places obtained
by its agency will steadily increase.
SUMMARY.

Trade schools for girls in Massachusetts have grown rapidly in
cach of the three cities in which they have been established. They
have faced a difficult problem, since their task has been to take girls
ranging in age from 14 to 25 and in education from the third-grade
pupil to the high-school graduate and prepare them for exacting
trades. Nevertheless, they have been able to send into the trades
908 girls— 36.3 per cent of the 2,500 girls who have entered the
schools, or more than one-third. Because of the lack of comparable
data it is impossible to say whether this is a very high or a low per­
centage. The High School of Practical Arts in Boston, which offers
a four-year course in dressmaking, millinery, and cooking, has
enrolled 1,243 pupils since it was established in 1907. Fifty-one of
its graduates, or 4.1 per cent of its enrollment, have used their trade
in a wage-earning capacity, either in industry or as teachers. The
1 This is true for women in the sewing trades generally. See Mnrv Van Klecck: Women in the book­
binding trades, p. 125; May A llinson: dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts, Bui. No. 193,
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
8 5 2 2 5 °— 17—




Bull.

2 1 5 --------- 5

66

INDUSTRIAL EXPEDIENCE O F TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

New Bedford Independent Industrial School for Boys, with a fouryear course, has enrolled 337 pupils since its foundation in 1909.
Thirteen of its graduates and 72 boys who left the school before
graduation have used their trades for wage earning, thus making
25.2 per cent of the total number enrolled who have gone into their
trades. The girls7 trade schools have sent a much larger proportion
of their pupils into their trades than have either of these schools.
The girls7 trade schools have evolved a system of individual in­
struction which allows rapid progress. They have not only pre­
pared pupils to enter their trades, but have placed them in positions
and assisted them in finding new positions. They have analyzed
the trades which they teach, which in itself is an achievement, and
have ascertained the normal sequence in which processes should be
taught. They have also had to train their teachers.
The trade-school experience has, moreover, shown—
1. That a completed grammar-school education is a great help in
gaining access to these skilled trades.
2. That a certain degree of maturity, 16 years at least, is essential
to entering these trades at present in Massachusetts.
3. That the majority of girls require a trade-school course of at
least a year in length in order to enter and remain in their trades.
The trade schools for girls have not yet succeeded in their
endeavor—
1. To make a year in trade school equivalent to a year in the trade.
2. To find trades suitable for all pupils who apply for training.
3. To develop school incentives comparable to the incentive of the
pay envelope in trade, leading to rapid and thorough work.
From an educational point of view the great achievement of the
girls7 trade schools has been the relating of school work to the actual
industrial life of the community. There is a certain danger that
trade schools may adopt an academic viewpoint, in which case this
achievement will be lost. Trade schools must follow pedagogically
sound methods of teaching, which have necessarily been evolved in
connection with academic subjects. But to introduce academic
subjects unrelated to trade work, or to encourage any atmosphere
but that of the trade is to endanger the success of the whole enter­
prise, The insistent demand made by the public that schools should
be related to present-day conditions can be proved to be or not to be
worthy of attention by actual experiment. Trade schools for girls
have already accomplished so much that they should be allowed un­
limited freedom for development in their own line, unhampered by
academic tradition.




CHAPTER HI.—INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE
SCHOOL GIRLS.
DIFFICULTY OF DETERMINING EFFECTIVENESS OF TRADE-SCHOOL
TRAINING.
Vocational schools of to-day are being subjected to a test new in
the educational world; namely, the measure of their efficiency by the
immediate as well as by the ultimate productive power of their pupils.
Before such a test can be applied fairly to trade schools for girls a
number of factors must be taken into consideration, in order to
obtain a conception of what may reasonably be expected from this
new type of training.
First, it must be remembered that trade training for girls is still
in the experimental stage. Massachusetts, which is supposed to
stand foremost in its solution of the problems involved in industrial
education, maintains at present only three trade schools for girls,
all of recent establishment. The Boston Trade School alone, with
its 10 years* experience, provides a group of girls whose working
career has been long enough to show more than immediate results.
The Worcester Trade School with three and one-half years, and the
Cambridge Trade School with but two years’ experience, are more
serviceable in their suggestion of new methods and ways of adaptation
to local conditions than in the actual statistics they furnish as to the
wage-earning capacity of their pupils.
Second, industrial training for girls has been a series of experiments
in training for trades which are undergoing a tremendous industrial
evolution. The schools train especially for the sewing trades, and
in these the tendency has been toward a complete reorganization of
methods of production. Consequently, the trade educators have
met from the start a fundamental difficulty— that of adjusting their
training to continually changing industrial needs. This difficulty is
increased by the natural tendency of education to crystallize and
develop along increasingly well-worn grooves, whereas the situation
calls for continual changes corresponding to those taking place
in the trades.
Third, the work of the trade school is hampered by the wide varia­
tion in the type of pupil who has applied for training, this variation
being due in part to the fact that the trade school is new in the
educational system and its purpose is little understood. Girls ranging
from 14 to 25 years of age, regardless of previous education, are ad­
mitted for trial. Many girls drift in with no conception of the pur­
pose of the school or with no real motive for coming. “ Other girls
were going.” “ Thought I would try it.” “ Went to trade school




67

68

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TEADE-SCHOOL GIELS.

to get out of home lessons/' were some of the reasons given by the
girls. “ Mary never was bright in school, so we thought we would
send her to trade school/' said one mother. “ There ought to be
more schools for feeble-minded girls like Mabel, who couldn't learn
any place else," said one grandmother. Unfortunately, a study of
the records of the girls who have passed through the trade schools
seems to bear conclusive evidence that “ those who couldn't learn
any place else" did not learn in the trade school.1
Fourth, the majority of the girls who have gone out from the trade
school are still young, and their working experience has been brief.
This investigation is based on a study of 849 pupils from the Boston
school, 166 from the Worcester and 98 from the Cambridge school;
41.9 per cent of the Boston pupils, 86.7 per cent of the Worcester,
and the same per cent of the Cambridge pupils were under 20.
Naturally this immaturity is a serious factor in determinings their
ability to secure and maintain a foothold in their trades, since the
effect of the industrial evolution going on in the clothing trades is
to increase the proportion of mature workers required. As to length
of working experience, none of the pupils from the Worcester and
Cambridge schools have been out more than three years. One-fourth
of the girls from the Boston school have been out less than three
years, and more than one-half have been out less than five years.
Evidently the body of experience available is insufficient for the for­
mation of a final opinion as to the value of trade-school training.
When attempting, therefore, to draw conclusions as to the efficacy
of trade-school training from the experiences of the trade-school
pupils, all these facts must be borne in mind as affecting the decision
to be reached: The small number of pupils who have as yet been
instructed in the school, their youth and the brevity of their working
experience, the difficulty the trade school faces in trying to adapt its
training to constantly changing demands, and the wide variation in
type of the pupils with whom it must work.
Giving due weight to these considerations, however, a study of the
industrial experience of the girls trained in the trade schools of Massa­
chusetts seems likely to be of value, for only by studying theexneriences of its pupils can the school discover what parts of its training
are strong or weak and what new measures must be taken to meet
the requirements of the vocations for which it trains. Such a survey
may be expected to show some significant facts relating to (1) the
types and proportion of pupils surviving in the trade schools and in
the trades for which they are trained, and the influences which seem
to determine success or failure; (2) the rate of advancement and the
time required to become self-supporting in the several trades for which
the trade schools train; (3) the subsequent experience, stability and in­
dustrial advancement of those entering occupations other than those for




1 See Tables 12 and 21, pp. 31 and 38.

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

69

which they were trained; (4) the relative efficiency of trade-school girls
compared with those who have not been trained in the trade schools.

STATISTICAL BASIS OF STUDY OF INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE.
As already stated, the original intention was to follow up the careers
of all girls from the Boston and Worcester schools who had either
used their trades or taken a training of nine months or more, and
all girls from the Cambridge school. But 74 of the Boston and 15
of the Cambridge girls could not be located. The group studied
consists therefore of 1,113 girls, 44.5 per cent of the total number
who have gone out from the three schools since their foundation. It
includes 849 girls from the Boston school, 744 who used their trades,
and 105 who did not; 166 from the Worcester school, of whom 94
used their trades and 72 did not; and 98 from Cambridge, of whom 26
used their trades and 72 did not. In order to compare the industrial
experiences of these girls with those of girls without trade-school
training, the records were obtained of 100 girls in dressmaking shops
and of 100 girls operating power machines in factories who had
worked their own way into the trades. In addition the industrial
records of 46 girls employed in sewing trades in Worcester were
obtained; these girls were all attending the Worcester Evening Trade
School, and none were over 25.
Boston, it will be observed, furnishes three-fourths (76.2 per cent)
of the total group of trade-school girls studied. The pupils going out
from the other schools differ so widely from those of Boston in age,
'length of training, working experience, industrial opportunities, and
the like, that they can not be merged fairly with the Boston group,
whose numerical preponderance would bring the Boston experiences
to the front at the cost of those of the other two. Consequently,
each group of trade-school pupils will be discussed separately, the
present chapter being devoted to the industrial experiences of the
girls from the Boston Trade School. On the basis of the use they
made of their trade training, those studied from this school were
divided as follows:
T a b le

3 8 . - NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS FROM BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL WHO
HAD USED AND HAD NOT USED THEIR TRAINING, BY TRADES.

Trade followed.

Total.

Girls who had used
their trade train­
ing.

Girls who had not
used their trade
training.

Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent.
Dressmaking.......... ...................................................
Millinery.....................................................................
Power machine operating on—
Cloth....................................................................
Straw hats............................................................
Cooking......................................................................
Desi gn...............
................................................

498
175

423
157

87
77
6
6

81
72
5
6

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

849

744 i
1




84.9
89.7

75
18

15.1
10.3

93.1
6
93.5
5
1
83.3
100. 0 !..........
1
87.6
105
1

6.9
6. 5
16.7
12.4

70

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

AGE AND LENGTH OF WORKING EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS
STUDIED.

The pupils from the Boston Trade School had a higher level of age,
owing partly to the longer time the school has been in existence, than
those from the otner schools; nevertheless they were in the main
decidedly young. The following table shows the age grouping, at the
time of the investigation, of the 849 girls whose records were studied:
NUMBER AND PER CENT IN SPECIFIED AGE GROUPS AMONG BOSTON
TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO HAD USED AND WHO HAD NOT USED THEIR TRADES.

T a b le 3 9 .—

NUM BER.
Girls going out Irolli the Boston Trade School.
Ago.
Total.

Who had
used
their
trades.

Who had not used their trades.
Total.

Not
Working. working.

16 and under 18 years1...............................................
18 and under 20 years..................................................
20 and under 25 years..................................................
25 vears and over.......................................................
..........................
Not living...................

132
221
419
70
7

115
183
371
69
6

17
38
48
1
1

14
33
37
1
1

3
5
11

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

849

744

105

86

19

P ER CEN T OF EACH A G E .2
15.6
26.3
49.8
8.3

Total..................................................................
I
1 None under 16 years.

15.6
24.8
50.3
9.3

16.3
36.5
46.2
1.0

16.5
38.8
43.5
1.2

15.8
26.3
57.9

100.0

16 and under 18 years..................................................
18 and under 20 years..................................................
20 and under 25 years.......................................... .......
25 years and over........................................................

100.0

100.0

100.0

100. f
t

2 Not including those not living.

It is apparent that while the whole group is young, the age level of
those using their trades is somewhat higher than of those who did not.
Very nearly three-fifths of those using their trades were 20 or over,
against less than half of those not using them.
The length of time these girls had been out of school is shown, by
trades for those who used their trades, and as a group for those who
did not, in Table 40.
More than half of these students have been out of the school less
than five years, and it is notable that those having been out this
shorter term form a larger proportion among those who have not
worked at their trade than among those who have— 65.7 per cent
against 53 per cent. The value of the two groups— those who have
been out for five years or over and those who have been out for less
than five years— for purposes of study, lies along different lines.
The records of the older group show to what extent the trade-school
girl has maintained herself in the trade for which she was trained,
and the extent to which the survivors are able to meet present-day




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

71

conditions; the records of the younger group provide a basis for a
study of the difficulties and the possibilities before the young, par­
tially trained girl who is attempting to become established as a wage
earner under present industrial conditions.
T a b le

40.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS OUT OF THE
SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME.
NUMBER.
Girls using their trade.

Years out of trade
school.

Dress­
making.

Milli­
nery.

Power-machine
operating on—
Cloth.

Straw
hats.

Cooking
and
design.

Total.

Not
using
their
trade.

Total.

Under 2 years...........
2 and under 3 years..
3 and under 4 years..
4 and under 5 years..
5 and under 6 years..
0 and under 7 years..
7 and under 8 years..
8 years and over........
Not living.................

46
48
52
59
61
53
39
62
3

20
15
26
17
14
20
18
27

7
18
12
10
7
5
8
12
2

14
14
14
8
6
9
2
4
1

6
3
2

93
98
106
94
88
87
67
105
6

13
10
21
25
16
3
7
10

106
108
127
119
104
90
74
115
6

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

423

157

81 j

72

11

744

105

849

54.5
27.3
18.2

12.6
13.3
14.4
12.7
11.9
11.8
9.1
14.2

12.4
9.5
20.0
23.8
15.2
2.9
6.7
9.5

12.6
12.8
15.1
14.1
12.3
10.7
8.8
13.6

100.0

100.0 |

100.0

100.0

PER CEN T.1
Under 2 vears...........
2 and under 3 years..
3 and under 4 years..
4 and under 5 years..
5 and under 6 years..
6 and under 7 years..
7 and under 8 years..
8 years and over........

11.0
11.4
12.4
14.0
14.5
12.6
9.3
14.8

12.7
9.6
16.6
10.8
8.9
12.7
11.5
17.2

8.9
22.8
15.2
12.7
8.8
6.3
10.1
15.2

19.7
19.7
19.7
11.3
8.5
12.7
2.8
5.6

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

.. .......

i Not including those not living.

Dressmaking and millinery were taught from the first, and 51.2
per cent of the dressmakers and 50.3 per cent of the milliners
have been out of the trade school for five years or over. Only
two-fifths (40.4 per cent) of the cloth machine operators and
less than one-third (29.6 per cent) of the straw machine operators
have been out of the school for as long as five years, while none of
the few who have taken cooking and design have been in the indus­
trial world as long as four years.
The present chapter, then, deals with a group of 849 girls from the
Boston Trade School, predominantly young, not quite three-fifths being
over 20, and of limited industrial experience, approximately 55 per
cent having been out of trade school for less than five years, and only
a little over one-eighth (13.6 per cent) having been out as long as
eight years.
These girls fall into two groups— those who had made some use of
the trade for which they were trained and those who had not. The




72

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

former, by far the more important group, was at the time of the
investigation distributed as follows:
41.—NUMBER AND PER CENT EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES, AMONG
BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO HAD MADE SOME USE OF THEIR TRADES;

T a b le

Boston Trade School
girls who had used
their trades.

Item.

Number. ^
Per cent.
Earning wages:
In tlieir trade..........
In other occupations

j
352 1
207 j

47.3
27.9

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

559 1

75.2

Not earning wages:
Married...................
At home..................
At school.................
Not living...............
Lost trace of............

97
63
13
6
6

|
!
|
;

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

185 |

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

13.0
8.4
1.8
.8
.8

744

24.8

GIRLS WHO DID NOT USE THE TRADE FOR WHICH THEY WERE TRAINED.
Before beginning the discussion of the industrial experiences of
the girls who had used their trade training, it may be well to discuss
briefly the 105 who had attended the trade school for nine months or
more but had never used the trade for which they were trained. The
following table shows their distribution at successive periods after
leaving the trade school:
42.—NUMBER AND PER CENT EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES WHEN
OUT OF SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME AMONG BOSTON TRADE
SCHOOL GIRLS WHO ATTENDED THE SCHOOL 9 MONTHS OR OVER BUT HAD NOT
USED THEIR TRADES.

T a b le

Per cent earning and
not earning wages.

Number.
Length of time out of
trade school.

At time of first leaving.
At the end of—
First year............
Second year.........
Third year...........
Fourth year........
Fifth year............
Sixth year...........
Seventh vear.......
Eighth year.........

Not earning wages.
Not
Grand Earn­
Lost Earn­ earn­ Lost
ing
total. wages.
At
At
Not trace. ing.
ing. trace.
Total. Mar­ home. school. living.
ried.
105

61

44

2

39

3

58.1

41.9

105
92
82
61
36
20
17
9

59
51
51
34
22
12 !
9!
4j

46
40
30
26
14
8
8
5

2
4
4
3
4
2
3
3

40
31
24
20
9
5
4
]

4
4 .......i ’ .......i'
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1

56.2
55. 4
62.2
55. 8
61.1
60.0
52. 9
44.4

43.8
43.5
36.6
42.6
38.9
40.0
47.1
55.6

1.1
1. 2
1.6

Nearly three-fifths of these girls entered wage-earning pursuits as
soon as they left the trade school, and at times a larger proportion
were gainfully employed, so that their failure to make use of their




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

73

trades was not due to their keeping out of industrial life altogether.
Unless a girl goes directly into the trade for which she is trained,
she is very unlikely to enter it later, for she has lost touch with
the school which can vouch for her and has also lost her skill or speed.
T a b le

43.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS GIVING EACH
SPECIFIED REASON FOR NEVER USING THEIR TRADES.
NUMBER.

Dress­
making.

Reason for never using trade.

Power-machine op­
erating on—
Cooking
and
design.
Straw
Cloth.
hats.

Milli­
nery.

Lack of adjustment:
Not successful in school......................
5
Did not learn enough...........................
10
Not long enough in school to learn......
2
Disliked trade school........................... \ ........
1
Unstable..............................................

1

2
2
1

1

1

Total.

1
1

8
13
4
1
2

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

18

6

2

2

28

Physical incapacity:
Not strong, nervous, weak eyes, etc...
Color (Negro).......................................

8
2

1

1

1

11
2

1

13

1

14
4
2
12

1

32

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

10

1

1

Trade conditions:
Dislike of work by the girl or her par­
ents...................................................
Unable to get position—poor pav.......
Too far from home...............................
“ Got another job and kept it” ...........

12
2
1
6

1
1
5

1
1
1

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

21

7

Advancement (school)...............................

3

1

1

Domestic reasons:
Learned for home use..........................
No need to work..................................
Helning or needed at home.................
Married................................................

5
4
10
2

2
1

1

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

21

3

1

Unclassified................................................

5

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

75

5
6
12
3

1
1

26
!

5

1

105

20.0

100.0

28.0
13.0
32.0
1.0
26.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

6

5

33.3
16. 7
50.0

40.0
20.0
20.0

30.0

33.4
5.5
38.9
5.5
16.7

100.0

100.0

100.0

18

i
i

PER CENT.1
Lack of adjustment...................................
Physical incapacity...................................
Trade conditions........................................
Advancement (school)...............................
Domestic reasons....................................... 1
Total.................................................

25.7
14.3
30.0

1 Not including those unclassified.

Thus, although a number of these girls who did not work at first
leaving school afterward became wage earners, none of them entered
the trade for which they had been trained, while those who on leav­
ing the school took up some other work at once, either kept it or,
if they changed, went into some other trade for which they had




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

74

not been trained. Those who took up work for wages seem to have
kept to it rather steadily, for the proportion gainfully employed,
although it fluctuates in the successive years out of trade school,
shows no serious decrease until the end of the seventh year, at
which time the numbers are so small that little significance can be
attached to the changes shown.
The reasons given by the girh themselves for their failure to use
their trades are shown in Table 43.
It will be noticed that a lack of personal adjustment and physical
incapacity both play important parts in keeping girls out of their
trade. Over one-fourth (28 per cent) did not enter their trade
because of failure or inability to get the gpod of their trade school
training, and about one-eighth (13 per cent) because of some physical
disability. The largest group ascribed their staying out to some
condition connected with the trade, and, the reason most frequently
given under this classification was a dislike of the trade on the part
either of the girl or her parents. It is rather curious to see that
this dislike is a far more important reason among the dressmakers
than among the girls who had studied other trades, in spite of the
fact that dressmaking is a trade with which every woman has some
acquaintance and the conditions of which should be familiar to both
girls and parents before the training is undertaken.
This fact perhaps links itself with another. Comparing the pro­
portions which the several trades furnish first to the whole group of
849 girls studied and then to the group who never used their trades,
we have the following figures:
44.—PER CENT IN EACH SPECIFIED TRADE OF TOTAL NUMBER OF BOSTON
TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS STUDIED AND OF THOSE NOT USING THEIR TRADES.

T a b le

Per cent
Per cent
of
number
of
number who did
studied. not use
trade.

Trade.

58.7
20.6

5.7
4.8
1.0

100.0

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

71.4
17.1

10.2
9.1
1.4

Dressmaking.............................................
Millinery...................................................
Power-machme operating on—
Cloth..................................................
Straw hats ......................................
Cooking and design..................................

100.0

I

Dressmaking is the only one of the trades furnishing more than
its proportionate share of those who never used their training.
Coupling this with the number of those trained as dressmakers who
failed to use their trade because they did not do well in school or
did not like the trade, or because they took the first thing which they
could get and let their trade go, it seems possible that dressmaking,




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCTIOOL GIRLS.

75

just because it is so well known, attracts an undue proportion of
the girls who are unlikely to make a success of any trade. Millinery,
which is also well known among women’s trades, stands next to
dressmaking in the proportion it contributes to those never using
their trades, while the newer trades, machine operating and cooking
and designing, fall considerably below the proportion which, numeri­
cally, they might fairly furnish to this group. Allusion has already been
made to the fact that the machine-operating trades are looked upon
with some distrust, because they involve work in a factory, while the
cooking and designing have been taken by so few that the figures
concerning them are not significant. Apparently, however, few
girls take the machine-operating trades as a matter of course. If
they decide to take them, their purpose is sufficiently serious for
them at least to enter the trades and find out how they like them
upon actual trial. It will be shown hereafter that the conditions
of these trades are such that many of the girls give up their trades
after having entered them, but at least they test their training by
actual experience.

GIRLS WHO USED THE TRADE FOR WHICH THEY WERE TRAINED.
STABILITY IN INDUSTRY.

There is a popular belief that women’s wage-earning careers are
limited to five years or seven years as a general thing. This theoiy
unquestionably tends to instill in the mind of a girl the belief that
her industrial career is a temporary thing, or even to develop total
indifference to the future. Employers complain of the lack of a pro­
fessional attitude in women in all occupations, and the fact that no,
large proportion of women is found in the skilled and well-paid occu­
pations is often lightly dismissed with the supposition that this may
be ascribed to their short working career— short, because ended by
marriage. How far does the experience of the trade-school pupils
tend to confirm this theory?
S IF T IN G -O U T P R O C E S S IN

SCHOOL.

The sifting-out process begins before these girls enter industry.
There is necessarily a serious sifting out of pupils in any vocational
school which offers a specific kind of training requiring fairly
definite characteristics and capacities. Many who enter because
they “ thought they would like” a given vocation find they had
small conception of its requirements, and recognizing this, drop out
of their own volition. This is especially true in a vocational school
catering primarily to girls of from 14 to 16 years of age, who have
little or no conception of what they wish to do and little inclination
or capacity to persist. Only a little more than one-third (38.6 per




76

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

cent)1 of the 2,044 girls who have attended the Boston Trade School
during its 10 years’ existence entered and used for one week or
more the trade for which they had been trained. The school sifts
out those least fitted to succeed industrially— those who either lack
some qualification necessary for the trade or have not the necessary
application or perseverance to finish their training. Employers say
that this sifting.out of the ineligibles is one of the most valuable
services the school renders, for it saves them the time and expense
involved in trying out a large number of new workers who could not
possibly succeed in the industry. Studies of the custom sewing
trades usually emphasize the large number of beginners who are
taken on, found unsuited for the work, and dropped within a short
time. A study carried on in New York in 1914 dealing with 3,983
milliners showed that almost one-fifth (19.6 per cent) appeared on
the pay roll for one week or less,2 and a study of 600 dressmakers
in Boston in 1910 showed 12 per cent appearing on the pay roll one
week or less.3 “ You can tell in a few days whether a girl will make
a good milliner or not,” said the head designer in the millinery work­
room of a large department store. “ No use wasting time on her if
she does not show the requisite qualities after a few days.” The
trade school, in numerous cases, saves the waste of even those few
days or may discover latent talents which did not appear the first
few days.
The girl who perseveres through the trade school and enters her
trade is subjected to two influences tending to shorten her industrial
career— industrial conditions and home demands. The first is a
problem to be taken into account in all vocational training, while the
second is peculiar to girls or women, the cases in which a man or boy
is obliged to give up his trade in response to family demands being
practically negligible. The first tends to make a girl drop out of her
trade, the second, to drop out of wage-earning altogether. A girl
who marries may utilize her training by sewing for friends and neigh­
bors in a casual way, but she usually ceases to be a regular worker in
the trade; and a girl who lives at home with her parents is frequently
withdrawn from her wage-earning career for one year, two years, or
permanently, to keep house in case of the illness of some other mem­
ber of her family or for some other reason. Either of these influences
may come into play at any time; a dull season may force a girl tempo­
rarily out of her trade, or a need for her services at home may develop,
whether she has been at work four months or four years.- But the
effect of both is apt to be cumulative, when a group of girls is con­
1 This proportion is based on the 788 girls entered on the records as having entered their trades; 44 of
these could not be located in this investigation.
2 Mary Van Kleeck: Wages in the millinery trade, p. 63.
s May Allinson: Dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts, Bui. No. 193, United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics, p. 106.




77

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

sidered as a whole. If a girl is dropped from her trade temporarily
it is always possible that she may go permanently into whatever she
takes up as a stop-gap, while if she is required at home, the difficulty
of regaining her place in the industrial world, or home conditions,
may keep her from returning. So that, as time goes on, an increasing
proportion drops out of the trade for which training was secured,
to go either into other wage-earning occupations or into household
employment at home.
IN D U S T R IA L

D IS T R IB U T IO N

AT

END

OF

S P E C IF IE D

P E R IO D S

OUT

OF

TRADE

SCH O O L.

To show this double movement and its effect upon the industrial
stability of trade-school girls, Table 45 has been made, giving the dis­
tribution at the end of each year’s experience outside of the school of
the 744 girls leaving the Boston Trade School before September, 1914,
who were found by investigation to have used their trades. This
table is made, up by combining the reported experiences of the indi­
vidual girls when out of school each specified length of time. Thus
the figures for the end of the first year represent not the employment
situation at the end of any calendar year, but the number of girls
in the first class to go out from the school who at the end of their
first year’s experience were employed or not employed, together with
the number of girls in each successive class who at the end of the
first year they had been out were employed or not employed. Thus,
although the total number out of the school differs with each year,
the proportions are comparable.
45.—NUMBER AND PER CENT EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES WHEN OUT
OF SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME AMONG BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL
GIRLS WHO AT SOME TIME USED THE TRADES FOR WHICH THEY WERE
TRAINED.

T a b le

Per cent earning and not
earning wages.

Number.
Earning wages.

Length of
time out of
trade school.
Total.

At first leav­
ing ..............
At end of—
1st year...
2d year...
3d year...
4th yeyr..
5th year..
6t,h year..
7th 5-ear..
8th year..
9th yei)r..
10th year.

Not earning wages

Earning wages.

In
Lost
In
In oth­
In
At Not trace. Total. their other
To­ their er oc- To­ Mar­ At
liv­
occu­
tal. trade. cu- tal. ried. home- school ing.
trade. pa­
pations.
tions

744 741

721

20

3

1

1

1

744
640
554
447
352
264
175
107
63
30

619
446
313
239
176
122
66
32
15
4

97
126
152
115
102
72
51
32
21
12

27
64
82
86
67
64
52
41
25
14

2
13
33
37
33
38
34
31
20
11

18
43
41
41
29
21
15
8
4
3

7
5
4'
4
1
1
1




716
572
465
354
278
194
117
64
36
16

1

99.6
3
4
4
4
4
2
2

1
4
7
7
7
6
6
2
2

96.9

2.7

Not
earn­ Lost
ing trace
wages

0.4

96.2 83.2 13.0 3.7
89.4 69.7 19. / 10.0
83.9 56.5 27.4 14.8
79.2 53.5 25.7 19.2
79.0 50.0 29.0 19.0
73.5 46.2 27.3 24.2
66.8 37.7 29.1 29.8
59.8 29.9 29.9 38.3
76.2 33.3 42.9 20.6
54.8 12.9 41.9 45.2

0.1
.6
1.3
1.6
2.0
2.3
3.4
1.9
3.2

78

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Considering first the stability of girls in the industrial world, this
table shows a steady but not very rapid shrinkage of the proportion
engaged in wage-earning occupations. In the first four years about
one-fifth have dropped out into the ranks of nonwage earners; in the
next four years about one-fifth more disappear. So few have been
out for more than eight years that the figures for the ninth and tenth
years are probably abnormal, but such as they are, they show more
than half of the group still engaged in wage-earning pursuits at the
end of the tenth year.
It will be observed that these figures give little support to the idea
that the wage-earning life of the average girl is only five or at most
seven years long, being terminated by marriage within that period.
A t the end of the fifth year 79 per cent of the 352 girls who had been
out so long were still wage earners, 9.4 per cent were married, 8.6 per
cent were either at home or in school, and 3.1 per cent were either
known to be dead, or could not be traced. Marriage, then, had with­
drawn less than one-tenth of the group. At the end of the seventh
year it was responsible for a larger proportion of the 175 who had
been out so long. Of these, 66.8 per cent were still wage earners,
nearly one-fifth (19.4 per cent) were married, 9.1 per cent were at
home or in school, and 4.6 per cent had died or been lost sight of. A
wage-earning career of only five or seven years, therefore, seems to be
limited to a comparatively small proportion of these girls. Since those
who are married and those who are at home may both return to the
industrial world, it is impossible to say how short or how long the
career will be, but at least it can be stated that four-fifths of the
group have worked more than five, and two-thirds more than seven
years.
STABILITY IN TRADE FOR WHICH TRAINED.

Turning to stability in the trade for which the girl has been trained,
the situation differs somewhat. During the first three years the
proportion going from their own trades to some other wage-earning
occupations is considerably larger than the proportion dropping out
of the industrial world into nonwage-earning occupations. By the
end of the third year those unsuited to the trades they have chosen
have apparently been sifted out to a considerable degree, and dur­
ing the next few years the proportion leaving their own trade for
another and the proportion dropping out of the industrial world alto­
gether are more nearly approximate.
The relative stability within the trade for which they have been
trained of the girls who have taken the different trade courses is a
question of some interest. The following table shows the situation
in this respect:




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

79

46.—NUMBER AND PER CENT EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES WHEN OUT
OF SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME, AMONG BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL
GIRLS WHO AT SOME TIME USED THE TRADES FOR WHICH THEY WERE TRAINED,
BY SPECIFIED TRADES.
I. D R E SSM A K IN G .

T a b le

Per cent earning and not earning
wages.

Number.
Length of time out of
trade school.

Earning wages.

Grand
total.

At first leaving...............
At the end of—
First year.................
Second year.............
Third year...............
Fourth year.............
Fifth year................
Sixth year................
Seventh year............
Eighth year.............
Ninth year...............
Tenth year...............

Earning wages.
Not earn­
Not earn­
ing
ing
In their In other wages. Total. In their In other wages.
Total. trade. occupa­
trade. occupa­
tions.
tions.

423

421

415

6

2

99.5

98.1

1.4

0.5

423
3G
6
329
277
217
156
102
62
40
20

415
335
279
222
173
112
67
39
23
10

380
286
218
169
127
85
46
22
11
4

35
49
61
53
46
27
21
17
12
6

8
31
50
55
44
44
35
23
17
10

98.1
91.5
84.8
80.1
79.7
71.8
65.7
62.9
57.5
50.0

89.8
78.1
66.3
61.0
58.5
54.5
45.2
35.5
27.5
20.0

8.3
13.4
18.5
19.1
21.2
17.3
20.5
27.4
30.0
30.0

1.9
8.5
15.2
19.9
20.3
28.2
34.3
37.1
42.5
50.0

H. M ILLIN ER Y.
At first leaving..
At the end of—
First year...
Second year.
Third year..
Fourth year.
Fifth year...
Sixth year...
Seventh year
Eighth year.
Ninth year..
Tenth year..

157

156

153

3

1

99.4

97.5

1.9

0.6

157
137
122
96
79
65
45
27
12
3

144
122
101
72
59
46
30
13
4

118
82
52
41
30
23
14
7
2

26
40
49
31
29
23
16
6
2

13
15
21
24
20
19
15
14
8
3

91.7
89.1
82.8
75.0
74.7
70.6
66.7
48.1
33.4

75.1
59.9
42.6
42.7
38.0
35.4
31.1
25.9
16.7

16.6
29.2
40.2
32.3
36.7
35.4
35.6
22.2
16.7

8.3
10.9
17.2
25.0
25.3
29.2
33.3
51.9
66.6
100.0

III. POW ER-M ACH INE O PERATIN G : CLOTH.
81

81

73

8

81
74
56
44
34
27
21
13
11
7

At first leaving..
At the end of—
First year. . .
Second year.
Tnird year...
Fourth year.
Fifth year...
Sixth year...
Seventh year
Eighth year.
Ninth year..
Tenth year..

78
63
46
33
28
24
15
9
9

53
40
22
15
10
9
5
2
2

25
23
24
18
18
15
10
7
7
6

100.0
3
11
10
11
6
3
6
4
2
1

90.1

9.9

96.3
85.2
82.2
75.0
82.3
88.9
71.4
69.2
81.8
85.7

65.4
54.1
39.4
34.1
29.4
33.3
23.8
15.4
18.2

30.9
31.1
42.8
40.9
52.9
55.6
47.6
53.8
63.6
85.7

3.7
14.8
17.8
25.0
17.7
11.1
28.6
30.8
18.2
14.3

IV. POW ER-M ACHINE O PERATIN G : ST R A W H A TS.
At first leaving...............
At the end of—
First year.................
Second year.............
Third year................
Fourth year.............
Fifth year................
Sixth year................
Seventh year...........
Eighth year.............




72

72

70

2

72
58
44
30
22
16
7
5

68
47
36
27
18
12
5
3

57
33
18
14
9
5
1
1

11
14
18
13
9
7
4
2

100.0
4
11
8
3
4
4
2
2

97.2

2.8

94.4
81.0
91.8
90.0
91.8
75.0
71.4
60.0

79.1
56.9
40.9
46.7
40.9
31.2
14.3
20.0

15.3
24.1
40.9
43.3
40.9
43.8
57.1
40.0

5.6
19.0
18.2
10.0
18.2
25.0
28.6
40.0

80

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

For all these trades the first three years are a period of consider­
able shifting,1 but the degree of stability within the dressmaking
trade is much greater than in the other sewing trades for which
the trade school trains. A t the end of the third year out of school,
two-thirds of the girls who had entered dressmaking were still in
their trade, against about two-fifths in each of the other three trades.
At the end of the fifth year nearly three-fifths of the dressmakers,
against from less than one-third to about two-fifths in the other
trades, w
~ere still in their own trade. After the fifth year the sifting
out from the other trades is less rapid, and the divergence between
the proportion remaining in dressmaking and in the other trades
tends to decrease. The numbers in the machine-operating trades, how­
ever, by the end of the fifth year are so small that it is doubtful whether
much significance can be attached to this apparent greater stability
on the part of those who have survived so long in these trades.
Conditions within the different trades undoubtedly have much
to do with the variations in stability of the girls trained for these
trades. In the millinery trade, the short seasons constitute the
greatest sifting influence. A girl who finds herself laid off because
of the dull season naturally turns to some other occupation to fill
in the interim, and very possibly becomes interested in this and fails
to go back to her trade when the busy season begins. Up to the close
of the seventh year, the proportion dropping out of the industrial
world altogether is not much greater among the milliners than among
the dressmakers. More than one-half (59.4 per cent) of the milli­
ners who left their trade gave trade conditions as the cause, and
“ dull seasons” as the chief of these. (See Table 56, p, 94.)
In the power machine operating trades, also, trade conditions have
much to do with the sifting out of the girls trained for them, although
here the difficulty is one not so much met with in custom trades like
millinery— the demand for ability to do independent work. A young
girl who enters a millinery or dressmaking shop is usually put near
an older and more experienced worker who may turn over to her
the elementary work, or pin or baste a section which she gives to the
young helper to finish under her immediate supervision. The girl
can ask questions when in doubt, and in general has no large degree
of responsibility. The trade, it is true, is going through an evolution
which tends to the increasing exclusion of the young, inexperienced
worker, and which is greatly decreasing these favorable opportunities
for beginners in the custom dressmaking shops, but such oppor­
tunities still exist. But in a power machine operating factory the
37
oung girl is put down at a machine and is supposed to be able to
stitch her dozen of sleeves, cuffs, or curtains with very little super­
vision or direction. Moreover, she is usually working on a piece wage,
1 This table shows simply the shifting out of the trade for which the girl was trained, not out of the indus­
trial world. For this latter aspect, see Tables 45 and 47.




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

81

and her small output and consequent small earnings during the
first few weeks are very discouraging. There are other contributory
factors. The working day is usually longer, the rush and whirr of
machinery is at first confusing and wearing, and the necessity of
quick and accurate work, if she is to earn at all, is discouraging.
These, taken in connection with the degree of responsibility and
power of self-direction required of the girl, constitute serious sifting
nfluences for the young worker entering these trades.
As a further influence in the same direction, the training for powermachine sewing is not yet so well developed as for hand sewing.
The fundamental principles of hand sewing have been taught and
studied in the public schools for 40 or 50 years, and for many years
past colleges and training schools of domestic arts have prepared
instructors to teach this particular phase of the clothing trade.
Training for power-machine sewing is relatively very new in the edu­
cational system, and if the practically unanimous reports of employers
may be accepted, it is far from being adequately or correctly devel­
oped. In order to equip pupils to hold their places in the industry,
this great and increasingly important branch of the sewing trades must
be analyzed both from an industrial and a pedagogical standpoint
and must be understood as intimately as are the hand-sewing trades.
The sifting out from the trades for which the girls are trained
appears more clearly perhaps in a study of classes, if all leaving dur­
ing a school year may be so called, since thus the cumulative effect
is avoided which comes from grouping together all the girls in spite
of varying lengths of experience. Taking the actual number of girls
leaving the trade school in a school year and following them as a
group through their whole period out of the trade school we have
the result given in Table 47.
In comparing the degree of sifting out from the girls’ own trades
here shown, allow"ance must be made for some abnormal factors. Thus
the class of 1904-5 shows a phenomenally rapid decrease; by the end
of the third year only about a fourth, and by the end of the fourth
year only a fifth of the class remain in the trade for which they were
trained. This irregular movement seems due partly to the small
number concerned, partly to the fact that the girls who first came to
the school had a less definitely realized purpose than the later pupils,
and partly to the shortness of their course of training. Those com­
ing later were prevailed upon to spend more time in preparation and
went out more adequately equipped to hold their places. One other
group shows decided irregularity as compared with the rest— the
class of 1911-12. It will be observed that a smaller proportion of
these girls entered their trade than was the case with any other class
except the first one sent out. During the first year in the industrial
world the class of 1911-12 did not show any abnormal loss; in fact,
85225°— 17— Bull. 215------- 6




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

82

the classes of 1905-6, 1906-7, and 1910-11 all lost a larger propor­
tion during this year; but during its second year the European war
broke out, and the consequent disorganization in the clothing trades
may be partly responsible for the remarkable falling off the class
shows— a fall from 82.1 per cent to 57.3 per cent.
47.—NUMBER OF GIRLS LEAVING BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL IN EACH SPECIFIED
YEAR AND NUMBER AND PER CENT OF THOSE WHO WERE WAGE EARNERS AND
NONWAGE EARNERS AT END OF EACH SPECIFIED YEAR OUT OF SCHOOL.

T a b le

NUMBER.
Total
num­
ber
Year of leaving leav­
Leav­
trade school.
ing
ing
trade trade
school. school. 1st
year.
1904-1914..........

744

721

1904-5...............
1905-6...............
1906-7...............
1907-8...............
1908-9...............
1909-10.............
1910-11.............
1911-12.............
1912-13.............
1913-14.............

15
34
44
56
78
95
92
117
76
137

14
34
44
55
75
95
88
110
73
133

619
9
29
37
51
69
85
76
96
68
99 i

Earning wages in their trade.
At end of each year out of trade school.
2d
year.
446

313

8
24
31
41
60
68
67
67
53
27

4
22
26
34
50
59
51
53
14

1
| 5th
year.

6th
year.

7th
year.

239

176

122

66

3
19
25
35
45
51
48
13

3
17
22
31
38
248
17

4
16
21
29
33
*1
•9

3
15
19 I
21
8

3d
year.

8th
year.

32 |
4:
9!
2 14
5

1904-1914..........

744
15
34
44
56
78
95
92
117
76
137

20

!
1

1

1

3
3
6

3
4

126

152

115

102

72

51

32

6
7
9
9

9
7
13

9
9

10
13
13
16
18
26

9

8

6

10
11

10
11

12
10

11 1
12

71
33 1

11

12

14
19
27
2 42
9

13
15
23
24

2

1

4

31!

81

3
1

4 1

!

*

4
4
7
5
7
7

14
17
34
15
4

15

1

97

12

10th
year.

1

Earning wages in other occupations.

1904-5...............
1905-6...........
1906-7...............
1907-8...............
1908-9...............
1909-10.............
1910-11.............
1911-12... .
1912-13... .
1913-14...

9th
year.

16
19
7

17
5

4

21 1
7
11

3

1
2
7
5

j

6

10

:

i
I

1
]

1

1

Not earning wages.
1904-1914..........

744

33

1904-5...............
1905-6...............
1906-7...............
1907-8.
1908-9...............
1909-10.
1910-11.
1911-12.
1912-13.
1913-14.

15
34
44
56
78
95
92
117
76
137

1

Grand total.

3 28
2~
1

<68

589

1

2

3
4
6

1

744

7
13

5

1
1

2
3
5
9

8
2

744

640

8

16

5
5
10

14
17
14
21
1

554

5 93
3~
6

7
8

18
21
20
10

447

5 74
2

4
9
9
22
20
8

6

"

70
2
8
12
11

25

58

743

4
9
14
16
15

7

5
13
19

27

14

5
13
9i

6

5
9

I..........
i

12

l
352

264

175

107

.
63

1

30

1 Not including 2 whose working experience did not round out another year. Certain cases will have a
working experience not quite as long and others will have a working experience a little longer than the
main group, because all leaving during the school year, September to August, inclusive, are included in
the class, so girls leaving in September of a particular year may show practically a year’s advantage
over the girl leaving in June or July.
2 Not including 1 whose working experience did not round out another year.
s Including 1 of whom no trace could be found.
4 Including 4 of whom no trace could be found.
5 Including 7 of whom no trace could be found.
6 Including 6 of whom no trace could be found.
" Including 2 of whom no trace could be found.




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

83

47__ NUMBER OF GIRLS LEAVING BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL IN EACH SPECIFIED
YEAR AND NUMBER AND PER CENT OF THOSE WHO WERE WAGE EARNERS AND
NONWAGE EARNERS AT END OF EACH SPECIFIED YEAR OUT OF SCHOOL—Concld.

T a b le

PER CENT.
Earning wages in their trade.
Year of leaving
trade school.

At
leav­
ing
1st
trade
school. year.

At end of each year out of trade school.
2d
year.

3d
year.

4th
year.

5th
year.

6th
year.

7th
year.

8th
year.

9th
year.

10th
year.

1904-1914

96.9

83.2

59.9

42.1

32.1

23.7

16.4

8.9

4.3

2.0

0.5

1904-5...
1905-6...
1906-7...
1907-8...
1908-9...
1909-10..
1910-11...
1911-12..
1912-13..
1913-14..

93.3
100.0
100.0
98.2
96.1
100.0
95.6
94.0
94.7
97.0

60.0
85.3
84.1
91.0
88.5
89.5
80.0
82.1
89.5
72.3

53.3
70.6
70.5
73.2
76.9
71.6
72.8
57.3
69.7

26.7
64.7
59.1
60.7
64.1
62.1
55.4
45.3

20.0 20.0
55.9 50.0
56.8 50.0
62.5 55.4
57.7 49.0
53.7 i 50.5
52.2

26.7
47.1
47.7
51.8
42.3

20.0
44.1
43.2
37.5

26.7
26.5
31.8

20.0
23.5

20.0

!
|
1

Earning wages in other occupations.
1904-1914.
1904-5
1905-6
1906-7
1907-8
1908-9
0
1909-H .................
1910-11.
1911-12.
1912-13.
1913-14.

3.3
5.1
4.0
2.9

16.9

20.4

15.5

13.7

9.7

6.9

4.3

2.8

40.0

60.0

20.6

20.6

60.0
26.5
27.3
23.2
19.2
24.2
26.1

66.7

11.8

1.8
3.8

13.0
26.7

2.7

~6o7o
29.4
25.0
28.6
24.4

53.3
29.4
25.0
30.4

40.0
35.3
22.7

46.7
32.4

16.0
8.9
9.0
7.4
12.0

10.3
9.2
24.1

20.5
16.1
14.1
14.7
18.5
29.1

29.5
21.4
18.0
20.0

29.3
36.0

38.2
29.5
28.6
23.1
27.4

46.7

20.0

Not earning wages.
9.4

8.0

5.8

20.5
16.1
28.2

13.3
23.5
27.3
19.6
32.1

26.7
26.5
31.8
28.6

33.3
38.2
43.2

; .2
8

47.2

35.2 1 23.5

14.4

8.5

12.1

1904-5..
1905-6..
1906-7..
1907-8..
1908-9..
1909-10.
1910-11.
1911-12.
1912-13.
1913-14.
Grand total..

13.3
2.9

1
.1
100.0

2.6
3.2
5.4
7.7
1.3
3.7
100.0

12.5 I 10.0 !

6.7
8.8
9.1
10.7
9.0
13.7
8.7
13.7
10.5

13.3
14.7
11.4
18.0
18.0
17.9
15.2
18.0

20.0

16.0

74.5

17.6
15.9
14.3
23.1
22.1

21.7

60.1

13.3
11.8

21.1

3.3

4.0

Discarding these two classes from consideration, as abnormal, the
table seems to show a tendency toward a greater sifting out from the
trade in the successive classes. Apparently, the classes of the first
five years, with the exception noted, show greater stability than those
of the second; thus, if the proportions remaining in their trade at the
end of any given year be compared, those for the first five years are,
on the whole, larger than those for the second. The difference is not
marked, and the classes to b;e compared are few, so that much stress




84

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

can not be laid on this showing, but there seem indications that
the tendency is increasing steadily.
This tendency agrees with what is known of the changing oppor­
tunities for young workers in the custom sewing trades, especially in
the dressmaking trade, which was chosen by more than half of the
744 girls studied. It is known that in custom dressmaking oppor­
tunities for girls to enter the trade have decreased very considerably
in the last five years. This suggests the importance for the trade
school of making a careful study of the market and of following up
the pupils sent out. Otherwise it is possible that the girl who has
gone out a year or two previously may be supplanted by the young
girl just sent out, who can meet the limited demand for young
workers.
Corresponding with the decrease in the proportions remaining in
their own trades, the table shows an increase in the number going
into other trades. In other w~ords, the tendency is not to leave the
industrial world, but merely to enter some trade in which the young
worker has better opportunity than in the sewing trades as they are
now developing. There seems to have been an interesting conflict
between increasingly better organization of trade training and de­
creasing trade opportunities. For instance, in the first and second
years out of trade school a decreasing proportion have gone into
other wage-earning occupations from the classes of 1905-6 down to
1909-10, after which the proportion increases again. In the third,
fourth, and fifth years out of trade school the proportions going into
other wage-earning occupations decreases from 1905-6 down to
1908-9 and then begins to increase again. The misfortune has been
that as the training was developed and presumably became better
organized and more nearly perfected for the custom sewing trades,
the rapid growth of the manufacture of ready-made clothing has
decreased the opportunities for young girls to profit by their training
and neutralized the better preparatory work now being done.
AGE

IN

R E L A T IO N

TO

PERM ANENCE

IN

TRADE.

The preceding tables have shown that there is a steady exodus *
from the trade trained for, beginning as soon as the girls enter the
industrial world. The rate varies from year to year but the process
is on the whole continuous, so that the proportion of any given group
working at their own trade decreases as the time out of trade school
increases. Since the increase in the period out of school means also
an increase in the age of the former pupils, this movement from the
trade bears a distinct relation to the age of the workers. The fol­
lowing table gives the distribution of the workers studied by age
groups:




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
T a b le

85

48.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO WERE
WAGE EARNERS AND NONWAGE EARNERS AT EACH SPECIFIED AGE.
NUMBER.
Girls of specified age who were—
Wage earners—

Nonwage earners—

Grand
total.

In
In
Mar­
At
At
Lost
trade other
trained occupa­ Total. ried. home. school. trace. Total.
for. tions.
16 and under 18 vears..........................
18 and under 20 years..........................
20 and under 25 vears..........................
25 years and over..............................

77
102
156
17

27
56
102
22

104
158
258
39

2
9
62
24

3
13
43
4

6
3
3
1

5
1

11
25
113
30

115
183
371
69

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

352

207

559

97

63

13

6

179

i 738

PER CENT.
16 and under 18 years..........................
18 and under 20 years..........................
20 and under 25 years..........................
25 years and over.................................

67.0
55.7
42.0
24.6

23.5
30.6
27.5
31.9

90.5
86.3
69.5
56.5

1.7
4.9
16.7
34.8

2.6
7.1
11.6
5.8

5.2
1.7
.8
1.5

1.4
1.4

9.5
13.7
30.5
43.5

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

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

47.7

28.0

75.7

13.1

8.5

1.8

.8

24.3

100.0

1Not including 6 not living.

The proportion working at their own trade diminishes from twothirds among those aged 16 but less than 18 to a little less than onefourth among those aged 25 or over. While this decrease is going
on, the proportion engaged in other wage-earning occupations rises
from 23.5 per cent in the first group to 31.9 per cent in the last. This
increase accounts for only a portion of those dropping out of their
own trade, and the increase in the proportion of those not earning,
which rises from 9.5 per cent in the first group to 43.5 in the last,
shows that the drain from the trades for which the girls were primarily
trained is due largely to domestic demands. Up to the age of 20
comparatively few girls dropped out as a consequence of marriago;
a desire for further school training or a need for their services at home
accounts for their leaving. After 20, the proportion marrying and
dropping out increases rapidly, so that one-third of the whole group
aged 25 or over has left on this account. The proportion “ at home7
7
increases steadily up to 25, after which age very few leave to stay at
home, excepting, of course, those who have married and are staying
in their own homes.
S H IF T IN G OF I N D I V I D U A L T R A D E -S C H O O L G IR L S .

The tables already given have shown a considerable sifting out of
the trade trained fqr and eventually out of the wage-earning world
within the group of girls who have at some time used the trade they
were trained for. To show what this means to the individual girl,




86

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

the experiences are given of 12 girls who were trained for dressmaking
and entered their trade. And to show the full significance of these
facts, they are contrasted With the experiences of six untrained girls,
taken from among the girls aged 16 to 21 years who have applied at the
Boston school offices for educational certificates.
T a b le

49.—OCCUPATIONS FOLLOWED FROM YEAR TO YEAR OF 12 TRADE-SCHOOL
GIRLS TRAINED IN DRESSMAKING.

[These cases represent an unusual amount of drifting on the part of trade-school girls. They have been
selected to illustrate the variety of occupations into which these young girls may drift. When compared
with the variety of occupations into which the young untrained girls sometimes drift (see Table 50),
even these extremes are remarkably stable.]
Occupation at the end of each year after leaving trade school.
Girl
No.

1

On first
leaving.

First year.

Second year.

2

Plain sewer... Business col­
lege.
General sewer. General sewer. Bundle girl__

3
4

General sewer. General sewer. Nurse girl___
Skirt finisher.. Waist finisher. Waist finisher.

Plain sewer...

5

Finisher..

Finisher.........

6

Finisher..

Finisher......... Skirt girl........

General sewer.
Plain sewer...
Finisher.........
General sewer.
Sleeve finisher.
Plain sewer...

General sewer.
Plain sewer...
Finisher.........
General sewer.
SIee' e finisher.
Office girl......

7.
8.
9
10
11
12

Shop aid........
General sewer.
Skirt lining...
General sewer.
At home........
General sewer,
Office girl......

Third vear.

Fourth vear.

Fifth year.

Bookkeeper... .
Clothing fac­
tory.
School............
Business col­
lege.
Studying mu­
sic.
Teaching sew­
ing.
Office girl.......
Skirt lining...
General sewer.
At home........
Finisher.........
Office girl.......

Embroidery...
Nurse girl....... Trade school.
Stenographer.. Stenographer.
Studying mu­ Finisher.
sic.
Head, skirts.. Teaching sew­
ing.
Ill................... Married.
Plain sewer. . . 111 .
General sewer. General sewer.
Artist's model. Artist’s model.
Finisher......... Shoe operator.
Office girl....... Office girl.

Occupation at the end of each year after leaving trade school.
No.

Sixth year.

1.....
2.......
3....... Insane................
4.. . Stenographer......
Finisher..............
6....... Teaching sewing.
7.
Married..............
8....... Ill........................

Seventh year.

Eighth year.

Ninth year.

Tenth year.

1

Office work.........
Teaching sewing
Married..............
Ill........................ P r i v*a t e dress­
maker.
Married.............. Married............... General sewer
9
At home............. At home............. At home............. At home.............
10
11
Plain sewer........ Alterations.......... Married.............. Married.............. Married.
12....... Office girl........... Married............... Married.............. Married............... Independent dress­
maker.

The trade-school girls were selected as showing an unusual amount
of shifting about, yet compared with the untrained girls they seem
stable. It is to be noted that none of the employments shown in
Table 49 are secondary or a filling-in” occupations, such as a girl
may take up during the dull season of her own trade, merely to busy
herself during the interim, but with no idea of following permanently.
Case No. 11, who has been out 10 years and had a more varied career
than any of the others, has had only six different wage-earning occu­
pations, and these have been closely related, only one being outside




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

87

of the dressmaking trade. No. 5, with seven years out of school, has
made five changes, but has spent three years in one occupation and
two in another. No. 9, who has been out eight years, has had only
two wage-earning occupations.
By contrast, the untrained girls shown in Table 50, whose experi­
ence covers only one year or less, have held from 7 to 16 positions,
often in entirely unrelated industries. No. 1, for instance, has held
16 positions, changing from department store to grocery store, from
food product factory to a dressmaking shop, thence back to a depart­
ment store, and then through a series of factories, no one position
appearing to have the slightest relation to the next.
50.—DATES OF APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATES, AT THE BOS­
TON SCHOOL OFFICES, OF SIX GIRLS AND KIND OF ESTABLISHMENT ENTERED,
1913-14.
[These cases were selected as illustrations of the aimless drifting of young untrained girls. All do not drift
about so much, others may drift more.]

T a b le

Girl No. 1.
Date of
applica­
tion.
Oct.
Oct.
Dec.
Jan.
Jan.
Feb.
Apr.
Apr.
May
Jun9
June
July
July
Aug.
Sept.
Sept.

Kind of establishment
entered.

Girl No. 2.
Date of
Date of
applica­ Kind of establishment applica­
entered.
tion.
tion.

8 Department store.
Dec. 2 Department store.
Dec. 11 Dry goods store.
30 Department store.
27 W omen’s furnish i n g Feb. 7 Dressmaker.
store.
Feb. 21 Nail factory.
Mar. 10 Laundry.
2 Department store.
30 Grocery store.
Mar. 16 Dressmaker.
May 26 Garter factory.
2 Shoe factory.
June 12 Opticians.
6 Food product factory.
June 16 Nail factory.
27 Dressmaking shop.
July 10 Department store.
5 Dressmaking shop.
Aug. 11 Printing establishment
3 Department store.
Sept. 9 Textile factory.
23 Thermometer factory.
29 Slipper factory
Sept. 10 Candy factory.
Sept. 16 Candy factory.
30 Paper-cup factory.
Sept. 23 Brush factory.
5 Bookbindery.
8 Grocery store.
21 Speedometer factory.
Girl No. 4.

2 Shoe factory.
26 W omen’s furnish i n g
store.
Mar. 2 Department store.
Mar. 11 Millinery shop.
Mar. 14 W omen’s furnish i n g
store.
Apr. 29 Department store.
June 8 Fancy boxes and cases.
July 16 Thermometer factory.
July 29 Slipper factory.
July 30 Paper-cup factory.
Aug. 5 Bookbindery.
Aug. 13 Varnish factory.
Feb.
Feb.

Girl No. 3.

Sept.
Oct.
Oct.
Jan.

27
21
28
20

Mar. 24
Mar. 27
Apr. 15
May
May
June
Am*.
Sept.
Sept.

4
6
10
21
2
11

Girl No. 5.
Nov.
Nov.
Dec.
Mar.
Apr.
May
June
Aug.
Aug.
Aug.
Aug.

8 Razor factory.
26 Brush factory.
3 Paper-box factory.
23 Garter factory.
23 Children’s clothing fac­
tory.
19 Supply company.
10 Printing office.
5 Food packing house.
7 Slipper factory.
21 Glove fastener factory.
27 Confectionery packing.

Kind of establishment
entered.
Wholesale drug house.
Paper-box factory.
Department store.
Engraving establish­
ment.
Fruit store.
Candy factory.
Women’s clothing fac­
tory.
Department store.
Embroideries.
Electrical supplies.
Shoe factory.
Embroideries.
Candy factory.

Girl No. 6.
Jan.
Feb.
Mar.
Mar.
May
May
Sept.

29
29
23
31
7
21
17

Soap factory.
Candy factory.
Shoe counter factory.
Shoe findings factory.
Bottling company. ’
Shoe factory.
Candy factory.

Among the trade-school girls shown in Table 49 several gave up an
occupation for the sake of securing training for another, which was
then followed steadily. For instance, No. 1 and No. 4 dropped their
trades to take a course in a business college, after which one went
to work as a bookkeeper and the other as a stenographer. The expe­




88

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

riences of the untrained girls do not show any parallels to this. No.
2, for example, would not find that her experience in a laundry would
benefit her in the dressmaking establishment she next entered, nor
would the few weeks in a department store in July increase her effi­
ciency in the printing establishment she entered in August. The
movement from one occupation to another appears to have been
simply an aimless wandering about; presumably the girls had no
training, could not do anything particularly well, and soon tired of
the unskilled jobs, which were all they could secure, or, being ineffi­
cient, were soon laid off.
M OVEMENT

OF T R A D E -S C H O O L

G IR L S

FROM

P O S IT IO N

ONE

TR ADE

TO A N O T H E R ,

OR FROM

ONE

TO A N O T H E R .

So far the discussion has dealt only with the stability of the tradeschool girl in her own trade and in the industrial world. It is evident
that this does not cover the whole question. A girl who has left her
own trade may perhaps continue to make changes, and a girl remain­
ing in her own trade may drift about from employer to employer with
most unsatisfactory results. Table 51 shows the extent to which the
first form of instability, the movement from one trade to another
after leaving the primary trade, has prevailed among the 733 tradeschool girls who entered the sewing trades:
51.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO FOL­
LOWED ONE TRADE ONLY AND WHO FOLLOWED TWO OR MORE TRADES AFTER
ENTERING EACH SPECIFIED TRADE, BY NUMBER OF YEARS AT WORK.

T a b le

NUMBER*
Girls who followed one trade only and two trades or more after
entering the trade of—
Years at work. Dressmaking.!

Cloth machine
operating.3

Millinery.2

Straw machine
operating.4

One Two To­ One Two To­ One Two To­ One Two To­
or
or
or
or
only. more. tal. only. more. tal. only. more. tal. only. more. tal.
I
47 !
87
80
55
22
3

Total Total
in
in
one two To­
or
trade more tal.
only. trades.

1 58
1
34 121
43 123
21 76
19 41
1
4

14
27
16
11
8
2

7
24
20
18
10

21
51
36
29
18
2

7
16
8
4
2

5
13
8
9
9

12
29
16
13
11

10
11
9
7
2

6
7
12
3
5

16
18
21
10
7

78
141
113
77
34
5

29
78
83
51
43
1

107
219
196
128
77
6

Total.. - 294 | 129 423

78

79

157

37

44

81

39

33

72

448

285

733

Under 1.........
1 and under 3.
3 and under 5.
5 and under 7.
7 and over_
_
Not reported .

PER CENT.5
Under 1........
1 and under 3.
3 and under 5.
5 and under 7.
7 and over----

81.0
71.9
65.0
72.4
53.7

Total... 69.5

19.0 100.0
28.1 100.0
35.0 100.0
27.6 100.0
46.3 100.0

66.7 33.3 100.0 58.3
53.0 47.0 100.0 55.2
44.4 55. 6 100.0 50.0
37.9 62.1 100.0 30.8
44.4 55.6 100.0 18.2

30.5 100.0 49.7

50.3 100.0 45.7

41.7 100.0
44.8 100.0
50.0 100.0
69.2 100.0
81.8 100.0

62.5
61.1
42.9
70.0
28.6

37.5 100.0
38.9 100.0
57.1 100.0
30.0 100.0
71.4 100.0

72.9
64.4
57.7
60.2
44.2

27.1 100.0
35.6 100.0
42.3 100.0
39.8 100.0
55.8 100.0

54.3 100.0 54.2

45.8 100.0

61.1

38.9 100.0

113 had had three and 5 had had fo.ir primary trades.
216 had had three and 2 had had four primary trades.
34 had had two, 11 had had three, 1 had had five, and 1 had had six p rimary trades.
44 had had three and 2 had had four primary trades.
5 Based on number whose time at work was not reported.




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

89

While the amount of changing from one trade to another differed
with the length of time in the industrial world, it was not large.
For the whole group, something over three-fifths (61.1 per cent) had
had only one trade, though some of these girls had been out of the
trade school for seven years and over. It has been pointed out be­
fore that those taking up dressmaking show a greater tendency to
remain in their own trade than those who take up the other sewing
trades. Coupled with this is a greater tendency on the part of the
dressmakers to make few changes after leaving their own trade, if
they do leave it. Only 30.5 per cent of the dressmakers had had
two or more trades, against 50.3 per cent of the milliners, 54.3 per
cent of the cloth power-machine operators and 45.8 per cent of the
straw power-machine operators.
Turning to the question of instability within their own trades, the
following table shows the extent to which the girls have changed
employers during their experience after leaving the trade school:
52.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS ENTERING
SEWING TRADES WHO HAD WORKED FOR SPECIFIED NUMBER OF FIRMS, BY NUM­
BER OF YEARS AT WORK.
NUMBER.

T a b le

Girls who entered sewing trades and worked for specified
number of firms in primary trades.1
Years at work.
One
firm.

Two
firms.

Three
firms.

Four
firms.

Five
firms or
more.

Under 1.....................................
1 and under 2.............................
2 and under 3...........................
3 and under 4................
4 and under 5.............................
5 and under 6.............................
6 and under 7.............................
7 and under 8.............................
8 and over.................................
Not reported.............................

42
31
19
14
11
10
5
2
8
1

43
50
31
28
23
17
7
6
6

19
27
31
24
27
19
9
10
10
2

2
10
13
12
19
16
14
6
7

1
2
5
22
14
16
13
8
13

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

143

211

178

99

94

Total.
Not re­
ported.

1
3

107
120
99
101
95
78
50
32
45
6

8

733

1
1
2

PER CENT.2
Under 1.....................................
1 and under 2...
2 and under 3.............................
3 and under 4.............................
4 and under 5.............................
5 and under 6.............................
6 and under 7.............
7 and under 8.............................
8 and over..................................

39.3
25.8
19.2
14.0
11.7
12.8
10.4
6.2
18.1

40.2
41.7
31.3
28.0
24.5
21.8
14.6
18.8
13.6

17.8
22.5
31.3
24.0
28.7
24.4
18.7
31.2
22.9

1.8
8.3
13.1
12.0
20. 2
20.5
29.2
18.8
15.9

0.9
1.7
5.1
22.0
14.9
20.5
27.1
25.0
29.5

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

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

19.7

29.1

24.5

13.7

13.0

100.0

1 Primary trade signifies the main or principal occupation of the worker. Thus, a milliner may be a
waitress at a summer hotel, but she regards this occupation as merely a means of supplementing her in­
come from her real or “ primary” occupation, millinery. If she should decide to go south to the winter
hotels instead of returning to the city for the fall season in millinery, domestic service would become her
primary trade.
2 Based on number whose time at work was reported.

In considering what these changes mean, the seasonal character of
the sewing trades for which these girls were trained must be borne




90

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

in mind. Generally speaking, they would be laid off once, and fre­
quently twice a year on account of the dull season. Remembering
this, the extent to which they returned to their former employers is
rather striking. Very nearly one-fifth had worked only for their
first employer, although some had been in the industrial world for
from 8 to 10 years. Only 26.7 per cent of the whole group had
worked for more than three different employers in their primary
trade. Naturally the proportion having had several employers was
larger among those who had been out longest than among those who
had recently left the school. Yet even among those who had been
out for eight years or more, less than one-half (45.4 per cent) had had
more than three employers, while among those who had been out
less than five years only 19.2 per cent had worked for four or more
firms.
SECONDARY EMPLOYMENTS.

The seasonal fluctuations of the sewing trades are pronounced, and
the working seasons in millinery and the manufacture of straw hats
are very short. Nevertheless, the girls do not resort to secondary
occupations in any large degree. The following table shows the ex­
tent to w^hich they have filled in the dull seasons with work at an­
other trade or occupation.
53.—NUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS AT WORK EACH CLASSIFIED
NUMBER OF YEARS WHO HAVE HELD SPECIFIED NUMBER OF SECONDARY POSI­
TIONS TO FILL IN DULL SEASON.

ta b le

!
Girls at work each classified number of years who have held
specified number of secondary employments.1
!
Years at work.

One
posi­
tion.

Two
posi­
tions.

Three
posi­
tions.

1
1
3
6
8
1
2
4
3

Four
posi­
tions.

Six
posi­
tions.

1

Five
posi­
tions.

Seven
posi­
tions.

Total.

Eight
posi­
tions.

1
i
.............
Under 1 .
1 and under 2
...............
.............
2 and under 3
3 and under 4 ...................
4 and under 5 .....................
5 and under 6 .......................
6 and under 7........................
7 and under 8
...
8 and over
.....................

12
18
7
17
8

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

80

3
1

29

1

14
20
10
27
21
12
12
6
11

2

133

1

3
2
1
2
1

1
2
1

2

10 i
1

4

1

•

2

1
1

1

4

3

1

I

i S e c o n d a ry e m p lo y m e n t sig n ifie s t e m p o r a r y w o r k re g a rd e d a s a m e a n s o f s u p p le m e n tin g th e in c o m e
fro m th e p r im a r y o c c u p a tio n a n d o f fillin g in id le tim e .

It will be seen that less than one-fifth (17.9 per cent) of the 744
girls who had used their trades had filled in the dull season with
secondary employments, and of these only two-fifths had had more
than one secondary position. A study of the girls taking these other
occupations show that the practice is more common among those
engaged in straw machine operating than among those in the other
three trades; the long unbroken stretch of five, six, or seven months




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

91

of unemployment in the straw-stitching industry probably accounts
for this difference.
Although comparatively few resorted to this means of increasing
their annual earnings, yet when there was real pressure at home a
girl occasionally dovetailed occupations in a remarkable fashion.
The following table shows the manner in which two girls avoided
unemployment, as well as the wages they earned in their primary
and secondary occupations:
54.—OCCUPATIONS FOLLOWED IN SIX SUCCESSIVE YEARS BY TWO BOSTON
TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS DURING FLUCTUATIONS IN SEASONAL WORK, WITH TIME
EMPLOYED, WAGES, ETC.
GIRL NO. 1.

ta b le

i
Year.

1st.

Month begin­
ning—

September, 1S09.

Time em­
ployed.

Time idle.

3

March, 1910.......
June, 1910........

3
3

September,1910.
.
.
I
December, 1910.

3
3

March, 1911
June, 1911.........

3
3

3d....! September,1911.
December, 1911.

3
3

March, 1912
Julv, 1912..........

4
2

4th... September,1912.
December, 1912.

3
3

March, 1913
July, 1913..........

4
2

5th... September, 1913.
December, 1913.

4
3

March, 1914.......
July, 1914..........

4
2

September, 1914

Occupation.

Mos. Wks. Mos. Wits.
Millinery........ Errands..........
3

December, 1909.

2d. .

Industry.

I

Waist manu­
facture.
Millinery........
Waist manu­
facture.
Millinery... . . .
Waist manu­
facture.
Millinery.._
_
Dress manu­
facture.
Millinery-.......
Dress manu­
facture.
Millinerv.. . . . .
Dress manu­
facture.
Millinery........
Dress manu­
facture.
Millinery........
Dress manu­
facture.
Millinery........
Dress manu­
facture.
Millinery........
Straw
hat
manufacture.
Millinerv........

Last
weekly
wage.

Reason for
leaving.

$4.00

Hand finisher.

4.00

E m p lo y er
married.
Recalled.

Maker.............
Waist finisher.

4.00
4.50

Dull season.
Recalled.

Maker.............
Hand finisher.

4.50
5.00

Dull season.
Recalled.

Maker........ .
Waist finisher.

5.00
6.00

Dull season.
Recalled.

Maker.............
Hand finisher.

6.00
6.00

Dull season.
Recalled.

Maker.............
Hand finisher.

7.00
7.00

Dull season.
Recalled.

Maker.............
Hand firusher.

7.50
7.00

Dull season.
Recalled.

Maker.............
Hand finisher.

7.50
6.00

Dull season.
Recalled,

Maker.............
Hand finisher.

8.00
6.00

Dull season.
Recalled.

Maker.............
Hand finisher.

8.00
6.00

Maker.............

9.00

Dull season.
Return
to
millinery.

Sleeve finisher.
Interpreter_
_

$6.00

GIRL NO. 2.
1st:.. September,1909.
July, 1910......... j
2d ... September, 1910.!
July, 1911..........i
3d.... September,1911.
July, 1912..........
4th... September,1912.
July, 1913..........
5th... September, 1913.
July,1914..........
6th... September, 1914




Dressmaking.
Settlem ent
house.
Dressmaking..
Private home.

Sleeve finisher.
Housework...

Dressmaking.. Sleeve finisher.
Un d e r we a r Machine oper­
manufacture. ating.
Dressmaking.. C h a r g e o f
sleeves.
...... d o ......
General sew­
ing.
...... do........
Char ge of
sleeves.
Private home. Child’s nurse..
Dressmaking.. C h a r g e
sleeves.

of

Dull season.
“ To go back
to work.”
7.00 Dull season.
3.00 “ To go back
to work.”
8.00 Dull season.
6.00 “ To go back
to work.”
9.50 Dull season.

3.50

9.50
12.00

4.00
12.00

End of sea­
son.
Dull season.
“ To go back
to work.”

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

9*2

Girl No. 1 was an Italian girl, aged 20, who, with her two sisters,
was supporting her mother and putting a younger sister through
high school. The father was dead. She was a grammar school
graduate who had attended the Boston Trade School for 15 months
and had entered the millinery trade at the age of 15. For five years
she maintained, she had never lost any time, dovetailing her milli­
nery positions with work in women’s ready-made clothing factories,
in which she had practically as permanent a position as in her origi­
nal trade. Girl No. 2, alsrt an Italian girl of 20, was the main support
of her family, her father being a teamster who was out of work all
winter, and her brother an invalid. She alternated her work in her
own trade, dressmaking, with housework, care of children, sewing
for other dressmakers, and work in factories, but in spite of this
versatility usually lost a month every summer.
Another trade-school girl, not included in the table, was a strawmachine operator, whose family were in fairly comfortable circum­
stances. She found that the long dull season of the straw-stitching
trade which included the summer months set her free for work in
the summer hotels during their busy season, and she went every
year to the mountains for this purpose. Here she was obliged to
work for $3.50 per week, “ with board and tips,” while in her own
trade, making straw hats, she could average $20 a week and earn
as high as $35 a week in the full season.
During the year preceding the investigation 352 of the trade-school
girls studied were working at their primary trade, and of these 94
resorted at some time during the year to secondary employments.
Table 51 shows in what industrial group the latter found employment
and at what wages.
55.—NUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WORKING IN SECONDARY
EMPLOYMENTS DURING ONE YEAR WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED WEEKLY
AMOUNT AND PER CENT IN EACH KIND OF EMPLOYMENT.

T a b le

Girls employed during dull season in secondary
employments who earned—
Kind of secondary employment.
Under
$6

$6 and
under
$8

In primary trade ...................
13
Manufactures.............................
Domestic and personal service..
2
Trade .....................................
3
...........
Clerical occupations
1
Professional service ..................
Total................................

24

$8 and
under
$10

2
4
1
7
2

2
9
5

16

16

$10 and
over.
1
1
3

Total.

Not
esti­
Number. Per cent.
mated.1
31
1

34
20
19
14
6
1

36.2
21.3
20.2
14.9
6.4
1.0

32

94

100.0

1
6

1 Independent dressmakers and milliners who could not estimate their earnings.

Many of the girls have opportunity to make dresses for friends and
neighbors in their idle time, but since the work is sporadic and the




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

93

price different for every dress and every customer the majority found
it impossible to estimate the amount earned in this way.
The largest single group found employment within their own
trade, most of them working independently and having very little
idea of what their earnings had been. Manufactures and personal and
domestic service were taken up by nearly equal numbers, about onefifth of the group going into each. The earnings, it will be seen, are
decidedly low. Of the 62 who could report definitely what they had
made, over three-fifths (64.5 per cent) had earned less than $8 by
their secondary activities. This would seem to indicate a short
period of employment, as well as low wages. The data at hand
indicate that the earnings in the secondary occupation are seldom
equal to those in the original occupation. Girl No. 1 (Table 54)
sometimes got her successive increases in wages first in her primary,
sometimes in her secondary trade until she got up to $7 a week, after
which she never got as high wages in* her secondary as in her primary
trade. Girl No. 2 found her primary trade the more profitable, some- ~
times getting three times as much in this as in the work she took up
during its dull seasons. The relatively low wage earned by the strawhat stitcher in the hotel work she took up during the summers has
already been mentioned.
The small earnings secured by the interim work may be one
reason why so few resort to secondary occupations. Other reasons
of course come into play. Some do not wish or need to work 12
months in the year, some are unwilling to leave home, and some
will not or can not take the kind of work available.1 Others can
not get positions. Some girls have tramped the streets for weeks,
have applied at all kinds of establishments, in all kinds of indus­
tries, and yet have been unable to find work. When they do
secure a position, they naturally hesitate to undertake the nerveracking experience again, so that many who get another job “ just
keep it,” even when the busy season in their own trade comes around
again. In other cases the parents, unwilling to allow their young
daughters to be subjected to this experience every year, send them
to commercial schools for a new kind of training, to hospitals
to train for nurses, or advocate their entering stores, telephone
offices, etc.
REASONS FOR LEAVING PRIMARY TRADE.

Comment has already been made on the fact that conditions
within the trade have a good deal to do with the stability within it
of the girls going into it from the trade school. This fact is emphai See May Allinson: Dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts, Bui. No. 193, United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics, p. 88.
A very few of the men workers in the cloak, suit, and skirt industry filled in with secondary occupations.
See wages and regularity of employment in the cloak, suit, and skirt industry, Bui. No. 147, United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics, p. 135.




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

94

sized by the reasons given by the girls who have left their trades to
account for their action. The following table gives these reasons,
grouped according to the trade left:
T a b le

56__NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS GIVING SPECIFIED REASON FOR
LEAVING THEIR TRADE.

Power-ma­
Reason tor leaving the
chine operat­
trade.
Dress­ Mil­
ing on—
mak­ li­
ing. nery.
Cloth. Straw
hats.
Lack of personal adjust­
ment:
Not successful in work:
Not long enough in
trade school to
Wanted

something

4

3

6

Power-maCook­ Total.
chme operat­
Dress­ Mil­
ing
ing on—
mak­ li­
and
ing. nery.
de­
sign.
Cloth. Straw
hats.

.l

2.0

14

1

2

3

3.0

2.9

13.6

1.0

7

1

6

!
i

Per cent.1

Number.

Cook­ Total.
ing
and
de­
sign.

3.6

2.5

.8

2.5

1.8

2.3

12

3

7

2

24

5.9

3.0

15.9

5.0

6.2

Physical incapacity:
Illness, not strong,
weak eyes, e t c .......
Color (Negro)...........

21

6

6

3
1

36 10.4
1

5.9

13.6

7.5
2.5

9.2
.3

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

21

6

6

4

37

10.4

5.9

13.6

10.0

9.5

Trade conditions:
Dislike of work, too
hard, long hours_
_
Not recalled, poor po­
sition or pay..........
Dull seasons..............
Too far from home_
_
“ Got another job and
just kept it >f..........

21

2

8

5

36 10.4

2.0

18.2

12.5

9.2

10
23
1

6
39
1

7
1
1

1
13
1

24 5.0
76 11.4
.5
4

5.9
38.6
1.0

15.9
2.3
2.3

2.5
32.5
2.5

6.2
19.5
1.0

6.4

11.9

11.3

5.0

8.2

172 33.7

59.4

50.0

55.0

44.1

2.9

4.0

2.3

2.5

33.3

7.0

6.9

2.3

2.5

33.4

6.2

37

9.9

10.9

4.6

5.0

66.7

9.5

1

12

3.4

4.0

28 10.4* 1.0
68 22.8 12.8

13

12

5

2

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

68

60

22

22

32

Advancement:
For further schooling.
For more professional
work.......................

6

4

1

1

1

13

14

7

1

1

1

24

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

20

11

2

2

2

Domestic reasons:
Wished to be at home.
Helping or needed at
home......................
Married.....................

7

4

21
46

1
13

4
3

2
5

1

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

74

18

7

8

1

Died or moved and lost
trade.............................
Unclassified.....................
Grand total............

1l
203

3
101

2
1
44

41

108 36.6
12
2

3

3.5

392 1100.0

I

3.3

3.1

2.5
5.0
12.5 *33.' 3’

7.2
17.4

20.0

33.3

27.7

5.0
I
'
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

3.0

17.8
3.0

9.1
6.8
15.9

100.0

1Not including those unclassified.

Taking the group as a whole, inore left on account of dull seasons
than for any other single reason. With these might be included
those who “ got another job and just kept it,” since so often their
reason for getting the other job was that they had been laid off owing
to the slack season in their own trade. If these are included, over
one-fourth left on account of the seasonal character of their trade,




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

95

a condition which they were powerless to remedy, and which is quite
apart from any tendency to instability in the girls themselves. The
next largest group, a little over one-sixth, left on account of mar­
riage; about one-tenth left on account of physical incapacity and
another tenth because they wished to be at home or were needed
there. Almost the same proportion left to secure more schooling
or to take more professional work. Dislike of the work or failure
to succeed in it account for about one-sixth.
The importance of these several reasons varies from trade to trade.
Among the dressmakers, who constituted by far the largest group,
marriage was the principal cause for leaving, over one-fifth leaving
on this account. Dull seasons, even including in this those who left
because they wished to keep another job they had secured, accounts
for only a little over one-sixth, and no other single cause for as much
as one-eighth. In millinery the dull season accounts for more depart­
ures than in any other of these trades, constituting by far the most
important single cause. One-eighth left on account of marriage and
one-tenth to advance themselves. In cloth machine operating the
dull season counts for little, but a lack of adjustment between the
girl and the work is a serious cause of displacement. Of the 44 girls
who dropped this trade, 15.9 per cent either failed in it or wanted
something else, 18.2 per cent disliked the work or some of its accom­
paniments, and 13.6 per cent were physically unfitted for it. Six­
teen per cent more left either because they were not recalled, which
would seem to indicate that their work was not satisfactory, or be­
cause they had poor positions or poor pay. Almost two-thirds,
therefore, of those who left the trade, and nearly two-fifths of those
who entered it, were unfitted either from a physical or an industrial
standpoint for the work which they had undertaken. These powermachine operating trades offer good opportunities for the more mature
worker, but the young girls find them difficult, both because of the
physical strain involved, and because they are left to a large extent to
their own resources in carrying on the work. In the straw machineoperating trades, the dull season again becomes the most important
of all reasons for leaving. Dislike of the work, physical incapacity
and the like do not seem to have much more importance as reasons
for leaving than in dressmaking.

SUMMARY.
It appears that two influences, industrial conditions and domestic
demands, are important in withdrawing girls from their trades, the
first, contrary to popular belief, weighing most heavily. The greatest
sifting out from the trade comes within the first three years for all
trades, but varies in degree in the different trades. Almost one-half
of the milliners and machine operators had sifted out of their trade




96

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

by the end of the second year. In the millinery trades, short seasons
are the predominating influence in driving girls' out. In the powermachine operating trades, the sifting out is largely due to the inability
of the young girl to meet the demands for independent production
with the requisite speed. There are some indications that this sifting
out from the trades, instead of decreasing, as might be expected with
the better organization of the trade-school training, has increased
during the last five years; this situation is probably due to the indus­
trial evolution going on in the sewing trades, In general, however,
the trade-school girl has shown remarkable stability in comparison
with the untrained worker, three-fifths having worked only at one
trade, and only about one-fourth having worked for more than three
employers. In spite of the seasonal fluctuations of the trades they
have entered, comparatively few resort to secondary occupations,
and they only occasionally. The indications of increasing instability
discovered in the experience of the girls going out from the school
during the last five years, however, raise the question whether this
permanence in trade and in position will continue in the future.




r

CHAPTER IV.—WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS.
INTRODUCTION.
The wages of the pupils trained in a vocational school are of particu­
lar interest for several reasons. First, it is desirable to know whether
the time spent in training in a trade school is as profitable or more
profitable than a similar length of time spent in the industry in which
training is given. There are still well-known educators who are
dubious as to the advantages of trade-school training.1 Second,
vocational education is expensive and it is desirable to know whether
the pupiil can secure commensurate advantages in the trade. Third,
it is advantageous to know, for each of the several trades, how long it
takes a girl trained in the trade school to command an adequate wage,
so that girls who must earn quickly shall not be directed into a trade
involving long apprenticeship. Fourth, an appreciation and under­
standing of the many influences which determine ability to advance
or even to persist in the trade is essential for efficient vocational
guidance and direction.
A most important point to be kept in mind in this study of wages
in the sewing trades is that the wage reported here is the nominal
wage or weekly rate which is (1) reduced by absence or holidays and
(2) depends wholly on the number of weeks actually worked. A
study of the sewing trades in 1910-11 showed that the nominal weekly
wage was reduced 10 per cent in custom dressmaking and 14 per cent in
factory dressmaking by short absences alone, such as occasional days
out for illness or holidays.2 Almost two-thirds of 533 trade-school girls
in the trade for whom data on this point were obtained worked less
than 10 months in their trade in a full year.3 In the custom trades,
which pay a weekly rate, the dull season means total unemploy­
ment. In the factory trades, which pay a piece rate, the girls may
continue to do what work comes in, but their weekly earnings will
be much smaller, as they are paid only for the actual work turned
out.
The wages vary in significance in the several trades because of the
difference in length of the working season and in methods of wage pay­
ment; also the number of girls in the several trades is very unequal,
which again affects the significance of the wages reported. Accord­
ingly, the wages for the different trades will in many cases be pre­
1 Anna C. Hedges: Wage worth of school training (1915), p. 9.
2May Allinson: Dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts. Bui. No. 193, United States Bu­
reau of Labor Statistics.
3 See Table 80, p. 143.

85225°— 17— Bull. 215-------7




97

98

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

sented separately. The workers in the millinery trades, whether
custom or wholesale millinery or the manufacture of straw hats, have
very short seasons. Moreover, those working in the custom trades,
dressmaking and millinery, are usually paid weekly rates, while those
in the power-operating industries are usually pieceworkers. The
dressmaking trade has been most emphasized in the trade school, and
has received 56.9 per cent of the 774 girls studied who have utilized
their training.
The attempt to secure a complete list of all positions held and of
the wage received, both for all positions and, in the case of a perma­
nent position, for each year, has been on the whole more successful
than was anticipated, because the majority of the girls have not had a
long working experience nor held a large number of positions. The
heading “ Not reported” or ^“Unclassified,” however, may hide the
story of a long series of unsuccessful efforts to get the truth. For
instance, one girl who entered a dressmaking shop on leaving school
soon went into a bookbindery, where she has been working 10 years
on a piece wage. Obviously, she could not remember nor esti­
mate her wages for the past 10 years. The investigator went to her
employer, explained the purpose and importance of securing her
wage for successive years, and after some persuasion he agreed to try
to secure from the pay rolls the girl's weekly wage for each successive
year. On the appointed day the investigator hopefully returned.
The bookkeeper presented a neat tabulation of the girl's total earnings
for each of the last three years, but said the books for the preceding
four years had been burned. The first seven years’ wages for this girl
were thus returned “ Not reported.” The difficulty was not always
with those receiving wages. The girls who did independent dress­
making were sometimes unable to estimate their weekly earnings,
and where they were unwilling to venture the investigator feared to
tread, so their wages for these years were left unclassified. In
general, however, the girls, sometimes with the aid of their mother,
father, or young sister, were able to remember their wages and posi­
tions with surprising clearness, for they have drifted about very
little. A previous investigation of the larger portion of the older
workers of this same group made in 1910 showed a comforting corre­
spondence in the wages for the earlier years of their wage-earning
career, and served as a check on these later returns.

AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGES IN SUCCESSIVE YEARS.
For a preliminary glimpse into the possibilities of wage advance­
ment, the average wage earned in each successive year out of the trade
school may be suggestive. As many girls drift into other occupations,
the wages earned in the trades for which they were trained and in
other occupations are presented separately, in order to show financial
opportunities in those trades which the trade schools have adopted.




99

WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

rURLS REMAINING IN TRADE FOR WHICH TRAINED AND THOSE LEAVING IT FOR OTHER
OCCUPATIONS.

The following table gives, by trades, the average wages for the girls
who remained in the trades for which they had been trained, and also
the average wages of those who left their trades, without distinction
as to the occupation entered:
57.—NUMBER AND AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGES, WHEN OUT OF SCHOOL EACH
SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME, OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED FOR
AND EMPLOYED IN SPECIFIED TRADES AND OF GIRLS TRAINED FOR BUT
EMPLOYED IN OTHER THAN SPECIFIED TRADES.

T a b le

[Table includes only those for whom wages were reported.]
I. G IR L S TRAINED FOR AND EM PLO YED IN SP ECIFIED TR AD ES.
Power-machine operating on—
Dressmaking.

Millinery.

Total.
Cloth.

Length of time out
of trade school.

Straw hats.

Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
Num­
Num­
Num­
age
Num­
Num­
age
age
age
age
ber. weekly ber. weekly ber. weekly ber. weekly ber. weekly
wage.
wage.
wage.
At first leaving.
At the end of—
1st year___
2d year......
3d year......
4th year_
_
5th year_
_
6th year.„..
7th year_
_
8th year_
_
9th year_
_
10th year...

414

$5.44

151

$5.15

$5.14

$8.23

375
279
213
162
123
83
44

6.15
7.07
7.94
8.75
9.35
10.63
11.24

6.11

11. 88

6.44
7.12
8. 27
8.23
9. 06
9.96
10.30
11.50
11. 50

9.59
12.47
14. 56
14. 96
16. 94
17.20

21
11

117
80
50
39
30
23
14
7

3

11.95
10.17

7.24
8.63
9. 72
10.62
11. 54
11. 44
11. 64
10. 50

2

20.00
20.00

$5.60
431
303
229
171
120

64
31
15
3

I

6.48
7.51
8.47
9.23
9. 95
11.03
11. 34
12. 06
11.70
10.17

II. G IR L S TRAINED FOR BU T EM PLO YED IN OTHER THAN SP ECIFIED TR A D ES.
At first leaving.......
At the end of—
1st year.............
2d year..............
3d year..............
4th year.............
5th year.............
6th year.............
7th year...... .
8th year.............
9th year.............
10th year...........

6

$4.42

3

$5.50

8

$7.38

2

$2. 75 !

19

$5. 61

32
46
58
49
41
23
18
14
11
5

6.94
6.84
8.03
8.34
9.19
10.65
12. 39
12.50
13.00
14.90

26
40
48
31
29
22
15
6
2

7.21
7.39
7.77
8.92
9.84
9. 27
10. 03
11. 67
10.00

23
22
23
17
16
13
10
7
7
6

6.85
6. 68
7.33
7.80
7. 88
7. 96
8. 40
8. 36
8.64
7.83

11
14
15
11
8
7
4
2

6. 59 1
7.14
7. 70
8.77
9.00
11.07
11.75
11.00

92
122
144
108
94
65
47
29
20
11

6.95
7. 02
7. 79
8.45
9.15
9. 70
10. 73
11. 23
11.18
11.04

For the 699 whose initial wage was reported, the average received
at beginning was $5.60. In considering the adequacy of this, the
age of the young workers must be taken into account. Of the total
group who used their trade, 25.7 per cent were under 16, and 51.5
per cent 16 but under 18 on leaving the trade school.1 Since entrance
into the trade usually follows promptly on leaving the school, these
proportions probably a^pply in the main to the group under con­
sideration. Nine-tenths (90.8 per cent) of the whole group entered
the dressmaking, millinery, or cloth machine-operating trades, the




1 See Table 9, p .28.

100

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

average initial wage for the three being $5.24. The straw machine
operators began at a much higher average, $8.23; their busy season,
however, is short.
The girls who entered other than their own trades show a much
greater range of average initial wages, ranging from $2.75 to $7.38,
but the numbers concerned are so small that there is little significance
in this fact. For the whole group the initial wage— $5.61— is almost
identical with that for those who went into their own trades. At the
close of the first year out of the trade school the girls in other than
their oVn trade have a slight advantage over those who remained
in their own trade, their average wage being $6.95 as against $6.48,
the average for the larger group. After that, however, the average
wage for the girls in their own trade is higher than for those in other
occupations, the difference being especially marked from the sixth
year onward.
GIRLS WHO NEVER USED TRADE FOR WHICH TRAINED.

A similar difference, except that the divergence is greater, appears
if the girls who at some time used their trade be compared with those
who had spent nine months or more at the trade school and after­
wards became wage earners, but who never used the trade they had
been trained for. The following table shows the average wages for
these two groups at the end of each year out of trade school:
58__NUMBER AND AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGES, WHEN OUT OF TRADE
SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME, OF GIRLS TRAINED FOR SEWING
TRADES IN BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL WHO ENTERED THEIR TRADE AND OF
THOSE WHO DID NOT USE THEIR TRADE.

T a b le

[This table does not include 11 girls trained in cooking and design and using their trade or girls not report­
ing their wage at each specified period.]
Sewing-trades girls—

Length of time out
of trade school.

Who entered their
trade.

Number.

At first leaving........
At the end of—
1st year.............
2d year..............
3d year..............
4th year.............
5th year.............
6th year.............
7th year.............
8th year.............
9th year.............
10th year.............

Who attended
trade school 9
months or more
but did not use
their trade.

Average
Average
weekly Number. weekly
wage.
wage.

718

$5.60

59

$5.74

691
553
447
337
265
185
111
60
35
14

6.55
7.41
8.25
8.99
9.67
10.56
11.09
11.66
11.31
10.90

58
49
49
33
22
12
9
4

6.19
6.42
7.52
7.68
8.18
8.50
8.06
7.00

Those who did not use their trade began wage earning at a slightly
higher average wage than those who did, but by the end of the first




W AGES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

101

year they had lost the advantage, and from that time on those using
their trade show the higher average, the difference becoming con­
siderable as the number of years out of trade school increases.
TIM E REQ UIRED BY DIFFEREN T GR O U PS T O REACH $8 A W EEK.

One of the purposes of the study of wages is to discover how soon
after leaving trade school a girl may expect to earn a living wage.
If $8 be accepted as a minimum living wage, then in general the tradeschool girls who remain in their trades have reached economic inde­
pendence, as expressed in an average wage of $8, by the end of the third
year; those who leave their own trades reach this point by the end of
the fourth year, and those who never use their own trades by the
end of the fifth year. There is considerable difference in this respect
among those following different trades. The straw machine opera­
tors begin at an average wage of over $8, and by the end of the third
year are averaging $14.56; the milliners and cloth machine operators
have reached and passed the $8 mark by the end of the third year,
and the dressmakers reach it somewhere between the end of the third
and the fourth years out. The girls trained for the sewing trades
who have left them show a curious difference in their rate of advance­
ment in the trades they take up. Those trained for dressmakers who
go into other trades average $8 a week sooner than those who remain
in their trade; those who go out from cloth machine operating take
seven years instead of three to reach thi,s average, wiiile the milliners
and the straw machine operators take four. The number leaving
their own trades for others is small, and it is impossible to say defi­
nitely what is the significance of this difference. The preceding
chapter, however, has shown that many of those who leave their
trade do so because they are unfitted, either physically, mentally, or
by lack of suitable training, to succeed there, and it is entirely likely
that this same handicap accounts for their lack of rapid progress in
other trades. The girls who have never used their own trades do not
reach the average of $8 a week until the end of the fifth year out of
trade school. Summing up the situation in this respect, it appears
that the girls who remain in the trade for which they were trained
first reach this minimum of economic independence, then the girls
who have used their own trades but have left them for others, and
last the girls who never have used their own trade.
R ATE OF ADVANCE IN DIFFEREN T G R O U PS.

The rate of increase of wages in the different groups is shown by
the Table 59. The table shows the rate of advance over the initial
wage when the girls were out of school each specified number of years
and the rate of advance of wages at the end of each year out of school
over wages received at the end of the preceding year.




102
T

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

5 9 * —PER CENT OF INCREASE, OVER INITIAL WAGES AND OVER WAGES IN EACH
PRECEDING PERIOD, IN AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGES PAID BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL
GIRLS WHEN OUT OF SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED NUMBER OF YEARS.

able

Per cent of increase over initial wage.
Girls using their trade at specified period.
Years out of trade
school.

Girls
working All girls
using
in other
their
All girls occupa­
trade
tions at
using
specified at some
their
time.
period.
trade.

/Power-machine
operating on—
Dress­
making.

Milli­
nery.
Cloth.

At the end of—
1st year...............
2 d year...............
3d year...............
4th year..............
5th year..............
6 th year..............
7th year..............

13.1
30.0
46.0
60.8
71.9
95.4
106.6

18.4
40.3
87.2
88.3
105.8
123.6
121.7

Straw
hats.

25.3
38.5
60.9
60.1
76.3
93.8
100.4

16.5
51.5
76.9
81.8
105.8
109.0

35.7
32.3
51.3
64.8
77.7
97.0
102.5

23.9
25.1
38.9
50.6
63.1
73.0
91.3

17.0
32.3
47.3
60.5
72.6
8 8 .6

98.0

Girls
never
using
their
trade.

8 .0
1 1 .8

31.0
33.8
42.5
48.1
40.4

Per cent of increase in wages over those in preceding period.
At the end of—
1 st year...............
2 d year...............
3d year...............
4th year..............
5th year..............
6 th year..............
7th year..............

13.1
15.0
12.3

18.4
18.5
19.2

1 0 .2

1 2 .6

6.9
13.7
5.7

25.3

16.5
30.0
16.8
2.7
13.2
.9

1 0 .6

16.2
15.0

9.3
8.7
i .8

1 0 .1

9.9
3.4

1

15.7
15.9
1 2 .8

9.0
7.8
10.9
2 .8

23.9
1 .0

11.0
8.5
8.3
6 .0
1 0 .6

17.0
13.1
11.3

3.7
17.1

8 .0

2 .1

7.6
9.2
5.0

8 .0

6.5
3.9
15.2

Decrease.

It will be seen that the rate of increase is, on the whole,, continuous ;
that it is at once greater and more regular among those using their
own trade than among those who have left it for others, and that, as
between the trades, millinery shows the greatest percentage of
increase over the initial wage.
60.—AVERAGE WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHEN OUT OF
TRADE SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME AND RANGE O F WAGES
PAID M1DI/LE 50 PER CENT,

T able

Length of time out of trade
school.
At first leaving................
At the end of—
First year.....................
Second year..................
Third year.................
Fourth year................
Fifth year....................

Average
wages.1

Range of wages paid
middle 50 per cent.3

$4 but less than $7.
$5 but less than $7.
6.48 $ 6 but less than $8 .
7.51 $7 but less than $10.
8.47 $ 8 but less than $1 0 .
9.23 $9 but less than $1 1 .
9.95

$5.60

' See Table 57, p. 99.
z This column was derived from Table 63, p. 107. The expression “ middle 50 per cent” includes those
coming within the second and third quartiles and represents that half of the workers clustering about the
!nedian and the arithmetic average.
R ELATION OF W AG ES OF IN DIVIDU AL W O R K E R S T O AVERAGE W AG E.

The wages of the individual workers naturally diverge from the
average wage to an increasing extent with advancing years as indi­
vidual capacity has an opportunity to assert itself. Up to the sixth




W AGES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

103

year the wages of the middle 50 per cent, as shown by Table 60, cluster
very closely around the average wage.
From the sixth year the range widens with a rather irregular
tendency to group more heavily on the lower side of the average
wage. The wages of those working in occupations other than their
own trade congregate less closely about the average, especially at the
beginning and after the fifth year; at the beginning, because the
wages represent a wide variety of occupations, and after the fifth
year, because in addition to the variety of occupation some of the
more mature workers have developed individual capacity and ability
to take advantage of opportunities which may arise, while others
remain where they started.
AVERAGE W AG ES OF TR AD E -TR A IN E D W O R K E R S .

The question naturally arises as to how this wage advancement
compares with that of girls who have not received trade-school
training. To secure a basis of comparison a study was made of 100
girls who had worked at custom dressmaking and 100 from the cloth
power-sewing trades, who were of about the same age and length
of working experience as the trade-school girls. Five were not in
wage-earning occupations at the time of the investigation. Some
had begun work in a foreign country, and their wages for those years
were so incomparable with those of the trade-school girls that they
were not included in the wage tables.
Before considering the question of wages, notice must be taken of
one important difference in the industrial history of the tpade-school
girls and of these trade-trained girls. When the trade-school girl
has received her training, she is placed directly in her trade, from
which in time many drift out into other occupations. Many of the
trade-trained girls, on the other hand, have begun in other occu­
pations and drifted into the sewing trades, so the order of trade
acquirement is just reversed. The variety of occupations through
which the trade-trained girls have passed is shown for the 100 in
factory sewing trades in Table 61.
Not far from one-half— 42 per cent— of these girls began work in
other occupations. About one-half of those who began in the man­
ufacturing branch of the trade were first employed on hand processes,
such as sewing on buttons, folding, cleaning, inspecting,* marking,
boxing, and keeping stock, preliminary stages which the young
worker must often pass through before she has an opportunity to
work on the machines. A few had sewed in custom shops before
entering the factory and have been included with those in the trade
because this experience provided the preliminary experience in
handling cloth and materials which seems to be essential to the
machine operator. From 42.9 per cent engaged on hand processes




104

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

in the factory at the end of the first year the proportion dropped to
26.5 per cent at the end of the second year and 15.2 per cent at the
end of the third year. After the third year four-fifths or more were
employed as power-machine operators. That is, it required three
years of work at miscellaneous processes before four-fifths of the
group were really employed in their trade.
61.—OCCUPATIONS AT BEGINNING WORK AND AT END OF EACH SUCCESSIVE
YEAR OF EMPLOYMENT OF 100 TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS EMPLOYED IN FACTORY
SEWING TRADES AT THE TIME OF THE INVESTIGATION.

T a bl e

NUM BER.

Occupation.

At end of—
At
begin­
ning 1 st
4th 5th 6 th 7th 8 th 9th 10 th
2d
3d
work. year. year. year. year. year. year. year. year. year. year.

TRAINING ACQUIRED INSIDE THE
TRADE.

Oupt.om shops........-......... -...........
Factories: Hand processes—
Sewing, buttons, snaps, etc...
Folding...... ...........................
Cleaning..................................
Inspecting, examining.. J.......
Drafting, designing................
Pressing.............. 1.................
Marking..................................
Boxing...................................
Stock......................................

i8
11
6

27

13
8

26

3

2

2

5
4

5

3

2

1
1

1
1
1

1

4

5

2

1

2
2

3

2

1

1

1

1

32
41

1
1

1

32

31

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

9

8

4

3

4

2

1

1

41

5 34

27

25

19

9

5

51

40

31

30

21

10

6

1

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

24

30

Factories: Machine processes—
Stitching, etc..........................

s 26

33

544

Total trained inside the
trade (<^pth workers)......

58

70

68

23

23

18

547

59

5

TRAINING ACQUIRED OUTSIDE THE
TRADE.

Sewing, millinery goods:
Custom...................................
Factory, straw machine oper­
ating ....................................

64

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

4

Sewing, shoe factory.....................
Other occupations........................
Unclassified..................................

83
34
1

Total trained outside the
trade earning wages.........

42

100

4

3

3
19

16

1

1

27

20

13

3

Not earning wages...............
Grand total.........................

1

71

1

1

89

73

8

100

1

13

7

6

3

2

1

7

6

4

2

1

1

2

58

46

37

3.9
5.1
15.2 15.7
79.7 80.4

5.0
85.0

1 0 .0

3.2
, 9.7
87.1

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

32

21

11

6

PER CEN T.
TRAINING ACQUIRED INSIDE THE
TRADE.
8 .8
Custom shops............................... 13.8 1 0 .0
Factories: Hand processes........... 41.4 42.9 26.5
Factories: Machine processes....... 44.8 47.1 64.7

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

1 0 0 .0

1 2 were apprentices.
a 1 was an apprentice.
3 1 gave out work also.
* Was a forewoman also.




1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

3.3
13.3 "9.'5* ‘ io.’ o ’
83.4 90.5 90.0
1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

&i <ji<j cutting on a rotary machine.

6 Apprentices.
7 Made feather

stick-ups in a factory.
81 did handwork, cementine.

1 0 0 .0

16."7
83.3
1 0 0 .0

W AG ES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

105

Taking the average wages of these trade-trained girls on first going
to work and at the end of each successive year, we have the following
figures:
62.—NUMBER, AND AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE AT BEGINNING WORK AND AT
END OF EACH SUCCESSIVE YEAR OF EMPLOYMENT OF DRESSMAKERS AND
FACTORY SEWING GIRLS STUDIED WHO WERE NOT TRADE-SCHOOL TRAINED.

T able

[This table does not include girls whose wages were not reported.]
Factory sewers (cloth machine
operators).

Dressmakers.

Time out of trade
school.

In other
In the trade. occupations.

Total.

In other
In the trade. occupations.

Total.

Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
Aver­
age
age
Num­ age Num­ age Num­ age Num­ age Num­ week­ Num­ week­
ber. weekly ber. weekly ber. weekly ber. weekly ber
ber.
ly
ly
wage.
wage.
wage.
wage.
At beginning work.
At the end of—
1st year...........
2d year...........
3d year...........
4th year.........
5th year.........
6th year..........
7th year.........
8th year.........
9th year.........
10th year....... .

$4.24

$5.75

$4.43

58 $4.96

6.83
7.14
9.90
10.25
7.83
8.50
9. 50
8. 50
10.50

5.49
6. 51
7.67
8.54
8. 81
9.80
10. 36
10. 91
11.75
12. 24

6.12
7.14
8.08
8.54
9.12
9. 83
9. 61
9.31
8.10
8.00

i 41 $4.38
i 26
i 19
13
7
6
3
2

5.63
6.61
8.13
8.79
7. 67
9.16
7. 00
11.50

$4.72
5.98
7.02
7.98
8.57
8.92
9. 77
9.44
9.31
8.41
8.00

1 Not including 1 in a foreign country whose wage was not comparable.
AVERAGE W AG ES OF T R A D E -S C H O O L GIR LS C O M P A R E D W IT H TH O SE OF TR A D E TRAIN ED W O R K E R S .

Comparing these wages with those received by the trade-school
girls, the greatest difference is found in the initial stage. This is
easily accounted for, as the trade-school girl is usually a little older
at beginning work, and her year in the trade school has given her
some of the fundamental preparation, so that she generally com­
mences as a worker instead of as an errand girl, stock girl, boxer,
examiner, or cleaner. Comparing the two groups of dressmakers
working at their trade, the initial wage of the trade-school girls,
$5.44, exceeds that of the trade-trained girls by $1.20; by the end
of the first year the difference has decreased to 85 cents and the
approach continues until at the end of the fourth year the difference
is only 35 cents. From this point onward both groups of wages
move in rather irregular fashion, but the trade-school girls maintain
the advantage up to the tenth year, when the trade-trained girls
suddenly take the lead, showing at the end of this year an average
wage of $12.24 against an average of $10.17 for the trade-school girls.
As at this point there are only 3 of the trade-school girls against 17
of the trade-trained, it is probable that this reversal of the previous
situation has but little if any significance.




106

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

In the factory branch of the trade likewise the trade-school girl
has an immediate advantage, beginning work at an initial wage of
$5.14 as compared with $4.96 for the untrained workers. After the
first year, however, the wages of the two groups maintain a very close
relation, sometimes one and sometimes the other being the higher,
in spite of the immediate advantage of the trade-school girls in
being able to begin on the machines at entrance. In view of this
fact, the wages of the trade-school girls might reasonably be expected
to make a more favorable showing in comparison with those of the
untrained girls than they do, for almost three-fourths of the girls
who have come up through the industry began work in other proc­
esses or in wholly unrelated trades, and so may be starting on the
machines at a beginner's wage in the second, third, fourth, or fifth
year of their working experience.
The wages of the trade-school and the trade-trained workers are
not really comparable after the eighth year of working experience
for the dressmakers and the sixth year for the factory sewers, be­
cause of the small numbers in one group or the other in later years.
The average wages of the school-trained and trade-trained workers
at the end of these periods were approximately the same, with some
slight advantage for the trade-school girl. At the end of her eighth
year out of trade school the trade-school girl in dressmaking earned
an average wage of $11.88 and the trade-trained girl in her eighth
year at work earned $11.10. The trade-school girl in the factory
sewing trades at the end of her sixth year earned $9.96 while the
trade-trained girl earned $9.83.
Both the school and the trade-trained girls are selected groups
for both are “ survivors ” in the trades in which they are employed.
Only a little over one-third1of the trade-school girls in the three schools
persevered through the school course and entered the trades for which
they were trained, and only one-half of those who had been out of
trade school as long as five years or over were in their trades at the
end of the fifth year.2 No similar figures are available as to the de­
gree of sifting represented by those who have come up through the
industry itself. The chief difference in their experience is the way
of approach; for the trade-school girl the way has been smoothed
and the girl has been sheltered and protected until she was more ma­
ture, while the trade-trained girl has come up through unskilled in­
dustries and processes, acquiring her training wholly through her own
efforts and initiative. The surprising thing is the similarity of finan­
cial advancement, which should provide an impetus to the school to
gain an understanding of the requirements of these trades.
1 See Table 13, p 32.




2 See Table 45, p. 77.

107

WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

CLASSIFIED WEEKLY WAGES IN SUCCESSIVE YEARS IN SEWING TRADES.

The average wage gives a general idea of the rate at which the girl
has advanced in the industrial world, but for trade educators a
knowledge of the actual numbers earning $8 or more in each year
out of trade school, and of the length of time required to reach eco­
nomic independence is vitally important. These facts can be ob­
tained from the following tables, which give the classified wages of
the trade-school girls for each year out of trade school by trades, and
also for the whole group, omitting only the 11 who took cooking or
designing. For purposes of comparison, similar tables are given for
the trade-trained girls, the wages in their case being taken at the end
of each year of working experience.
6 3 . — NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED
IN EACH OF FOUR SPECIFIED TRADES WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT
OF WEEKLY WAGES AT SPECIFIED TIME OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL.

T able

D R ESSM A K IN G .
[Percentages in this table are based on the number of girls whose wages were reported.]
Number earning each classified weekly amount.
Classified weekly
wages.

At
begin­
ning
1st
work. year.

At end of—
2d
year.

3d
year.

4th
year.

5th
year.

6th
year.

3
2
8
39
74
41
28
12
1
5

1
2
1
21
29
38
44
14
4
7
1

1
1

1
1

6
21
22
35
22
6
8
1

7th
year.

8th
year.

1
6
10
12
5
5
4
1
2

1
6
5
1
5
3

46

22

9th
year.

10th
year.

IN THE TRADE.

1
19
42
83
165
45
13
6

1
5
8
31
96
83
31
18
5

Under $3.....................
$3 and under $4...........
$4 and under $5........
$5 and under $ 6 ........
$6 and under $7...........
$7 and under $8...........
$8 and under $9........
|9 and under $10..........
$10 and under i l l ........
$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15__
$15 and under $20..
$20 and over___
Not reported..........

10
38
86
114
156
7
3

1

5

7

5

7

4

1
3
13
21
18
7
13
4
1
2

Total..................
'a

415

380

286

218

169

127

85

6
10
4
4
4
2

3
3
10
13
7
7
2

2
4
5
6
3
1
1
1
4

3
4
2

3
2

2
2
1

6
1
2
3

4
1
2
3

1
1
3
1

27

21

17

12

1

1

1

1
3
4

1
2

1
2

11

1
4

IN OTHER OCCU­
PATIONS.

Under $3.....................
$3 and under $4...........
$4 and under $5_ .. . .
_
$5 and under $6...........
$6 and under $7...... .
$7 and under $8........
$8 and under $9...........
$9 and under $10..........
$10 and under $11........
$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15........
$15 and under $20........
$20 and over.............
Not reported...............
Total..................,




1
1
2
1
1

1
4
2
11
15
14
5
2
2

1
2

3

1
3

2
3

4

3
4
6
10
6
7
2
1
1
1
5

35

49

61

53

46

1
1
6

6
13
12
8
4
1
2

i
1

1
2

1
2

1

6

108

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

63.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TEADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED
IN EACH OF FOUR SPECIFIED TRADES WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT
OF WEEKLY WAGES AT SPECIFIED TIME OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL—Continued.

T able

DRESSMAKING—Concluded.
Per cent earning each classified weekly amount.
Classified weekly
wages.

At
begin­
ning
1st
work. year.

At end of—
2d i 3d
i
year. year.

4th
year.

5th
year.

6th
year.

7th
year.

Sth
year.

9th
year.

10th
year.

j
IN THE TRADE.

Under $8.....................
$8 and over..................

1
99.3
.7

94.7
5.3

80.3
19.7

59.2
40.8

33.3
66.7

23.6
76.4

7.2
92.8

2.2
97.8

100.0

9.1
90.9

100.0

Under $8..................... 100.0
$8 and over..................

75.0
25.0

78.3
21.7

56.9
43.1

44.9
55.1

31.7
68.3

8.7
91.3

100.0

14.3
85.7

16.7
83.3

100.0

IN OTHER OCCU­
PATIONS.

MILLINERY.
Number earning each classified weekly amount.
IN THE TRADE.

$4 and under*$5
$5 and under $6 ........
$6 and under $7...........
$7 and under $8
$8 and under $9...........
$9 and under $10........
$10 and under $11.
$11 and under $12
$12 and under $15_ .
$15 and under $20
$20 and over...............
Not reported
Total................

10
17
42
37
38
2
3
1
1

2
4
18
27
49
7
6
1
1
1
1

1
5
7
26
22
13
3
1
1
1

!
I
2
2
7
12
18
2
3

2

1

2

3
1
2

153

118

82

52

1
1
7
13
4
7
1
2
2
1
2
41

1
1
2
5
7
5
3
3
2
1
30

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $3.....................
$3 and under $4.........
$4 and under $5.
$5 and under $8..........
$6 and under $7
$7 and under $8. . . .
$8 and under $9
$9 and under $10
$10 and under $11..
$11 and under $12......
$12 and under $15
$15 and under $20
$20 and over
Not reported
Total................

1
1

3

1
9
10
10
6
1
2

1

1

10
6
6
1
1
1

1

26

40

1
3
3
15
6
11
3
2
2
1
1

1
6
8
4
6
2
1
1
2

2

31

29

1
7
6
6
3
1
3

1
49

1
1I
2
4
3
2
8
2
23

|
1
j
I
i
1I
!
2!
1i
4

1

1

1
2

O!
1I
H
I

2
1
7

14

1

2

I
j
j
..........1
.......... i...........
j
1
1j
1|
2
2i
1
1!
71
31
1
3i
3!
1
2!
31
i |
1
3;
1
2I
3 i
1
1
i
1
i
i
6
i
23
161

j
I
I
|
i
i
j
1

j
i
2 I..........
1

Per cent earning each classified weekly amount.
IN THE TRADE.

Under $8.....................
$8 and over..................

96.7
3.3

91.5
8.5-

76.3
23.7

46.0
54.0

23.1
76.9

13.3
86.7

8.7
91.3

7.1
92.9

66.7
33.3

84.6
15.4

75.0
25.0

58.3
41.7

48.4
51.6

27.6
72.4

22.7
77.3

13.3
16.7
86.7 ; 83.3

14.3
85.7

50.0 t..........
50.0

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $8.....................
$8 and over..................




1

W AGES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

109

T a b l e 6 3 . — NUMBER

AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRA4NED
IN EACH OF FOUR SPECIFIED TRADES WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT
OF WEEKLY WAGES AT SPECIFIED TIME OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL—Continued.
CLOTH M ACHINE OPERATING.
Number earning each classified weekly salary.
Classified weekly
wages.

IN THE

$9 and

At
begin­
1st
ning
work. year.

At end of—
2d
year.

3d
year.

4th
year.

5th
year.

5
16
13
3
1

1
5
5
4
4
2

1

1

1

1
1
2
2
3
4
1
1

1
2
2
1
2

15

6th
year.

8th
year.

7th
year.

9th
year.

10th
year.

TRADE.

nndfir

$10

6
9
14
20
18
1
1
1

I

6
7
28
7
2
1

$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15........
$15 and under $20........
$20 and over................
Not reported...............

3

2

73

53

40

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

1
1
2
1
1
2

1
1

1

1

2

1

1

9

5

2

1
3
1
2
4
1

2
1
2
1
2
1

1
2

1
1

2
1

1
1
1
1

2
1
1
1

2

..........1..........

1
22

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $3.....................
$3 and under $4...........
$4 and under $5...........
$5 and under $6...........
$0 and under $7...........
$7 and under $8...........
$8 and under $9...........
$9 and under $10..........
$10 and under $11........
$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15........
$15 and under $20........
$20 and over................
Not reported...............

1

10

1

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

1

1

2

1

1
2
4

1
5
1
7
1
4
3
1

j

1

1
2
3
7
3
4
1
1

2
3
2
3
4
1
1

1
5
1
2
4
1

1

6
2
5
3
4
1
1

1

]

1

1

2
8

1

1

1

2

2

25

23

24

18

18

15

1

i
I
1
1

i

10

1

7

1

7!

6

Per cent earning each classified weekly amount.
IN THE TRADE.

Under $8.....................
$8 and over..................

97.1
2.9

94.1
5.9

87.2
12.8

50.0
50.0

40.0
60.0

22.2
77.8

22.2
77.8

20.0
80.0

100.0

100.0

87.5
12.5

G5.2
34. 8

72.7
27.3

69.6
30.4

58.8
41.2

56.2
43.8

53.8
46.2

50.0
50.0

28.6
71.4

50.0
50.0

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $8.....................
$8 and over..................

ST R A W MACHINE OPERATING.
Number earning each classified weekly amount.
IN THE TRADE.

Under $3...............
$3 and under $4—
$1 and under $5__
$5 and under $6__
$6 and under $7—
$7 and under $8__
$8 and under 19__
$9 and under $10...
$10 and under $11..
$11 and irnder $12..
$12 and under $15..
$15 and under $20..
$20 and over.........
Not reported....... .
Total.




57

18

50.0
50.0

110

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Table 63.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED
IN EACH OF FOUR SPECIFIED TRADES WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT
OF WEEKLY WAGES AT SPECIFIED TIME OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL—Concluded.
S T R A W M ACH INE O PERATIN G —Concluded.
Number earning each classified weekly amount.
Classified weekly
wages.

At
begin­
ning
1st
work. year.

At end of—
2d
year.

3d
year.

4th
year.

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $3.....................
$3 and under $4...........
$4 and under $5...........
$5 and under $6...........
$6 and under $7...........
$7 and under $8...........
...........
$8 and under $9
$9 and under $10..........
$10 and under $11........
$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15........
$15 and under $20........
$20 and o r
er................
Not reported...............
Total..

6th
year.

7th
year.

8th
year.

2
1

1
1

1

2
1
1

1
1

9th
year.

10th
year.

|
1
1

1
2
5
2
1

2
3
4
3
2

1
1
5
3
1
1
2
1
3

1

2
2
2

I
1
1

2

11

14

18

9.1
90.9

11.1
88.9

7.7
92.3

........ L. ..
..........|
..........
1
1
I
!

1

13

39.3
60.7

2|

2
2
1

1
3

9
4
7
1
Per cent earning each classified amount.

IN THE TRADE.

Under $8___
$8 and over__

5th
year.

2

|
57.8
42.2

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0
j

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $8.. .
$8 and over__

90.9
9.1

100.0

64.3
35.7

66.7
33.3

45.5
54.5

50.0
50.0

28.6
71.4

25.0
75.0 100.0

TO TAL IN TH E FOUR SEW IN G T R A D ES.
Number earning each classified weekly amount.
IN THE

TRADE.

Under $3
$3 and under $4
$4 and under $5
$5 and under $6
$6 and under $7
$7 and under $8
$8 and under $9
$9 and under $10..........
$10 and under 111........
$11 and under $12
$12 and under $15
$15 and under $20
$20 and over.

26
64
145
177
225
25
14
7
6
5
5

3
23
68
117
250
71
28
12
5
9
11
2

1
6
13
43
138
121
48
27
10
4
13
5
2

3
4
11
51
93
63
35
17
2
12
9
3

1
4
2
24
39
54
53
22
6
14
7
3

1
2
1
7
24
29
44
28
12
12
8
3

1
1
2
1
5
16
27
22
10
24
9
2

1
1
8
12
17
5
12
5
2

1

Total1................

699

599

431

303

229

171

120

64

31

2

1
2
10
9
38
27
30
10
7
5
1
2
2

1
5
4
15
27
20
17
9
4
3
3

122

144

108

1
1
8
7
1
8
4
1

2
4
4

1
2

3
2
15

3

2
1

2
1

4
4
3
1
1
1
3

3

1
2

20

11

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $3............
$3 and under $4
$4 and under $5
$5 and under $6...........
$6 and under $7...........
$7 and under $8 . __
$8 and under $9...........
$9 and under $10..........
$10 and under $11. ...
$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15........
$15 and under $20.......
$20 and over................
Total1...............




2
3
4
3
5

1
12
23v
22
13
9
7
2

1

1
1

1
19

1

1
92

3
12
24
28
24
20
6
3

1
8
8
17
21
13
11
5
5
4
1

1
4
3
8
16
9
8
8
4
3‘
1

3
1
4
8
9
6
1
11
2
2

94

65

47

1Not including girls whose wages were not reported.

i
3
O
2
5
4
2
6
2
2
29

2

Ill

W AG ES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL G IRLS.

64.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF 100 TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS IN EAC-H OF TWO
SPECIFIED TRADES WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT OF WEEKLY WAGES
AT BEGINNING WORK AND AT THE END OF SUCCESSIVE YEARS AT WORK.

T able

[Percentages in this table are

on the number of girls whose wages were reported.]
DRESSMAKING.
Number earning each classified weekly amount.

Classified weekly
wages.

At end of—
DtJ
ginning
work.

1st
year.

2d
year.

25
22
10
12
&
3
3
1
1
1

7
16
18
12
13
7
4
2
1
1

2
6
10
10
14
10
6
4
3
1

3

4

87

4th
year.

5th
year.

6th
year.

7th
year.

8th
year.

9th
year.

1
2
2
12
8j
10
12
8
3
2
1

1
9
11
12
11
4
1
1

2
9
9
14
6
2

1
1
12
9
9
3
2

1
6
11
10
5
4

3
7
6
4
5

1
1

1

1

2
5
4
4
3
2
1

4

3

3

3

85

70

64

53

45

39

39

26

21

3
3
2

2
4
2

1

1
2

2

3
1

1
1

1

1

1
1

2

1

1
1

1
1

1

1

1

5

4

6

4

1

3d
year.

10th
year.

IN THE TRADE.

Under $3.....................
$3 and under $4...........
$5 H d iind^r $6_ - - .......
"n
$7 «T»d rmdnr $8______
$8 and under $9...........
$9 and under $10..........
$10 and under $11........
$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15........
$15 and under $20........
$20 and over................
Not reported...............
Total..................

1
1
2
1
4
2
4
2

1

17

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $3.................
$3 and under $4...........
$4 and under $5...........
$5 and under $6...........
$6 and under $7...........
$7 and under $8...........
$8 and under $9...........
$9 and under $10 . . . .
$10 and under $11........
$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15........
$15 and under $20........
$20 and over................
Not reported...............
Total..................

2
4
1
1
2
1
1

1
1
I

1

2

1

i

13

12

11

Per cent earning each classified weekly amount.
!

IN THE TRADE.

Under $8.....................
$8 and over..................

92.9
7.1

90.1
9.9

78.8
21.2

57.4
42.6

42.0
58.0

26.2
73.8

5.3
94.7

5.1
94.9

7.1
92.9

100.0

83.3
16.7

66.7
33.3

72. 7
27.3

40.0
60.0

50.0
50.0

66. 7
33.3

50.0
50.0

100.0

50.0
50.0

100.0

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Under $8 ................
$8 and over..................

CLOTH MACHINE OPERATING.
Number earning each classified weekly amount.
IN THE TRADE.

Under $3...............
S3 and under $4—
$4 and under $5—
$5 and under $6—
$6 and under $7—
$7 and under $8—
$8 and under 19—
$9 and under $10...
$10 and under ill..
$11 and under $12..
$12 and under $15..
$15 and under $20..
$20 and over.........
Not reported....... .
Total.




1

58

70

.

30

21

10

5.9
94.1

112

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TEA D E-SCH O O L G IRLS.

64.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF 100 TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS IN EACH OF TWO
SPECIFIED TRADES WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT OF WEEKLY WAGES,
AT BEGINNING WORK AND AT THE END OF SUCCESSIVE YEARS AT WORK—Concld.

T able

CLOTH MACHINE OPERATING—Concluded.
1

Classified weekly
wages.

Number earning each classified weekly amount.

At
be­
gin­
ning
work.

At end of—
1st
year.

2d
year.

3d
year.

4th
year.

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

6th
year.

8th
year.

7th
year.

9th
year.

10th
year.

•

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

$3 and under $4...........
$4 and under $5...........
$5 and under $6...........
$6 and under $7...........
$7 and under $8
...........
$8 and under $9...........
$9 and under $10..........
$10 and under $11........
$11 and under $12........
$12 and under $15........
$15 and under $20........
$20 and over................
Not reported...............

5th
year.

8
9
9
8
5
2

3
4
3
4
4
5
2

2
1
2

4

2

1

1
1

1
1

1

1

2

1

13

7

6

1
s

1

1

1

1
1

1
4
6
3

1
3
2

1

1

1

42

27

20

1
1

1
1
1
i

1
1
4

l
........ r* ' *
..........i .........
2

1

1
!

Per cent earning each classified amount.
IN THE TRADE.

Under $8.....................
$8 and over..................

96.6
3.4

89.9
10.1

73.5
26.5

48.3
51.7

41.2
58.8

28.2
71.8

16.7
83.3

13.3
86.7

Under $8..................... 100.0
$8 and over..................

88.5
11.5

84.2
15.8

76.9
23.1

57.1
42.9

66.7
33.3

66.7
33.3

100.0

23.8
76.2

40.0
60.0

66.7
33.3

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

100.0

Considering the trade-school girls as a group, and omitting those
whose wages were not reported, it appears that a considerable
apprenticeship in the trade itself was necessary before the majority
of them reached the degree of economic independence expressed in
wages of 18 or more a week. Of those who followed their trade, at
the end of the third year more than half— 53.4 per cent— were
earning less than $8. By the end of the fourth year, however, a
good majority— 69.4 per cent— had reached or passed the $8 wage,
and from that time on the proportion earning less than this figure
decreased rapidly. Those who left their own trade for others made
slower progress; at the end of the third year, 60.4 per cent were still
earning less than $8 a week, and at the end of the fourth year, only;
51.9 per cent were earning $8 or more. Considerable differences
appear among those trained for the different sewing trades. At the
end of the third year nearly three-fifths (59.2 per cent) of the girls
who went into dressmaking earned under $8, but in their fourth
year, two-thirds of those who remained in their trade, and over one-




W AGES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

113

half (55.1 per cent) of those who had gone into other occupations
were earning $8 or more. Of those who remained in the millinery
trade, over one-half (54 per cent) earned $8 or more in the third
year; the short working season, however, must be counted against
this apparent advantage. Not until the end of the fourth year had
51.6 per cent of those who left millinery and were earning in other
occupations reached $8 or more a week, though longer seasons may
have equalized the actual income for the two groups. One-half of the
cloth machine operators remaining in their trade earned $8 or more
by the end of their third year, but not until their seventh year’s
experience had one-half of those who went into other occupations
reached this wage. A comparatively small number of girls have
gone into the straw machine operating and over two-fifths of these
earned $8 a week or more from the beginning. While the wages
here are better than in most sewing trades, the opportunity for the
young girl is very limited, few employers wishing to take women
under 21 years of age. The seasons also are short, causing a sifting
out into other occupations. Not until the fourth year had one-half
or more of those leaving the trade reached a wage of $8 or over.
Turning to the wages of the trade-trained girls, it is at once appar­
ent that they show a wider range and less grouping about the aver­
age than those of the trade-school girls. This might be expected.
The trade-school girls are a fairly homogeneous group, have had
similar preparation and previous experience, and naturally show a
similar rate of advancement in the trade. The difference is, how­
ever, marked. The wages of the trade-school girl in dressmaking
cluster about the average wage, and the middle 50 per cent (except
on first leaving school) come within a $2 range up to the fourth
year. The wages of the girls who have acquired their training
in the trade scatter much more from the average, and the wages
of the middle 50 per cent scatter within a $4 range up to the fifth
year. Larger numbers might show more grouping about the aver­
age wage, but the varied background and experiences of these girls
must undoubtedly result in a wider wage range than that of the tradeschool girls. More than one-half (58 per cent) of the trade-trained
dressmakers, however, earned $8 or more by the end of the fourth
year, and 73.8 percent1 by the end of the fifth year, as compared with
66.7 per cent and 76.4 per cent2 of the trade-school dressmakers at
the end of the fourth and fifth years, respectively. Similarly, in
the factory sewing trades, one-half of both school and trade trained
workers earned $8 or more by the end of the third year, and about
three-fifths at the end of the fourth year.
i See Table 64, p. 111.
8 5 2 2 5 °— 17— B u ll. 215--------8




aSee Table 63, p. 108.

114

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

INITIAL WAGE OF THE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRL.
POLICY OF SCHOOL IN RESPECT TO INITIAL WAGE.

The policy of the Boston Trade School authorities in recent years
under public management has been to establish a $6 minimum place­
ment wage for their accredited pupils. During the second five
years covered by the investigation, the pupils leaving the school
show as compared with those going out in the first five years an
increase in average age, a higher level of previous school training,
and a longer period spent in the trade-school training.® All these
factors, combined with the better organization of the trade training
and the increased efficiency due to increasing experience, naturally
tended to bring about a higher initial wage, apart from the efforts
of the management.
The average initial wage for those going
out during the first five years was $4.93, while during the last
five years it was $5.82, an increase of 18.1 per cent. The advance
in the initial wage varied in the several trades, being greatest in dress­
making and millinery, which showed increases, respectively, of 20.5
per cent and 22 per cent. The special emphasis which has been put
on the training for these trades gives a probable explanation of this
superiority in the increase of the initial wage. In the cloth powermachine operating trades the girls showed an increase of 14.6 per
cent in initial wage, while for those entering the straw machine-oper­
ating trades there was a decrease of 13.4 per cent. This group also
shows a falling off in average age at time of entering the trade, where­
as all the others show an increase. Since the initial wage for these
girls is based on the experiences of only 66 girls, and since only 13 of
• these had entered the trade during the first five-year period, not much
significance can be attached to this decrease.
INITIAL WAGE FOR TWO FIVE-YEAR PERIODS.

Turning to the classified wages, Table 65 shows how the initial
wage has varied in the two five-year periods.
It will be seen from this that the ideal of a $6 placement wage has
been only partially realized, but that there has been a marked in­
crease, nevertheless, in the proportion receiving this initial wage.
During the first period 80.9 per cent of the girls began work at a
weekly wage of less than $6; during the second period only 49.2
per cent began under that figure. During the first period a scant
fifth of the number entering their trades began at as much as $6 or
more; during the second period half entered at that wage or over.
The proportion differs, however, according to the trade entered.




a

See Tables 5, 6, and 20, pp. 22, 24, and 38.

WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

115

During the second period, 49.8 per cent of those taking up dress­
making, 59.7 per cent of those in millinery, 57.3 per cent of those in
cloth machine operating, and 18.9 per cent of those in straw machine
operating began work at less than $6 a week.
65.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS ENTERING
THE FOUR SEWING TRADES DURING EACH OF TWO SPECIFIED 5-YEAR PERIODS
WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED INITIAL WAGE.

T able

Girls receiving specified initial wage.1
Weekly wages at
beginning work.

1904 to 1909

1909 to 1914.

Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent.
14
36
74
55
27
6
1
3
5

Under $3..................
S3 and under $4.......
$4 and under $5.......
$5 and under $6.......
$6 and under $7.......
$7 and under $8.......
$8 and under $9.......
$9 and under $10___
$10 and over............
Total..............

2

6,3
16.3
33.4
24.9
12.2
2.7
.5
1.4
2.3

221

100.0

14
31
75
125
203
21
13
4
12
*

2.8
6.2
15.1
25.1
40.8
4.2
2.6
.8
2.4
j

100.0 i

1This table does not check with Table 63, because not all of thes3 girls began work immediately on
leaving trade school.
2 Not including 6 who did not report wages.
3Not including 8 who did not report wages.
RATE OF WAGE ADVANCE COMPARED WITH INITIAL WAGE.

Has the young trade school girl placed at a higher initial wage
under the public-schooi system any permanent advantage over the
girl placed by the private school in earlier years at a lower rate ? To
test this a comparison was made of the wages earned m the second
year out by the girls going out in two successive years of each fiveyear period. The girls trained in dressmaking were selected for the
test, since the school has put its best efforts and greatest emphasis
on training for this trade. The girls going out in 1906-7 and 1907-8,
the third and fourth years of the period when the school was under
private management, and those of 1911-12 and 1912-13, the corre­
sponding years of its experience under public management, were
taken for the comparison. Table 66 shows the classified wages of
these two groups of girls at the end of their second year out of trade
school.
From the standpoint of previous preparation the earlier classes
had a slight advantage, since four-fifths (83 per cent) of their number
against two-thirds (69.4 per cent) of the two later classes had attended
trade school nine months or more. At the end of the second year of
wage earning the wage distribution of the two groups does not show
a great variation. About one-fifth (21.4 per cent) of the first group
against about one-sixth (15.4 per cent) of the second had not yet




116

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

reached $6 a week; 55.3 per cent of the first and 61.2 per cent of the
second group were earning $6 but less than $8 a week, and the pro­
portions who had reached the comparative independence of $8 or
more a week were almost identical for the two groups— 23.4 per cent
for the first, and 23.6 per cent for the second. The average wage,
likewise, shows very little difference. At the end of the second year
out of school the average wage of the girls going out in the two earlier
classes was $7.05, and in the two later classes, $7.18. Comparing the
two classes of each period separately, there is still little difference. For
the girls going out in 1906-7 the wage at the end of the second year
averaged $7.18, for those going out in 1911-12, $7.20. For those
going out in 1907-8 the wage at the end of the second year averaged
$6.96, and for those going out in 1912-13, $7.15. From the standpoint
both of the average wage and of the wage distribution of the workers,
therefore, it is evident that the end of the second year finds the girls
who went out in the later period but little ahead of those who went
out in the earlier. The higher placement wage, thug, brings imme­
diate financial advantages but does not insure automatic wage
advance at the same rate.
.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS ENTERING
DRESSMAKING TRADE IN SPECIFIED YEARS WHO EARNED EACH CLASSIFIED
AMOUNT OF WEEKLY WAGES AT END OF SECOND YEAR.

T able 6 6

Girls earning each classified weekly wage at end of second year at work.
Number.

Classified weekly
wages.
1906-71

Under S3...................
$3 and under $4........
$4 and under $5___
$5 and under $ 6 ........
16 and under $7........
$7 and under $ 8 ........
$ 8 and under $9........
$9 and under $10.......
$ 1 0 and over..............

1
1
1

5
6
2

3

1907-81

1911-122

1912-132

1
1

1

1
1
1

5
9
6
2
2
2

3
5
13

6

18
16
4

6
2
1

6
1

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

3 19

4 28

s 52

Average wage...........

$7.18

$6.96

$7.20




Per cent.
1906-7
and
1907-81

2
2
6

1911-12
and
1912-132
1
2
1

12

9
23
29

2

10
8
2

14
4
5

33

7 47

s 85

$7.15

$7.05

$7.18

6

Under private management.
Under public management.
s 14 or 73.7 per cent were in trade school 9 months or more.
4 25 or 89.3 per cent were in trade school 9 months or more.
6 28 or 53.8 per cent were in trade school 9 months or more.
6 31 or 94 per cent were in trade school 9 months or more.
7 39 or 83 per cent were in trade school 9 months or more.
8 5 9 or 69.4 per cent were in trade school 9 months or more.
1
2

1906-7
and
1907-81

4.3
4.3
1 2 .8

29.8
25.5
8.5

1911-12
and
1912-132
1 .2

2.4
1 .2
1 0 .6

27.1
34.1
1 1 .8

1 0 .6

4.3

9.4
2.4

1 0 0 .0

1 0 0 .0

117

W AG ES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL G IRLS.

WAGES AND OCCUPATIONS OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS AT SPECIFIED
PERIODS IN THEIR WORKING EXPERIENCE.
GIRLS REMAINING IN TRADE FOR WHICH TRAINED AND THOSE LEAVING IT FOR
OTHER OCCUPATIONS.

Mar-y girls, as has been seen, sift out of the trades for which they
have been trained into other wage-eaming occupations. A cross
section of their working experience gained through a more intensive
study of the first, third, and fifth years out of trade school shows both
the kind of occupations into which they go and whether they gain or
lose by going. The following table gives for the girls trained in each
trade the percentage in each wage group at the end of the first, third,
and fifth years, according to whether they remained in their own
trade, entered some allied trade, or sought wholly unrelated occu­
pations : a
67.—NUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED FOR EACH OF
FOUR SPECIFIED TRADES AND PER CENT EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT
PER WEEK IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATION GROUPS AT END OF FIRST, THIRD, AND
FIFTH YEARS OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL.

T able

END OF F IR S T YEAR .
Per cent of girls earning per weekTrade for which trained and group
in which earning wages.

Number.1

$6 and
$8 and
Under $6 under $8 under $10 $10 and
over.

Total.

Dressmakers: Earning wages in—
Own trade..........................................
Other needle trades...........................
Other occupations..............................

375
9
23

38.7
55.6
47.8

56.0
22.2
26.1

5.1
22.2
17.4

8.7

100.0
100.0
100.0

0.3

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

407

39.6

53.6

6.1

.7

100.0

Milliners: Earning wages in—
Own trade..........................................
Other needle trades...........................
Other occupations..............................

117
7
19

43.6
28.6
42.1

47.9
57.1
42.1

5.9
14.3
5.3

2.5
io.5

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

143

42.7

47.6

6.3

3.5

100.0

Cloth machine operators: Earning wages
in—
Own trade..........................................
Other needle trades...........................
Other occupations..............................

51
7
16

25.5
14.3
37.5

68.6
57.1
25.0

3.9
14.3
37.5

2.0
14.3

100.0
100.0
100. 0

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

74

27.0

58.1

12.2

2.7

100.0

Straw machine operators: Earning
in—
Own trade...............................
Other needle trades................
Other occupations...................

56
2
9

3.6
35.7
50.0
22.2 .......77.’ 8*

21.4
50.0

39.3

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

67

40.3

19.4

32.8

100.0

8.5

7.4

END OF THIRD Y E A R .
Dressmakers: Earning wages in—
Own trade...........................................
Other needle trades.............................
Other occupations...............................

213
11
47

6.1
27.3
8.5

53.0
45.4
44.9

32.4
27.3
34.0

12.8

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

271

7.4

51.3

32.5

8.9

100.0

* Not including those whose wages were not reported.
a Full details as to earnings at the end of each year of working experience have already been given in
Tables 57 and 58, pp. 99 and 100.




’INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS.

118

^ . —.nUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED FOR EACH OF
FOU.H SPECIFIED TRADES AND PER CENT EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT
PER WEEK IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATION GROUPS AT END OF FIRST, THIRD, AND
FIFTH YEARS OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL—Concluded.

T able

END OF THIRD YEAR—Concluded.
Per cent of girls earning per week—
Trade for which trained and group
in which earning wages.

Number.1

Milliners: Earning wages in—
Own trade...........................................
Other needle trades.............................
Other occupations............................... i

$6 and
$8 and
Under $6 under $8 under $10 S10 and
over.

Total.

50

8.0
17.1

38.0
42.9
43.9

40.0
57.1
24.4

14.0

J

14.6

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

98

11.2

40.8

34.7

13.3

100.0

Cloth machine operators: Earning wages
in—
Own trade...........................................
Other needle trades.............................
Other occupations...............................

22
5
18

4.5
20.0
27.8

45.5
60.0
38.9

36.4
27.8

13.6
20.0
5.6

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

45

15.6

44.4

28.9

11.1

100.0

£tiv.;v machine operators: Earning wages
in—
Owii trade..........................................
Oilier needle trades............................
Other occupations..............................

18
1
14

11.1
100.0
50.0

5.6

83.3

14.3

14.3

21.4

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

33

6.1

30.3

9.1

54.5

100.0

END OF FIFTH YEAR.
Dressmakers: Earning wages in—
Own trade...........................................
Other needle trades.............................
Other occupations....... ......................

123
7
34

1.6
28.6
2.9

22.0
14.3
26.5

46.3
42.8
38.2

30.1
14.3
32.4

100.0
100.0
100.0

164

3.0

22.6

44.5

29.9

100.0

Milliners: Earning wages in—
Own trade...........................................
Other needle trades.............................
Other occupations...............................

30
4
25

3.3

10.0
25.0
28.0

40.0
75.0
36.0

46.7
36.0

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

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

59

1.7

18.6

40.7

39.0

100.0

Cloth machine operators: Earning wages
in—
Own trade..........................................
Other needle trades.............................
Other occupations...............................

9
2
14

11.1
50.0
35.7

11.1
50.0
14.3

44.5

33.3

35.7

14.3

100.0
100.0
100.0

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

25

28.0

16.0

36.0

20.0

100.0

100.0

Straw machine operators: Earning wages
in—
Own trade...........................................
Other needle trades............................. 1
Other occupations............................... :

9
1
7

100.0
42.9

14.3

42.9

100.0
100.0
100.0

Total................................................ !

17

23.5

5.9

70.6

100.0

1Not including those whose wages were not reported.
S in c e $ 8 a w e e k h a s b e e n ta k e n as th e m in im u m w a g e w h ic h m a k e s
a g ir l s e lf-s u p p o r tin g , th e a tt a in m e n t o f t h a t w a g e m a y b e reg a rd e d
as a m e a s u re o f a g ir l's su c c ess in h er tra d e .

T h e a tt a in m e n t o f a

b a r e liv in g w a g e m a y n o t b e c o n sid e re d m u c h o f a su c c e ss, b u t cer­
ta in ly th e g irl w h o d o e s n o t a tt a in it h a s n o t s u c c e e d e d , a n d as a
m o d e s t s ta n d a r d it m a y p a s s .




T a k in g th is as th e m e a s u re , t h e n ,

WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

119

which fare better, the girls who remain in their own trade or who
go into something else ? The following summary shows the position
for each group:
68.—PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS EARNING $ 8 AND OVER PER
WEEK IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATION GROUPS AT END OF FIRST, THIRD, AND FIFTH
YEARS OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL.

T able

Trade for which trained and
occupation group.

Per cent earning $8 and over
per week at end of specified
year out of trade school.
1st year.

Dressmakers: Earning wages
in—
Own trade........................
Other needle trades...........
Other occupations.............
Milliners: Earning wages in—
Own trade.........................
Other needle trades...........
Other occupations.............
Cloth machine operators: Earn­
ing wages in—
Own trade.........................
Other needle trades...........
Other occupations.............
Straw m achine operators:
Earning wages in—
Own trade.........................
Other needle trades...........
Other occupations.............

3d year. 5th year.
!

5.4
22.2
26.1

40.9
L7.3
46.8

76.4
57.1
70.6

8.4
14.3
15.8

54.0
57.1
39.0

86.7
75.0
72.0

5.9
28.6
37.5

50.0
20.0
33.4

' “ *50.'o'*

88.9

100.0

35.7

57.2

60.7
50.0

77.8

The straw machine operators present a considerable contrast to the
other three groups, since at each period those remaining in their own
trade show a larger percentage earning $8 or more a week than do
those who have gone into either allied trades or other occupations.
In the other trades at the end of the first year those remaining in their
own trade show a smaller proportion who have reached self-support
than those who went into other wage-earning pursuits, but thereafter
the position changes. At the end of the third year, the cloth machine
operators remaining in their own trade show a considerably larger
proportion in the $8 group than is found among those who have left
their trade. Among the dressmakers, those who have gone into
other occupations show a larger proportion earning $8 than those
who have remained in their own trade, and these, in turn, show a
larger proportion in this group than those who have gone into allied
needle trades. By the end of the fifth year those who remained in
their own trade show everywhere a larger proportion earning $8 than
is found among either those who have gone into other needle trades
or into other occupations. So far as this table can be taken as indica­
tive it seems to show that while girls may in their first few years out
of school do as well or even better in trades for which they have not
been trained, in the long run the majority fare better by keeping to
the line of work for which they have been prepared.
The table shows also that the girls who leave their own trades seem
more inclined to go into something totally different than into related




120

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

trades. In general the proportion going into unrelated trades is
greater at the end of the first year and increases more rapidly than
the proportion going into other needle trades, The following sum­
mary shows this difference:
T able 6 9 . — PER

CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED FOR SPECIFIED
TRADES WHO WERE IN OTHER NEEDLE TRADES AND IN OTHER UNALLIED OCCU­
PATIONS AT END OF FIRST AND FIFTH YEARS OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL.
In other needle
trades.

In other unallied
occupations.

Trade for which trained.
1st year. 5th year. 1st year. 5th year.
Dressmaking........................
Milliner^..............................
Cloth machine operating___
Straw machine operating—

2.2
4.9
9.5
3.0

4.3
6.8
8.0
5.9

5. 7
13.3
21.6
13.4

20.7
42.4
56.0
41.2

The proportion of those going into other occupations who reach a
wage of $8 a week or more differs considerably with the trade from
which they come. Thus at the end of the fifth year 70.6 per cent of
those trained for dressmaking and 72 per cent of those trained for
millinery who hacf gone from their own trade into other occupations
had reached $8, while of those trained for cloth machine operating
and straw machine operating who had gone into other occupations
only 50 per cent and 57.2 per cent, respectively, had been equally
successful. This difference, of course, is largely due to the kind of
occupation into which they go, and that in turn depends to a con­
siderable extent upon the type of girl who takes the training for the
different trades. The following table shows the industries in which
the girls trained for the four leading trades who had left their trades
were found at the time of the investigation:
T a b l e 7 0 .— NUMBER

OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS IN SPECIFIED TRADES OTHER
THAN THOSE FOR WHICH TRAINED, AT END OF FIRST, THIRD, AND FIFTH YEARS
OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL.
Number at end of specified year out of trade school.

Trade for which trained and unallied trade
in which earning wages.

First year.

Third year.

Fifth year.

Wages
Wages
Wages
Wages
Wages
Wages
not
not
not
reported. reported. reported. reported. reported. reported.
DRESSMAKING.

Trade in which earning wages:
Manufacturea.......................................
Transportation.....................................
Trade...................................................
Professional service..............................
Domestic service ................................
Clerical employment........ ..................

8
1
2
2
1
9

1
1

9
5
6
5
5
17

1

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

23

3

47

3




1

1

2
3
4
6
3
16

1
i

1
1
2
1
5

121

W AG ES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS,

T able 70.—NUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS IN SPECIFIED TRADES
OTHER THAN THOSE FOR WHICH TRAINED, AT END OF FIRST, THIRD, AND
FIFTH YEARS OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL—Concluded.
Number at end of specified year out of trade school.
Trade for which trained and unallied trade
in which earning wages.

First year.

Third year.

Fifth year.

Wages
Wages
Wages
Wages
Wages
Wages
not
not
not
reported. reported. reported. reported. reported. reported.
MILLINERY.

Trade in which earning wages:
Manufactures.......................................
..........
Transportation....................
Trade...................................................
Professional service..............................
Domestic service..................................
Clerical employment...........................
Total.................................................

2
7
8
2

1

2
4
4

2
2
2
2
3
14
v 25

9

1

20 I

7
19

41

CLOTH MACHINE OPERATING.

Trade in which earning wages:
Manufactures.......................................
Transportation.....................................
Trade...................................................
Professional service.............................
Domestic service................................
Clerical employment..........................

2
1
6
3

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

16

4

1

8

6

2
2
6
1

1

18

1

1
3
4

1

1

14

2

STRAW MACHINE OPERATING.

Trade in which earning wages:
Manufactures.......................................
Transportation..
.............
Trade...................
...................
Professional service..............................
Domestic service .
...................
Clerical employment...........................

3
2

1
3
4

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

9

14

3

7

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

67

120

7

80

3
3

2
2

4

1

2
1

1
1

1
1
1
1

7

The requirements made by these different occupations upon the girls
entering them naturally differ widely. Probably professional and cler­
ical service make higher demands than any other of the occupations
into which the girls go, while manufactures and domestic service make
lower. Table 71 shows the extent to which girls trained for the dif­
ferent trades went into these two significant groups of occupations.
At the end of the first year the milliners show the smallest propor­
tion of girls in the unrelated manufactures and domestic service, and
much the largest proportion in professional and clerical service. By
the end of the fifth year the dressmakers and milliners have changed
places in this respect, the dressmakers showing the smallest propor­
tion in manufactures and domestic service, and the largest in pro­
fessional and clerical service. The cloth and straw power-machine
operators show relatively small proportions in professional and clerical
service at the end of the first year, and, contrary to the situation
among the groups trained for the other two trades, there is no notable




122

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF T/ADE-SCH OOL GIRLS.

increase in this proportion by the end of the fifth year; in fact, among
those trained for cloth machine operating, there is a decrease. Natu­
rally, in view of the large proportion in unrelated manufactures and
domestic service and the small proportion in the ranks of professional
and clerical service, the wages of the power-machine operators who
left their trade are considerably lower than of those who remained,
and also lower than the wages of the girls who left dressmaking and
millinery and went into other occupations.
71.—PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS LEAVING TRADE FOR WHICH
TRAINED WHO WERE FOUND IN SPECIFIED UNALLIED TRADES, AT END OF FIRST
AND FIFTH YEARS OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL.
'

T able

Per cent in specified unallied trades.1
End of first year.

End of fifth year.

Profes­
Manu­
factures
sional
and
and
domestic clerical
service. service.

Manu­
Profes­
sional
factures
and
and
domestic clerical
service. service.

Trade for which trained.

DressmaWng........................
Millinery..............................
Cloth machine operating___
Straw machine operating_
_

39.1
10.5
62.5
33.3

47.8
57.9
25.0
22.2

14.7
20.0
71.4
28.6

64.7
64.0
21.4
28.6

1 These percentages are based on the number going into other occupations who reported their earnings,
and are thus comparable with the percentages given in Table 67.

The cloth machine operators, it will be observed, make a worse
showing than any of the other groups in the matter of wage earning
and wage opportunity. This is probably explained by the lower
educational standard of the cloth machine operators, which is shown
in their comparatively low standard of academic schooling. Seventyone per cent of the dressmakers, 82 per cent of the milliners, and 71
per cent of the straw machine operators, as compared with 54 per
cent of the cloth machine operators, were grammar-school graduates
or had attended high school. The advantages of the higher educa­
tional background of the milliners are apparent in the larger propor­
tion who enter trades requiring academic education. The table just
given shows that at the end of the first year a larger proportion of the
milliners than of any other group were in professional service or
clerical occupations.
Trade educators sometimes say that it is a matter of indifference
whether a girl uses her trade training in a wage-earning capacity, for
she will be the better prepared by it for whatever she undertakes. But
these figures raise the question whether it is the trade school, after
all, which does or should be expected to provide the general training
for whatever the girl may later choose. If, ultimately, she is going
to enter business pursuits or has any particular capacity for such
work, would she not be better prepared in the commercial high schools




WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

123

which train directly for these lines ? The decided advantage which
the high-school graduate has in the business pursuits 1 suggests the
advisability of urging those who are likely to go into this work to
devote as long a time as possible to preparation.
7 2 . — NUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO NEVER USED THEIR
TRADES FOUND IN SPECIFIED TRADES EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED WEEKLY
AMOUNT OF WAGES'AT END OF FIRST, THIRD, AND FIFTH YEARS OUT OF TRADE
SCHOOL.

T able

Number earning classified weekly wages.
Year out of trade school and trades or
occupations.

$6 and
$8 and
Under $6 under $8 under $10 $10 and
oven

Not re­
ported.

Total.

FIRST TEAK.

In related trades:
Custom clothing..................................
Ready-made clothing..........................
Boots and shoes.................... .............

1
1
3

1
1
3

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

5

5!

4
1
1

2
2
5

2

2I
10

2
12

1
2

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

18

23

7

Total, first year................................

23

28

7

In other occupations:
Manufactures.......................................
Transportation....................................
Trade...................................................
Professional service..............................
Domestic service..................................
Clerical.................................................

i
i

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

3

In other occupations:
Manufactures.......................................
Transportation...................................
Trade.............................
Professional service... I.....................
Domestic service..............................
Clerical..............................................
Total.................................................

10

Total, third year........................

13

20 !

1
6

FIFTH YEAR.

1

49

i
i

59

1
3
4

1
|
l

8
;

1
3

9
3
8
°
5
24

i
............... i..............
I
i

2
3 i
£
3
1
21
i
21
7!
15

In related trades:
Custom clothing......................
. .
Ready-made clothing..........................
Boots and shoes...................................

!
!
I

i
1
1
1

10
1

2

THFKP YEAR.

In related trades:
Custom clothing..............................
Ready-made clothing..........................
Boots and shoes...................................

2
2
6

i
i
1

3
1
5
1
2
12
i2 1
i

*
1|
1

i

l

3
41
4|
t

10
2
8
2
3
18
43

2
2

51
|
1
1
3

1
2
4i
!
1

2

i

i
l

2

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

1 i........... i'
2!
2
4i
5

4

4

i

17

Total, fifth vear................................ j

5 !

4
23

4

1

22

3|

132

Total...............................
In other occupations:
Manufactures.......................
Transportation.....................................;
Trade................................................... j
Professional service..............................
Domestic service..................................
Clerical.................................................

Total, three years............................. i

1

1

41

9!
57 1

i.............. I1
j
11

3
2
2
1
2
7

. . .

1

81

5

i Department of Research, Women’s Educational and Industrial Union: The public schools and women
in office service, Ch. V .




124

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.
GIRLS NEVER USING TRADE FOR WHICH TRAINED.

The girls who, although they had attended the trade school for
nine months or more, never entered their trades are not as important
for the purposes of this study as those who entered but afterwards
left their trades, but still their industrial distribution is a matter of
some interest. Table 72 shows what trades they entered and what
wages they received, the data being given for the end of the first,
third, and fifth years.
The majority of these girls, it will be seen, entered wholly unrelated
occupations, the proportion going into sewing trades varying from
16.1 per cent at the end of the first year to 22.7 per cent at the end
of the fifth. The wage level seems lower than for those who first
entered their own trades but afterward drifted out into others. None
of this group who went into related trades earned at any time as
much as $8 a week, while of those who went into unrelated occupa­
tions, only 14.6 per cent at the end of the first year, 39 per cent at
the end of the third, and 47.1 per cent at the end of the fifth 1 were
earning as much or more than $8. Comparison with Table 67, pages
117 and 118, shows that these proportions are at each period smaller
than for the corresponding group who had been trained for dress­
making and millinery, and for the end of the fifth year smaller than
those of any of the girls trained for a trade who had gone into other
occupations.
COMPARATIVE WAGES OF TRADE-SCHOOL AND TRADE-TRAINED DRESSMAKERS AND
FACTORY SEWERS AT SPECIFIED PERIODS.

Whether a year spent in the trade school is more or less advanta­
geous to a girl than the same period spent in the actual practice of
her trade is a subject for discussion on which teachers have not yet
come to an agreement.2 To throw some light on this question the
following table is presented, showing the wages of the trade-trained
girls at the end of their second, fourth, and sixth years of experience.
Since two-thirds of the trade-school girls using their trades have spent
12 months or more in the school, the figures in this table are compar­
able with those given in the preceding tables for the trade-school girls.
In Table 73 the data for the trade-trained dressmakers and for the
trade-trained factory sewers are presented separately, since the latter
group of workers may more fairly be compared with the trade-school
power-machine operators than with the trade-school dressmakers.
Comparing the figures here given for the trade-trained dressmakers
with those given in Table 67 for the trade-school dressmakers, it
appears that the trade-trained girls have larger proportions both in
the low and the high wage groups, but smaller proportions in the
1In calculating these percentages those whose wages were not reported are omitted.
2 See Anna C. Hedges: Wage worth of school training.




WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

125

T able 73.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS EARNING EACH
CLASSIFIED WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END OF SECOND, FOURTH, AND SIXTH YEAR’S
EXPERIENCE, BY OCCUPATIONS.

NUMBER.
Trade-trained dressmakers em­
ployed in—
Classified weekly wage.

Trade-trained factory sewers em­
ployed in—

Cloth
Dress­ Related Other
ma­
Re­ Other Not
mak­ trades. occupa­ Total. chine- lated occu
re­ Total.
paing.
sewing trades. tions. ported.
tions.
trades.

Second year:
Under $6................................
$6 and under $8......................
18 and under $10.....................
$10 and over...........................
Not reported..........................

28
24
10
4
4

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

70

Fourth year:
Under $6................................
$6 and under $8......................
$8 and under $10.....................
$10 and over...........................
Not reported..........................

1
20
23
6
3

34
26
11
6
4

16
34
14
4

2

1
2

1

5
9
1
1

9

81

68

3

16

1
22
23
8
3

3
18
21
9

2
2
1
2

5
20
22
11

4

57

51

7

58

1
1

4
22
16
1

1
4
15
10
1

2

43

31

6

2

2

2
2

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

53

Sixth year:
Under $6................................
$6 and under $8......................
$8 and under $10.....................
$10 and over...........................
Not reported..........................

2
21
15
1

2

Total.......7..........................

39

2

1

23
43
15
6
1

1

88

1

1
6
15
11
2

1

35

2
1

-

3

PER CENT EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT, i
Trade-trained dressmakers em­
ployed in—
Dress­
making.

Other
occupa­
tions.2

Total.

Trade-trained factory sewers em­
ployed in—
Cloth ma­
chine sew­
ing trades.

Other
occupa­
tions.2

Total.

Second year:
Under $6..............................
$6 and under $8...................
$8 and under $10..................
$10 and over.........................

42.4
36.4
15.2
6.0

54.5
18.2
9.1
18.2

44.2
33.8
14.3
7.7

23.5
50.0
20.6
5.9

36.8
47.4
5.3
10.5

26.4
49.5
17.2
6.9

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Fourth year:
Under $6..............................
$6 and under $8...................
$8 and under $10..................
$10 and over........................

2.0
40.0
46.0
12.0

50.0
50.0

1.9
40.7
42.6
14.8

5.9
35.3
41.2
17.6

28.5
28.6
14.3
28.6

8.6
34.5
37.9
19.0

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Sixth year:
Under $6..............................
$6 and under $8...................
$8 and under $10..................
$10 and over........................

5.2
55. 3
39.5

50.0
, 50.0

9.5
52.4
38.1

3.3
13.3
50.0
33.4

66.7
33.3

3.0
18.2
45. 5
33.3

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1 Based on number of girls whose weekly wages were reported.
Includes also figures for “ related trades.”

2




126

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRADE SCHOOL G IRLS.

middle group. Thus, at the end of their first year out of school
38.7 per cent of the trade-school girls who were still working in the
dressmaking trade earned less than $6 a week against 42.4 per cent
of the trade-trained girls at the end of their second year. But on
the other hand, 21.2 per cent of the trade-trained girls against 5.4
per cent of the trade-school girls earned $8 or over a week. Whatever
advantage the trade-school girls may have in their smaller proportion
in the low-wage group is lost by the end of their third and the tradetrained girls7 fourth year, when the percentages earning less than $6
are, respectively, 6.1 and 2. At this period the proportion earning
$8 or over is for the trade-school girls 40.9 per cent and for the tradetrained 58 per cent. In their fifth year out, 76.4 per cent of the tradeschool dressmakers earned $8 or more as compared with 94.8 per
cent of the trade-trained girls in their sixth year. Thirty per cent of
the trade-school dressmakers earned $10 or more by the end of their
fifth year, while 39.5 per cent of the trade-trained workers earned $10
or more at the end of their sixth year’s experience. If the comparison
be made between all members of the trade-school and the tradetrained groups, regardless of whether they remained in dressmaking
or went into other pursuits, the results are much the same, though
the advantage on the side of the trade-trained girl is not quite so
marked.
The comparison of average wages year by year (see Tables 63
and 64, pp. 107 to 112) has shown that the trade-school group has a
certain advantage over the trade-trained, but it is evident from this
table that for the girls engaged in dressmaking the year spent in the
trade school does not give a girl a year's advantage in wage return,
except perhaps in the first year, any more than a higher initial wage
seems to guarantee a continuously higher wage in succeeding years
in the trade.
The number of girls trained in the trade school as cloth machine
operators and the number of trade-trained workers in the factory
sewing trades are much more nearly equal than are the two groups
of dressmakers compared. Confining the comparison to those who
remained in their trade it appears that of the trade-school girls 25.5
per cent earned less than $6 a week at the end of their first year out
of school, while of the trade-trained girls 23.5 per cent were in this
wage group at the end of their second year in the trade. Fifty per
cent of the trade-school girls at the end of their third year and 58.8
per cent of the trade-trained girls at the end of their fourth year's
experience earned $8 or more. A little more than three-fourths
(77.8 per cent) of the trade-school girls earned $8 or more at the end
of their fifth year, while something over four-fifths (83.4 per cent)
of the trade-trained girls earned this at the end of their sixth year.




WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

127

Like the study of average wages, this study of the wages, at specific
periods of their working experience, of the trade-school and the tradetrained girl shows that the former has a real immediate advantage
because she is lifted over the preliminary unskilled and sometimes
unrelated processes, but in neither of the two important branches
of the sewing trades studied here has she been able to maintain a
marked wage advantage over the trade-trained girl.

FACTORS DETERMINING WAGE ADVANCEMENT.
LENGTH OF WORKING EXPERIENCE.

Of the many factors which may determine wage advancement
three, maturity, length of working experience, and length of training
may naturally be expected to have most weight, granting some nat­
ural capacity for the trade entered. A certain degree of maturity is
requisite, and preliminary trade training is a real advantage, par­
ticularly in its immediate benefits, but length of working experience
is perhaps the most important of the three in ti ades requiring, as the
sewing trades do, (1) skill of hand which is attained through repeti­
tion of a process, and (2) a knowledge of construction. The effect of
this factor is shown in the following tables giving the wage distribu­
tion, by length of industrial experience, of both the trade-school and
the trade-trained girls studied.




IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

128

T a b l e 7 4 .— NUMBER

AND PER CENT OF

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.
BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS AND OF
OF SPECIFIED

TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS: NUMBER.
Girls earning, after specified years’ experience, each classified amount.
Under 3 years.

3 and under 5 years.

Present occupation.
$8
$6
Un­ and and $10 Not
Un­ and and $10 Not
re­
re­
der under under and port­ Total, der under under and port­ Total.
$6
$6
$8
$8
$10 over. ed.
$10 over. ed.
In their trade:
Dressmaking............. .
Millinery.....................
Machine operating on—
Cloth....................
Straw hats...........
Cooking and design. . .

17
3

6
4
i1
103

Total..

11
1
1
7
*1
162

31

23

21

In related trades:
Custom clothing.........
Ready-made clothing..
Boots and shoes..........
19

Total..
In other occupations:
Manufactures..........
Transportation........
Trade......................
Professional service..
_
Domestic service_
Clerical....................
Total...........

62

19

12

49

16

Grand total.
TR AD E-TR A IN ED G IR L S : NUM BER.
In tlieir trade:
Dressmaking................
Machine operating on
cloth......................

18

9

2

1

30

1

3

9

3

5

18

7

1

31

2

7

7

4

20

23

27

9

2

61

3

10

16

7

36

In related trades.......
In other occupations.

3
3

3

1

Grand total----

29

30

10

Total..

1
3

4

7

1

1

1

72

4

11

17

3
7

39

TRAD E-SCH O OL G IR L S : P ER CEN T EA RN IN G EA CH C L A S SIF IE D AMOUNT.3
In their trade:
Dressmaking............... 11.8 67.7
Millinery..................... 11.1 77.8
Machine operating on—
Cloth....................
5.0 65.0
7.1 35.7
Straw hats...........
Cooking and design. . . 50.0 125.0
Total..
In related trades............
In other occupations___
Grand total..........

18.3
11.1

2.2

100.0
100.0

24.6
22.2

57.4
66.7

18.0
11.1

100.0
100.0

30.0
28.6
125.0

!8.6

100.0 11.1 55.6
100.0
11.1
100.0 66."7

22.2
11.1

11.1
77.8
133.3

100.0
100.0
100.0

100.0

48.3

11.4

65.2

33.3
31.0

27.8 38.9
48.3 15.5
58.1

19.6
5.2

23.1

100.0

100.0 11.1 33.3 22.2 33.4
100.0 10.4 25.0 39.6 25.0

100.0
100.0

100.0

100.0

3.3

25.3

6.1 25.7 43.9 24.3

i Design.
* Not including 1 girl who is reported to be a nurse in a hospital in Philadelphia, but whose exact work­
ing experience and wage could not be obtained.




W AG ES OF BOSTON TRA D E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

129

TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END
YEARS’ EXPERIENCE.
TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS: NUMBER.
Girls earning, after specified years’ experience, each classified amount.
5 and under 7 years.
Un­
der
16

$6
and
under
$8

$8
and
under
$10

$10
and
over.

Not
re­
port­
ed.

7 years and over.

Total.

Un­
der
$6

$6
and
under

$8
and
under
$10

$10
and
over.

23

Not
re­
port­
ed.

Total.
Total.

17

220
56
37
31

20

67

29

352
12
19
9

=2
24
15
24
20
21
62
12

30
50

20

33

62

2 558

TRAD E-TRAIN ED G IR L S : NUM BER.

91
25

179

22

10
22

28

58

TRADE-SCHOOL G IR L S : PER CENT EARNING EACH C L A SSIF IE D AMOUNT.8

4.7
20.0

37.2
20.0

53.4
80.0

100.0
100.0

20.0

4.7

60.0
100.0

100.0
100.0

35.3
12.5

64.7
75.0

100.0
100.0

50.0

50.0
100.0

100.0
100.0

3.4

27.6

69.0

100.0

46.4

100.0
100.0

55.1

100.0

12.5

3.1

3.1

29.7

62.5

100.0

22.2
16.7

4.7

55.6
50.0

22.2
33.3

100.0
100.0

7.2

14.3

100.0
32.1

8.2

37.1

51.6

100.0

3.3

8.3

33.3

3 Based on number of girls whose wages were reported.

85225°— 17— Bull. 215-------9




195

130

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCIIOOL GIRLS.

T able

74__NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS AND OF
OF SPECIFIED YEARS’

TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS: PER CENT EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT.1
Girls earning, after specified years’ experience, each classified amount.
Under 3 years.

3 and under 5 years.

Present occupation.
$8
$6
$6
$8
Un­ and and $10 Not
Un­ and and $10 Not
re­
re­
der under under and port­ Total. der under under and port­ Total.
$6
$6
$8
$10 over. ed.
$8
$10 over. ed.
In their trade:
Dressmaking................ 60.0
Machine operating 011
cloth...................... 16.1

30.0

6.7

3.3

100.0

6.3

18.7

56.3. 18.7

100.0

58.1

22.6

3.2

100.0

10.0

35.0

35.0

20.0

100.0

19.4

100.0

Total......................... 37.7

44.3

14.8

3.2

100.0

8.3

27.8

44.5

In other occupations.......... 54.5

27.3

9.1

9.1

100.0 33.3

33.4

33.3

100.0

Grand total............... 40.3

41.7

13.9

4.1

100.0

28.2

43.6 j 17.9

100.0

10.3

1 Based on number of girls whose wages were reported.

The effect of experience in raising the general level of wages
received is very evident here. The proportion in the lower wage
groups steadily sinks and in the higher wage groups rises as the
length of experience increases. Taking the trade-school girls as a
whole, the proportion receiving less than $6 a week falls from 17.9
per cent among those with an industrial experience of less than
three years to 3.3 per cent among those with an industrial experience
of seven years or over; for the trade-trained girls the corresponding
proportions are 40.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively. The
proportion earning $10 or over per week rises among the trade-school
girls from 3.9 per cent in the group with less than three years' experi­
ence to 55.1 per cent in the group with seven or more years of experi­
ence, and for the trade-trained girls from 4.1 per cent to 48.3 per
cent. The decrease in the low-wage groups and the increase in
the high-wage groups is, on the whole, continuous, although there
are a few irregularities in the distribution of those with seven or
more years of experience, as compared with those having five but
under seven years. Thus among the trade-school cloth machine
operators, 60 per cent of those with an experience of five years but
under seven, and only 50 per cent of those with seven or more years
of experience were earning $10 or over a week. There were, how­
ever, only five girls in the first of these groups and two in the second,
so that this irregularity is negligible.
Taking $8 per week as the minimum required for self-support, it
appears that for the trade-school group as a whole, among those
who had been at work for less than three years not quite one-fourth
were self-supporting; among those who had been working from
three to five years, nearly seven-tenths had reached or passed this




131

WAGES OP BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END
EXPERIENCE—Concluded.
TRAD E-TRAINED G IR L S : PER CEN T EARNING EACH C L A S SIF IE D AMOUNT.1
Girls earning, after specified years' experience, each classified amount.
7 years and over.

5 and under 7 years.
Un­
der
16

$6
and
under
$8

$8
and
under
$10

$10
and
over.

Not
re­
port­
ed.

Total.

Un­
der
$6

3.0

22.2

22.2

55.6

100.0

12.5 !

25.0

50.0

12.5

100.0

8.0

24.0

40.0

28.0

100.0

38.5

26.9

100.0

100.0
7.7

26.9

$6
and
under
$8

$8
and
under
$10

$10
and
over.

Not
re­
port­
ed.

Total.
Total.

1.8

100.0

6.1

21.2

69.7

16.7

62.5

20.8

100.0

10.5

38.6

49.1

100.0

37.9

48.3

100.0

100.0

100.0
1.7

12.1

100.0

point, and among those who had been working five years but under
seven nearly nine-tenths were independent. At this point, appar­
ently all those capable of reaching self-support have done so, for
the next group, those having worked seven years or more, shows
practically the same proportion earning less than $8 a week— 11.6
per cent against 11.3 per cent. Among those earning $8 a week
or over, however, the group with seven years of experience shows a
larger proportion earning $10 or over than is found among any of
the groups with less experience. Apparently, therefore, it takes
about five years of working experience before the trade-school girl
has c e r t a in ly found herself and before it can be definitely known
whether or not she can earn a living wage.
A comparison of the wages earned by the trade-school and the tradetrained girls according to their length of working experience affords an
interesting contrast. Table 75 shows the percentage of trade-school
and trade-trained girls in certain wage groups classified by length of
experience.
Whether the comparison be made between the trade-school and the
trade-trained girls as a whole, or between the trade-school and the tradetrained girls in a given trade, or those who have left their own trade
for other occupations, the trade-school girls have a marked advantage.
With the exception of the cloth machine operators with three but
less than five years of experience, the trade-school girls in every
group show a smaller proportion earning less than $8 a week and a
larger proportion earning $8 ‘or over than appears among the tradetrained girls. For those with less than three years of experience, the
trade-trained girls show a larger proportion earning $10 or over; for
those in the other experience groups, the advantage in this respect




132

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

shifts from trade-school to trade-trained girls rather irregularly, the
situation on the whole being favorable to the trade-school girls.
T a b l e 7 5 . — P E R C E N T O F B O S T O N T R A D E SC H O O L G IR L S A N D O F T R A D E -T R A I N E D
G IR L S E A R N I N G E A C H C L A S S IF IE D W E E K L Y A M O U N T A F T E R S P E C IF IE D Y E A R S ’
E X P E R IE N C E .

Per cent of girls earning each classified weekly amount after
specified years’ experience.

Classified weekly earnings.

Under 3 years

Tradeschool
girls.

Total workers earning—
Under $8...................
$8 and over...............
$10 and over..............
Dressmakers in own trade earning—
Under $8......................................
$8 and over..................................
$10 and over.................................
Cloth machine operators in own trade
earning—
Under $8......................................
$8 and over..................................
110 and over.................................
Workers in other than own trade
earning—
Under $8................................
$8 and over..................................
$10 and over.................................

3 and under
5 years.

Trade- Tradetrained school
girls.
girls,

76.0
24.0
3.9

82.0
18.0
4.1

31.8

79.5

90.0

24.6
75.4

20.5
2.2
70.0
30.0

75.0
25.0
3.9

10.0
3.3

68.2
24.3

IX. 0

6
6

74.2
25.8
3 .2

.7
33.3

81.8
-18. 2
9.1

36. 8
63.2
26.3

11.1

5 and under
7 years.

Trade- j Tradetrained: school
girls. I girls.

Trade- Tradetrained school
girls.
girls.

38. 5
61.5
17.9

11.3
88.7
51.6

34.6
65.4
26.9

25.0
75.0
18.7

9.4
90.6
53.4

22. 2

45.0
55.0

20.0

37. 5
62.5
12.5

20.0
66.7
33.3

80.0
60.0
18.2
81.8
30.3

7 years and
over.

71. 8
55. 6

100.0

Tradetrained
girls.

11.6

13.8

88.4
55.1

48.3

86.2

64. 7

9.1
90.9
69.7

1 ). 0
(M

16.7
83.3

100.0

50.0

20.8

19.4
80.6
41.9

The trade-school and the trade-trained dressmakers afford perhaps
the most satisfactory comparison, since their work is similar and their
numbers are more nearly equal than is the case with some of the
other groups. In every experience group the trade-school dress­
makers show a larger proportion earning $8 a week or over. Among
those having less than three years of experience, one-fifth of the
trade-school against one-tenth of the trade-trained dressmakers earn
$8 or more a week; among those having three but under five years of
experience the proportions are almost identical for the two groups,
but what advantage exists is on the side of the trade-school girl. In
the next experience group nine-tenths of the trade-school against a
little more than three-fourths of the trade-trained girls earn $8 or
more, while in the last group, those with seven or more years of
experience, nearly one-tenth of the trade-trained girls fall below $8
but not a single trade-school girl fails to earn that minimum. On the
other hand, in every experience group a slightly larger proportion of
the trade-trained than of the trade-school girls earn $10 or over per
week. The difference here, however, is so small that it does not
offset the advantage on the side of the trade-school girls in the matter
of earning a living wage. When the two classes of workers are com­
pared by length of experience, the systematic training received by the
trade-school girl shows its effect in the higher level of her earnings.




WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

133

It will be remembered that when the earnings at the end of specific
years were compared, the trade-school girl did not show a year's
advantage over the trade-trained girl in .dressmaking. This com­
parison, however, makes it evident that her training has a very real
effect upon her wage-earning capacity, and that while this effect is
most apparent, as would be expected, among those who enter their
own trade and remain in it, it is found also among those who go into
other pursuits.
AGE AT BEGINNING WORK.
EFFECT ON W AG ES OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Since the girl under 16 years of age is increasingly excluded from the
sewing trades, and since the advocates of raising the age limits main­
tain that the girl entering at 16 years or more really earns a better
wage, it is of interest to discover to what extent this is true in imme­
diate as well as in later returns. For this purpose a comparison is
made of the wage distribution, at the end of the first and third years
out of trade school, of those beginning work under 16, between 16 and
18, and 18 and over. Reports were obtained showing wages and age at
beginning work for 701 girls who were still working at the end of the
first year and for 450 still working at the end of the third year. Of
the group working at the end of the first year, 25 per cent had begun
under 16, 53.6 per cent between 16 and 18, and 21.4 per cent aged 18
or over. Of those still working at the end of the third year, 27.1 per
cent had begun under 14 years old, 53.6 per cent between 16 and 18,
and 19.3 at 18 or over. The age distribution of the two groups at
beginning work is, therefore, very nearly the same. Table 76 shows
the wage distribution at the end of the first and of the third year.
At the end of the first year the group beginning at 18 or over shows
an advantage over those beginning at 16 but under 18, and these, in,
turn, have an advantage over those who began under 16. The oldest
group makes the best showing in wages, whether it be considered as
a whole or according to its trade distribution. There are some
irregularities in the latter case. Those in dressmaking and millinery
show a fairly steady improvement in wage level as the age at beginning
increases; among the cloth machine operators the improvement is
still more regular and more marked, and it is also marked among those
who have gone into other occupations; but those engaged in straw
machine operating and in cooking and design do not show this steady
progression. The number engaged in cooking and design, however,
is too small to be significant. The straw machine operators show a
very curious distribution; those beginning under 16 years of age have
none in the lowest wage group, and a larger proportion receiving $8
or over than is found among any of those beginning at a higher age.




134

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

76.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS BEGINNING
WORK AT SPECIFIED AGE IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATIONS, AND EARNING EACH CLAS*
SIFIED WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END OF FIRST AND THIRD YEAR’S EXPERIENCE.

T able

NUMBER.
In trade for which trained.
Years of experience, age at begin­
ning work, and classified weekly
wages.

In
Power-machine
other
operating on— Cooking
occupa­ Total.
and
Total. tions.
Straw design.
Cloth. hats.

Dress­
mak­
ing.

Milli­
nery.

14 and under 16 years, earning—
Under $6......................................
$6 anrl nnripr #8
$8 and over...................................
Not reported................................

42
49
6
1

14
12

3
14

END OF FIRST YEAR.

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

98

26 j

17

16 and under 18 years, earning—
Under $6.. ..................................
and U
Tifi^r $ftr, ..
$8 and over
.....
Not reported................................

76
118
8
2

28
29
6
1

204

64 1
■

18 years and over, earning—
Under $6......................................
$6 and under $8............................
$8 and over...................................
Not reported.....................

27
43
6
2

9
15
4

72
85
18
2

153

24

177

i

115
176
35
6

20
21
9
2

135
197
44
8

6

332

52

384

1
1
2

!______
j
13
1
20
...........
1
33
25
]
!
2
2
5
2
5
1

13
7
3
1

3
2

n

59
78
15
1

1

8
14
1
2

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

1

2
9

41
71
19
3

3
7
9
2

44
78
28
5

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

78

28

11

13

4

134

21

155

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

380

118

53

57

11

619

97

716

14 and under 16 years, earning—
Under $6................................
$6 and under $8...............
$8 and over...................................
Not reported................................

5
32
24
2

1
8
8

4
3

4

A1

6
44
40
2

4
17
11
1

10
61
51
3

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

63

17

71
i

4

11

92

33

125

16 and under 18 years, earning—
Under $6......................................
$6 and under $8............................
$8 and over.........
Not reported................................

3
54
54
1

2
7
13
1

1
4l
5
1

2

2

10

6
69
82
2

11
37
36
5

17
106
118
7

112 |

23

10 1

12

2

159

89

248

5
27
9
2

1
4
6
1

2
3

2

6
33
20
3

7
11
10
2

13
44
30
5

2

END OF THIRD YEAR.

Total.........................................
18 years and over, earning—
Under $6......................................
$6 and under $8............................
$8 and over...................................
Not reported................................
Total.........................................

43

12

5

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

218

52

22

62
3

1

30

92

313

152

465

38.8
51.3
9.9

56.6
30.4
13.0

41.1
48.6
10.3

100.0

100.0

100.0

18

PER CEN T EARN IN G EACH C L A SSIF IE D AMOUNT.2
END OF FIRST YEAR.

14 and under 16 years, earning—
Under $6... ‘ ........................
$6 and under $8...................
$8 and over...........................
Total.................................
1Design.




54.0
46.0

17.6
82.4

100.0 I 100.0

100.0

43.3
50.5
6.2

18.2
81.8
100.0

100.
100.0

2 Based on number of girls whose wages were reported.

W AG ES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

135

76.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS BEGINNING
WORK AT SPECIFIED AGE IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATIONS, AND EARNING EACH CLAS­
SIFIED WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END OF FIRST AND THIRD YEAR’S EXPERIENCE—
Concluded.

T able

PER CENT EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT—Concluded.
In trade for which trained.
Years of experience, age at begin­
ning work, and classified weekly
wages

Power-machine
operating on— Cooking
and
Total.
design.
Straw
Cloth.
hats.

Dress­
mak­
ing.

Milli­
nery.

16 and under 18 years, earning—
Under $6 . T........................................
$6 and under $ 8 ...................................
$8 and over............................................

37.6
58.4
4.0

44.5
46.0
9.5

33.3
58.4
8.3

39.4
60.6

In
other
Total.
occupa­
tions.

END OF FIRST YEAR— concluded.
60.0
40.0

35.3
54.0
10.7

40.0
42.0
18.0

35.9
52.4
11.7

T o t a l..................................................

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

18 years and over, earning—
Under $6.................................................
$6 and under $8...................................
$8 and over............................................

35.5
56.6
7.9

32.1
53.6
14.3

18.2
63.6
18.2

16.6
41.7
41.7

25.0
25.0
50.0

31.3
54.2
14.5

15.8
36.8
47.4

29.3
52.0
18.7

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

14 and under 10 years, earning—
Under $6.................................................
$6 and under $8 ...................................
$8 and over............................................

8.2
52.5
39.3

5.8
47.1
47.1

57.1
42.9

100.0

100.0

6.7
48.9
44.4

12.5
53.1
34.4

8.2
50.0
41.8

END OF THIRD YEAR.

T o t a l..................................................

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

16 and under 18 years, earning—
Under $6.................................. ..............
$6 and under $ 8 ...................................
$8 and over............................................

2.8
48.6
48.6

9.1
31.8
59.1

10.0
40.0
50.0

16.7
83.3

100.0

3.8
44.0
52.2

13.1
44.0
42.9

7.0
44.0
49.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

'T t a l..................................................
’o

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

18 years and over, earning—
Under $6.................................................
$6 and under $8 ...................................
$8 and over............................................

12.2
65.9
21.9

9.1
36.4
54. 5

40.0
60.0

100.0

10.1
56.0
33.9

25.0
39.3
35.7

15.0
50.6
34.4

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

It seems probable that a girl entering a difficult trade like this at such
an early age does not persist in it for a year unless she has either a
natural aptitude for it, or an amount of energy and persistence which
would be likely to bring her to the front. Those entering it at a more
mature age do not require so much of these qualities to remain in it,
and hence are not a picked group, as these earlier ones seem to be.
At the end of the third year those who entered between the ages of
16 and 18 show the most favorable wage distribution. This is true
for the group as a whole, for those as a whole who have remained in
their own trades, and for those who have entered other occupations,
but when those remaining in their own trades are considered trade by
trade some irregularities appear. It is true of the dressmakers and
milliners, but for the cloth and straw machine operators this group
makes a poorer showing than either of the others. On the whole,




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

136

the table seems to bear out the contention of those who hold that it
is better for a girl not to enter her trade until she is at least 16.
EFFECT ON W AG ES OF TR ADE-TRAINED GIRLS.

Turning to the trade-trained girls, the following table shows
that reports as to wages and age at beginning work were obtained
for 187 still working at the end of the first year after entering the
industrial world and for 136 working at the end of the third year.
These two groups show a somewhat greater divergence in the propor­
tions beginning work at each age than appeared between the similar
groups of trade-school girls. Of those working at the end of the first
year 40.6 per cent had begun under 16 years of age, 40.1 per cent at
16 but under 18, and 19.3 per cent at 18 or over. Of those working
at the end of the third year, 48.5 per cent had begun work while in
the youngest age group, 38.2 per cent in the second, and 13.2 per cent
in the third.
77.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS BEGINNING WOKK
AT SPECIFIED AGE IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATIONS AND EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED
WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END OF FIRST AND THIRD YEAR’S EXPERIENCE.

T a bl e

NUMBER.
In trade for which trained.
Years of experience, age at beginning work, and
classified weekly wages.

In other
occupa­
tions.

Cloth
Dress­ machine
making. operating.

Total.

END OF FIRST YEAR.

14 and under 16 years, earning—
Under $6.......................................
$6 and under $8.............................
$8 and over...................................
Not reported................................
Total.

10
5
3
36 i

59 i

20

16 and under 18 years, earningUnder $6........................... .
$6 and under $8..................
J 8and over........................
|
Not reported.....................

34
28
13
2
30

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

16

18 years and over, earningUnder $6.....................
$6 and under $8...........
$8 and over..................
Not reported...............
Total.........................................
Grand total................................

16
16
4
1
18 j

J51L

17

35

37

155

i 193

END OF THIRD YEAR.

14 and under 16 years, earning—
Under $6.......................................
$6 and under $8.............................
$8 and over...................................
Not reported................................
Total.

18
2
31

13

1Not including 1 earning $6 and under $8 whose age at beginning work was not reported.




68

WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

137

NUMBER AND PER CENT OF TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS BEGINNING WORK
AT SPECIFIED AGE IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATIONS AND EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED
WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END OF FIRST AND THIRD YEAR'S EXPERIENCE—Concluded.

T a b l e 7 7 .—

NUMBER—Concluded.
In trade for which trained.
Years of experience, age at beginning work, and
classified weekly wages.

Cloth
Dress­ machine
making. operating.

Total.

In other
occupa­
tions.

Total.

END OF THIRD YEAR— concluded.

16 and under 18 years, earning—
Under $6........................................................ !...
$6 and under $8....................................................
$8 and over...........................................................
Not reported.....................................................

2
6
14
1

3
7
16
1

5
13
30
2

4

5
13
34
2

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

23

27

50

4

54

18 years and over, earning—
Under $6..............................................................
$6 and under $8....................................................
$8 and over...........................................................
Not reported........................................................

2
2
5

3

2
5
10

1

3
5
10

1I
!8 |

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

9

8

17

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

163

59

122

18
i 140

PER CENT EARNING EACH C L A SSIFIED AMOUNT.2
END OF FIRST YEAR.

14 and under 16 years, earning—
Under $6.......................................
$6 and under $8............................
$8 and over...................................

85.3
11.8
2.9

56.6
39.1
4.3

73.7
22.8
3.5

68.4
15.8
15.8

72.4
21.0
6.6

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

16 and under 18 years, earning—
Under $6.......................................
$6 and under $8.............................
$8 and over...................................

50.7
26.7
16.6

37.9
44.8
17.3

47.5
35.6
16.9

37.5
43.8
18.7

45.3
37.4
17.3

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

18 years and over, earning—
Under $6.......................................
$6 and under $8............................
$8 and over...................................

41.2
47.1
11.7

47.1
47.1
5.8

44.1
47.1
8.8

50.0
50.0

44.4
44.4
11.2

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

11 and under 16 years, earning—
Under $6..................................... .
$6 and under $8........................... .
$8 and over...................................

44.9
31.0
24.1

9.1
27.3
63.6

34.0
35.8
30.2

30.8
53.8
15.4

33.3
39.4
27.3

END OF THIRD YEAR.

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

16 and under 18 years, earning—
Under $6.......................................
$6 and under $8........................... .
$8 and over...................................

9.1
27.3
63.6

11.5
26.9
61.6

10.4
27.1
62.5

100.0

9.6
25.0
65.4

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

18 years and over, earning—
Under $6..................................... .
$6 and under $8........................... .
$8 and over...................................

22.2
22.2
55.6

37.5
62.5

11.8
29.4
58.8

100.0

16.7
27.8
55.5

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1Not including 1 earning $5 and under $8 whose age at beginning work was not not reported.
2Based on number of girls whose wages were reported.




138

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Comparing the wage distribution ut the end of the first year, those
entering at 16 but under 18 years of age show a marked advantage
over those entering under 16, and a less marked but still apparent
advantage over those entering at over 18 or over. Those in other
occupations who began work at 18 or over are an exception to this
general statement, but as there are only two in this group, they are
not fairly comparable with the 20 who entered under 16, and the 16
who entered at 16 but under 18. At the end of the third year, the
same general situation is found. Those entering at 16 but under 18
have a more favorable wage distribution than those who entered
either earlier or later. Here, again, there is one exception to the
generalrule: The cloth machine operators who began work at 18 or over
have abetter wage level than either of the other two groups in this trade.
Only eight, however, began work in this age group, against 24 who
began before they were 16, and 27 who began at 16 but under 18, so
that the comparison is not a very satisfactory one. More emphatically
even than was the case with the trade-school girls, the experience of
the trade-trained girls seems to indicate that the most favorable age for
entering the sewing trades is between 16 and 18 years of age. Since
these trades are practically closed to the girl under 16 years of age in
Massachusetts, the evidence afforded by the experience of both the
trade-school and the trade-trained girls as to the best age for entering
may provide some comfort to those regretting the situation.
ACADEMIC EDUCATION.

Preliminary education seemed to be an important factor in deter­
mining a girl's ability to survive in the trade school, and the selective
process which went on there resulted in the formation of a really
selected group from an educational standpoint, for the largest pro­
portion were grammar-school graduates.1 Moreover, it determines to
a large extent the kind of occupation which the girl enters if she
leaves her trade. In addition to the preliminary education, the year,
more or less, spent in the trade school has an important influence in
the girl's wage-earning career. The work done in the unspecialized
public schools and the work done in the trade school are alike pre­
paratory, and a consideration of both is necessary to make clear the
relation of educational equipment and wage advancement.
W AGES

OF TRADE-SCHOOL D RE SSM A KE R S,

CLASSIFIED ACCORDING

TO PREVIOUS

SCHOOLING.

To simplify the combination of three factors affecting wage ad­
vancement—-that is, previous schooling, length of trade training, and
length of working experience— this particular discussion will be lim­
ited to the wages of trade-school dressmakers at the end of their first
and third years out of trade school, considered in their relation to
academic schooling. The following table shows the wages at these
two periods for the trade-school dressmakers, classified by their
school grade and the length of time spent in the trade school:




i See Table 6, p. 24.

139

W AG ES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL TRAINED DRESS­
MAKERS EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END OF FIRST AND
THIRD YEARS AT WORK, AFTER SPECIFIED MONTHS OF ATTENDANCE AT TRADE
SCHOOL, BY GRADE OF PREVIOUS SCHOOLING,

T a b l e 7 8 .—

NUMBER.
Grammar school.
Years at work, months o) attendance at
trade school, and classified weekly wages.

Nongrad­ Unclassi­
fied.
uates.

Grad­
uates.

High
school.

Total.

Total.

END OF FIRST YEAR.

Under 6 months, earning—
$8 and over...........................................

5
3

2
2

5

4

11
5

1

2

3

9

6

15

4

19

28
20

13
10
1

1
1

41
31
2
1

9
18
3
1

50
49
5
2

49

24

2

75

31

106

42
62
7
1

13
19
7

2
i

57
82
14
1

13
21
3

70
103
17
1

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

112

39

3

154

37

191

18 months and over, earning—
Under $ 6 .............................................
$6 and under $8................................ 1.
$8 and over
.....................................
Not reported........................................

14
31
3
2

15
15
1

1

30
46
4
2

15
2

30
61
6
2

Total

.....................................

6 and under 12 months, earning—
$6 and under $8...................................
$8 and over..........................................
Not reported........................................
Total..........................................
12 and under 18 months, earning—
Under $6..............................................
$6 and under $8...................................
$8 and over..........................................

1

3

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

50

31

1

82

17

99

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

220

109

6

326

89

415

2
3
2

2
1
1

4
4
3

2
1

6
5
3

7

4

1
1

3

14

5
23
11
1

1
11
7

2

6
34
20
1

10
11

6
44
31
1

END OF THIRD YEAR.

Under 6 months, earning—
Under $6..............................................
$6 and under $8.....................
$8 and over.........................................
Not reported........................................
Total......................................
6 and under 12 months, earning—
Under $6...........................................
$6 and under $8................................
$8 and over.......................................
Not reported.....................................
Total..........................................

40

19

2

61

21

82

12 and under 18 months, earning—
Under $6..............................................
$6 and under $8...................................
$8 and over..........................................
Not reported........................................

7
30
31
1

1
12
14
1

1
1

9
43
45
2

1
10
11

10
53
56
2

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

69

28

2

99

22

121

2
21
1
1
2

1
8
7

1

3
30
18
2

1
6
2

4
36
20
2

18 months and over, earning—
Under $6.............................................
$6 and under $8............................
$8 and over......................................
Not reported......................
Total...........................................

36

16

1

53

9

62

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

152

67

5

224

55

279




140

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

NUMBER AND PER CE1ST OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL TRAINED DRESS­
MAKERS EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END OF FIRST AND
THIRD YEARS AT WORK, AFTER SPECIFIED MONTHS OF ATTENDANCE AT TRADE
SCHOOL, BY GRADE OF PREVIOUS SCHOOLING—Concluded.

T a b l e 7 8 .—

PER CEN T EARN IN G EACH C L A SSIF IE D AMOUNT.*
Grammar school.
Years at work, months of attendance at
trade school, and classified weekly wag^s.

Grad­
uates.

Nongrad­ Unclassi­
fied.
uates.

Total.

High
school.

Total.

END OF FIRST YEAR.

Under 6-months, earning—
Under $6..............................
$ and under $8...................
.6
$8 and over...........................

62.5
37.5

50.0
50.0

58.3
41.7

58.3
41.7

54.2
41.7
4.2 !

68. 7
31.3

100.0

109.0 I.

Total..
6 and under 12 months, earningUnder $6..............................
$6 and under $8....................
18 and over..........................

100.0

50. 0
50.0

55.4
41.9
2.7

30.0
60.0
10. O
r

48.1
47.1
4.8

100.0

Total.
18 months and over, earningUnder &
6..........................
$6 and under $8...............
$8 and over......................

100.0

100.0

37.9
55.9
6.3

33.3
48.6
17.9

66.7
33.3

37.3
53.6
9.2

35.1
56.8
8.1

36.8
54.2
8.9

100.0 I

Total.
12 and under 18 months, earning—
Under 16...................................
$6 and under $8........................
$8 and over...............................

10
0 .0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

29.2 !
64.6 ;
6. 2 ;

48.4
48.4
3.2

100.0

37.5
57.5
5.0

88.2
11.8

30.9
62.9
6.2

40.0
60.0

66.7
33.3

50.0
50.0

66.7
33.3

54. 5
45. 5

Total...........................
END OF THIRD YEAR.

Under 6 months, earning—
Under $6...............................
$6 and under $8....................
$8 and over...........................

100.0

Total..
6 and under. 12 months, earning—
Under $6..................................
$6 and under .......................
$8 and over.............................

Total..




100.0

10.3
44.1
45.6

3.7
44.4
51.9

300.0

100.0

5.8
61.8
32.4

6.2
50.0
43.8

100.0

6.0
58.0
36.0

100.0

Total.
18 months and over, earning—
Under $6.............................
$6 and under $8..................
$8 and over.........................

5.3
57.9
36.8

100.0

Total.
12 and under 18 months, earning—
Under $6...................................
$6 and under $8........................
$8 and over...............................

12.8
59.0
28.2

100.0

100.0

7.4
54.3

10.0
56. 7
33.3

47.6
52.4

100.0

100.0

100.0

50.0
50.0

9.3
44.3
46.4

4.5
45.4
50.0

8.4
44.5
47.1

11.1
66.7
22.2

6.7
60.0
33.3

100.0

i Based on number of girls whose wages were reported.

WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

141

Almost one-half (46 per cent) of the 415 girls employed at the end
of the first year had attended trade school 12 months but less than 18.
Almost three-fourths (71.6 per cent) had attended not less than 6 nor
more than 18 months, and these girls constitute the normal or
characteristic type. Of those attending trade school 6 months and
less than 12, more than one-half the grammar-school pupils and less
than one-third of the high-school pupils earned less than $6 at the end
of their first year. Of those attending trade school 12 months but less
than 18, a little more than one-third of the girls of all degrees of
education, with some slight disadvantage for the grammar-school
graduate, earned less than $6. No really direct or convincing evi­
dence of relation between previous schooling and success is obvious,
therefore, by the end of the first year out of trade school.
By the end of the third year wage groupings have changed con­
siderably, and of those girls attending trade school 6 months but less
than 18, which is the normal group, the high-school girl now has a
somewhat more obvious advantage. One-third of the grammarschool pupils and more than one-half of the high-school pupils who
attended trade school 6 months but less than 12 earned $8 or more.
Forty-six (46.4) per cent of the grammar-school pupils and 50 per
cent of the high-school pupils who attended trade school 12 months
but less than 18 earned $8 or more. The difference in educational
background seems to be of less importance on first entering the trade,
for the primary demand made on the young worker is necessarily for
perfection in manual skill, and all who have not this skill enter on
very much the same basis. By the end of the third year, however,
the girl has acquired the necessary manual skill, and then the requisite
for advancement is the capacity to assume responsibility, to use
judgment, to plan, to think, to adapt what she knows to new problems.
The girl who is equipped with this power, whether through education
or through other kinds of experience, is the one who succeeds. The
large proportion of girls among those who have not graduated from
grammar school who are earning the higher wages suggests that it is
not previous education alone which develops this power.
W AG ES OF TRADE-TRAINED DRESSM AKER S, CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO PREVIOUS
SCHOOLING.

The situation in regard to the effect of academic training upon the
wage advancement of the trade-trained dressmakers differs in some
respects from that just discussed among the trade-school dress­
makers. The following table shows the wage grouping, at the end
of the second and fourth years at work, of the trade-trained dress­
makers classified according to their previous schooling.




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

142

79.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF TRADE-TRAINED DRESSMAKERS EARNING
EACH CLASSIFIED WEEKLY AMOUNT AT END OF SECOND AND FOURTH YEARS AT
WORE, BY GRADE OF PREVIOUS SCHOOLING.

T able

NUMBER.
Girls earning classified wages at end of specified year.
Fourth vear.

Second year.
Previous schooling.

$6
$6
$8
Not
Not
Under and
Under and
and
and
under over. report­ Total.
$6 under over. report­ Total.
ed.
ed.
$8
Grammar school:
Graduates......
Nongraduates.
Unclassified...

20
7
i3

27
11
2

*1

40
13
4

Total..............
High school.............
Uncertain schooling.
Grand total .
PER CEN T EAR N IN G EACH C L A SSIF IE D AMOUNT.4

Previous schooling.

$6
Under and
and
$6 under over.
$8

Total.

Grammar school:
Graduates_
_
Nongraduates
Unclassified..

54.1
43.8
75.0

35.1
18.7

10.8
37.5
25.0

100.0
100.0
100.0

Total........
High school........

52.6
22.2

28.1
50.0

19.3
27.8

100.0
100.0

$8
Under and
and
$6 under over.
$8

Grand total

40.7
50.0
50.0
2.6

Total.

55.6
60.0
50.0

100.0
100.0
100.0

43.6 i 53.8
30.8 69.2

100.0
100.0

40. 7

57. 4

1 One in Scotland.
2 One in Italy.
3 One in Russia.
4 Based on the number of girls whose wages were reported.

Both at the end of the second and of the fourth years the highschool students have an advantage over the grammar-school girls in
the matter of wages. Less than one-fourth of the high-school pupils
against one-half of the grammar-school pupils earned less than $6 a
week at the end of their second year. Practically seven-tenths (69.2
per cent) of the high-school pupils against 53.8 per cent of the gram­
mar-school pupils earned $8 or more at the end of the fourth year.
In this trade-trained group the previous schooling seems to have a
more pronounced effect upon wages than among the trade-school
girls, a fact which suggests that the trade school may play an impor­
tant part in supplementing the inadequate preparation of the girls of
a lower educational standard. In general, among both trade-trained
and trade-school dressmakers, the girl with more preliminary educa­
tion appears to have an advantage, though the comparatively small
number in the trades who have gone beyond the grammar school pro­
vide small basis for conclusions.




W AG ES OF BOSTON TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

143

WAGES AND LENGTH OF WORKING SEASON.
The real significance of weekly wages, however, lies in the number
of weeks in the year they are received. The sewing trades for which
the school trains are highly seasonal, and unemployment or irregularity
of employment constitutes one of the most vigorous sifting influences.
Less seasonal trades, even at a lower weekly rate, not only may pro­
vide a larger annual income, but do not subject their workers to the
strain and uncertainty of irregular employment or none at all.
LENGTH OF SEASON, BY TRADES, FOR 533 TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

The following table shows for 533 1 trade-school girls employed at
the time of the investigation the number of months of employment
they had had during a year.
80.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS EMPLOYED
IN SPECIFIED TRADES EACH CLASSIFIED NUMBER OF MONTHS DURING A
FULL YEAR.
NUMBER.2

T able

Sewing trades.
Months at work during
a full year.

Power-machine
operating on—
Dress­
making.

Milli­
nery.

Other
trades.

Cloth.

Straw
hats.

Under 3 months.............
3 and under 4 months.. .
4 and under 5 months. . .
5 and under 6 months. . .
6 and under 7 months. . .
7 and under 8 months. . .
8 and under 9 months__
9 and under 10 months..
10 and under 11 months.
11 and under 12 months.
12 months.......................
Not reported..................
Total.

Total.

Total.

15
15
13
29
28
18
54
85
63
74
118
21
32

213

328

PER CEN T A T WORK EACH SP ECIFIED N UM BER OF M ONTH S.3
Under 3 months.........................
3 and imder 4 months...............
4 and under 5 months................
5 and under 6 months...............
6 and under 7 months...............
7 and under 8 months...............
8 and under 9 months...............
9 and under 10 months..............
10 and under 11 months............
11 and under 12 months............
12 months..................................

1.5
.5
1.0
2.5
5.0
2.5
19.3
33.1
19.8
10.9
3.9

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

100.0

6.1
6.3
3.0
2.1
6.3
14.6 ........ 3.6'
10.4
3.0
6.1
8.1
10.4
3.0
4.2
15.2
12.5
9.1
18.8
24.2
6.3
27.3

3.1
6.3
18.7
28.0
12.5
6.3
9.4
6.3
9.4

2.9
1.6
3,5
7.0
6.4
3.5
14.3
24.0
16.5
13.0
7.3

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

3.0
5.0
1.0
3.6
4.0
3.6
4.6
4.6
5.6
16.7
48.2
100.0 |

2.9
2.9
2.5
5.6
5.5
3.8
10.5
16.6
12.3
14.5
22.9
100.0

126 of the 559 employed at the time of the investigation had not been out of trade school a full year.
3Including only those who were out of trade school a full year.
8Based on number of girls whose time at work during the year was reported.




144

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

The seasonal character of the sewing trades appears very plainly
here. Thirty-six (36.8) per cent of those remaining in the sewing
trades, against 70.5 per cent of those who had gone into other occu­
pations worked 10 months or more— most excellent evidence as to
why the girls go into other occupations. Forty per cent of the girls
in the sewing trades worked 9 but less than 11 months, while 48.2 per
cent of those in other occupations worked 12 months. Among the
sewing trades, the millinery trades have the shortest seasons, 58.2
per cent of the custom milliners working less than nine months and
68.6 per cent of the straw machine operators not exceeding seven
months. Those of the straw machine operators having longer sea­
sons have usually been in factories which made velvet hats in the
summer, and owing to this combination a few worked most of the
year. Some of the milliners who worked nine months or more were
employed in department stores or wholesale houses and were shifted
from one department to another where most needed. More than onehalf of the cloth machine operators worked 11 months or more in the
factory, but for them dull seasons mean less work and smaller wages,
not necessarily absolute unemployment. Among the dressmakers
one-third worked 9 months but less than 10, and more than onethird (34.6 per cent) worked 10 months or more.1
WAGES OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED FOR SEWING TRADES, CLASSIFIED ACCORD­
ING TO LENGTH OF WORKING SEASON AND TRADES.

Table 81 shows the wage grouping of the girls, classified according
to the number of months worked.
Preceding discussions have shown that girls in the millinery
trades earned higher average wages than those in the clothing trades.
This table shows the same situation, but also shows how heavily
these higher wages are discounted by the shorter seasons. Of the
girls following their own trades, 58.8 per cent in the clothing trades
against 65 per cent in the millinery trades earned $8 or more a week,2
but 86.3 per cent in the clothing trades against 43.8 per cent in the
millinery trades had a working season of eight months or more.
Thirty per cent of those in the millinery trades against 9 per cent
of those in the clothing trades earned $12 or over a week, but only
41.7 per cent of this wage group in the millinery trades worked 10
months or more against 61.9 per cent of those in the clothing trades.
Real earnings can not be deduced with certainty from this table,
since, as already mentioned, in many of the clothing trades there
may be slack work and lower wages without absolute unemployment,
but taking the figures of this table at their face value, those in the
millinery trades can hardly be said to have much advantage over
those in the clothing trades, in spite of the lower nominal wages paid
in the latter.
i For further discussion, see Bui. No. 193, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3 Percentages based on the number for whom both length of season and wages are reported.




W AGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

145

81.—NUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED FOR SEWING TRADES
EMPLOYED EACH CLASSIFIED NUMBER OF MONTHS DURING FULL YEAR, AND
EARNING CLASSIFIED WAGES.

T able

G IR L S TRAINED FOR CLOTHING T R A D ES.1
Girls whose weekly wages were—
Months at work during a
full year.2

Total.

$10 and $12 and
$8 and
Not "
$6 and
under $8 under $10 under $12 over.
reported.

Under
$6

Working in their trade—
Under 6 months..................
0 and under 8 months.........
8 and under 10 months........
10 and under 12 months......
12 months............................
Not reported........................

3
1
2
3
2
1

8
8
43
21
5
1

3
7
44
26
6
1

2
15
12
1
1

8
11
2
1

1
6

15
18
112
73
17
11

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

12

86

87

31

22

8

240

Working in other occupations—
Under 0 months..................
6 and under 8 months.........
8 and under 10 months......
10 and under 12 months......
12 months............................
Not reported........................

3
6
1
3
5
2

0
1
4
13
14
1

5
5
2
3
17
2

3

2

2
8

2
4
8

3

19
12
9
25
55
5

1

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

20

39

34

10

17

5j

125

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

32

125

121

41

39

13 j

371

G IR LS TRAINED FOR M ILLIN ER Y TR A D ES.3
Working in their trade—
Under 6 months..................
2
6 and under 8 months.........
8 and under 10 months........
10 and under 12 months___
12 months_______________1
________
1
Not reported.......................
Total................................
Working in other occupations—
Under 0 months..................
6 and under 8 months.........
8 and under 10 months........
10 and under 12 months......
12 months...........................
Not reported.......................

3
1
1
1
3

14
4
3
4
1
I
26 1
3
1
2
6
9
1

6
3
2
6
1

1
2
3
3
1

9
4
1

18

10

24

1

3

1

9
15

2
3
5

j
1
1
j
1]

32
13
9
20
6
2

1|

82

1

6
3
9
19
40
3

7

|
2

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

6

* 22

30

10

8

Grand total...................... 1

9

48

48

20

32

4I

80
162

5I
1That is, custom dressmaking and cloth machine-sewing trades.
2 The past year has been used to insure a more nearly correct statement ol the length of time actually
worked.
3 That is, millinery and straw machine operating.

The girls who have gone out from their own trades seem, on the
whole, to have improved their situation by doing so, when the
number of weeks worked is taken into consideration. Those who
have left the clothing trades show a larger proportion in both the
lowest and the highest wage groups than is found among those remain­
ing in their trade, but the percentage receiving less than $8 is slightly
larger among those who have left. On the other hand those who
8 5 2 2 5 °— 17— B u ll. 215------- 10




146

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

have left have the advantage in length of working season, 67 per
cent having been employed for 10 months or more against 38.2 per
cent of those remaining in their trades. Among the girls who have
left the millinery trades the proportion earning $8 or over is almost
the same as among those who have remained in the trades, 64 per
cent and 65 per cent, respectively, but those remaining in the trades
show a much larger per cent earning $10 or over. The girls who
have left the trades, however, have a very decided advantage in the
length of working season; more than half (52 per cent) were employed
for 12 months and 25.3 per cent were employed for 10 months but
less than 12. Among the girls remaining in their trades these pro­
portions were, respectively, 7.5 per cent and 25 per cent.

SUMMARY.
In summarizing this survey of the wages earned by the girls trained
in the trade school, two important considerations must be kept in
mind. The weekly wage reported is a nominal weekly wage decreased
(1) by absence and occasional days out and (2) by seasonal fluctuation.
With this in mind, it appears that an average weekly wage of $8 is
reported by the end of the third year out of trade school by the girls
who have used their training. The time of reaching this average
varies for the different trades. Not until the fourth year did onehalf or more of the dressmakers trained in the trade school, as well as
of those who acquired their training in the trade, reach a weekly wage
of $8 or more, but both trade-school and trade-trained workers in
the cloth power-machine operating trades reached this standard in
their third year. The trade-school dressmaker maintains a slight
advantage over the trade-trained worker, but the power-machine
operators show very similar wage returns regardless of their training.
The year spent in the trade school, while undoubtedly of great
advantage to the girl, can not be translated into terms of money as a
year’s advantage over the girl who has come up through the trade,
a condition which is true of many other forms of education. The
real advantage enjoyed by the trade-school girl is in her early expe­
rience— she is lifted over the unskilled, unrelated processes paying a
low wage, and put at once on the processes which lead directly to
advancement in skill and wage. However, the recent development
of secondary-trade training must be kept in mind, and even a slight
advantage should prove a stimulus to industrial educators for greater
efforts and accomplishments. The regulation of the placement wage
of the girls trained in the Boston Trade School during the last few
years gives them an initial financial advantage but does not insure
an automatic advance over that placement wage until they have
developed the maturity and skill to justify advancement.




WAGES OF BOSTON TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

147

In general, the girls who remain in their trades show better wage
returns than the girls who leave them for other occupations, but the
shorter seasons in the sewing trades doubtless neutralize the apparent
advantage. The kind of occupation entered by the girls leaving their
own trades provides an interesting index to personal types and also
to wage opportunities. About one-half the dressmakers and milliners
leaving their trade went into clerical and professional service. Twofifths of the dressmakers and one-tenth of the milliners went into
manufactures and domestic service, which drew the majority of the
cloth machine operators who had left their trades. Search for the
cause of this difference reveals that the milliners rank first in educa­
tional equipment, the dressmakers second, and the power-machine
operators third.
The relation of education to advancement in the sewing trades is not
very obvious, perhaps because comparatively few of the workers
have more than a grammar-school education. From available data,
the high-school girl seems to start on much the same wage basis as
the girl with less education, because the primary requisite is manual
skill. By the end of the third year, however, when the opportunity
for original thought and action is opened up for the girl who has the
ability to utilize it, the high-school girl shows some advantage over
the grammar-school graduate. The success of the grammar-school
nongraduate, however, raises the question of how far the high-school
girl's success may be credited to academic schooling. Comparison
of the relation between schooling and the wages earned by the tradeschool and the trade-trained girls seems to suggest that the trade
school performs an important service in supplementing the equipment
of the girl of lower educational standard, turning out a homogeneous
group which shows much less variation in wages than is found in the
trade-trained group.
Experience and maturity are important factors in determining
wages in trades involving manual skill and “ common sense/' as
employers term it, and the correlation between these and wages
is obvious. At the time of beginning work greater maturity showed
correspondingly higher wage returns, but by the end of the third year
the girl beginning at 18 years or more had not maintained her prece­
dence over the girl beginning work at 16 years. The girl beginning
work under 16 years, however, is a laggard in regard to wages at
the end of both the first and the third year, a fact which yields inter­
esting support to the argument in favor of raising the present age
limit for beginning work.







CHAPTER V.—INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE AND WAGES OF
WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
WORCESTER GIRLS' TRADE SCHOOL.
Since the Worcester Trade School was not established till Septem­
ber, 1911, and since its course requires two years for completion, the
working experience of its pupils at the time of the investigation
(February-March, 1915) was necessarily too short to throw much
light on their industrial efficiency. The study of the Worcester
Trade School, therefore, is valuable chiefly because of the schoors
peculiar problems and its method of solving them; for Worcester
has established a trade school to train girls primarily for the custom
sewing trades, and yet, so far as trade opportunities for any large
number of girls are concerned, these trades are practically non­
existent in the city. Moreover, this is a situation likely to confront
the new trade schools established in practically any medium-sized
city. The Worcester school, taking the general plan of a trade
school established to meet the needs of a particular large city, has
striven to adjust it to the local needs of a community with very
different conditions and trade opportunities. Its effort to make
this adjustment is the chief matter of interest in the school's history.
AGE AND INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTION OF GIRLS STUDIED.

At the time of the investigation, 166 pupils of the Worcester Trade
School had either made use of their trade, or had attended the school
for at least nine months, although after leaving it they had not used
their trade. The following table shows the age distribution of these
girls, classified as to whether or not they were earning wages, and if
they were, whether in their own trade or in some other occupation:
82.—NUMBER AND PER CENT IN SPECIFIED AGE GROUPS AMONG WORCESTER
TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO WERE EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES.

T able

Number and per cent in specified age groups of girls who were—

Age group.

Earning wages Earning wages
in their own
in other occu­
pations.
trades.
Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

Not earning
wages.
Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

Total.

Num­
ber.

Per
cent.

Under 16 years...................................
16 and under 18 years........................
18 and under 20 years........................
20 years and over...............................

4
23
25
10

6.5
37.1
40.3
16.1

2
25
20
10

3.5
43.9
35.1
17.5

6
22
17
2

12.8
46.8
36.2
4.3

12
70
62
22

7.2
42.2
37.3
13.3

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

62

100.0

57

100.0

47

100.0

166

100.0




149

150

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Considering the whole group, it is at once apparent that the age
level is lower than among the girls of the Boston Trade School who
were studied; 58 per cent of the latter were aged 20 or over, as against
13.3 per cent of these, and only 15.6 per cent of the Boston girls were
under 18 as against 49.4 per cent of the Worcester girls. Comparing
the different groups of the Worcester girls it appears that the age
level of those in their own trades and those in other occupations is
nearly the same, and in both cases is higher than among the girls
who are not earning wages.
1
This distribution is given as it was at the time of the investigation.
Ninety-four girls had at some time or other worked in their trades,
39 had worked but not in the trades trained for, and 33 had never
been employed. Something over two-fifths (43.4 per cent), therefore,
had never worked in the trade for which they had been trained. In
studying the Boston group the girls who had not used their training
were excluded from most of the wage tables because they seemed to
be below standard, and because the trade opportunity was open to them
if they had wished to avail themselves of it, or had had the capacity
to do so. In Worcester, however, the trade opportunities in the
custom trades, on which the school has laid most emphasis, were so
limited that failure to use the trade by no means indicated incapacity;
it was more likely to mean a lack of any opportunity to enter the
trade after the training had been acquired. Because of this differ­
ence in condition and because of the small number using their train­
ing, the total group of 166 in Worcester is studied together.
As mentioned before, the industrial experience of these girls was
necessarily limited. The whole group, 166, had been out of trade
school for at least one year; 86 had been out as much as two years,
and 20 as much as three years. Three years, therefore, is the out­
side limit of possible experience, and only about one-eighth (12 p e r
cent) could possibly have had so long an experience. When it is
remembered that among the Boston Trade School girls the propor­
tion earning a living wage steadily increased with experience up to
at least five years, and that in most of the trades not half reached $8
a week until they had been working from three to four years, it is
evident that the brief experience of the Worcester girls hampers
seriously any attempt to determine the efficacy of their trade train­
ing. At the time of the investigation, 119 were found to be at work.
Of these, 115 reported their wages, of whom 40.9 per cent earned less
than $6, 39.1 per cent $6 and under $8, 13 per cent $8 and under $10,
and 7 per cent $10 or over.
EMPLOYMENT IN SUCCESSIVE YEARS.

The following table shows the number and proportion of the Wor­
cester Trade School girls who were working at the end of specified
periods after leaving the school:




W O RC ESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

151

83.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS TRAINED IN THE WORCESTER TRADE
SCHOOL EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES WHEN OUT OF TRADE SCHOOL
EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME.

T able

Per cent earning and not
earning wages.

Number.
Earning wages.

Length of time out of
trade school.

Grand
In
total. Total. their
own
trades.
At first leaving..
At end of—
First year.............
Second year...
Third year............

Not earning wages.

Earning wages.

J
In
Ih oth­
their
At
er oc­ Total. Mar­
ried. home. Total. own
cupa­
trades.
tions.

166

126

84

42

40

166
86
20

118
73
18

66
36
s

52
37
10

48
13
2

Not
In oth­ earn­
er oc­ ing
cupa­ wages.
tions.

40
2
1

75.9

50.6

25.3

24.1

46
13
1

71.1
84.9
90.0

39.8
41.9
40.0

31.3
43.0
50.0

28.9
15.1
10.0

The proportions employed in their own trade and in other occu­
pations show a curious change of position as the time after leaving
school increases. On first leaving school 50.6 per cent of the total
group entered their own trade, while 25.3 per cent entered other
occupations; at the end of the first year, the proportion in their
own trade still exceeded the proportion in other occupations, but
the difference was much less. Of the girls reporting as to their
condition at the end of the second year out of school, the proportion
in other occupations slightly exceeded the proportion in their own
trade, and of those reporting as to the end of the third year, those in
other occupations were 50 per cent of the group, practically the
proportion which on first leaving school went into the trade for
which trained. Of course, the numbers in these groups decreases
steadily, but the proportion in other occupations increases with equal
steadiness.
An interesting difference appears in -the proportions earning and
not earning wages at specified times after leaving the trade schools of
Boston and Worcester. In Boston the great majority, 99.6 per cent,1
entered wage-earning occupations on leaving trade school, but in
Worcester almost one-fourth failed to do so. In Boston the pro­
portion of those earning decreases as the time after leaving school
lengthens, while the proportion of those not earning increases.
Just the reverse is true in Worcester. While 28.9 per cent were not
earning at the end of the first year after leaving school, 15.1 per cent
of those out of school as much as two years were not earning at the
end of the second year, and only 10 per cent of those out three years
were not earning at the end of the third year. The large amount of
idleness at the end of the first year is due largely to the group going
out wathin the most recent year, who have found it extremely diffi­
cult to secure employment in the sewing trades for two reasons:




1 See Table 45, p. 77.

152

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

First, the previous classes have practically supplied thfc demand for
young workers in the custom trades, and, second, the factory sewing
trades, which in Worcester are mostly the manufacture of corsets
and underwear, had at the time of this investigation been suffering
-severe industrial depression for several years. As the girls grow
older, new opportunities become available, and a decreasing propor­
tion is found at home. Marriage has scarcely affected the situation,
only three girls having been married at the time of the investigation.
Some variation is found within the different trades in the utiliza­
tion of the training in a wage-earning capacity. The following
table shows the distribution at specified times after leaving the trade
school of the girls trained for the different trades:
84.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS
TRAINED FOR THE SEWING TRADES WHO WERE EARNING AND NOT EARNING
WAGES WHEN OUT OF SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME.

T able

D R ESSM A K IN G .
jPer cent earning and not earn­
ing wages.
Earning wages.

Length of time out of trade
school.
Grand
total.

At first leaving.....................
At end of—
First year.......................
Second year....................
Third year......................

Earning wages.

I

Total.

Not j
In
earning!
In ! other wages.
j
their
Total
trade. occupa­
tions.

Not
In
earning
In
other wages.
their
trade. occupa­
tions.

108

70

46

24

38

64.8

42.6

22.2

35.2

108
44
10

67
37
9

34
16
4

33
21
5

41
7
1

62.0
84.1
90.0

31.5
36.4
40.0

30.5
47.7
50.0

38.0
15.9
10.0

M ILLIN ER Y.
At first leaving.
At end of—
First year..
Second year
Third year.

29

2£

18

29
20
4

26
is
4

15
7
1

10
11
11
4

1

96.6

62.1

34.5

3.4

3
2

89.7
90.0
100.0

51.7
35.0

38.0
55.0
100.0

10.3
10.0

CLOTH M ACHINE OPERATING.
At first leaving.....................
At end of—
First year.......................
Second year..................
Third year......................

29

28

20

8

1

96.6

69.0

27.6

3.4

29
21
6

26
18
5

37
13
4

9
5
1

3
3
1

89.7
85.7
83.3

58.6
61.9
66.6

31.0
23.8
16.7

10.3
14.3
16.7

Nearly two-thirds (65.1 per cent) of these girls had been trained
for dressmaking, and in this group were found the smallest propor­
tions utilizing their training, for the trade can not assimilate such
a large number of young, partially equipped workers. The powermachine operators show the largest proportion entering their trade
on leaving school, more than two-thirds doing so, as against over
tw~o-fifths of the dressmakers, and over three-fifths of the milliners.




WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

153

At the end of the first year after leaving school, less than one-third
of the dressmakers, over one-half of the milliners, and less than threefifths of the power-machine operators were still in their trade. The
dressmakers and the power-machine operators who had been out of
school as much as two years both showed a larger proportion work­
ing in their own trade at the end of the second year after leaving
school than were working at the end of the first year, while the
milliners showed a much smaller proportion. Of the girls who had
been out of school three years, the dressmakers and power-machine
operators showed a still larger proportion in their own trades at the
end of the third year, while there were none of the milliners working
in their trade. The fact that none of the milliners had continued in
their trade seems due to two causes, the seasonal character of the
trade and the small opportunity it offers for steady workers. The
young girls just leaving trade school sometimes displace the girls
who have been out in the trade for a year or two, because in the shops
of a small city the employer does most of the skilled work, and the
young girl who can do the simple processes nearly as well as the
girl who has been at them for a year or two will work for smaller
wages. As only four milliners had been out for three years, much
significance can not be attached to this showing.
LENGTH OF WORKING EXPERIENCE AND EMPLOYMENT.

When the length of working experience is considered instead of
length of time out of trade school, the situation does not change
essentially. According to the time they had been at work the 133
girls who had worked at all were, at the time of the investigation,
distributed as follows:
85.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WITH
SPECIFIED EXPERIENCE WHO WERE EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES.

T able

Earning wages in
their own trade.
Length of experience.

Earning wages in
other occupations. Not earning wages.

Total.
Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent.

L nder 1 year.............................
T
1 and under 2 years...................
2 years and over........................

60
51
22

24
27
11

40.0
52.9
50.0

24
22
11

40.0
43.1
50.0

12
2

20.0
3.9

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

133

62

46.6

57

42.9

14

10.5

Among those who had worked less than one year, precisely half of
those earning wages were in their own trade and half in other occu­
pations, and exactly the same division was found among those who
had worked for two years or more. Those working one and under
two years show a larger proportion in their own trade than in other
occupations. The real difference which length of experience brings




154

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

seems to lie in the proportion unemployed; the longer the working
experience the smaller is the proportion not at work.
AGE AND EMPLOYMENT.

Maturity, as has been suggested, is of great importance in deter­
mining the girl’s ability to secure employment, since in Worcester
the number of places in the custom sewing trades open to young girls
is strictly limited. At the time of the investigation the industrial dis­
tribution, by age, of the whole group of 166 girls was as follows:
T

able

86.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS OF
SPECIFIED AGE WHO WERE EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES.
Earning wages in
own trades.
Age group.

Earning wages in
other occupations.

Not earning wages.

Total.
Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent.

Under 16....................................
16 and under 18 years................
18 and under 20 years................
20 years and over......................

12
70
62.
22

4
23
25
10

33.3
32.9
40.3
45.5

2
25
20
'10

16.7
35.7
32.3
45.5

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

166

62

37.4

57

34.3

6
22
17
2

50.0
31.4
27.4
9.0
|

i

47:i

28.3

The increase in the proportion employed as age increases is showr
n
strikingly here. One-half of the 12 girls under 16 years of age, twothirds of the 70 girls of 16 and under 18 years, and over three-fourths
of the 84 girls aged 18 and over were working for wages. About
T
equal proportions of the girls who were earning wages were in the
trades for which they were trained and in other occupations. The
proportion not working for wages decreases from one-half in the
youngest group to less than one-tenth in the group aged 20 and over,
a fact which shows clearly the importance of maturity in securing
employment in Worcester.
REASONS FOR NOT USING TRADE.

Because of the different trade conditions in the two cities, the
reasons given by the girls from the Worcester Trade School show a
greater emphasis on industrial conditions than was the case among
the girls from the Boston Trade School. Table 87 gives the reasons
assigned by the 72 Worcester girls who had never used their trade
training for their failure to do so.
Thirty-nine per cent of the Worcester girls, against 32 per cent of
the Boston girls, failed to use their trade because of trade conditions;
in the group giving this reason the two cities show almost the same
proportion assigning their own or their parents' dislike to the trade,
but Worcester shows much the larger proportion who were unable
to get a job. The proportion who did not use their trade training
because of home demands is practically the same in the two cities—




155

W O RC ESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

in Worcester 27.8'per cent and in Boston 26 per cent. Lack of per­
sonal adjustment was a more important cause in Boston than in
Worcester, accounting for 28 per cent of the Boston group as against
19.4 per cent of the Worcester girls, and physical incapacity accounted
for 13 per cent in Boston as against 5.5 per cent in Worcester.
Of the 33 girls who left their trade after having entered it, by far
the largest proportion, 25, or 75.8 per cent, gave trade conditions as
their reason for doing so. Five, or 15*2 per cent, left on account of
domestic reasons, and only 3, or 9 per cent, because of physical
incapacity or lack of adjustment to the work.
T able

87.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS GIVING
EACH SPECIFIED REASON FOR NEVER USING THEIR TRADES.
Number.
Reason for never using trade.

Dress­
making.

Cloth
machine
operat­
ing.

Milli­
nery.

Lack of adjustment:
Not successful in school........................................
Did not learn enough.........................................
Unstable..............................................................

2
6
2

1
2

Total.

Per
cent.

1

3
9
2

4. 2
12. 5
2.8

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

10

3

1

14

19.4

Phvsical incapacity.............. .....................................

1

1

2

4

5.5

Trade conditions:
Dislike of work by parents or girl........................
Unable to get position.........................................
Dull seasons........................................................
“ Got another job” ...............................................
Too far from home................................................

10
6
1
3
1

2

12
8
1
6
1

10.7
11.1
1. 4
8.3
1.4

28

38.9

6

8.3

1
17
1
1

1. 4
23.6
1.4
1.4

20

.27.8

72

100.0

Total...... -.........................................................

21

Advancement (school)................................................

6

Domestic reasons:
No need to work...................................................
Needed at home...................................................
Married.................................................................
E conomic pressure...............................................

2
2

1

4

3

1
17
1
1

.........................................................

20

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

58

__

Total

8

61
1

AVERAGE WAGES AT SPECIFIED PERIODS.

Wages in the sewing trades are lower in Worcester than in Boston,
so the wages of the trade-school girls in the two cities can not be
used as a test of their comparative efficiency. The test of success
should be advancement in wage and the ability to continue in the
trade when once placed. Table 88 shows for the Worcester girls the
average wages on first entering the trade and at the end of each
year after leaving school.




156

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

T a b l e 8 8 . — NUMBER

AND AVERAGEWEEKLY WAGES OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL
GIRLS IN THEIR OWN TRADES AND IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS WHEN OUT OF SCHOOL
EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME.
IN TH EIR OWN TRAD E.1

Dressmaking.
Length of time out of trade school.

At first leaving...................................
At end of—
First year.....................................
Second year..................................
Third vear...................................

Millinery.

Cloth machine
operating.

Aver­
age
Aver­
Aver­
Aver­ Total. weekly
Num­
Num­
Num­
age
age
age
wage.
ber. weekly ber. weekly ber. weekly
wage.
wage.
wage.
46

$4.48 !

18

$4.53

20

$3.92

84

$4.36

32
15
4

5. 48
7.03
8.19

15
7
1

5.70
6.79
6.00

17
13
3

6.14
6.87
6.83

64
35
8

5.71
6.92
7.41

* ! $3.92
i
9 I 6.14
5 I 6. 87
2 ! 6.83
1

42

$4.53

51
36
10

5.65
6.66
5.79

1

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.!
At first leaving...................................
At end of—
First year.....................................
Second year.................................
Third year...................................

24

$4.48

10

$4.53

31
21
5

5. 48
7.03
8.19

11
10
3

5. 70
6. 79
6.00

1 Not including girls whose wages were not reported.

In Worcester, as in Boston, the cloth power-machine operator gets
the lowest initial wage, but in Worcester this wage falls somewhat
further below the average for the whole group than it does in Boston.
This is probably due to the difficulty of the power-machine sewing
done in the corset factories, where most of them have been placed.
The young untrained worker in dressmaking or millinery begins on
unskilled hand processes either at a fixed weekly rate, or if on piece
rates, on work sufficiently simple to enable her to earn a higher wage
than the young inexperienced machine operator. When, however,
the young machine operator has become accustomed to her work and
has developed her speed she is likely to outstrip the girls working on
hand processes. The average wage of the 17 trade-school girls in
power-machine operating at the end of their first year out of school
was $6.14, an increase of 56.6 per cent over the average wage of the
20 girls at the time of leaving school, and the average wage at the
end of their second year of the 13 girls out of school as long as two
years was $6.87, an increase of 11.9 per cent over the average wage
of the 17 girls at the end of the first year. The average wages of the
dressmakers, beginning with, a higher initial wage, showed for the
end of the first year an increase of 22.3 per cent, not quite half of the
increase gained by the power-machine operators. For the end of
the second year, however, the average wages of the 15 dressmakers
showed an increase over the average wages of the 32 dressmakers at
the end of the first year of 28.3 per cent, and the four still in this
trade at the end of their third year were earning average wages of




WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

157

$8.19 a week, a higher average than was shown by the few girls still
in either of the other trades, whereas in Boston at the end of the
third year the average wages of both the milliners and the clothmachine operators were higher than those of the dressmakers. The
average wage of the dressmakers in Worcester, however, is large
because three girls were able to do independent dressmaking at which
they earned from $2 to $2.50 a day. They maintained that they had
all the work they could do. One of these girls was 17 years old when
she began work, and the other two were 18, their age at beginning
work thus being higher than for most of the girls. Their success illus­
trates the opportunity for a very limited number of dressmakers in
Worcester.
The girls who went into occupations other than the trade for which
they had been trained showed a higher initial wage than those follow­
ing their trades— $4.53 against $4.36-i-but thereafter the wages of
the girls in the sewing trades were, on the whole, higher.
CLASSIFIED WAGES AT SPECIFIED PERIODS.

A study of the classified wages of the girls from the Worcester
Trade School adds little to the knowledge of the situation, owing to
the very small numbers in the different wage groups. Nevertheless,
the classified wages for those remaining in each trade and for those
leaving each trade are given for the sake of completeness in Table 89.
WAGES AND OCCUPATIONS AT SPECIFIED PERIODS.

Table 9Q shows the wages and occupations of girls from the Wor­
cester Trade School when out of school each specified length of time.
In considering the advancement of the Worcester girls a wage of
$6 a week has been taken as the standard of comparison instead of
$8, the basis of comparison in Boston. This difference is considered
fair, because of the immaturity and short working experience, as
compared with the Boston girls, of the majority of the Worcester
girls. By this standard the girls trained for millinery made the best
showing, not only on entering the trade, but also at the end of the
first and second years after leaving school. Less than one-fifth of
the 46 dressmakers earned $6 or more on leaving the trade school,
but at the end of the first year two-fifths of the 34 dressmakers out
of school one year and at the end of the second year four-fifths of the
16 dressmakers who had been out of school as long as two years had
reached that wage. Less than one-sixth of the 20 power-machine
operators earned $6 or more on first leaving school, while almost onehalf of the 17 power-machine operators out of school one year at the
end of the first year, and more than two-thirds of the 13 powermachine operators out of school as long as two years at the end of
the second year earned that amount. But more than one-fourth
of the 18 milliners earned $6 or more on first leaving, two-thirds of




158

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

the 15 milliners out of school one year at the end of the first year, and
all of the 7 milliners out of school as long as two years at the end of
the second year earned $6 or over. The short seasons in this trade,
however, diminish this apparent advantage.
89.—NUMBER OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED FOR SEWING
TRADES WHO RECEIVED SPECIFIED WEEKLY WAGES IN THEIR OWN TRADES OR
IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS WHEN OUT OF SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME.

T able

D R ESSM A K IN G .
Number.
In their own trades.

In other occupations.

Classified weekly wages.
At
first
leav­
ing.

At
first
leav­
ing.

end At end
At end Atof
of
of first second third
year.
year.
year.

end At end
At end Atof
of
of first second third
year.
year.
year.

2

2
5
5
5
4
2
1

1
3
1
10
8
5
3
1

4

24

32

Under $3.............................................
$3 and under $4
...........................
$4 and under $5 ................................
$5 and under $6..................................
$6 and under $7..................................
$7 and under $8..................................
$8 and over........................................
Not reported......................................

8
9
8
13
5

4
3
4
8
9

2
9

1

3

4
2

3
1

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

46

34

16

1

1

i
4
2

1
1
1

' 3
4
!

2

21

5

1
1
1

M ILLIN ER Y.
Under $ 3 ...........................................
$3 and under $4
...........................
$4 and under $5..................................
$5 and under $6
...........................
$6 and under $7..................................
$7 and under $8..................................
$8 and over........................................
Not reported......................................

1
3
6
3
5

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

18

2!
1
2
2
2

1

3
3
1

1
1
4

2

4
1

10

j

2
-

1

|
2
2
1
7
1
2

11

11

1
15

7

1

3

CLOTH M ACH INE OPERATING.
i
i ...........
1
21
6
3
2
3
1
2
5
4

i

Under $3.............................................
$3 and under $4..................................
$4 and under $5..................................
$5 and under $6..................................
$6 and under $7..................................
$7 and under $8..................................
$8 and over
..................................
Not reported......................................

5
3
4
5
3

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

20

17 I

13

3

8

84

66 1

36

8

42

52

!

9

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




2
1

3
1
1
1
1

2
1
1
3
2

1

i
1
l i
i...........
2
i
2
2
37

10

WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

159

90.—OCCUPATIONS AND WEEKLY WAGES OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL
GIRLS TRAINED FOR THE SEWING TRADES WHEN OUT OF SCHOOL EACH SPECIFIED
LENGTH OF TIME.

T able

AT FIRST LEAVING SCHOOL.
Girls trained for—
Millinery.

Dressmaking.

Cloth machine operating.

Total.

Total.

Total.

Occupation.
Per
Per
$6
16
$6
Un­
cent Un­ and
cent Un­ and
der
der
der and
in
in
16 over. Num­ each $6 over. Num­ each $6 over. Num­
ber. occu­
ber. t occu­
ber.
pa­
pa­
tion.
tion.
Sewing trades..........
Related trades..........
Other occupations:'
Manufactures_ !
_
Trade, transpor­
tation, clerical
work............... !
Domestic service. !

38
3

13
2

12.9

4
3

7 10.0
5 7.1

2
2

18 64.3
2 7.1

1
2
1
3
—

o
3
2

5

46 65. 7
3 4.3

8

9

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

14

7

21 30.0

5

Grand total—

55

15 j
i

70 100.0

~20~

1

3.6

4
3

14.3
10.7

3

17
1

1

Grand
Per total.
cent
in
each
occu­
pa­
tion.
84
6

20 71.4
1 3.6
1

3. 6

11

i 3 10. 7
3 10.7

i 14
11

2
2

1

4

2

i 7 25.0

i 36

28~ 100.0 | 22
i

5

i 28 100.0

i 126

8
1

i
17 I 65.4
1 ! 3.8

2 66

8 28.6 I
,

A T END OF F IR S T YE A R .
Sewing trades..........
Related trades..........

234 51. 5
16
9.1

19
3

13
2

3

3

6

9.1

4

6
5

11
9

16. 7
13.6

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

12

. 14

26 39.4

1

8

Grand total----

34

29

s 66 100.0

7

19

Other occupations:
_
Manufactures_
Trade, transpor­
tation, clerical
work...............
Domestic service.

5
1

10
1

15 57.7
2 7.7

2
1

2
5

19. 2
7.7

1

2

9 34.6
26

1 0 0 .0

19

1
4

1

3. 8

9

3

7.7

5

9

7

27.0

23
11

8 ! 30.8

43

4

4

13

13

26 ilO .O j 3 118
O I

A T END OF SECOND Y E A R .
!
Sewiim trades
Related trades..........

3 1 12
4

1 16

4

43. 2
10. 8

3

8 .1

Other occupations:
1
2 i
Manufactures_
_
Trade, transpor­
tation, clerical
6
5j
work...............
3
Domestic ser vice r* • '
7 | 10
Total.............. j

17 45.9

26

1 37 1 0 0 .0

Grand total_
_




10

11

3

29.7

1

7

7 38. 9
1 5. 6

4

1

1

1

5.6

5
1

18
1

44.4
5.6

2

7

1 10

55.6

3

14

18

1 0 0 .0

2

8 .1

1

1Including 1, wages not reported.
2 Including 2, wages not reported.
3 Including 3, wages not reported.

9

13 72.2

1

1 36
5

2

3

2

2 1 1 1 .1

21

4

5 |27.8

32

5 i 13
1

18 100.0

1
1

|

7

16.7
!

4

1

73

160

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

The girls who .went into either related trades or other occupations
show at first a larger proportion getting $6 or over than appears
among those remaining in their trades. This is true also at the end
of the first year out of trade school, but at the end of the second,
in dressmaking and in millinery the situation is reversed, the larger
proportion in the higher wage group being found among those who
have remained in their trade. Among the cloth machine operators,
however, at the end of the second year, 80 per cent of those out of
school that long who had left the trade as against 69.2 per cent of
those remaining in it were earning $6 or more.
The opportunities for skilled work are very much more limited in
Worcester than in Boston, so the girls who do not go into their own
trades, or who do not remain there, have a comparatively limited
field from which to choose. One-eighth of the dressmakers on first
leaving the trade school went into manufactures, and one-tenth into
trade, transportation, and clerical occupations. Four of the 28
milliners leaving trade school went into trade, transportation, and
clerical occupations, and three (10.7 per cent) into domestic service.
Only 5.6 per cent of the milliners in Boston had gone into domestic
service and the great majority who left their trade had entered the
business occupations, but openings even in these lines are limited
in Worcester, and are usually secured by girls more mature and
better equipped than those who are just out of trade school. At
the end of the first year out of trade school one-sixth of the dress­
makers, almost one-fifth of the milliners and more than one-fourth
of the power-machine operators were in trade, transportation, and
clerical work, showing the better opportunities which come with
increasing maturity. . At the end of the second year about threefifths of the dressmakers and milliners and over one-fourth of the
power-machine operators who had been out of school as long as two
years had left their trades. Trade, transportation, and clerical oc­
cupations took larger proportions than any other occupations of
those going out from the dressmakers and milliners, while from the
cloth machine operators the largest group went into other manufac­
tures.
FACTORS AFFECTING WAGES.
LENGTH OF W O RK ING EXPE R IE N C E.

Length of working experience, perhaps the most important factor
in determining wage-earning capacity, is too limited among the 119
Worcester Trade School girls employed at the time of the investiga­
tion to be very conclusive. In Table 91 there is shown the number
and proportion of girls, classified according to occupation and length
of experience, in different wage groups.




WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

161

01.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS IN
DIFFERENT WAGE GROUPS, CLASSIFIED BY OCCUPATIONS AND LENGTH OF
WORKING EXPERIENCE.

T able

NUMBER EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT.
Girls in specified occupations with working experience of—
Under 1 year.

1 and under 2 years.

2 years and over.

Occupation.
$6 $8
$6
$6 $8
To­
Un­ and $8 Not To­ Un­ and and Not To­ Un­ and and To­ tal.
re­
re­
der un­ and port­ tal. der un­ over. port­ tal. der un­ over. tal.
S
O der
$6 der
$6 der over. ed.
ed.
$8
$8
m
I

Sewing trades:
Dressmaking__
Millinerv..................
Cloth machine op­
erating ........

10
4
2
16

Total.....................
Related trades

2
1j

1

3

1

15
6

1
r

!

24

1
2

10

9

!

Grand total........... ~~28

13

3

3

15

5

1

'

.

1

13
4

1
4

1
!
t

1

2

15

3

11

62

2

27 | 2
!
1|
___ J 1 2
1

5
4

6

10

2

1

2

1

4

33
14

8
|

6

1

1

1

1

9
6

5!

4
2

6
1

31 2
[
i
15 1
3j

1
1

1

2
2

1__
_ 1

21

c

7

8

21 1 3

3

1

7

7

9

6 ~?2 | 119

1

1

6!

2

!

:

Total..

!

1 ;
31
I........

1

i
6:
6
4

8
4

2

3
i

- 1 2
i

Other occupations:
Manufactures...........
Trade, transporta­
tion, clerical work.
Domestic service. . . .

2
1

1

48

= T i T

;

12~j 23~

13~

1

49 !
i

1

3!
j

1

12
26
11
49

PER CENT EARNING EACH CLASSIFIED AMOUNT.1
|

Girls in the specified occupations with a working experience of—

i
Under 1 year.

1 and under 2 years.

i

2 years and o\er.

Occupation.
$6
Un­ and
$8
der under and Total.
over.
$6
$8

18.2
45.4

54.5
27.3

27.3
27.3

100.0
100.0

100.0 1 31.8
1
1Based on number of girls whose wages were reported.

40.9

27.3

100.0

69.6
Sewing trades........
Other occupations.. ... 54.6

17.4
40.9

62.2

28.9

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

$6
$6
Un­ and
$8
|Un­ and $8
der under and Total. der under and Total.
$6
$6
$S over.
$8 over.

13.0
4.5
8.9

100.0
100.0
100.0

23.1
27.2
25.0

57.7
36.4
47.9

19.2
36.4
27.1

100.0
100.0

Forty-one per cent of the girls employed at the time of the inves­
tigation had worked one and under two years, and only 18.4 per
cent had worked two years or over, so that the field in which the
effect of experience might be seen is obviously small. Nevertheless,
the effect is visible. Taking the whole group of 119 girls, the pro­
portion earning $8 or over increases with each successive period,
while the proportion earning under $6 decreases from 62.2 per cent
among those with less than one year's experience to 25 per cent among
those with one and under two years of experience; among those with
two years or more of experience, however, this proportion increases
again to 31.8 per cent. Among the girls who entered the sewing
8 5 2 2 5 °— 17— B u ll. 215------- 11




162

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS*

trades, this irregularity does not appear; among them the propor­
tion in the $8 a week group steadily increases and the proportion
in the $6 a week group steadily decreases as time goes on.
AGE

AT

B E G IN N IN G

WORK.

Maturity at the time of beginning work is also an important factor
in determining wage advancement. More than four-fifths of those
beginning work under 18 years of age earned less than $6 a week
against one-half of those who began at 18 or over. By the end of the
first year almost one-half (45.2 per cent) of those beginning work under
16 years of age, more than one-half (55.2 per cent) of those beginning
between 16 and 18 years, and two-thirds (67.9 per cent) of those
beginning at 18 years or over earned $6 or more a week. By the
end of the second year the girls beginning at 16 but under 18 had the
advantage over the girls beginning at 14 or 15 years old, 82.9 per
cent of the former and only 57.9 per cent of the latter earning $6 or
more, but the girls beginning at 18 or over had not maintained their
precedence, 82.4 per cent earning $6 or more. In-Boston, also, the
girl beginning at 18 y'ears or over did not maintain her advantage
over the girl beginning at 16.
T able

02.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS IN DIFFER­
ENT WAGE GROUPS, CLASSIFIED BY AGE AND PREVIOUS SCHOOLING.
P e r c e n t e a r n in g e a c h
s p e c ifie d w a g e .1

N u m b e r e a r n in g e a c h s p e c ifie d w a g e .

Previous schooling.

Lender 18 years of age.

Under 18
years
of age.

18 years of age and over.

18 years of
age and
over.

G rand
total.
Un­ $6 Not
Un­
Un­
$6 Not
$6 Un­
$6
re­
re­
der and der and
der and port­ Total. der and port­ Total.
$Q over. $6 over.
$6 over. ed.
$6 over. ed.
Grammar school:
Graduates........
Nongraduates..

16
10

5
10

1

22
20

4
5

12
11

2
1

18
17

40 76.2
37 50.0

23.8
50.0

32.2
25.0

67.8
75.0

Total.............
High school............

26
6

15
6

I

42
12

9
6

23
24

3

35
30

77 63.4
42 50.0

36.6
50.0

28.1
23.3

71.9
76. 7

32 j 21
|

1

54

15

3 j 65
119 60.4 39.6
1
Based on number of girls whose wages were reported.

25.8

74.2

Grand total...

i

A C A D E M IC

AND

47

T R A D E -S C H O O L

T R A IN IN G .

In the study of the Boston Trade School girls it appeared that the
girls with a high-school education had some advantage over those who
had not gone so far, and that length of trade training tended to increase
earning capacity. The number studied in Worcester was so small
that it is practically impossible to classify them by these two stand­
ards without ignoring the classification by length of working experi­




163

WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

ence. But the latter is such an important factor in determining wages
that a classification which omitted it would be of dubious value.
Consequently, no attempt is made to show how far the wages of the
Worcester girls are affected by either their preliminary schooling or the
length of time spent in the trade school. Tables 92 and 93 present
the wage grouping of the girls according to these two points as it
existed at the time of the investigation, February to March, 1915,
but conclusions can not be drawn from them.
N U M B E R A N D P E R C E N T O F W O R C E S T E R T R A D E SC H O O L G IR L S IN D IF ­
F E R E N T W A G E G R O U P S , C L A S S IF IE D B Y P R E V IO U S SC H O O L IN G A N D L E N G T H O F
T IM E IN T R A D E SC H O O L .

T a b le 9 3 .—

Per cent earning each
specified wage.1

Number earning each specified wage.

Attending trade
school less than
18 months.

U n ­ | $6
der ! and Total.
over.
$6

U n­
der
$6

Attending Attending
trade school trade school
18 months
less than
18 months.
and over.

Attending t rade school
18 months and over.

Previous schooling.

G rand
total.
Not
$6
re­
and
Total.
port­
oyer.
ed.

U n­
der
$6

$8
and
over.

U n­
der
$6

and
over.

!

Grammar school:
Graduates........................
N ongraduates................

10 i
10 |

6
15

16
25

11
4

10
7

3
1

24
12

40
37

62. 5
40.0

37.5
60.0

52.4
36.4

47.6
63.6

Total..............................
High school............................

20 1
6 i

21

41
17

15
6

17
19

4

36
25

77
42

48.8
35.3

51.2
64.7

46.9
24.0

511
76.0

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

26 j

32

58

21

36

4

61

119

44.9

55.1

36.9 ,| M . i

11

1 Based on number of girls whose wages wore reported.

WAGES AND LENGTH OF WORKING SEASON.

The two following tables show the length of the working season
by trades, and by weekly wages earned by those working each
specified number of months, as reported by 78 Worcester Trade
School girls:
T a b l e 9 4 . — N U M B E R A N D P E R C E N T O F W O R C E S T E R T R A D E S C H O O L G IR L S W O R K I N G

S P E C IF IE D

NUM BER

O F M O N T H S IN Y E A R , B Y

O C C U P A T IO N .

NUMBER.
Girls working specified number of months in year.

Present occupation.

Sewing trades:
Dressmaking......................
Millinery..............................
Cloth machine operating

8 and
11 and
10 and
6 and
N ot re­
under
12
under
under
Under 6" under
months. ported.
8
12
months.
11
10
jmonths. months. months. months.

2I
1
3 i
40

T o ta l.................................
Other trades........... ....................
Grand total1..............

oS
13

12

1 N ot including those out of trade school less than 1 year and those not working for wage.




Total.

164

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCIIOOL GIRLS.

T a b l e 9 4 . — N U M B E R A N D P E R C E N T O F W O R C E S T E R T R A D E S C H O O L G IR L S W O R K I N G .
S P E C I F I E D N U M B E R . O F M O N T H S I N Y E A R , B Y O C C U P A T IO N — Concluded.

PER CEN T.1
Girls working specified number of months in year.

Present occupation.
Under 6
months.

8 and
6 and
10 and
11 and
under
under
I Not re­
under
under
12
12
months. ported.
10
11
8
months. months. months. months.

Sewing trades:
Dressmaking.............................
Millinery.....................................
Cloth machine operating.. .

11.1
12.5
23.1

11.2
75.0
7.7

16.6

T o ta l........................................
Other trades.....................................

15. 4
15.8

23.1
10.4

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

15.6

16.9

27.8
12.5
7.7

11.1

7.7
7.9

17.9
13.2

7.8

15.6

Total.

61.5

100.0
100.0
100.0

5.1
5.3

30.8
47.4

100.0
100.0

5.2

38.9

22.2

..............

i........
i

100.0

1 Based on number of girls reporting as to number of months in year worked.

T a b l e 9 5 .— N U M B E R

O F W O R C E S T E R T R A D E SC H O O L G IR L S W O R K I N G S P E C IF IE D
N U M B E R O F M O N T H S IN Y E A R , B Y W E E K L Y W A G E S .

IN TH EIR OWN TRAD ES.
Girls working specified number of months in year.
W eekly wage group.
Under 6
months.

6 and
under 8
months.

Under $6.............................................
$6*and under 18................................
$8 and over.........................................
N ot reported......................................

2
3
1

2
7

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

6

9

8 and
10 and
under 10 under 12
months. months.

12
months.

1
1
1

1
1

4
3
5

3

y

12

Not re­
ported.

i.............. i*
i

Total.

10
21
8
1
40

IN OTHER OCCUPATIONS.
Under $6.............................................
$6 and under $ 8 ...............................
$8 and over ....................................
Total

...............................

2
4
6

1
1
2

2
1

2
4
1

4

3

7

J

7 I..................
8 '■
...................
I
18 !...................

10
16
12
38

As to relative length of working seasons, the trades take much the
same rank as in Boston, the millinery seasons being shortest and the
power-machine operating seasons longest. But the seasons are longer
for all the trades in Worcester than in Boston, so that the lower
wages prevailing in Worcester do not indicate so much lower an annual
income as might be inferred. In Worcester 30.8 per cent of the
trade-school girls employed in the sewing trades had a working sea­
son of 12 months against 7.3 per cent of those in the same trades in
Boston. Of the sewing girls in Worcester 53.8 per cent, against 36.8
per cent of those in Boston w
rorked 10 months or more. The length
of the working year for those who entered other occupations is better




WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

165

than among those who remained in their own trades, almost one-half
working 12 months and practically two-thirds working 10 months or
more.
Turning to a consideration of wages, it appears in general that the
better-paid girls show a smaller proportion working less than six
months than the girls earning lower wages, but the converse is not
altogether true; of those earning less than $6 a week, 50 per cent
worked 10 months or more against 47.6 per cent of those earning $6
and under $8 and 75 per cent of those earning $8 and over. Among
those working in other occupations the irregularity appears in the
highest wage group; 50 per cent of those earning less than $6 worked
10 months or more against 68.7 per cent of those earning $6 and under
$8, and 75 per cent of those earning $8 and over. The numbers in
these groups are too small, however, to allow much significance to be
attached to these proportions.
Very few of the girls studied in Worcester fill in their dull time
with any other wage-earning occupation. Four of the dressmakers
found positions in their own trade, two working two months and two
four months and over. Two earned less than $5 a week, and the other
two were unable to estimate their actual earnings. Five milliners
had a secondary occupation. Three were saleswomen in stores, two
working, one month but less than two and earning less than $6, and
the third working between two and three months and earning $7 a week.
The two other milliners found places as domestic servants. They
worked three months, one earning less than $5 and one $7. On&
power-machine operator worked one month as a s a l e s w o m a n , earning
$6 a week.
TRADE-TRAINED SEWING GIRLS IN WORCESTER.

Only 123 of the 704 women attending the Worcester Evening Trade
School during the winter of 1914-15 were gainfully employed in
sewing during the day. Only 46 of those attending at the time of the
investigation were not over 25 years of age, These were taken for
study. They represented a variety of industries, 34 working in corset
factories, 5 in the manufacture of underwear, 2 in a slipper factory,
1 in a millinery store, and 2 in custom dressmaking. Eleven were
under 20 years and 35 were 20 or over. Eighteen had been at work
less than 5 years and 28 for 5 years or over. At the time of the
investigation 29, or 63 per cent, were earning less than $8 a week and
17 (37 per cent) were earning $8 or over. While the group is limited
in number the experience of its members provides a basis for com­
parison with the trade-school girls and gives some index to trade
opportunities.
The following table shows the occupations through which these 46
girls had passed to their present work:




166

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS,

T a b l e 9 6 .— N U M B E R A N D

P E R C E N T O F T R A D E -T R A I N E D GTRLS IN W O R C E S T E R IN
E A C H O C C U P A T IO N A T S P E C IF IE D T IM E S A F T E R B E G IN N I N G W O R K .

NUMBER.
Girls employed in specified occupation.

Occupation.

Custom hand sewing .....................................
Factory— hand processes:
Boning..........................................................
Hand shaping.............................................
Folding .....................................................
Pressing........................................................
Examining ...............................................
Hand stamping
...................................
Hand sewing...............................................
Pinning girdles..........................................
Fringing.....................
.......................
Orders...........................................................
Total..........................................................
Factory— machine processes........................

At
begin­
ning
work.

A t the end of—

1st
2d
year. year.

1

12

9

2

2

1

3
1
2
1
2
1
1

6
1
2

4
1

3
1
2
1
2

1
1
4
1

1
1
4

1
t
3

2

1

1
1
3

5 1

I
i

2

14

23

JS .
th
j

7th
6th
9th
year. year, year. year.

2

2

1
1

5th
4th
year. year.

3

2

2

3d
year.

1

_____ _

1

1

1
7 .
11
_______

22

20

16

4

2

1

1

8

14

23

,2 7

24

19

19 j

12 i

g

!

Total, sewing trades................................
O i.hor
ipfi.i ini'! s
..............
_

30

32
14

37
8

41

40
2

32
3

23
2 ,

21 !
i
1 j

13
1

9

10

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

46 ■

46

45

44

42

35

25 ;

22 |

14

9

7.7
92.3

11.1
88,9

P ER CENT.
Custom— hand sewing....................................
Factory— hand processes...............................
Factory— machine processes.........................

6 .6
6 .2
76.7 68. 8
16.7 ; 25.0

8.1
54.1
37.8

4.9
39.0
56.1

3. 1
5.0
27. 5 ’ 21.9
67. 5 75.0

17.4
82.6

9 .5
90.5

At the time of the investigation practically all were engaged in the
factory sewing trades, but more than three-fourths had begun work
in the hand processes in the factory, such as boning (in the corset
factory), folding, and examining. Not until the end of the fourth
year were as many as two-thirds or more employed in the machine
processes. For the girls without training these hand processes pro­
vide a kind of apprenticeship, not in training for machine work, but
in handling materials, speed, endurance, and application. The young
girl trained in the trade school is usually able to skip these preliminary
unrelated processes. In the corset factories, which employ the
largest number of women in the sewing trades in Worcester, the powermachine operating is very difficult, involving the joining of curved
edges, the use of complicated two, three, four, five, and six needle
machines, and requires great speed as well as accuracy and skill.
A few of the young trade-school girls have been placed directly on
the simple power-machine sewing processes after experience in “ oneneedle and two-needle joining” in the school, but the more mature
workers are usually given the preference on the machines.
The average and the classified weekly wages in successive years
after beginning work of 46 trade-trained girls are given in Tables 97
and 98.




WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
T able

s?

, - a v e r a g e w e e k l y w a g e s a t s p e c i f i e d t im e s a f t e r
WORK OF TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS IN WORCESTER.

167

b e g in n i n g

Girls working at specified times in—
Sewing trades.

Length of time at
work.

Number.

Average
Average
weekly Number. weekly
wage.
wage.

29

$4. 34

17

$3.69

31
35
37
38
31
23
21
12

At beginning work..
At end of—
First year..........
Second year.......
Third year........
Fourth year......
Fifth year.........
Sixth year.........
Seventh year_
_
Eighth year.......

T

Other occupations.

5.36
6. 81
6. 89
7.33
7.83
7.96
7. 89
7.75

15
10
7
4
4
2
1
2

5. 02
5. 54
6.02
6. 38
6. 88
6. 45
7.50

98.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WORCESTER TRADE-TRAINED GIRLS IN
CLASSIFIED WAGE GROUPS, AT SPECIFIED TIMES AFTER BEGINNING WORK.

able

NUMBER.
Girls earning specified wage.
Weekly wage.

At the end of—

At
first
leav­
ing.

1st
year.

2d
year.

3d
year.

4th
year.

5th
year.

6th
year.

7th
year.

8th
year.

9th
year.

SEW IN G TRADES.

Under $3..... ...... ....................
S3 and under $4................
$4 and under $5.......................
$5 and under $ 6 ...................................
$6 and under $7.......................
$7 and under $8.......................
$8 and under $9.......................
£9 and under $10.....................
110 and over...........................
Total.................................
OTHER

10

o

1

2

2
3

2
4

1

8
5

6
8

10

}
5
10
7

2

6

6

4

4
1

3

1
29

I

^

35

5
1

37

1
1
2

3
9
7
7

1
1
8
8
7
3

2

4
4

4

3

4

3
4
3
1
1

38

31

23

21

12

4
8
5
3

5
4
2

2

3
1
3

9

O C PA N
C U TIO S.

Under $3..................................
S3 and under $4.......................
S4and under $5.......................
i*
$ 5 and under ? 6 .......................
$ 6 and under & .......................
/
$ 7 and under $ 8 .......................
$8 and under $9.......................
§9 and under $10.....................
S10 and over................. ..........
Total..............................

4
5
6

1
1

1
2
6
1
3
1
1

17

15

1
1
3
2
2

2
3

2

1
10

7

1

1

1
i

2j
1

1

4

4:

2

1

2

14.3
85.7
55.0
45.0

100.0
58.3
41.7

1

1

1
1

1

PER CENT.
SEWING TRADES.

69.0
31.0
96. 6
3.4

51.6
48.4
93.6
6.4

22.9
77.1
74.3
25.7

21.6
78.4
69.4
'30.6

18.4
81.6
63.9
36.1

3.2
96.8 100.0
56. 7 52.2
43.3 47.8

Under f 6................................. 94.1
5.9
$6 and over..............................
Under $8.................................. 100.0
$8 and over............................

66.7
33.3
93.3
6.7

50.0
50.0
90.0
10.0

28.6
71.4
100.0

50.0
50.0
66.7
33.3

25.0
75.0
66.7
33.3

Under $6..................................
$6 and over............................
Under $8..................................
$8 and over..............................
OTHER OCCUPATIONS.




50.0
50.0
100.0

10
0 .0
100.0

100.0
50.0
50.0

100.0
62.5
37.5

168

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Comparing the average wage of the trade-trained girls in the sew­
ing trades with those of the trade-school girls in the same kind of
work, the powder-machine operators, it appears that the trade-trained
girls began at a slightly higher average, $4.34 against $3.92, but by
the end of the first year the advantage was on the side of the tradeschool girls, who were earning an average wage of $6.14 against the
$5.36 of the trade-trained girls. At the end of the second year the
trade-school girl still had the advantage, though the difference be­
tween the average wages of the two groups was less than at the end
of the first year. As there were only three girls in the trade-school
group who had worked three years the comparison can hardly be
carried beyond the second year.
A comparison of these wages with those received by the tradetrained factory sewers in Boston shows the lower wage scale
prevailing in Worcester. Throughout their working experience
these Worcester workers never averaged $8; in Boston by the end
of the third year the corresponding group averaged $8.08. (See
Table 62, p. 105.) Up to the fourth year in Worcester almost twothirds of those employed in the sewing trades earned less than $8
and of those working from five to nine years more than one-half
earned less than $8. At the end of the fourth year in Boston only
two-fifths (41.2 per cent) earned less than $8, and of those working
from five to nine years only a little over one-fifth (22 per cent)
failed to reach $8.
The majority of these girls were 20 years of age or over, and had
worked five years or more. They do not, therefore, afford a satis­
factory comparison with the trade-school girls, the majority of whom
were under 20 and none of whom had a working experience of more
than three years. The younger girls offer a more satisfactory basis
for comparison, but there were only 11 under 20 years of age, three
of whom earned less than $6 and four earned less than $7. Only
four liad worked less than three years, two of whom earned less than
$6 while two earned $7. The young worker occupies a very small
place in the skilled sewing trades, either in custom or wholesale
manufacturing, and particularly is this true outside of the large
cities. Since these girls in the Worcester Evening Trade School come
for training in making their own clothes and not for trade training,
they are probably fairly typical of the workers in the sewing trades
of Worcester, and their experiences give a glimpse into industrial
opportunities in this type of city.




WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

169

CAMBRIDGE GIRLS’ TRADE SCHOOL.

The Cambridge Trade School has been in existence too short a
time to throw any light on the question of the industrial efficiency of
trade-school girls. It was established February, 1913, and up to the
time of the investigation 113 girls had gone out from the school.
AGE, INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTION, AND WAGES OF GIRLS STUDIED.

Tables 99, 100,101, and 102 show the age, wage, and experience of
the 51 girls who were earning wages, the distribution as to occupa­
tion of the 98 who were located, and the age at beginning work.
99.—NUMBER OF CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS IN SPECIFIED WAGE
GROUPS, BY AGE AND LENGTH OF WORKING EXPERIENCE.

T able

Number of girls earning specified wage.
Present age.

Length of experience.

Wage group.

Total.
Under 16 and
under
16
18
years. years.

Under $5........................................
$5 and under $6............................. j
$6 and over....................................
Not reported..................................

6
1

18
years
and
over.

6 and
12 and j 18
Under under
under ! months
6
12
18
and
months. months. months, over.
j
...

13
7
8
1

6
3
6

8
1
2
1

13
5
7

29

15

12

25

T

1
4
2

7!

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

3
1!
3j
1

25
11
14
1

7

51

100.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS TRAINED
IN SPECIFIED COURSES WHO WERE EARNING AND NOT EARNING WAGES.

able

1
j

N umber.
Condition as to earning wages.

Dress- j Milli­
making.] nery.
I

Cook­
ing.

Per cent.

; DressTotal. jmaking. Milli­
nery.

Cook­
ing.

Total.

Earning:
In their own trades......................
In other trades.............................

1
8!
27 !

3
7

4
2

15
11.9
36 1 40.3

15.8
36.8

33.3
16.7

15.3
36.7

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

35 |

10

6

51 ;

52.2

52.6

59.0

52.0

2
17 !
6
4
2
1

1
4
1
3

1
3
2

5.3
21.0
5.3
15.8

8.3
25.0
16.7 !
s
i
1

4.1
24.5
9.2
7.2
2.0
1.0

47.4

50.0

48.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Not earning:
Married ......................................
At home......................................
At home—housework..................
At school......................................
Dead............................................
Lost position...............................
Total.........................................

32

9

6

4
3.0
24
25.4
9
9.0
7
6.0
2
3.0
1;
L4
47 | 47.8

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

67

19

12

98 I 100.0




170
T

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
101.—NUMBER OF CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS IN SPECIFIED WAGE
GROUPS, BY" AGE AND OCCUPATION AT TIME OF INVESTIGATION.

able

Number of girls earning specified wages who were—

Occupation at time
of investigation.

Under 16 years.

18 years and over.

16 and under 18 years.

Grand
total.
I
So
Not
$0
$6
Un­ and
Un­ and
re­ Total. Un­ and and (Total
der under
der under Total. der under and port­
§5
$5
$5
$6 over.!
$6 over. ed.
16
So

In their own trades:
" Dressmaking...
Millinery..........
Cooking...........
Total...........

15

In related trades...

1

In other occupa­
tions:
Manufactures...
Trade, transpor­
tation, clerical
work.............
Domestic service

11
5
2

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

3I

16
5

7

35

Grand total..
T

able

51

102.^-NUMBER OF CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS IN SPECIFIED WAGE
GROUPS, BY AGE AT BEGINNING WORK, AND INITIAL OCCUPATION.
Number of girls earning specified wages who, at beginning
work, were—

Initial occupation.

Under 16 years.

16 years and over.

$5
$5
Un­ and
$6
Un­ and
$6
der under and Total. der under and
$5
$5
over.
over.
$6
$6

Grand
total.

In their own trade:
Dressmaking...
Millinery..........
Cooking............
T otal.......

21

In related trades..

3

In other occupations:
Manufactures.....................................
Trade, transportation, clerical work.
Domestic service...............................

2;
1

4I
14 j
4

14
19
6

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

17 I

11 j

39

Grand total..

24 ;

20 I

66

It will be seen that more than two-thirds of the 51 girls who were
employed at the time of the investigation were under 18 years of
age and almost three-fourths had been at work less than one year.
One-half of those reporting their wages earned less than $5 a week,
and nearly three-fourths (72 per cent) earned less than $6.
Only a little over one-half of the girls located were earning, and
of those who were gainfully employed not one-third (29.4 per cent)




WORCESTER AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

were working at the trade for which they had been trained. Of the
47 who were not earning, 33 (70.2 per cent) were at home, not mar­
ried. The immaturity of many of these girls makes it difficult for
them to secure profitable employment. Of the seven girls under 16
only one was employed in the trade for which she had been trained,
while five were in manufactures. One-fourth of the girls aged 16
and under 18, and one-half of those aged 18 and over were in the
trades for which they had been trained, showing the relation of ma­
turity to success in securing employment in the trades for which the
school trains. Maturity also has an important relation to the wage,
none of those under 16 years, two-sevenths of those aged 16 but under
18, and two-fifths of those aged 18 or over earning $6 or more a week.
Sixty-six of the 98 girls located went to work on leaving trade
school, a few more than one-third entering the trade for which they
were trained. Almost four “fifths of these were 16 years of age or
over, and four-fifths earned an initial wage of less than $6.. About
three-fifths entered wholly unrelated occupations. More than onehalf of these were 16 years of age or over, and more than four-fifths
earned an initial wage of less than $6.
The skilled sewing trades hold a very small place in Cambridge,
and the local dressmakers and milliners have little or no need for the
young, partially equipped worker. For opportunity to exercise her
trade, therefore, the young trade-school girl trained in sewing would
usually have to go to the shops of Boston. The large factories in
Cambridge, which have a considerable demand for unskilled or
medium skilled young girls, draw many of these young workers be­
cause of their proximity. The stores of Boston and Cambridge offer
them opportunities as cash girls and bundle girls. It appears, there­
fore, that there is but little opportunity for the girls trained in the
custom sewing trades to enter their trades after leaving school. The
cooking courses which the school is developing may lead to more
promising opportunities, but the extreme youth of the girls on leaving
handicaps them seriously in this work.
SUMMARY.

The trade experience of the pupils trained in the Worcester and
Cambridge trade schools is of interest in showing very concretely the
necessity for an intimate understanding and recognition by trade
educators of industrial needs and opportunities. The preliminary
surveys of the industrial opportunities in Worcester and Cambridge
in 1911 1 pointed out the very limited number of opportunities, espe­
cially for the young girl, in the custom sewing trades in these cities,
and urged that the emphasis be put on the power-machine sewing
trades. The rapid development of the ready-made clotiling trade
i Department of Research, Women’s Educational and Industrial Union: A trade school for girls, a pre­
liminary investigation in a typical manufacturing city, Worcester, Mass., United States Bureau of Edu­
cation, Bulletin, 1913, No. 17. The Cambridge report was not published.




172

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL CTRLS.

during the past five years has made the situation even less favorable
for the young girl trained in the sewing trades. The increasing
regulation of the work of children under 16 years old has also helped
to diminish the opportunities open to the young trade-school girl.
Extremely limited trade opportunities to begin with, and increasing
limitations due to industrial evolution and legal regulation of child
labor, therefore, explain the small proportion of girls who have used
their trades in these two smaller cities. The Cambridge Trade School,
moreover, because of its very recent establishment, is in much the
same position as the Boston Trade School during its first years—that
is, it is the last resort of many pupils who have little conception of its
purpose, “ but thought they would try it.” These soon find them­
selves little adapted to the requirements of the particular trade chosen
and drop out. Because of their immaturity and lack of training they
are then either unemployed or find work in unskilled employment.
Both schools fully appreciate the situation and are seeking to
solve the problem in different ways.
In Worcester the plan is to limit the number trained for the cus­
tom sewing trades and to urge a four years’ course. With a back­
ground of four years’ experience in the school and the maturity of
18 years or more it is believed these few girls can meet the trade
requirements in this particular locality. The department of powermachine sewing is to be expanded to several times its present size,
since the only large opportunity in the sewing trades is found in
the factory sewing trades, the manufacture of corsets and muslin
underwear predominating. A domestic arts course of four years is
to be offered to the girl who can spend four 3rears in school but need
not prepare directly for wage earning, since there is no high school of
this type in Worcester.
Although the girls from the Worcester Trade School have been in
the industrial world too short a time to afford the basis for a satis­
factory study of industrial efficiency, they compare favorably with
those trained in the trades. Their wage scale is somewhat lower
than that prevailing among the Boston girls, but their longer working
season probably neutralizes this disadvantage. Moreover, many of the
same tendencies can be discovered in their experience that were found
in the experience of the Boston girls. The relation between wage and
increasing maturity and wage and length of experience is obvious.
In Cambridge, as in Worcester, the necessity of limiting the num­
bers trained for custom sewing is recognized. The millinery depart­
ment has been given up. Emphasis is being put on trade cooking,
but in this line also the extreme youth of the girls seriously limits
wage-earning opportunities. Effort is also being made to familiar­
ize parents with the real motive of the school, that there may be
less waste due to a misunderstanding of its purpose.




CHAPTER

V I .— T H E

G IR L

W HO

TRADE

HAS

BEEN

T R A IN E D

IN

THE

SCH OOL.

LOCATION IN REGARD TO SCHOOL.
AREA FROM WHICH BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS ARE DRAWN.

The 2,044 girls who have gone out from the Boston Trade School
for Girls during its 10 years of existence represent a wide range of
social and economic environments. In this respect, it is not differ­
ent from the ordinary public school, but it is unique in the wide geo­
graphical area from which it drawls its pupils. These girls have come
from 88 different sections of the city and surrounding country. Since
it was the only school of its kind in Massachusetts from 1904 to 1911,
and since it offered a new type of specialized instruction, with an
immediate, practical end in view, it attracted a relatively large pro­
portion, 15.8 percent, from suburbs. The majority, 80.1 per cent,
naturally came from the city of Boston, but even these girls repre­
sented 18 widely different sections of the city, from the congested
foreign quarters of the North and West Ends, to the semisuburban
districts of Roslindale and Forest Hills.
More than one-third, 35 per cent, lived in the South End and
Roxbury, the immediate neighborhood of the school. This prox­
imity to the school may account for the large proportion who ‘ ‘ thought
they w
rould try it,” for almost one-third of these girls living in the
immediate neighborhood remained in the trade school less than
three months. The outlying sections of the city, however, for the
most part beyond walking distance, furnished an even larger pro­
portion of the attendance (45.1 per cent) than came from the imme­
diate neighborhood.
Although the trade school is not located in the center of the city,
it is very accessible to many outlying sections through the Boston
Elevated System. Its favorable position near a junction of the
elevated system has doubtless helped to make possible the attend­
ance of the comparatively large proportion, 15.8 per cent, who came
r
from suburbs lying within a 10-mile circuit of Boston. Almost
three-fourths, 72.7 per cent, of these suburban girls, however,
lived within the 5-cent car-fare limit. Of the total attendance, 2.9
per cent came from outside towns and cities, almost one-half of
these from within a 15-mile circuit of Boston, although 36 girls
came from a greater distance. For 22 girls (1.1 per cent) location
was not reported. Almost two-thirds, 63.9 per cent, therefore, came
from such a distance that they would ordinarily be dependent on the




173

174

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

cars. The immaturity of these young girls, 62.6 per cent entering
the trade school before the age of 16,a together with the expense in­
volved for car fares and luncheons, while attending school, makes it
seem remarkable that so many make the effort at all.
DISTAN CE F R O M SC H O O L A N D PERSISTEN CE IN ATTEN D AN CE.

The following tables show the relation between the distance from
which the girls (3ome to the school and both their persistence in the
school and their tendency to make use of their training after leaving:
T

able

103.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS ATTENDING BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL
EACH SPECIFIED LENGTH OF TIME, BY LOCALITY OF RESIDENCE.
NUMBER.
Girls attending each specified number of months—
Locality of residence.

TotaL

Under
3

3 and
under
6

6 and
under
9

9 and
under
12

Boston................................................
Suburbs.............................................
Outside towns....................................
Outside of State.................................
Not reported......................................

499
78
10
1
5

204
51
8

201
42
12
5

299
72 •
13
1
2

146
17
4

1

142
37
8
1
3

2

4

1,637
323
59
3
22

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

593

264

260

191

387

169

180

2,044

20.0
24.2
23.6
33.3
11.1

9.8
5.7
7.3

20.8 j

12 and 18 and Not re­
under over. ported.
18
146
26
4

PER CENT.'
Boston................................................
Suburbs..............................................
Outside towns....................................
Outside of State.................................
Not reported......................................
Total.........................................

33.5
26.3
18.2
33.3
27.8

13.4
14.1
21.8

5.6

27.8

9.5
12.5
14.5
33.3
16.7

31.8

I

13.7
17.2
14.5
14.2

13.9

10.2

11.1

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

9.1

100.0

i Based on number of girls whose length of attendance was reported.
T

able

104.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS USING AND
NOT USING THEIR TRADE, BY LOCALITY OF RESIDENCE.
Number.

y

Locality of residence.

Boston.............................................
Suburbs.. .<...................................
Outside towns................................
Outside of State..............................
Not reported...................................
Total..................................




Per cent.

Not using their
trade but at­
tending the
school—

Using
their
trade.

Total.
9
Less
months than
or
9
more. months.

602
144
35
2
5

109
17
4

788

131

4

926 ! 1,637
162
323
20
59
1
3
13
22
1,122

a See Table 5, p. 22.

2,044

Using
their
trade.

36.8
44.6
59.3
€6.7
22.7
38.6

Not using their
trade but at­
tending the
school—
Total.
Less
9
months than
or
9
more. months.
6.6
5.3
6.8
is. 2

56.6
50.1
33.9
33.3
59.1

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

6.6

54.9

100.0

THE GIRL TRAINED IN THE TRADE SCHOOL.

175

Evidently the distance from school and the consequent effort
involved in coming have a direct bearing on the girls’ persistence in
their courses. One-third of the girls living in Boston who reported
on this subject remained less than three months, as compared with
26.3 per cent from the suburbs, and 13.2 per cent from outside cities
and towns'. Inversely, an increasing proportion remained nine
months or more, with the increasing distance from the school. Only
39.3 per cent of the girls living in Boston remained nine months or
more, as compared with 42.4 per cent from the suburbs, and, 45.4
per cent from the outside towns and cities.
DISTANCE FftOM SCHOOL AND USE OF TRADE.

Again, an obvious relation between effort involved in securing the
training and seriousness of purpose appears in the proportions enter­
ing the trade for which they were trained. A little more than onethird, 36.8 per cent, of the girls living in Boston used their training in
a wage-earning capacity; 44.6 per cent of those living in the suburbs
and 59.3 per cent of those in outside cities and towns entered the
trade for which they were trained.
The location of the girl's home may determine her opportunity to
use her trade. Those living at a considerable distance from the city
are handicapped because they must either find openings in the
vicinity of their homes, or bo at considerable expense to take advan­
tage of the wider opportunities in the city itself. The sewing trades,
for instance, are but little developed outside the city and very few
suburban and country dressmakers employ young girls. As most of
these trade-school girls are quite young on leaving the school (42.9 per
cent were under 16 and 68.1 per cent under 17 *)? they are usually too
immature and inexperienced to do the independent dressmaking and
millinery, which is the characteristic method of production outside a
large city,2and comparatively few factories making ready-made cloth­
ing or straw hats are now found in the suburbs, though there is a
tendency recently to build such factories in the suburban sections of
Boston.
Some girls have been able to secure positions in the vicinity of their
homes, but others are in the position of the girl who “ must remain at
home at least one year because she was too young to live in the city
among strangers and if she had worked in her trade she would have
had to board in town in order to get to work on time in the morning.”
The most successful girl trained in millinery in the Boston Trade
School lived near Worcester and has never worked in Boston, but she
1See Table 11, p. B .
O
2 For further discussion of the different types of production, see Dressmaking as a trade for women in
Massachusetts, Bui. No, 193, United Slates Bureau oi Labor Statistics.




IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

176

was a high-school graduate, and although only 16 years of age on
leaving school, was able to take a $10 position as milliner in a general
store in a small town on first leaving the trade school. This was, of
course, unusual and may have been partially due to her early training
in sewing with her mother, who was a dressmaker.
NATIVITY OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Since the tendency of a secondary school is to attract a selected
group, that is, from families which do not have to send their girls to
work at 14 years of age, it is important to discover how far the type
of girl coming for trade training conforms to the type already in the,
trade; for her subsequent stability in the trade will probably
depend largely on the extent to which she finds her surroundings
congenial.
The following tables show how, in the matter of nativity, the
girls trained in the Boston and Worcester schools for the sewing
trades compare with the total women in those trades, as shown by
United States census figures:
T

1 0 5 . — NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WOMEN OF SPECIFIED NATIVITY IN THE
SEWING TRADES IN BOSTON AND WORCESTER ACCORDING TO THE CENSUS OF 1910.

able

NUMBER.
Boston.1
Dress­
mak­
ing.

Nativity.

Worcester.2

Ma­
Milli­ chine Total.
nery. operat­
ing.

Dress­
Ma­
mak­ Milli­ chine Total.
ing. . nery. operat­
ing.

Native white:
Native parentage.........................
Foreign parentage........................

1,465
1,801

545
803

537
1,348

2,547
3,952

247
296

88
177

352
1,129

687
1,602

T otal.......................................
Foreign-born white............................
Neijfo..................................................
All other..................- .........................

3,266
a; 016
283
3

1,348
474
17
1

1,885
2,167
8
3

6,499
5,657
308

543
246
11

265
42

.1,481
645
6

2,28s
)
933
17

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

6,568

1,840

4,063.

12,471

800

307

2,132

3,239

PER CENT OF EACH NATIVITY.
Native white:
Native parentage.........................
Foreign parentage........................

22.3
27.4

29.6
43.6

13.2
33.2

20.4
31.7

30.9
37.0

28.7
57.6

16.5
53.0

21.2
49.5

Total........................................
Foreign-born white............................
Negro..................................................
All other.............................................

49.7
45.9
4.3
.1

73.2
25.8
.9
.1

46.4
53.3
.2
.1

52.1
45.3
2.5
.1

67.9
30.7
1.4

86.3
13.7

69.5
30.2
.3

70.7
28.8
.5

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1 From Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, Vol. IV, Population, n. 540.
Idem, p. 607.

2




THE GIRL TRAINED IN THE TRADE SCHOOL.

177

106— NUMBER AND PER CENT OF WOMEN OF SPECIFIED NATIVITY AMONG
THOSE TRAINED IN THE SEWING TRADES IN BOSTON AND WORCESTER TRADE
SCHOOLS AND USING THEIR TRADES.

T able

NUMBER.
Womon using their trades after training in—
Boston Trade School.
Nativity.

Dress­
mak­
ing.

Worcester Trade School.

Ma­
Milli­ chine Total.
nery. operat­
ing.

Dress­
mak­
ing.

Ma-*
Milli­ chine Total.
nery. operat­
ing.

Native white:
Native parentage.........................
Foreign parentage........................]

104
228

56
79

51
80

211
387

75
118

25
22

26
31

126
171

Total........................................ !
Foreign-born white............................j
Nepro........................................
I
AH'others 2........................................

332
37
36
18

135
12
3
7

131
16
3
3

i 598
65
42
28

193
16
7
8

47
2
i
3

57
3
1

297
21
8
12

423

157

153

3 733

224

53

61

* 338

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

PER CENT OF EACH NATIVITY.

Native white:
Native parentage.........................
Foreign parentage........................

24.6
53.9

35. 7
50.3

33.3
52.3

28.8
52.8

33.5
52.7

47.1
41.5

42.6
50.8

37.3
50. 5

Total.........................................
Foreign-born white............................
Negro...............................................
All others...........................................

78.5
S7
.
8.5
4.3

86.0
7.6
1.9
4.5

85.6
10.4
2.0
2.0

81.6
8.9
5. 7
3.8

86.2
7.1
3.1
3.6

88.7
3.8
1.9
5.7

93.4
4.9
1.7

87.8
6.2
2.4
3.6

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1Not including 21 whose fathers’ birthplaces were wot reported.
2 These are girls whose birthplace or whose fathers" birthplace was not reported.
3Not including 11 others visited who were employed in cooking and design, of whom 7 were native-born
white of native parentage, 1 native-born white of foreign parentage, and 3 Negroes.
4Not including 5 Jfor whom no data were secured as to courses taken.

Almost one-half, 45.9 per cent, of all the dressmakers and seam­
stresses in Boston are foreign-born white as compared with only 8.7
per cent of the 423 trade-school girls who have been sent from the
school into this trade. That is, the trade school is training a highly
selected group, from the standpoint of nativity, so that a girl fre­
quently leaves her position or the trade because “ I didn't like the
class of girls” or “ Mother didn't want me to be with those girls.”
More than three-fourths, 78.5 per cent, of the trade-school girls going
out into the dressmaking trade are native-born white as compared
with less than one-half, 49.7 per cent, already in the trade who are
native-born white. The proportion of girls who are native white of
native parentage is practically the same in both groups, but while the
predominant type in the trade is foreign born, the predominant type
going out from the trade school is one generation Americanized,
being native born but with foreign-born parents. A disproportion­
ately large number of Negroes also came to the trade school for
85225°— 17— Bull. 215------- 12




178

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

dressmaking, 8.5 per cent, as compared with 4.3 per cent in the trade.
These colored girls find themselves seriously handicapped in securing
positions in dressmaking, and it is practically impossible for them
to secure work in the power-machine sewing trades.
The girls trained in millinery approach more nearly to the type
already in the trade, although the proportion of Negroes is larger
(1.9 per cent trained in the school and 0.9 per cent in the trade)
and the foreign-born white in the trade constitute a much larger
proportion (25.8 per cent) than is true of the trade-school group,
in which they form 7.6 per cent.
The girls trained in power-machine operating show the largest pro­
portion (10.4 per cent) of foreign born of any of the trade groups in the
school, but even this proportion is very small in comparison with
the 53.3 per cent of foreign born in the machine-operating trades.
While 33.3 percent of the trade-school girls trained and going out
into the operating trades were native born of native parentage, only
13.2 per cent in the trade itself were of this group.
In Worcester also girls coming to the trade school for training in
the sewing trades show a higher proportion of native born, 87.8 per
cent, than is discovered in these trades as a whole, where they form
70.7 per cent. More than four-fifths, 86.2 per cent, of the girls
trained in dressmaking were native-born white as compared with
67.9 per cent in the trade. The pupils in millinery, 88.7 per cent
native white, however, are typical of the trade of the city with 86.3
per cent native white. The greatest difference appears in the powermachine operators, 93.4 per cent who took the training in the school
as compared with 69.5 per cent in the trade being native white.
Forty-two (42.6) per cent of the sewing-machine operators in the
school and only 16.5 per cent of those in the trade had native-born
parents.
For the girls of the Cambridge Trade School, the comparison of
nativity is necessarily limited to those trained for dressmaking, for
the census table used does not give the nativity data for milliners
in Cambridge, and though it does give them for women engaged in
1 personal and domestic service/’ this group does not correspond to
1
the group of girls trained for cooking. But for the women engaged
in dressmaking in Cambridge, and for the girls trained in dressmaking
in the Cambridge Trade School, the number and proportion in the
different nativity groups are as follows:




THE GIRL TRAINED IN THE TRADE SCHOOL.

m

107.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF EACH SPECIFIED NATIVITY AMONG WOMEN
IN THE DRESSMAKING TRADE IN CAMBRIDGE AND AMONG GIRLS TRAINED IN
DRESSMAKING IN THE TRADE SCHOOL.

' able

Nativity.

Women in dress­
making in Cam­
bridge.1

Girls trained in
dressmaking in
Cambridge Trade
School.

Number. Per cent. Number. Per cent.
Native white:
Native parentage..
Foreign parentage.

154
197

20.2
26.2

31
21

46.3
31.3

Total.................
Foreign-born white..
Negro......................
All others................

351
324
80
2

46.4
42.8
10.6
.2

52
6
7
2

77.6
9.0
10.4
3.0

Grand total.......

757

100.0

67

100.0

1 From Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, Vol. IV, Population, p. 544.

The variation between the two groups approaches more nearly to
that found in Boston than in Worcester. Forty-six (46.4 per cent)
in the trade and 77.6 per cent in the school group are native bom ;
42.8 per cent in the trade and 9 per cent in the school group are
foreign born. In Cambridge Negroes form a much larger proportion
of the trade group than in Boston:—10.6 per cent against 4.3 per
cent—and they are correspondingly more numerous among the
trade-school dressmakers, where they' form almost exactly the same
proportion as in the trade, 10.4 per cent.
Comparison of the three cities seems to show that it is a “ tradeschool type” rather than a “ trade type” which is attracted for the
training offered by the trade school. While but 52.1 per cent of the
women engaged in the sewing trades in Boston and 70.7 per cent in
Worcester were native white, more than four-fifths of the girls
attending the two trade schools, 81.6 per cent in Boston and 87.8
per cent in Worcester, were native white. Almost one-half, 45.3 per
cent, of the women in the sewing trades in Boston and more than
one-fourth, 28.8 per cent, in Worcester were foreign born, but both
schools drew a decidedly small proportion (8.9 per cent in Boston and
6.2 per cent in Worcester) from the foreign born, probably on account
of the economic pressure in the family of the recent immigrant.
The larger proportion of Negroes than is characteristic of the trade
likewise appeared in both schools.1
Combining all born in this country (regardless of color), about
nine-tenths of the girls in each of the three trade schools were native
bom and about one-tenth foreign born. The largest proportion of
the foreign born came from non-English speaking countries. About
two-fifths of the girls had native-born parents, a larger proportion




1 Nativity by occupations is not given for Cambridge.

180

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

in Cambridge and a smaller proportion in Boston. Over 63 (63.7)
per cent in Boston, 58.9 per cent in Worcester, and 41.5 per cent in
Cambridge had foreign-born parents. About equal proportions of the
parents came from English and non-English speaking countries.
NUMBER AND PER CENT OF EACH NATIVITY IN TOTAL POPULATION 15
TO 20 YEARS OF AGE, AMONG CHILDREN OF THESE AGES IN SCHOOLS, AND AMONG
TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS IN BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE.

T a b l e 1 0 8 .—

NUMBER.
Worcester.

Boston.1

Cambridge.

Population
Population
Population
15 to 20 years Girls going out from 15 to 20 years Girls 15 to 20 years
the trade school.
of age.
of age.
of age.
going
out
from
At­
At­
the
At­
Using Not
trade
Total. tend­ Total. trade. using Total. tend­ school. Total. tend­
ing
ing
ing
trade.2
school.
school.
school.

Nativity.

Native white:
Native parentage.. 8,169 3,567
Foreign parentage. 17,528 5,729
Not reported

263
438
21

218
388
21

Total.................. 25,697 9,296
Foreign-born white---- 9,287 1,647
613
193
Negro..........................
\U others
.............
11,136
35,597 3
Grand total....... !3
1

Girls
going
out
from*
the
trade
school.

1,217
1,728

46
28
3

722
70
47
10

627
65
45
7

45 4,330 1,835
50 7,970 2,152
1
95 12,300 3,987
5 3,551
492
2
112
26
3

304 8,247 2,945
22 2,199
318
8
475
171
9

77
9
11
16

849

744 1 105 *15,963 j* 4,505

343 j'40,921 3,434

113

126 2,633
170 5,614
8

PER CEN T OF EACH SPECIFIED NATIVITY.s
Native white:
Native parentage..
Foreign parentage.
Not reported
. .

22.9
49.3

32.0
51.5

31.3
52.2
2.5

29.6
52.6
2.8

44.1
49.0

27.1
50.0

40. 7
47.8

37.7
50.9
2.4

24.1
51.4

35. 4
50.4

47.4
28.9
3.1

Total..................
Foreign-born white---Negro..........................

72.2
26.1
1.7

83.5 86.0
14.8 . 8.4
5.6
1.7

85.0
8.9
6.1

93.1
4.9
2.0

77.1
22.2
.7

88.5
11.0
.5

91.0
6.6
2.4

75.5
20.1
4.4

85.8
9.3
4.9

79.4
11.3
9.3

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Grand total....... 100.0

100.0

100.0

1United States Census, 1910, Vol. I, Population, pp. 1160, 1171, 1173.
2 After attending trade school 9 months or more.
3Totals in census report are 35,600 and 11,137, respectively.
* Totals in census report are 15,964 and 4,506, respectively.
>Total in census report is 10,924.
6 Excluding “ All others.”

Since the trade schools in two quite different cities draw a similar
type of pupil from the standpoint of nativity, it is of interest to
discover to what extent these girls who come for trade training are
characteristic of the total group of about the same age who are
attending school. The Boston Trade School records did not state
nativity, so the comparison is restricted to the 849 girls personally
visited, including all who used their training in a wage-earning
capacity and all others who attended nine months or more. On
the other hand, while the nativity of all the girls going out from the
Worcester and Cambridge trade schools 1 is available, the census




1 Not including 15 not locatcd.

TH E GIRL TRAINED IN THE TRADE SCHOOL.

181

statistics of the nativity of the children 15 to 20 years of age attend­
ing school in these cities are not given separately for boys and for girls,
but as about an equal number of boys and girls are reported the
proportions are probably approximately correct. In the three cities
the statistics for the whole group are those for 1909, while those
from the school cover a period of several years grouping about this
date. Under |these conditions Table 108 gives the nativity of the
children 15 to 20 years old in the general population of those in this
age group attending school and of the trade-school girls studied.
The girls attracted to the trade school are predominantly native
white, this class being characteristic of the cities in which these
schools are located; but, as might be expected, the trade school
attracts a selected group. Thus, while 72.2 per cent of the children
15 to 20 years old in Boston are native white, 86 per cent of those
going out from the trade school are in this group. In Worcester, 77.1
per cent of the children 15 to 20 years old are native white, but 91.0
per cent of the trade-school girls fall within this classification, show­
ing also a selected group. In Cambridge, however, the trade-school
group is more nearly typical of the whole 15 to 20 year old population,
75.5 per cent in the city and 79.4 per cent in the school being native white.
The question then arises: How representative of the school popula­
tion of 15 to 20 years is the type attracted to the trade school? In
respect to the native-born whites, the two groups are very similar in
Boston and Worcester. In Boston, 83.5 per cent of the 15 to 20
year old children attending school and 86 per cent of the girls going
out from the trade school are native white. In Worcester, 88.5 per
cent of the children 15 to 20 years of age attending school and 91 per
cent of the trade-school girls are native white. Similar proportions
having native and foreign-born parents are also found in the two school
groups in both cities. In Cambridge, however, while 85.8 per cent
of the 15 to 20 year old school population are native-born white, only
79.4 per cent of the trade-school group fall within this classification.
This difference is due partly to the proportionately large group of
Negroes in the trade school.
An interesting difference appears between the 744 girls who used
their training and the 105 who attended the Boston Trade School
nine months or more and did not use the trade, 85 per cent of the
former and 93.1 per cent of the latter being native born. Fortyfour (44.1) per cent of those not using their training were native born
of native parentage and only 4.9 per cent foreign born. Their reasons
for never using their training suggest their incompatibility with the
trade group; 28 per cent of those who gave their reasons ascribed
their failure to enter the trade to lack of personal adjustment, 32 per
cent to trade conditions, and 26 per cent to domestic causes.1




i See Table 43, p. 73.

182

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRA D E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

ECONOMIC STATUS OF FAMILIES OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
OCCUPATIONS OF FATHERS OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

The father's occupation provides a rough index to the economic
pressure at home, determining to some extent the girl's ability to
attend school after the age of 14, and also her ability to continue in
a skilled trade which, because of the small beginning wage, involves
semidependence for some years. The census classification of occu­
pations has been used, although this is rather broad. The following
table shows the occupations, so far as they were learned, of the
fathers of the girls in the four trade schools:
109— NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, CAMBRIDGE, AND
SOMERVILLE TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS WHOSE FATHERS WERE IN EACH SPECIFIED
OCCUPATION.1
NUMBER.

T able

Boston.

Occupation of the father.
Unskilled labor...........................................................
Personal and domestic service....................................
Agriculture..................................................................
Manufacturing industries........................................... 1
Transportation........................................................... !
Public service............................................................. !
Trade and business.....................................................
Clerical occupations....................................................
Professional service.....................................................
Retired........................................................................ i
Not living or deserted................................................. i
N ot reported...............................................................i:
Total.....................................................................

t

Wor­
cester.

Cam­
bridge.

Somer­
ville.

Total.

201
164
28
649
71
34
177
69
28
13
380
230

32
20
8
179
8
11
21
8
3
2
39
12

10
7
1
40
2
1
9
1
1
2
30
9

20
5
2
64
13
4
20
5
5
1
18
15

263
196
39
932
94
50
227
83
37
18
467
266

2,044

343

113

172

2,672

PER CENT WITH FA TH E R S IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATION.2
Unskilled labor...........................................................
Personal and domestic service....................................
Agriculture..................................................................
Manufacturing industries...........................................
Transportation............................................................
Public service.............................................................
Trade and business.....................................................
Clerical occupations....................................................
Professional service.....................................................
Retired........................................................................
i\ ot living or deserted.................................................

11.1
9.0
1.5
35.8
3.9
1. 9
9. 8
3. 8
1.5
.7
21.0

9. 7
6.0
2.4
54.1
2. 4
3.3
6.4
2.4
.9
.6
11.8

9. 6
6. 7
1.0
38. 5
1. 9
1.0
8. 6
1. 0
1.0
1. 9
28.8

12. 7
3. 2
1.3
40. 8
8.3
2. 5
12. 7
3. 2
3.2
.6
1.15

10.9
8. 2
1.6
38.7
3.9
2.1
9.4
3. 5
1. 5
.8
19.4

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

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1 The Somerville school was established in 1911 as a trade school but in 1913 was changed to a “ vocational
school for girls.”
2Based on the number of girls the occupations of whose fathers were reported.

The occupational distribution shown here is about what one
would expect. There is a small representation of the daughters of
professional men and of men engaged in either clerical occupations or
trade; for .the most part such men can afford to give their daughters a
longer training and to prepare them for professional or clerical work.
There is rather a small representation of the daughters of unskilled
laborers; presumably in these families the need for immediate returns
makes it necessary for the girls to begin wage earning as soon as they
reach the legal age. By far the largest group in all the cities comes




THE GIRL TRAINED I j T THE TRADE SCHOOL.
S

183

from families in which the father is engaged in manufacturing indus­
tries, these apparently representing the stage of well-being in which,
while it is necessary for the daughter to become a wage earner at an
early age, it is still possible to give her some preparation and to allow
her to enter a trade at which she must practically serve an appren­
ticeship. The next largest group, those whose fathers are dead or
have deserted their families, is rather puzzling; it is not surprising
that under these circumstances the daughters should find it necessary
to become wage earners, but the natural supposition would be that
they, like the daughters of the unskilled laborers, would be obliged to
seek occupations which they could enter without preliminary training.
Comparing the type of family, as indicated by the father’s occupa­
tion, from which the trade school draws its pupils, a surprising uni­
formity is discovered in the four cities. Almost two-fifths (38.7 per
cent) of the 2,672 girls going out from the four schools (including the
Somerville Vocational School, which was established as a trade school)
had fathers engaged in manufactures, and with the exception of
Worcester, where a larger proportion is engaged in this occupation,
this is the prevalent situation in all the schools. About one-fifth
(19.4 per cent) came from homes where there was no father as a wage
earner, though this proportion was smaller in Worcester and Somer­
ville. In this connection it is interesting to note that these schools are
finding it possible to emphasize the home-making or practical arts form
of training rather than equipment for immediate wage earning. In all
other respects practically the same proportions are drawn from the
several occupations. Not only, therefore, is the trade-school group as a
whole similar in nativity, but also in social and economic background.
The extent to which vocational schools of particular types draw
from a characteristic type of family is illustrated by comparing the
father’s occupation of the girls attending the trade school, involving
only one or two years’ training, and of those attending the high schools
in Boston, requiring four years. This comparison is made in Table 110.
The manufacturing industries predominate for both, since they
occupy more than one-third of the male population of Boston, but
30.6 per cent of the high-school girls and 37.1 per cent of the tradeschool girls came from families whose fathers were engaged in this
division of industry. A similar proportion, 31 per cent, of the highschool girls, but only 11.1 per cent of the trade-school girls came from
families where the father was engaged in trade, public service, or
professional occupations. Over 20 per cent of the trade-school girls
and only 9.7 per cent of the high-school girls came from the homes of
unskilled laborers and men engaged in personal and domestic service.
The large proportion of trade-school girls (18.8 per cent) and the
small proportion of high-school girls (4.9 per cent) who came from
homes where there was no father show the necessity for a short
preparation for wage earning.




184
T

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

110.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS ATTENDING THE HIGH SCHOOLS AND
THE TRADE SCHOOL IN BOSTON WHOSE FATHERS WERE IN SPECIFIED OCCUPA­
TIONS.

able

Number.
Occupation of the father.

High
school.1

Per cent.
High
school.

Trade
school.

Trade
school.

Unskilled labor............................................................................
Personal and domestic service.....................................................
Agriculture..................................................................................
Manufacturing industries............................................................
Transportation............................................................................
Public service..............................................................................
Trade and business......................................................................
Clerical occupations....................................................................
Professional service.....................................................................
Retired........................................................................................
Not living or deserted.................................................................
Not reported................................................................................

20
10
6
95
11
17
70
6
9
15
47
4

101
72
12
315
34
10
73
32
11
11
160
18

6. 5
3. 2
1.9
30.6
3.5
5.5
22.6
1.9
2.9
15.2
4.9
1.3

11.9
8.5
1.4
37.1
4.0
1.2
8.6
3.8
1.3
1.3
18.8
?. 1

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

310

819

100.0

100.0

1 Department of Research, Women’s Educational and Industrial Union: The public schools and
women in office service, p. 163. Five of the nine high schools in five different type neighborhoods were
taken as a basis for this study.
GIRLS EMPLOYED DURING INTERVAL BETWEEN GRAMMAR-SCHOOL AND TRADE-SCHOOL
ATTENDANCE.

The economic status of the families from which the pupils come is
indicated to some extent by the method by which an interval, when
one exists, between the grammar-school and the trade-school attend­
ance is occupied. In both Boston and Worcester the majority of the
girls have gone directly from the grammar school to the trade school,
as is usual in the case of any secondary school. In both cities, how­
ever, a certain number did not attend the trade school until some time
after they had left the grammar school. The following table shows
for Boston the number who did not enter the trade school on leaving
the grammar school, and whether or not they were gainfully employed
in the interval:
T

111.—NUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO WORKED AND WHO
DID NOT WORK IN THE INTERVAL BETWEEN GRAMMAR AND TRADE SCHOOL
ATTENDANCE, BY COURSES TAKEN IN TRADE SCHOOL.

able

Girls taking specified courses—

Course.

Not going directly to
trade school—
Who
worked.

Dressmaking...................................................................
Millinery.........................................................................
Power-machine operating (cloth and straw hats)..........
Cooking and design.........................................................
Total1................................................................

Who did
not work.

Going
directly
to trade
school.

Total.

54
16
24
1

60
19
27
1

384
140
113
10

498
175
164
12

95

107

647

849

i These figures do not agree with those given in Table 2, as those are based on the number who had not
gone to trade school for four months or more after leaving the grammar school, while this table includes
those who worked during summer vacation between attendance at grammar school and at trade school.




THE GIRL TRAINED I2 T THE TRADE SCHOOL.
S

185

Very nearly one-half (47 per cent) of the girls who did not go
directly to the trade school were gainfully employed in the interval,
and of these more than one-fourth had no father. Almost an equal
proportion of those who had not gone directly to the trade school
but had not worked in the interval had no fathers, the majority
of these probably keeping house while the mother worked. A little
more than one-third (37.9 per cent) of the 95 girls who had worked
before entering trade school were enrolled in the school during its first
five years of existence, and 62.1 per cent during the second period of
five years, contrary to the common opinion that a trade school draws
back from industry a larger proportion of its pupils in its first years
than later. The larger proportion drawn from industry during the
second five-year period may be partially due to the more stringent
regulation of child labor in Massachusetts during recent years,
which may have thrown some of the girls out of work.
A little more than one-half of the girls who had been employed
previous to entering the trade school had worked less than six
months, and more than two-thirds (70 per cent) had worked less
than one year. At the other extreme nine had worked more than
three years. The 95 girls reported 140 previous positions. The
industrial distribution and earnings of those who had worked are
shown in the following table:
T

112.—NUMBER OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO HAD EARNED
SPECIFIED WAGE IN SPECIFIED OCCUPATIONS BEFORE ENTERING TRADE
SCHOOL.

able

Number of girls in specified occupations earning
specified wage.1
Occupation.

Manufactures................................................................
Trade, clerical occupations, and transportation...........
Domestic and personal service......................................
Professional service.....................................................
Total................................................................

Under $2 and $4 and $6 and Not re­ Total.
under under over. ported.
$2
$6
28

13
14
1

15
7
3

21
2
1
3

4
3

61
26
5
3

8

28

25

27

7

05

1 The last wage is used except in a few cases, where only first wage was given.
2 Five of these girls worked as apprentices without pay'

In general, there was little correlation between the previous work,
as shown here, and the trade training chosen, although one-fifth of
the 54 girls who came for training in dressmaking, 3 of the 16 milliners
and 6 of the 12 cloth power-machine operators had previously worked
in some capacity in the trade for which they came to secure training.
Two of the 12 straw power-machine operators had previously woiked
in millinery. The majority of .the girls, however, had worked in
manufactures, and a little more than one-fourth had been employed
in business pursuits, mostly as errand girls, cash girls, or bundle girls.




186

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Tlie majority of these girls worked at low wages, two-fifths (40.9
per cent) of those who reported their wages earning less than $4 a
week, and a little more than two-thirds (69.3 per cent) earning less
than $6.
Among the Worcester girls 70 had not gone directly to the trado
school after leaving the grammar school, and of these 44 had worked
for wages. Eighteen (40.9 per cent) of these were engaged in trade,
clerical occupations, or transportation, 15 (34.1 per cent) in manu­
factures, and 11 (25 per cent) in domestic and personal service.
Five earned under $2 a week, 21 earned $2 and under $4, 9 earned
$4 and under $6, 8 earned $6 and over, and for 1 earnings were not
reported.
Among the girls of the Cambridge Trade School more than onefourth (28.6 per cent) had not come directly from the grammar
schools. The majority of these, however, had been at home during
the interval, and only 7.2 per cent had been at work.
AGE AT BEGINNING WORK.

The following table shows the age at beginning work of 1,029 girls
(comprising those who worked in their own trade and those who,
having attended trade school for nine months or more, did not use
their trade training but worked in some other occupation):
T

able

113.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE
T R A D E S C H O O L G IR L S W H O B E G A N W O R K A T S P E C IF IE D A G E S .

Age at beginning work.
Under IG years.

16 and under
18 years.

Num­
ber.

Trade school.

Num­
ber.

Per
ccnt.

Ter
cent.

18 years and
over.
Num­
ber.

Total

Per
cent.

Boston.............................................................
Worcester........................................................
Cambridge.......................................................

204
33
24

24.1
24.8
36.4

444
71
33

53.9
53.4
50.0

182
29
9

22.0
21.8
13. 6

830
133
66

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

201

25.4

548

53.4

220

21.4

1,029

The age grouping at time of beginning work is almost identical in
Boston and Worcester. The larger proportion beginning at an early
age in Cambridge is accounted for by the brief existence of the school
and the short time of attendance, rather than by any greater economic
pressure at home. Taking the pupils of the three schools as a whole,
three-fourths were 16 or over before commencing work. There are
two reasons for this: First, the majority had attended trade school
one year or more, which naturally raised the age at beginning work;
and, second, the trades for which they were trained are showing an
increasing tendency to exclude the younger girls.




THE GIRL TRAINED IN THE TRADE SCHOOL.

187

The age at which the girl goes to work seems to vary considerably
according to the nativity of the girls and of their parents. The following table shows the relation between nativity and age at begin­
ning work:
114.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE
TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS WHO BEGAN WORK AT SPECIFIED AGES, BY NATIVITY.

T able

NUMBER.
Girls beginning work at specified age.
Boston.

Worcester.

Cambridge.

Nativity of girl.
Un­
der
16

16
18
and
Un­
un­ and Total. der
der over.
16
18

Native-born white:
Native parentage—
Foreign parentage...
Not reported...........

37
127
6

141
238
9

74
66
7

252
431
22

6
24

Total....................
Foreign-born white.......
Negro .........................
Not "reported..................

170
24
G
4

388
34
20
2

147
11
22
2

705
69
48
8

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

204

444

182

1830

16
18
and
un­ and Total.
der over.
18

Un­
der
16

16
and
18
un­ and Total.
der over.
18

30
38

18
8

54
70

10
11
1

12
10
1

30
3

68
2
1

26
3

124
5
4

22
2

23
5
5

33

71

29

133

24

100.0 37.0
100.0 52.4
50.0

i

5

27
21
2

5
4

50
7
9

33

9

66

44.5
47.6
50.0

18.5

100.0
100.0
100.0

PER CENT. 2
Native-born white:
Native parentage__ 14.6 56.0
Foreign parentage... 29.2 55.6
Not reported........... 27.3 40.9

29.4
15.2
31.8

Total.................... 23.9 55.2 20.9
Foreign-born white........ 34.8 49. 2 16.0
Negro............................. 12. 5 41.7 45.8
Grand total........... 24.1

53.9

22.0

100.0 11.1
100.0 34.3
100.0

55. 6 33.3
54.3 11.4

100.0 24. 2 54.9
100.0 60.0 40.0
25.0
100.0

20.9
75.0

100.0
100.0
100.0

44.0 46.0 10.0
28.6 71.4
55.6 *44.’ 4’

100.0
100.0
100.0

100.0

21.8

100.0

36.4

100.0

24.8

53.4

50.0 13.6

1 Not including 1 whose age was not reported.
2 Based on the number of girls whose nativity was reported.

The greater economic pressure in the families with foreign parents,
and also a difference in the point of view seem to account for the
earlier age at which the foreign-born girls and girls with foreign
parents go to work. This difference is marked. Of the Boston girls
who were native-born white 23.9 per cent began work before the age of
16, but only 14.6 per cent of the girls with native-born parents as against
29.2 per cent of those with foreign-born parents began work before 16
years of age. Of the foreign-born white girls 34.8 per cent began work
before the age of 16. In Worcester and Cambridge even larger propor­
tions of the native white girls with foreign parents began work under
16. Since the maj ority of the trade-school girls in Boston and Worcester have foreign-born parents, this group characterizes the situation,
more than one-half beginning work between the ages of 16 and 18,




INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

188

regardless of nativity. At the other extreme, however, the difference
again becomes apparent. Of the Boston girls who were native-born
white, 20.9 per cent began work at the age of 18 or over, but those of
native-born parentage had 29.4 per cent in this group, against 15.2 per
cent of those with foreign-born parents. Only 16 per cent of the for­
eign-born girls began work at the age of 18 or over. A surprisingly
large proportion (45.8 per cent) of the Negro girls did not begin work
until 18 or over. The difficulty usually experienced by young Negro
girls in securing work in the ordinary juvenile employments in stores
and factories probably explains their later entrance into industry.
FAMILY CONDITION OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

The following table shows the number of the trade-school girls in
the three cities who lived at home and elsewhere.
T

able

115.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE
TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS HAVING SPECIFIED LIVING CONDITIONS.
BOSTON.
Boarding.

Living at home.
Age at time of investigation.
With
With With
fam­ rela­ Total. rela­
tives.
ily. tives
Number of girls—
Under 18 years..............................
18 and under 20 yenrs...................
20 and under 22 years...................
22 and under 24 vears...................
24 years and over..........................
Not living.....................................

107
165
167
116
86
4

1
4
2
5
2

Ill
177
174
125
90
5

645

37

682

86.7

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

4
12
7
9
4
1
5. 0

Re­
ceiv­
ing
All
board oth­
as
With
ers.
oth­ Total. part
ers.
of
wage.1

91.7

3
1
9
10
12

14 |
1.9

35
4.7

4
5!
11
15 1
14 j

1
3

1
3
1

2

Total;

115
183
190
141
109
6

6

7

744

0.8

49 1
6.6

0.9

100.0

W O R CESTER .
laving at home.
Age at time of investigation.

With
family.

With
relatives.

Total.

Board­
ing.

Receiv­
ing board
as part
of wage.

Total.

Number of girls—
Under 16 vears....., ..............................
16 and under 18 years
18 and under 20 years..........................
20 years and over.................................

11
64
57
17

1
4
2
3

12
68
59
20

2
3
1

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

149

10

159

i6

1

166

89.8

6.0

95.8

3.6

0.6

100.0

Per cent.....................................................




i Two boarded with relatives.

1

12
70
62
22

T H E GIKL TRAINED IN T H E TBADE SCHOOL.
T

189

115.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE
TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS HAVING SPECIFIED LIVING CONDITIONS—Concluded.

able

CAM BRIDGE.
Living at home.
Age at time of investigation.

Number of girls—
Under 16 years....................................
16 and under 18 years..........................
18 and under 20 years.........................
20 years and over................................
Not reported.............................................

With
family.

20
41
13
9

With
rela­
tives.

4
2
1

Total.

20
45
15
10

Re­
ceiving
Board­ board Not re­
as part ported.
ing.
of
wage.

1
1

1

2:
i
2

Total.

20
49
16
11
2

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

83

7

90

2

1

5

98

Per cent.....................................................

84.7

7.1

91.8

2.0

1.0

5.2

100.0

The great majority were living at home, the proportion in this
group being in Boston 91.7 per cent, in Worcester 95.8 per cent, and
in Cambridge 91.8 per cent. This large proportion at home is what
is to be expected in so youthful a group; that it is due to the imma­
turity of the girls seems to be shown by the variation in the propor­
tion in Boston, where the larger group gives an opportunity for ten­
dencies to make themselves apparent. Here the proportion living
at home decreases from 96.5 per cent among those under 18 to 82.6
per cent among those aged 24 or over.
In general the families from which the girls came seemed to be in
fairly comfortable circumstances. In Boston 38.5 per cent of the
girls, and in Worcester 30.1 per cent came from homes in which there
were no other dependents, classing as dependents nonwage-earning
brothers and sisters, invalids, or nonproducers of any kind. Nor
was there any very serious need that the young trade-school girl
should begin work at an early age, since more than one-half in the
two cities came from families in which there were one or two other
wage earners besides the father. On the other hand, in the families
of 11.4 per cent of the 744 Boston girls the mother was employed
in wage-earning occupations. While some of these young tradeschool girls bore heavy responsibilities, and some, at times of illness
or unemployment of others at home, became the main support of
their families, in the majority of cases the families were not in ex­
tremely straitened circumstances, as evidenced by the very fact that
they were able to give the girls a year or more of trade training, as
well as to permit the period of apprenticeship and small earnings re­
quired in skilled and seasonal industries, such as the clothing trades.
CONTRIBUTION TO FAMILY INCOME.

The following table shows, by age, and by nativity of parents, the
number of the trade-school girls studied in the three cities who gave
all, part, or none of their earnings to the family:




190
T

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

116.—NUMBER OF BOSTON, WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE TRADE SCHOOL
GIRLS CONTRIBUTING SPECIFIED PARTS OF THEIR EARNINGS TO TJO FAMILY,
BY AGE GROUP, AND NATIVITY OF PARENTS.

able

BOSTON.
Girls with native-born parents
and contributing—
Age group.

All of
their
earn­
ings.

Part
of
their
earn­
ings.

Under 18 years...................
18 and under 2 0 years.........
and under 2 2 years.........
22 and under 24 years........
24 years and over................
Not living...........................

16
27

5
23
23

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

93

20

22

23
8

22

16

89

None
of
their
earn­
ings.
5
6

16
14
8

49

Girls with foreign-born parents
and contributing—

All of Part None
Not
of
their of their
re­
port­ Total. earn­ their earn­
ings. earn­ ings.
ed.
ings.

3
5
8
11
2

29

26
59

G
8
82

66

68

64
43

28
16

2

Na­
tiv­
ity
ol
par­ Total.
ents
Not
re­
not
port­ Total. re­
ed.
port­
ed.

3

1

10

7

27
31
32
24

10

9
5
4
1

260 | 263 j 124

37

32

6
11

6

7

11
23
35
45
5 12

2

62

115
183
190
141
109

456

28

714

88
121

119
72
54

6

W O RCESTER.
Under 16 years...........
16 and under 18 years.
18 and under 20 years.
2 0 years and over........
Not living...................

11
7
3

4
26
32
14
4

3
10
7
1

3
22
15
3

8
44
30
4

12
70
62
18
4

Total..

166
CAM BRIDGE.

Under 16 vears...................
16 and under 18 years........
18 and under 2 0 years........
2 0 vears and over
...........
Not living...........................

2
11

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

22

5
4

1
1
1

3

8
10

4
4
1

2

4

27 j

11
22

13
s

4
16

5
2

1

1
1

2
1
1

1
55

22

2

1

14

9
24
3

3

20

49
16

2
1

1

11
2

39

4

98

1 All earnings contributed.
2 2 contributing all earnings and 1 not reported.
8 1 contributing all earnings and 4 not reported.
4 All not reported.
52 contributing part of their earnings, 3 none, and 7 not reported.
62 not reported.

These figures do not show so large a proportion of the girls turning
in all their earnings as was found in some previous investigations.
Of the 654 Boston girls who had entered their trades and from whom
full data as to age, nativity of parents, and contributions to
the family were received, 54.3 per cent gave all their earnings to
the family, 32.6 per cent contributed a definite and substantial
portion, and 13.1 per cent gave none. The United States Bureau of
Labor found in 1910 that in Boston of 243 women employed in stores
55.6 per cent, and of 489 women in factories 61.7 per cent contributed
all their earnings to the family fund.1 On the other hand, in a recent
i Report on woman and child wage earners in the United States (S. Doc. 645, 61st Cong., 2 d scss.),
Vol. V, pp. 18 and 19.




T H E GIRL TRA IN ED IN T H E TRADE SCHOOL.

191

Investigation in Boston covering 310 office workers, two-thirds of
whom were high-school graduates, it was found that 39.7 per cent
contributed all their earnings, 51.6 per cent part, and 8.7 per cent
none.1 The proportion of trade-school girls in Boston contributing all
their earnings is almost the same as the proportion of store employees
studied in 1910, but much larger than that of the high-school grad­
uates studied in the later investigation. Some of the girls reported
as giving part of their earnings paid board, ranging from $3 to $6,
but the majority gave most of their wage, keeping enough for car fare
and lunch, with perhaps a little margin for spending money. Exclud­
ing girls who were not living and those for whom full data on all
points were not given, Worcester shows a smaller proportion turn­
ing in all their earnings than either of the other cities; 51.2 per
cent contributed all, 23.2 per cent part, and 25.6 per cent none. In
Cambridge 83 per cent of the girls turned in all their earnings.
The amount contributed varies both with the girl's age and her
parentage, the daughters of foreign-born parents turning in all their
earnings more generally than the daughters of native-born parents.
The following table shows this difference for the Boston girls:
117.—PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS CONTRIBUTING SPECIFIEL
PARTS OF THEIR EARNINGS TO THE FAMILY, BY AGE GROUP, AND NATIVITY
OF PARENTS.

T able

Girls with native-born parents.

Age group.

Con­
trib­
Num­ uting
all
ber. their
earn­
ings.

Con­
trib­
uting
part of
their
earn­
ings.

Girls with foreign-born parents.

Con­
Con­ Con­
trib­
trib­ trib­
uting
uting
none, TotaL Num­ uting part of
all
of
ber. their their
their
earn­ earn­
earn­
ings. ings.
ings.

Con­
trib­
uting
none Total.
of
their
earn­
ings.

Under 18 years........................
18 and under 20 years..............
20 and under 22 years.............
22 and under 24 years.............
24 years and over.....................

26
56
61
56
32

61.5
48.2
36.1
35.7
25.0

19.2
41.1
37.7
39.3
50.0

19.2
10.7
26.2
25.0
25.0

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

81
115
110
67
50

84.0
71.3
61.8
41.8
32.0

12.3
23.5
28.2
47.8
48.0

3.7
5.2
10.0
10.4
20.0

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

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

231

40.3

38.5

21.2

100.0

423

61.9

29.3

8.7

100.0

In this table the connection between age and control of earnings
shows clearly. For both the daughters of native and of foreign par­
ents, the girls under 18 show much the largest proportion contribut­
ing all their earnings, and thereafter this proportion decreases rather
uniformly with increasing age. Among the daughters of the foreignborn there is a sudden fall in this proportion at the age of 22 and
under 24; this marks, perhaps, the age at which the girls begin to
insist on paying board, for it is not accompanied by any increase in
1 Department of Research, Women’s Educational and Industrial Union: The public schools and
women in office service, p. 168.




192

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

the proportion keeping all their earnings for themselves. This ap­
pears in the next group, those aged 24 and over. Among the daugh­
ters of native parents the decrease in the proportion contributing
all their earnings is slow after the girls have reached 20 years of age,
while from that age onward the proportion keeping all their earnings
for themselves remains practically stationary.
As between the daughters of foreign and of native parents, the former
show a much larger proportion in the three younger age groups turn­
ing over all their earnings; by the time the girls have reached 22,
however, the difference is not very great. The proportion retaining
all their earnings remains considerably smaller among the daughters
of foreign parents up to the age'of 24; then it suddenly increases and
among those aged 24 or over is nearly as large as among the daughters
of native parents.
Not only does the girl give from her earnings, but she contributes
her services to her family, and home demands play an important part
in the interruption of her wage-earning career. Among the 392
Boston girls who left their trades, 10.3 per cent1 did so on account
of domestic reasons other than those involved in their own marriage,
and 21.9 per cent2 of the 105 who never used their trade gave similar
reasons for their failure to do so. More than one-fourth (26.4 per
cent)3 of the 72 Worcester girls who never used their trade were kept
from doing so by home reasons other than their marriage, and in 17
of these 19 cases the girls were helping at home. Illness at home or
pressure of domestic duties frequently results in the withdrawal of the
girl from her work. Sometimes she keeps house while the mother,
who can command a higher wage, goes out and works.
The girl who has been trained for the sewing trades als o contributes
valuable assistance in making clothes for the family in the evenings
after work and in the dull season, if not otherwise employed. In
Boston 229 of the girls studied filled in the dull season “ making clothes
for self and family/' 25.1 per cent of the 744 girls who used their
trade and 40 per cent of the 105 who did not, thus utilizing their
time.
MARRIAGE AS AN INTERRUPTION TO WORKING CAREER.

Marriage also constitutes an interruption in the girPs wage-earning
career, though in less degree than is generally supposed. Of the 849
girls studied in Boston, 135 were married at the time of the investi­
gation. The following table shows the distribution of these, by trade
and by nativity of parents:
1 See Table 56, p. 94.




2 See Table 43, p. 73.

3 See Table 87, p. 155.

T H E G IRL TRA IN ED IN T H E TRADE SCHOOL.
-T a b l e

193

118.—NUMBER AND PER CENT OF BOSTON TRADE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO WERE
MARRIED, BY NATIVITY OF PARENTS AND BY OCCUPATION.
Girls who were married and whose parents were—
Foreign bora.
Total
number
of
In Eng­ InnonEnggirls. Native
lish
lish
bom.. speak­
speak­
ing
ing
coun­ coun­
tries.
tries.

Occupation.

Total.
Nativ­
ity of
Per
parents
cent of
not re­ Num­ all girls
ported. ber. in each
occu­
pation.

Using trade:
Dressmaking.............................................
Millinery...................................................
Cloth machine operating...........................
Straw machine operating..........................
Cooking and design...................................

423
157
81
72
11

23
15
2
4
1

21
7
6
2

18
8
2
4

6
3

Total......................................................
Not using trade...............................................

744
105

45
5

36
2

32
3

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

849

50

38

135

68
33
10
11
1

16.1
21.0
12.3
15.3
9.1

10
2

123
12

16.5
11.4

12

135

15.9

1

116 of the 35 were of German parentage.

This shows that 15.9 per cent of the total group had married.
Among the 744 girls who worked at their trade, the proportion
marrying was slightly larger, 16.5 per cent. More than one-half, 59.3
per cent, of the girls who had married were of foreign parentage, about
one-half of these parents being from non-English speaking countries,
German predominating. One-third (33.3 per cent) of the girls who
married were 22 years of age or over, and more than one-half (54 per
cent) were aged 20 or over. Thirty-three and four-tenths per cent
married between 18 and 20 years, and 12.8 per cent were under 18
years of age.
More than one-half had been out of trade school four years or more,
and one-fourth (26.7 per cent) six years or more before marriage.
One-half had worked for four years or more previous to their marriage.
Twenty-eight worked after marriage, but 20 of these were so engaged
for less than one year. Sometimes the gainful occupation was
entered upon immediately after marriage, because the girl “ wished
to finish the season” and sometimes not until several years after
marriage, when her babies were old enough to allow her time to sew
or trim hats for friends and neighbors. In some cases the young
husband died or proved worthless, and the girl became a regular
wage earner again.
SUMMARY.

The trade schools in the three cities seem to be drawing a
fairly definite trade-school type similar in nativity and economic
status. These girls, from the standpoint of nativity, are similar
to the 15 to 20 year-old school population, but very different
85225°— 17— Bull. 215------- 13




194

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OP TUADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

from those in the trades for which they are trained. The majority
begin work at 16 years or over, though this differs with the standing
of the family, since economic pressure may oblige the girl to go to
work at an earlier age. In general the trade-school girls in Massa­
chusetts come from homes of a higher degree of comfort than has been
supposed. Their contribution to the family income does not show
the existence of great economic pressure in the home; in the majority
of cases there were few dependents (young brothers or sisters, in­
valids, or nonproducers of any kind), and usually, also, there were
other wage earners besides the father in the family. A little more
than one-tenth in Boston and one-fourth in Worcester had worked
before entering the trade school. In Boston one-eighth (12.6 per
cent) and in Worcester nearly one sixth (15.7 per cent) had stayed at
home for a time after leaving the public schools, but the majority had
gone directly from the ordinary schools to the trade school, as is true
in regard to any secondary school.




CHAPTER VH.—INDUSTRIES FOR WHICH TRADE SCHOOLS
TRAIN.
BASIS OF TRADE TRAINING.

Trade training for girls, which was first established in the two
traditional and primary home arts— the making of clothing and the
preparation of food—is, after 10 years of experimentation in Massa­
chusetts, still confined to these two occupations. The chief emphasis
from the beginning in the three trade schools has been on the handsewing trades, custom dressmaking, and millinery. Electric powermachine operating has not been introduced in the Cambridge school
and occupies a relatively small place in the Boston and Worcester
trade schools.
Both friends and critics are beginning to query (1) to what extent
does the trade school understand and correlate its training with trade
needs and demands; and (2) to what degree does the school meet the
needs of the trade for young workers? Some light is thrown on
these questions through the experience of the girls who go out from
the trade school. But there is still much to be learned through study
of these industries themselves, to discover why a comparatively
small proportion utilize their training and why certain types of girls
do not succeed. An appreciation of the trend of the industry for
which training is offered is fundamental. A personal knowledge of
the opportunities for initiation of young partially equipped workers
and of their opportunities for advancement with increasing experience
is necessary to avoid oversupply. Only through intimate acquaint­
ance with the local industries and shops can the school develop the
educational possibilities within the trade, and successfully direct
and adjust individual pupils to the industries for which they have
the requisite qualifications.1
WOMEN’S CLOTHING TRADES.

The women’s clothing trades which constitute the basis for trade
training have been undergoing a tremendous industrial reorganization
during the last 25 years with two results: (1) New York has prac­
tically monopolized the trade, controlling about two-thirds of the
1 Three studies made by the Department of Research of the Women’s Industrial and Research Union,
aiming to accomplish this end have already been published, as follows: Dressmaking as a trade for women
in Massachusetts, Bui. No. 193, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics; Boot and shoe making in Massa­
chusetts as a vocation for women, Bui. No. 180, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics; and Millinery as
a trade for women, by Lorinda Perry. This discussion is presented in order to set forth the changing condi­
tions since these studies were made, and their relation to trade-school problems.




195

196

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRADE-SCHOOL G IRLS.

output, capital invested, and wage earners, though Boston, for
instance, seriously competes with surrounding cities in New England;
(2) The manufacture of ready-made clothing continues to become
an increasingly formidable competitor of the custom and hand-sewing
trades.
DECREASE IN NUMBER OF CUSTOM WORKERS.

During the 10 years from 1890 to 1900, custom dressmaking showed
a decline in practically every aspect except capital invested, and
number and wages of men, while “ factory product” increased more
than 100 per cent in practically every phase. From 1900 to 1910
the factory product continued its phenomenal growth, and while
there are no comparable official figures from custom shops for this
period, everything seems to indicate an even greater decline in the
custom-dressmaking trade.
For official statistics on custom dressmaking after 1900, we are
dependent on the census of occupations, from which the following
table is derived:
table

119.—NUMBER OF WOMEN EMPLOYED AS DRESSMAKERS AND SEAMSTRESSES,
AND IN ALL MANUFACTURES, FROM 1900 TO 1910.
Per cent of increase (+ )
or decrease (—) of
women in 1910.

Number of women.
Locality.

All manufactures.

Dressmakers and
seamstresses.
1900

1910

Dress­
All manu­
makers
factures. and seam­
stresses.

1900

1910

United States..........................

1,312,668

1,820,980

i 490,899

2453,749

+38.7

- 7.6

New York...............................
Boston.....................................
Worcester................................

132,535
20,250
4,937

207,959
27,260
7,099

355,622
68,552
7 1,691

* 39,762
66,645
8 815

+56.9
+34.6
+43.8

-28.5
-22.3
-51.8

1United States Census, 1900, Occupations, p. lii.
2 United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV, Occupations, p. 91. 447,760 dressmakers, and 5,989 dressmakers’
apprentices. See United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV, Occupations, p. 312.
3 United States Census, 1900, Occupations, p. 640.
438,850 dressmakers and 912 apprentices. United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV, Occupations, pp. 180,182.
&
United States Census, 1900, Occupations, p. 498.
6 6,568 dressmakers and 77 apprentices. United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV, Occupations, pp. 152,154.
7 United States Census, 1900, Occupations, p. 762.
8 800 dressmakers and 15 apprentices. United States Census. 1910, Vol. IV, Occupations, pp. 194, 196.
Since the number of dressmakers’ apprentices enumerated for the United States as a whole (see United
States Census, Vol. IV, Occupations, p. 312) was just half the number enumerated under “ Dressmakers’
and milliners’ apprentices,” the assumption has been made that this division would be approximately true
in the several cities and one-half the number quoted has been added to the number of dressmakers
reported.

This table shows a decline of 7.6 per cent in the number of women
dressmakers and seamstresses in the United States, compared with
an increase of 38.7 per cent in all manufacturing and mechanical
industries. In New York City, the center of the women’s clothing
trade in the United States, dressmakers and seamstresses decreased
28.5 per cent, in Boston 22.3 per cent, and in Worcester 51.8 percent,
while there was a large increase of women in all manufactures,




IN D U ST R IES FO R W H IC H

TRADE SCHOOLS TR A IN .

197

A glance at the growth of the factory product in the women’s cloth­
ing trade during the same period (as shown in the following table)
provides the explanation.
T

able

120*—GROWTH OP WOMEN’S FACTORY-MADE CLOTHING INDUSTRY FROM 1900
TO 1910 IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN NEW YORK CITY AND BOSTON.
Establish­
ments.

Locality and year.

Wage earn­
ers.

Wages paid.

Per
Per
Per
cent
cent Aver­ cent
Num­ of in­ age of in­ Amount. of in­
crease
ber. crease num­ crease
over
over
over ber.
1900.

1900.

1900.

83,739
68.8 153,743

83.6

$32,586,000
78.568.000 141.1

Capital invested.

Amount.

Per
cent
of in­
crease
over

Value of product.

Amount.

Per
cent
of in­
crease
over

1900.

1900.

$48,432,000
$159,340,000
129,301,000 i67.‘ o ’ 384.752.000

141.5

United States:1
1900.................... 2,701
1910.................... 4,558

New York City:2

1900..................... 1,607
1910..................... 2,995

Boston:2

1900.....................
1910.....................

86.4

88
122 *38.6*

44,715
94,258 110.8
1,760
3,540 101.2

20.929.000
53.518.000 i55.*7*
625,000
1,649,000 163.8

1 United States Census, 1910, Manufactures, Vol. VIII, p. 574.

27.389.000
102.712.000
80.762.000 i94*9* 266.477.000 *i59.4
731,000
2,409,000 229.5

3.258.000
7.842.000 *i40.*7

2idem, Vol. IX, pp. 523, 859.

The average number of wage earners both in New York and Boston
increased during the decade more than 100 per cent, and the wages
and value of product about 150 per cent. The tendency toward the
development of larger establishments in Boston is observed in the
increase of 38.6 per cent in the number of establishments as compared
with an increase of 101.2 per cent in the number of wage earners, and
229.5 per cent increase in capital invested. The production of a
higher class product is suggested by the increase of 140.7 per cent in
value of product, 163.8 per cent in wages paid, as compared with 101.2
per cent increase in the number of wage earners. The increased
production of women’s ready-made clothing in Boston during the
ten years since the Boston Trade School was established suggests
that here is a desirable line of development in trade training. Yet
the proportion of girls enrolled in the courses in power-machine
operating shows a decrease instead of an increase.1
DECREASE IN PROPORTION OF YOUNG WORKERS EMPLOYED.

This industrial evolution in the women’s clothing industry is bring­
ing about fundamental changes in the sewing trades—not only in
the reduction of numbers engaged in the custom branches of the trade,
for which the schools train the largest proportion of their workers, but
also in the organization and the methods of production. This change
leaves small opportunity for admission of the young workers, be­
cause (1) practically every kind of clothing is now made in the fac­
tory,2 and the custom shop is increasingly limited to expensive house
1 See Tables 3 and 4, pp. 20 and 21.
2 See definition of women’s clothing, factory product, in the United States Census, 1910, Manufactures,
Vol. VIII, p. 398.




198

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

dresses of perishable and rich materials, which provide little or no
opportunity for the employment of young inexperienced workers:
and (2) the development of the large custom shop,® which is one con­
sequence of the competition of the factory, means subdivision of labor
under paid heads who are under obligation to make their department
pay and who consequently have little time or inclination to bother
with young workers since the keen competition necessitates immediate
returns.
The effect is obvious in the marked decrease in the number of
dressmakers and seamstresses reported under the age of twenty-one
years. The following table shows, by age groups, the changes during
the decade 1900-1910 in the number of women employed in all occu­
pations, and as dressmakers and seamstresses:
T

able

1 2 1 . —NUMBER

AND PER CENT OF WOMEN IN EACH AGE GROUP IN ALL OCCU­
PATIONS AND IN DRESSMAKING, 1900 AND 1910.

Number.

Age.
All occupations.1

1900

1910

Dressmakers
and
seamstresses.2
1900 8

Per cent of
increase or
decrease
over 1900.

Per cent.

19102

Dressmak­
ers and
Dress­
seam­
All oc­ makers
stresses.
cupa­
and
tions. seam­
stresses.
1910 1900 1910

All occu­
pations.

1900

4,697 9.1
Under 16 years............. 485,767 637,086 14,031
16 and under 21 years.. 1,237,967 1,847,600 89,714 48,534 23.3
21 years and over......... 3,595,663 5,591,086 387,154 396,677 67.6

7.9
22.9
69.2

2.9
18.2
78.9

1.0
10.8
88.2

+31.2
+49.2
+55.5

-66.5
—45.9
+ 2.5

Total................... 5,319,397 8,075,772 490,899 4449,908 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

+51.8

- 8.4

1 United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV, Occupations, p. 69.
2 Idem, p. 312, number found by combining figures for dressmakers, dressmakers' apprentices, and
seamstresses.
« Compiled from United States Census, 1900, Occupations, pp. cxxxiv and cxliii.
4 Figures given in United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV, Occupations, p. 312. These do not agree with
totals given on p. 91 and used in Table 119.

While the total number employed as seamstresses decreased about
8 per cent from 1900 to 1910, those under 16 years of age showed a
decrease of 66.5 per cent and from 16 to 20 years a decrease of 45.9
per cent. On the other hand, the number of women under 16
years of age in all occupations increased 31.2 per cent and of those
from 16 to 20 years increased 49.2 per cent. Women under 21 years
of age constituted 21.1 per cent of the dressmakers and seamstresses
in the United States reported in 1900 and but 11.8 per cent in 1910.
Similar tendencies may be observed in different cities.6
a Dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts. Bui. No. 193, United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics.
&The United States Census returns on age groups in particular occupations in cities are not comparable,
since those for 1900 combine 16 years and under 24 and those for 1910 combine 16 years and under 20, and
21 years and under 44.




IN D U ST R IE S FO R W H IC H TRADE SCHOOLS TR A IN .

199

The tendency to abandon the employment of girls under 16 years
of age has increased with the passage of the Massachusetts law of
1913, limiting their working-day to eight hours and requiring attend­
ance at continuation schools. In a fashionable shop in Boston in
1910, 11 of the total number, 99, appearing on the pay roll during
the year were under 18 years of age. In 1914, 3 of the total number,
89, employed during the year were under 18 years. Nineteen shops on
Boylston and Tremont Streets and Massachusetts Avenue were visited
to discover the proportion of young workers employed. More than
two-thirds, 69.1 per cent, of the 537 women employed were over 25
years of age. (Table 122.) The keen competition and the small
opportunities for the young partially equipped workers are obvious
in the experience of the recent trade-school girls. Only 80 per cent
of the 75 girls who went out from the Boston Trade School in 1913-14
into the dressmaking trade were still in the trade at the end of their
first year’s experience, while for no previous year had the proportion
fallen below 91 per cent.
The managers of the Worcester Trade School say it is not possible
to place permanently more than 10 newly trained girls each year, and
there is a danger that these will displace the girls sent out into the
trade the year before. This is illustrated in the experience of the
girls who have gone out of the trade school. Nine girls trained in
dressmaking nine months 1 or more went out from the school during
1911-12, five entering the trade, and three persisting at the end of
the first year. In 1912-13, 19 of the 30 girls trained for dressmaking 2
entered the trade, and 11 still remained at the end of their first year.
Fifty-five 3 went out from the school in 1913-14 and only 21 used
their training in a wage-earning capacity. This situation was pre­
dicted in the report of the investigation preliminary to the establish­
ment of the school in 1911,4 and the opportunity has grown even less
favorable during the past four years with the increasing production
and use of ready-made wear and the legal restrictions imposed on
the young workers. In the spring of 1915 one dressmaker employing
10 to 15 girls reported two under 25; the largest shop employing 25
girls in rush season reported all over 20 years of age and most of them
over 25 years of age.
There are practically no openings for the young sewers in Cam­
bridge, though they have access to the Boston shops. Only 15 of
the 78 girls trained in dressmaking in the Cambridge Trade School
during its two years' existence entered the trade and were still working
in it at the time of the investigation.
11 attended less than 9 months.
2 2 attended less than 9 months.
33 remained less than 9 months.
* A trade school for girls, United States Bureau of Education Bulletin, 1913, No. 17, p. 43.




200

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

CUSTOM SEWING TRADES.
EVOLUTION OF CUSTOM DRESSMAKING.

Custom dressmakers in Boston in their efforts to compete with the
factory product are developing along three distinct lines, all of which
mean continually decreasing opportunities for the young, unskilled
workers. First, certain employers, custom dressmakers, tailors, and
milliners, are forming partnerships and developing large, high-class
shops in which they combine the production of custom and stock
dresses made in their own shop, sale of good quality factory-made
dresses, and production and sale of custom and wholesale millinery.1
Such a shop on Boylston Street is owned by a firm consisting of a
tailor and two dressmakers, each of whom 10 years ago had a shop
of his own, but who, by combining, have a large, attractive store
opening off the street and occupying two floors. Since much of their
stock is factory made, they need only a comparatively small force
of 32 women in the workroom, of whom 46.9 per cent are over 25
years of age. Second, certain custom dressmakers are attempting to
offer the advantages of the factory product, i. e., a completed gown
with little expenditure of effort and time—with the additional advan­
tages of originality and individual adaptation provided by custommade clothing—by so organizing their working force of “ experienced
workers only” that they can take the customer’s measurements and,
with one fitting, deliver the dress completely and satisfactorily made.
Third, a new and as yet unique tendency has been discovered in an­
other Boylston Street dressmaking shop, which is adopting wholesale
methods of production on a small scale. This firm of two dress­
makers is, in addition to doing custom work for their more fastidious
patrons, planning models which are displayed to the buyers of depart­
ment stores and making up individual dresses or dozens of dresses as
ordered. A small force of 20 women was employed in this shop, threefourths of whom were over 25 years of age.
The dressmakers of the smaller cities like Worcester and Cam­
bridge, however, are unable to compete successfully with these two
formidable competitors, the ready-made clothing and the large com­
mercialized custom shop, and continue, if at all, on a decreasing scale
with smaller output.1
The custom trade has been slow and unwilling to adjust itself to
the changes necessitated by the rapid growth of the factory product
and has suffered seriously by its competition. These illustrations
suggest the development of the future, but do not promise larger
opportunities for the young, inexperienced worker.
1 For more detailed description, see Dressmaking as a trade for women in Massachusetts. Bull. No. 193,
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.




INDUSTRIES FOR W H IC H TRADE SCHOOLS TRAIN.

201

ATTITUDE OF EMPLOYERS TOWARD BEGINNERS.

The opportunity for the young worker is also largely determined
by the attitude of the employer toward training wholly inexperienced
or partially equipped workers from the trade schools. Conferences
with 21 dressmakers, representing the several types of production in
Boston, and two of the largest employers in Worcester in the spring
of 1915, corroborated the findings of the study made in 1910-11.1
No employers would take “ apprentices” because they cost more
than they are worth. Five preferred to take in new girls as errand
girls. Combining their reports, the method employed in this pseudo­
apprenticeship, as M. Alfassa has termed it,2 seems to be “ to take a
young girl who dusts in the morning and sweeps at night and answers
the door and telephone during the day.” Gradually she is sent on
errands down town to match thread, silk, or trimmings, and during
her spare moments she is “ turned over to the waist or skirt girls,
whichever need her most, and is taught to do the thing needed at
the time. She sits and watches, and soon learns to do the simple
work, making fringe, tassels, covering buttons, and sewing on trim­
ming which has been basted. Then she may be allowed to overcast
seams on linings, put braid on the bottom of skirts, sew on hooks and
eyes, work on collars and sleeves, and gradually become a ‘finisher. ’ ”
Dressmakers admit, however, that it is becoming increasingly diffi­
cult “ to get teachable young girls,” as the legal limit is raised.
A second and larger group of employers (15 in Boston and 2 in
Worcester) who “ haven’t time to teach” or “ don’t take apprentices
because they cost more than they are worth” will take young girls
who can do plain sewing and train them or allow them to “ pick up”
the more advanced processes by working under the “ head girl.”
These plain sewers may be trade-school girls, young European girls
who have “ always known how to sew,” or older women of some ex­
perience, gained either in the trade or at home. Seven of these
employers depended almost entirely on the trade school for their
young workers.
The large commercialized shop which makes and completes a
custom gown with one fitting employs “ experienced workers only.”
Some idea of the limited extent to which younger women are em­
ployed and also of the proportionate representation of the tradeschool girls among these younger women was gained by an inquiry
carried on in 19 Boston shops in the center of the city. The follow­
ing table shows the results obtained:
1 For description of the types of shops in the several cities, see Dressmaking as a trade for women
in Massachusetts. Bui. No. 19?, of United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2 Georges Alfassa: La crise de Papprentissage, in Annales des Sciences Politiques, July, 1905.




202

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

TA3LE 1 3 3 .-NUMBER OF GIRLS OVER 25 AND 25 YEARS AND UNDER EMPLOYED IN
EACH OF 19 DRESSMAKING SHOPS IN BOSTON.
N umber of women wage earners
employed.

Number of women wage earners
employed.

Locality.

25 year - of age and
under.
Over
25
Total. years
Noum
rade- tradeof
age. Total. school school
girls. girls.

Boylston Street:
Shop No. 1_
_
Shop No. 2_
_
Shop No. 3_
_
Shop No. 4_
_
Shop No. 5_
_
Shop No. 6___
_
Shop No. 7_
Shop No. 8_
_
Shop No. 9_
_
Shop No. 10...
Shop No. 11...
Shop No. 12...
£hop No. 13...
ShoT> No. 14__
Massachusetts Av­
enue:
Shop No. 15...
kIIU 1 U IO*••
U\*
Shop No. 17...

69
50
45
35
32
28
25
25
25
25
25
20
17
8

47
35
41
21
15
28
23
14
23
10
7
15
6
8

16
Q
O
7

13
5

22
15
4
11
17

16
9
2
9
4

6
6
2
2
13

2
11
2
15
18
5
11

2
2
1
1
15
2
8

9
1
14
3
3
3

3
3
2

1

2
3
2

Locality.

Tremont Street:
Shop No. .......
"W a s h i n g t o n
Street:
Shop No. 1 9Costume de­
partment. ..
Tailoring de­
partment. ..
Busheling......
Alterations_
_

25 years of age and
under.
Over
25
Total. years
>T
onof
^rade- tradeage. Total. school sohool
girls. girls.
»

10

1

9

9

23

11

12

4

1
9
34

1
8
31

1
3

8
1
3

Total Washin gt o n
Street
shop........

67

51

12

537

371

16
------166

4

Grand total.

85

81

Percent............... 100.0

69.1

30.9

15.8

15.1

There seems to be no relation between the size of the shop and
the number of younger women employed. No. 1, with 69 employees,
had 31.9 per cent aged 25 or under, while the Washington Street shop,
No. 19, with a total of 67, had only 23.9 per cent in this age group.
Five of the Boylston Street shops had 25 employees each, but the
proportion of those aged 25 or under in these shops varied from
8 per cent in No. 7 and No. 9 to 72 per cent in No. 11. Taking the
whole group of employees, 537, those aged 25 or under formed less
than one-third (30.9 per cent).
The 85 trade-school girls employed in these shops formed 15.8 per
cent of the total working force, and also constituted more than onethird (38.6 per cent) of the 220 trade-school girls at work in dress­
making. 1
ATTITUDE OF EM PLOYERS TO W AR D TRADE SCHOOLS A N D TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

All of these shops had employed trade-school girls in the past,
if not at the time of the visit. These were the largest and highest
class of shops in the several districts, and consequently the criticisms
and suggestions the employers here made concerning the trade-school
girls are worth consideration. The criticisms vary widely, because
they are formed as a result of experience with particular girls, but
some may yield suggestions for constructive development. These
1423 had gone into dressmaking previous to September, 1914, and 220 were still employed in the trade
when visited in the fall of 1914.




IN D U ST R IE S FO R W H IC H

TRADE SCHOOLS TR A IN .

203

criticisms may be grouped in two classes— (1) those covering the
school and (2) those relating to the girls.
1. “ The school should be in closer touch with the trade,” is the
universal statement. “ Employers are not consulted about what
they require or need.” “ The teachers should know the latest styles
and teach them.” The question of teaching and spending time on
making a boned lining, for instance, when no dressmaker uses them,
i$ a point of disagreement between school and employer.
“ Trade atmosphere” is another subject of discussion. This is,
of course, not an easy thing to develop in a school. “ It is not
necessary to keep trade hours,” said one employer, “ but trade con­
ditions for a specific period, perhaps three or four hours a day.”
“ Trade atmosphere,” as explained by employers, means (1) appre­
ciation that time is money and that every moment should count in
results, whether the teacher is in or out of the room; (2) continuous
application for a sufficiently long period to provide the prospective
worker with some appreciation of pressure of work, the method of
procedure in a business shop, rather than that of a classroom.
“ Girls are not kept steadily enough at work.” “ The school spends
too much time on other things.” “ The girls never seem to know
what to do next. They always wait to be told.”
2. The general complaint from practically all employers is that
“ The trade-school girls aren’t worth $6 at first,” which is the placement
wage asked by the Boston Trade School. The reasons advanced
may be classified on the basis of speed, responsibility, technique,
and attitude.
a. Speed.
“ They are too slow.”
“ They waste too much time waiting to be told what to do next.”
“ They draw their needle through in such an exasperatingly
leisurely fashion.”
b. Responsibility.
“ They need too much supervision.”
“ They can’t do anything unless it is pinned for them, then they
are likely to do it wrong.”
“ They can’t be left to work alone. They are constantly asking
for directions, so I prefer older and more experienced workers.”
“ They lack a conscientious and responsible trade attitude.”
“ Their idea of workroom discipline is little developed.”
c. Technique.
“ Their technique is inadequate.”
“ They are not adequately skilled in manipulation.”
“ They have not enough training in up-to-date methods and on
materials in vogue.”




204

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCH O O L G IRLS.

d. Attitude.
“ The girls think they are worth too much.”
‘“ They are constantly thinking of more money instead of better
work.”
. “ The girls consider themselves worth too much, and do not realize
that the school can not teach them everything. They are con­
stantly quoting what the teacher did and said at school, which is very
irritating.”
“ They demand increase in wage before they are earning what they
are paid.”
“ They lack professional pride in giving the worth of their wages.
For instance, they say if work is wrong, ‘I can take it out/ not real­
izing that I am paying them for their time at double rates when
they have to do work twice.”
Summing up these complaints, it appears that the qualifications
required by employers—speed with accuracy, responsibility, and
adequate technique—are developed only with maturity and experi­
ence. As one employer expressed it, “ these are faults due to imma­
turity perhaps as much as inadequate training,” but the employer’s
complaint is based on the requirement of a $6 wage for this imma­
turity, and its accompanying disadvantages. It is economy and good
business, they maintain, to pay a little more for older and more
experienced workers.
Several questions are raised for consideration, therefore. Is the
establishment of a fixed minimum placement wage advisable or ulti­
mately beneficial to the school and the girl ? The study of wage ad­
vancement shows that the wages have a tendency to cluster about the
initial $6 wage during the first two years out of the school,1 and those
placed in recent years at a higher beginning wage do not show a cor­
responding advantage over the girls placed under earlier management
at lower rates. In other words, the wage seems to advance in ac­
cordance with capacity to earn it, rather than on an automatic basis.
Again, the experience in the shop for the first six months or year
should be recognized as a valuable part of the training. Girls are
sometimes handicapped in securing this experience because of the
requirement of the $6 wage which the employer may refuse to pay
on the basis that they are not worth this much. Might it not be a
plan worth trying, to establish a requisite wage at the end of six
months or a year, thus enabling the girl to become initiated and
worth her wage? Such a scheme would have two advantages: (1)
The employer would be in a more sympathetic, helpful attitude,
more willing to show the girls how to do things and to answer ques­
tions; (2) the girl would be put on her mettle to prove her worth
and perhaps be less overconfident of her capacity.




i See Table 63, p. 107.

IN D U ST R IE S FO R W H IC H

TRADE SCHOOLS TR A IN .

205

The Worcester Trade School has not attempted to establish a
minimum placement wage.
The increasing maturity and experience required in the trade
places the school in a troublesome dilemma. The trade is continu­
ously and increasingly discriminating, first, against the girls under 16,
then against those under 20 years of age. On the other hand, the school
was founded to meet the needs of the young girl who must go to work
early. As soon as it lengthens its course it puts its training beyond
the reach of the girl for whom it was established. The solution for
the situation in Massachusetts, if the school would maintain its
original motive, seems to be that dressmaking must be increasingly
recognized as a trade for the more mature girl who can afford longer
training, and something else must be introduced for the young girl
who can afford only a short time for training.
EVOLUTION OF MILLINERY TRADE.

The millinery trade 1 is undergoing an industrial evolution very
similar to that in the women’s clothing trade, though this is less
obvious and less easily proved by official statistics for two reasons—
(1) there are no comparable statistics from custom and wholesale
shops in 1910, and (2) the census occupations returns do not sepa­
rate custom and wholesale milliners, so it is impossible from this
source to show the trend of the trade from custom to wholesale
production, as can be done with regard to dressmaking.
GROW TH OF FACTORY AN D DECREASE OF CUSTOM W O R K .

The abnormal growth of wholesale millinery in the statistics of
manufactures, however, indicated that factory-made millinery, like
factory-made clothing, is monopolizing the production. In the
United States as a whole, between 1900 and 1910, the capital in­
vested in wholesale “ millinery and lace goods7 increased 231.7 per
'
cent.2 A glance at the situation in 1900 when statistics on the cus­
tom and wholesale branches of the trade can be compared, throws
some light on this situation. Custom millinery, then, still occupied
a large place in the United States as a whole, controlling about twothirds of the wages paid and more than two-thirds of the capital
invested and of the product from the standpoint of value.
Wholesale millinery and lace goods in New York City in 1900,
however, occupied by far the largest place in the millinery trade
(including custom work), controlling 80.6 per cent of the capital
invested, 77.7 per cent of the value of the product, and 78.7 per cent
1For detailed description of the custom millinery trade, see Lorinda Perry: Millinery as a trade for
women; also Mary Van Kleeck: Wages in the millinery trade (New York Factory Investigating Com­
mission).
2 United States Census, 1910, Vol. VIII, Manufactures, p. 618.




206

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

of the wages paid.® The wholesale trade of New York City largely
controlled the situation in the United States, 66.4 per cent of the
wage earners, 71.2 per cent, of the value of product and 68.9 per cent
of the wages paid in this branch of the trade centering in New York.
The extraordinary increase in the millinery and lace goods trade
reported in 1910 for the United States and such cities as Boston6
as shown in the following table, seems to give official verification to
the obvious evolution which may be observed in this trade— the
increasing use of factory-made hats.
T able

12 3 .—GROWTH OF MILLINERY AND LACE GOODS INDUSTRIES FROM 1900 TO
1910 IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN NEW YORK CITY AND BOSTON.
Establish­ Wage earners.
ments.

Locality and year.

Wages paid.

Per
Per
Per
cent
cent
cent
Num­ of in­ Num­ of in­ Amount. of in­
crease
ber. crease ber. crease
over
over
over
1900.
1900.
1900.

United States:1
1900................ 591
1910................ 1,579 i67.2
New York City:2
1900................ 383
1910...............
886 131.3
Boston:2
18
1900................
1910................
65 261.1

Capital invested.

Amount.

Per
cent
of in­
crease
over
1900.

Value of product.

Amount.

Per
cent
of in­
crease
over
1900.

$5,818,000
16.308,000 180.3

$10,765,000
35.705.000 231.7

$29,469,000
85.894.000

194.9

83.4

4.014.000
9.419.000 134.7

7.692.000
19.413.000 i52.4

20.984.000
51.239.000

i44.2

319
1,454 355.’ 8'

152.000
580.000 281.6

151,000
1.254.000 730.’ 5

16,871
39,201 m T
11,213
20,561

716,000
3,425,000 378.4

1United States Census, 1910, Manufactures, Vol. VIII, p. 618.
2 Idem, Vol. IX, pp. 524, 862. None reported for Worcester and Cambridge.

“ We don’t touch a less-than-$10 hat in our workroom,” said a
trimmer in the millinery workroom of a department store in Boston.
“ Those selling for less than that ‘come direct from the factory.”
“ We don’t need a designer any more,” said an employer of an ex­
clusive millinery shop. “ We get our hats from New York. The
machine is monopolizing the millinery trade.” “ I go to New York
every month and the buyer goes every week,” said the designer of
the millinery department of a women’s clothing store. “ We buy
models which I have the makers copy.” “ We don’t employ as
many trimmers the last year or two,” was the remark of an employer
of a large fashionable hat and gown shop.
Three competitors in the millinery trade are driving out the custom
milliner—the straw and velvet hat factories, the wholesale houses,
and the department stores. The straw-hat factories used to be
content with a six months’ season, some dovetailing with the manu­
facture of felt hats. But present-day manufacturers are unwilling
to allow their factories to lie idle half the year. A good many ema United States Census, 1900, Manufactures, Vol. VIII, p. 624.
&United States Census, 1910, Manufactures, Vol. VIII, p. 618; Vol. IX, p. 862.




INDUSTRIES FOR W H IC H TRADE SCHOOLS TRAIN.

207

ployers, therefore, are making velvet hats in the summer. When
the custom milliner returns to town in the fall, she finds the people
on the street all equipped with velvet hats. “ I suppose your fac­
tory is closing now,” said the investigator in May to the designer in
a straw-hat factory. “ Oh, no, we are beginning to make up some
chiffon, net, and velvet hats now,” was the response. The whole- *
sale stores, together with the department stores, supply a large
number of the women with hats. Frames in all colors, shapes, and
sizes can be bought at any price. Bows will be made free of charge
by a special “ bow maker,” who has many samples from which the
customer may choose, and in some stores this trimming will be put
on the hat free of charge. Flowers, feathers, and all kinds of trim­
ming are displayed for sale at all prices, and the women who patron­
ize these stores can buy their hats at a small fraction of the price
charged by the custom milliner. For this reason the custom mil­
liner is doomed. It is useless to talk about educating the public
up to higher standards of taste and appreciation of custom work
when the great majority of women must get the best values possible
for the least money.
The factories and department stores have two powerful weapons
in the struggle for supremacy—lower prices for the hats and longer
seasons, because of dovetailing of duties for the workers. The girls
in the millinery department of the stores are frequently shifted to
the sales departments and clerical offices during the dull seasons.
Seven of the straw-machine operators from the trade school length­
ened their seasons by working on velvet hats in the summer.
The custom milliner, like the custom dressmaker, is attempting to
maintain her place in the trade by offering both ready-made and custom
hats and by combining with dressmakers and tailors to equalize the
seasons, but she, like the custom dressmaker, is increasingly restricted
to the wealthy and fastidious clientele who buy of her only to secure
individuality and exclusiveness of style.
The evolution in the millinery trade has an important significance
for trade educators. The increasing growth of the wholesale at the
expense of the custom branch at once decreases the opportunity for
the young worker to acquire or supplement her training in the shop
and decreases the opportunity at the top by diminishing the number
of trimmers and designers required. The trade does not, however,
show the great decline in the proportion of young girls employed
which appears in the dressmaking trade. The following table shows
the distribution by age of milliners and milliners’ apprentices in 1900
and in 1910:




208

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

T able

1 2 4 .—

NUMBER AND PER CENT, IN EACH AGE GROUP, OF MILLINERS EM­
PLOYED IN THE UNITED STATES, 1900 AND 1910.
Milliners of each specified age employed each year.
Number.

Age.
19001

Per cent.
19102

1900

1910

Increase
over 1900.

Under 16 years........................................
16 and under 21 years..............................
..................................... over
16 years and

3,184
22,401
60,535

3,539
34,897
90,002

3.7
26.0
70.3

2.7
27.2
70.1

+11.2
+55.8
+48.7

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

86,120

128,438

100.0

100.0

+49.2

1 United States Census, 1900, Occupations, cxxxiv.
2 United States Census, 1910, vol. iv, Occupations, p. 312.

While the proportion of girls under 16 in the trade decreased be­
tween 1900 and 1910, the actual number increased slightly. The pro­
portion under 21 apparently differs considerably from place to place,
and from one branch of the trade to another. Thus, this table shows
that the proportion in that age group was, in 1910, for the United
States as a whole 30 per cent, but a survey of the trade made in New
York City in 1914 1showed that 40 per cent of the 1,355 women studied
were under 21 years of age. This proportion differed in the three
branches of the trade, 47 per cent in retail shops, 33.2 per cent in retailwholesale, and 30.7 per cent in wholesale shops being under 21 years
of age. The workers under 18 years of age, who constituted 12 per
cent of the total number, show a somewhat similar distribution. In
the retail shops they formed 15.5 per cent, in the retail-wholesale
shops 11.2 per cent, and in the wholesale shops 11.5 per cent of the
total number of workers.
ATTITUDE OF EMPLOYERS TOWARD TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

The attitude of employers toward beginners in millinery was less
favorable even than it was toward those in dressmaking. “ Do you
take green girls of 14 to 18 ?” was asked of an employer in a high class
shop. “ We don’t like to, but they do get in,” he said. “ How does a
new worker learn ?” a young woman in the shop was asked. “ You sit
down beside another girl and she tells you what to do. If you are not
quick or she does not like you, you do not learn much. The trimmer
is not expected to teach you.”
The question, “ How does the trade-school girl meet the needs of
the employer?” brought a variety of answers which illustrate the
difficult problems confronting the trade schools. “ Oh, we just think
of them as mere babies,” said some; “ we don’t depend on them at
all; we put them with a maker as a helper.” In general, the grounds
of complaint against the trade-school girls were somewhat as follows:
1 Mary Van Kleeck: Wages in the millinery trade. New York Factory Investigating Commission, p. 64.




IN D U ST R IE S FO R W H IC H

TRADE SCHOOLS TRA IN .

209

“ Lack of personal responsibility. They are accustomed to lean on
the teacher too much.”
“ Lack of confidence and initiative.”
“ Incapacity for realizing that a thing must be done in a definite
time.”
“ Lack of accuracy and appreciation of necessity for absolutely
exact measurements.”
SUMMARY OF EFFECT OF CHANGES IN CUSTOM SEWING TRADES UPON OPPORTUNI­
TIES FOR TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Here again, as in the case of the girls trained for dressmaking, the
criticisms relate rather to immaturity than to training. And this
immaturity is the tremendous problem confronting the trade school,
which has been established to train young girls for trades which are
demanding increasing maturity, skill and experience from their
workers.
A second serious problem grows out of the need for experience in
handling the materials used in the trade. This is a more serious
problem in teaching millinery than dressmaking, for in dressmaking
the learner can get preliminary experience on cheap cotton mater­
ials, while in millinery the use of such materials simply does not give
the experience required. To give practical training, the hats must
be made of straw, velvet, silk or net, such as is used in the trade, for
it is the manipulation, stretching, and “ making” of these materials
in which the girls must be skilled. Many complaints were directed
against the inexperience of the trade-school girls in this particular:
“ If the trade-school girls were accustomed to work with good ma­
terials they would make a better showing.” “ A trade school can’t
afford to keep up with the latest, and millinery changes every year,
so if you don’ t know the latest things you aren’ t much good.” “ The
reason trade schools can’ t succeed is because they can’ t afford good
materials. Silk and velvet of the best quality are too expensive.”
Summarizing the situation, the trades on which the trade schools
of Massachusetts have laid most emphasis have undergone great
changes during this 10-year period, and as a result make different
demands and requirements of their workers, while the motive and the
methods of the schools have changed very little. The schools have
trained the great proportion of their pupils in custom dressmaking
(Boston 62 per cent, Worcester 66.3 per cent, and Cambridge 69
per cent) and the latest returns, January, 1915, show a still larger
proportion training for this trade. (Tables 3 and 4.) Statistics,
however, .show a tremendous decline in this custom branch of the
women’s clothing trade, and increasing discrimination against the
young worker under 21 years of age. While the millinery trade also
is being rapidly monopolized by the wholesale branch of the trade,
85225°— 17— Bull. 215------- 14




210

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

the proportion of young workers remains about the same, and with
the growth of the trade, shows an increase of 50.2 per cent in the
workers under 21 years of age. The trade schools recently have
shown a tendency to restrict the number of pupils who are being
trained for this trade, largely as a result of two difficulties which
have been encountered by the school: (1) the problem of meeting the
trade demands for maturity and technical ability through these young
and immature girls and (2) the inability of the young workers from
an economic standpoint to maintain themselves in a trade with em­
ployment seldom exceeding half the year.
Owing largely to this second difficulty, the sifting out from this
trade has been exceptionally heavy. The following table shows the
number of girls who, having entered the trades for which they had
been trained, have left them after a longer or shorter experience:
T

able

125.—NUMBER OF GIRLS WHO USED EACH SPECIFIED TRADE AND NUMBER
AND PER CENT OF THESE WHO LEFT THE TRADE.

Trade entered.

Girls dropping
Num­ out of the trade
for which they
ber of
were trained.
girls
using
their
Per
trade. Num­
ber.
cent.

Dressmaking.....................................
Millinery...........................................
Machine operating on—
Cloth...........................................
Straw hats..................................
Cooking and design...........................

423
157

203
101

48.0
64.3

81
72
11

44
41
3

54.3
56.9
27.3

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

744

392

52.7

Very nearly two-thirds of the girls trained for millinery have defi­
nitely left the trade. In only one previous year was the sifting as
great as during the last year studied, 1913-14. Sixty per cent of
those who went into the millinery shops during the year had left the
trade by the end of the first year’s experience.
POWER MACHINE SEWING TRADES.

The trades depending on the electric-power sewing machines have
not yet received much attention in the trade schools of Massachu­
setts, although the Boston Trade School introduced cloth powermachine operating during its first year. Only 81 girls have gone out
from the school into the trade and remained one week or more, and
more than one-half of these have left it. Power-machine operating
on straw hats was introduced in the year 1905-6, and nearly the same
number of girls (72) have gone out into the industry, although it is
a much smaller trade than cloth power-machine operating from the
standpoint of number of establishments and women employed. More
than one-half these girls also have left the trade.




IN D U ST R IE S

fo r

w h ic h

trade

sch o o ls

t r a in

.

211

n e e d o f t r a in in g f o r t h e s e t r a d e s .

The rapid monopoly of the production of women’s clothing and
millinery by the wholesale manufacturing branches of these trades,
and the small attempts of the two trade schools to train for these
manufacturing industries suggest the need for a study of their edu­
cational and industrial opportunities in Boston and Worcester.
Curiously, the stigma of the factory from a social standpoint still
survives in the twentieth century/ and trade educators find this
prejudice a difficult obstacle to overcome in the minds of girls and
parents. May not the emphasis of the school on the custom sewing
trades give strength to this popular prejudice? Yet published
reports of these trades in New York City 2 show opportunity for sat­
isfactory working, conditions, wages and seasons, and a tendency
toward continuous improvement, with the establishment of better
sanitary conditions and higher wage scales through organized and
cooperative efforts of employers and employees. Finally, in addition
to the increasing numbers employed and the generally satisfactory
working conditions offered, these manufacturing trades are worthy
of study from the standpoint of trade training, because of the diffi­
culty of access for the young girl without some equipment in (1) the
knowledge of the operation of the machines and (2) the ability to do
the simple processes of straight stitching.
Without a personal study of the enormous industry “ women’s
clothing, factory product/’ the educator could have little conception
of its many divisions based on type of product and involving varying
degrees and kinds of skill of the women workers. As a suggestive list
for purposes of study for trade training, these many subtrades might
be grouped as follows:
Women’s clothing:
a. Light-weight product (employing women primarily and ranked in order of
skill required)—
1. Dresses and waists (silk, woolen, linen, and cotton).
2. Petticoats (silk and cotton).
3. Neckwear.
4. Children’s clothing.
5. Muslin underwear.
6. Shirts, middy blouses, kimonos, house dresses, bath robes, bathing suits.
7. Aprons.
b. Heavy-weight product (employing men primarily)—
1. Cloaks, suits, and skirts.
c. Still other large industries involving the electric-power sewing machines
provide good opportunities for employment and trade training—
1. Scrim, lace, and net curtains—Light-weight product.
2. Corsets—Medium-weight product.
3. Raincoats and overalls—Heavy-weight product.
1 Katherine Anthony: Mothers who must earn, p. 51.
2 Buis. Nos. 146 and 147, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.




212

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

There seems to be a rather general opinion that “ power-machine
operating” is nothing more than operating a power machine and
that mastery of the power and some knowledge of the machine will
enable a girl to work with equal ease and adaptation on any one of
these numerous products. “ With a little practice on power machines
* * * she could sit down at a power machine and become a piece­
worker without delay because she knows how to control her machine,”
writes one educator.1 “ School training for specific operations is
not necessary, for these operations are simple and can be learned in
a few days or weeks at most in the factory itself.” 2 But this is
not true of power sewing-machine operating, as a study of the various
branches of the industry and of the experience of the girls shows. A
girl who has worked on aprons, on which the chief requisites are
straight stitching and speed, might find it impossible to stitch chiffon
waists, which require a knowledge of how to hold flimsy materials
’without stretching or mussing, how to put in sleeves, how to put
together shoulder seams, underarm seams, etc., or to stitch corsets,
which are usually made of heavy materials but require much shaping
in joining the rounded and curving edges.
The fundamental basis on which trade training for the powermachine sewing trades must be developed is that of product. The
type of product manufactured in the city in which the trade schools
are established, therefore, determines the opportunities for skill and
the character of the training which will prove valuable to the prospec­
tive worker.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to discover from official statistics
the number of firms and workers engaged in the manufacture of these
many products, as they are grouped under “ men’s clothing, factory
product,” or “ women’s clothing, factory* product.” The Massachu­
setts Bureau of Statistics reported 148 firms and 4,353 employees
(1,181 men and 3,172 women) employed in the manufacture of
women’s clothing in metropolitan Boston in 1913.3 An investigation
by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics of the cloak, suit,
and skirt industry in Boston, covering the period from August, 1912,
to July, 1913, estimated the total working force of this branch of the
industry in Boston to be about 3,000 workers,4 employed in 40 shops.
If the returns secured by the two bureaus are comparable the cloak,
suit, and skirt industry of Boston accounts for more than one-fourth
of the firms and employs 69 per cent of the workers in the women’s
clothing industry in this city. Fairchild’s Directory of Men’s and
1Anna C. Hedges; Wage worth of school training, p. 7.
Idem, p. 3.
3Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics: Twenty-eighth Annual Report on the Statistics of Manufactures,
1913.
9 Wages land regularity of employment in the cloak, suit, and skirt industry, Bui. No. 147, United
States Bureau of Labor Statistics, p. 70.
2




IN D U ST R IE S FOR W H IC H

TRADE SCHOOLS TRA IN .

213

Women’s Wear in Boston for 1915 reported 475 manufacturers of
women’s wear, 54 per cent producing light-weight product, such as
dresses,, waists, petticoats, neckwear, children’s clothing, underwear,
and aprons, and 46 per cent producing heavy-weight product, such as
cloaks, suits, skirts, and raincoats.
EXTENT AND CHARACTER OF THESE TRADES IN BOSTON AND WORCESTER.

The virtual monopoly of the women’s clothing trade by New York
City largely determines the types of manufacture found in Boston
and Worcester. The dress and waist industry, offering the highest
opportunities for skill and wage advancement for women and most
dependent on changing styles and fashions, naturally centers in
New York, the fashion center of the United States. The study of
the industry in New York in 1913 disclosed 707 shops employing
36,858 workers, the proportions being a little over four-fifths women
and less than one-fifth men.1 As a result only a comparatively
few dress and waist factories are found in Boston. The majority of
these are small and with two exceptions their product is limited to
medium and cheap grade dresses ranging at wholesale from $3 to
$16.50 each. These factories cater in general to a limited market,
largely New England, and to a large extent outside Boston.One large waist factory in Worcester, employing a maximum of
125 workers, manufactures silk and cotton waists at a wholesale
price of $9, $16.50, and $18 a dozen. Because of the competition of
New York, this firm is developing a western market for its product.
One or two smaller dress factories manufacture medium and cheap
grade products in Worcester.
Other light-weight products, such as underwear, neckwear, etc.,
seem to be about the same grade and the majority of factories are
comparatively small.
The cloak, suit, and skirt industry is best organized from the
standpoint both of labor and of manufacturers and represents the
highest grade of product of the women’s clothing trade in Boston.
The men, however, practically monopolize the skilled occupations in
this branch of the trade, because of their greater strength and phys­
ical endurance, and their skill in garment construction acquired
through the apprenticeship system abroad.
The manufacture of corsets is the predominant industry in Worces­
ter and is primarily a women’s industry.2 The power-machine
operating processes are difficult to acquire and many of the machines
are complex.
1 Wages and regularity of employment in the dress and waist industry, Bui. No. 146, United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics, p. 29.
2 For description of processes and wages, see First Annual Report of the Minimum Wage Commission
of Massachusetts, 1914.




2X4

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OP TRA D E-SCH O O L G IRLS.

The United States Census reported 4,063 power sewing machine
operators (women) in Boston in 1910, one-third (33.4 per cent) of
whom were under 21 years of age, and 2,132 in Worcester, 41.5 per
cent of whom were under 21 years of age.1 That the demand for
skilled power-machine operators is difficult to fill, is practically a
universal complaint in Boston. This is not true in Worcester at
present because of the industrial depression in the manufacture of
underwear.
ANALYSIS OF CHARACTERISTICS OF PRODUCTION IN FACTORIES MAKING UGHT- WEIGHT
PRODUCTS.

Study of product, as has been pointed out, must be the basis of
trade training, for four reasons: First, it determines the method and
characteristics of production, deciding (1) whether it is character­
ized by specialization of processes and subdivision of labor and (2)
what processes are done by women. Second, it determines the requi­
sites of the workers. Dresses and waists require tachnical skill and
knowledge of construction necessary to make a waist throughout.
Neckwear, corsets, and straw hats all need a very different kind of
manipulative skill in handling difficult materials. Aprons, under­
wear, kimonos, and house dresses require more knowledge of and
skill in the use of special machines, together with capacity for speed.
Cloaks, suits, skirts, raincoats, and overalls require in varying degrees
knowledge of garment construction and physical strength. Third,
the type of product determines the opportunities to acquire and sup­
plement trade training, for the better the product, the less willing is
the manufacturer to train new workers. Fourth, the product deter­
mines wage-earning capacity in relation to the amount of skill
required and in relation to the regularity and length of working sea­
sons.
An intimate understanding of the requirements of the product
ought to forearm the school against misfits, such as reported by one
indignant mother, “ No, she made a failure of it. The school placed
her in a chiffon waist factory. She would have been more successful
on overalls.”
Since there seems to be little conception on the part of the public
of the wide variation in the necessary qualifications of the workers
in the different branches of* the factory sewing trades, a suggestive
analysis of the characteristics of production discovered in the facto­
ries making light-weight product is offered for consideration.
i United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV, Occupations, pp. 540, 607.




IN D U ST R IE S FOR W H IC H

TRADE SCHOOLS T R A IN .

215

MACHINE OPERATING ON LIGHT-WEIGHT PRODUCTS.
Complete products.
1. Garments made.
a. Dresses.
b. Waists.
c. Petticoats.
d. Skirts.
2. Materials used.
a. Silk of all kinds.
b. Expensive cotton and linen goods.
c. Chiffon and nets.
d. Woolens and velvets.
3. Characteristics of production.
a. A complete product as distinguished from one process.
b. Expensive materials.
c. Simple power machines.
d. Little or no subdivision of work.
e. Selling qualities lie chiefly in its excellence and conformity to the most
recent styles.
4. Organization.
a. Large amount of handwork. Small investment in special machines.
Hemstitching, felling, and cutting machines sometimes used. Fre­
quently all special stitching is sent out to other factories. Cutting
of expensive materials frequently done with hand shears and only
two or three layers cut at one time.
b. Organization of work for practically independent production. General
supervision of workers. Little subdivision of labor.
c. A sample of each kind of garment completed to serve as a model from
which each operator must be able to work.
d. Predominance of women w
orkers—few men.
5. Requirements of worker.
a. Knowledge of dress construction:
1. Knowledge of how to put a dress together by seeing sample.
2. Ability to work with little or no supervision.
3. Interest in complete product.
b. Manipulative skill—deftness in handling difficult materials.
c. Accuracy and good work.
d. Speed in so far as compatible with good work.
1. Experience.
2. Understanding of textiles.
3. Knowledge of tricks of the trade.
e. Knowledge of simple power-machine operating.
6. System of teaching (inexperienced workers can not be used and are seldom
taught in the factory).
a. New or difficult manipulations shown by forewoman.
b. Waist maker can learn skirts, or vice versa.
c. Forewoman gives out work with necessary directions and is sometimes
responsible for certain processes.
d. Little supervision because of skilled workers.




216

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRADE-SCHOOL G IRLS,

B. Simple product.
1. Materials used.
a. Firm cotton material, used in—
1. Aprons.
2. Kimonos and bath robes.
3. Rompers.
4. Men’s shirts.
5. Petticoats.
6. House dresses.
7. Athletic waists and middy blouses.
b. Lace, scrim, net, and light-weight cotton used in—
1. Curtains.
2. Underwear (with lace trimming).
3. Neckwear (men’s and women’s).
4. Wash waists and dresses.
2. Characteristics of production.
a. Highly specialized processes.
b. Inexpensive materials.
c. Special machines.
d. Made in quantities.
e. Selling qualities lie chiefly in its cheapness and utility.
3. Organization.
a. Primarily machine work—large investment of capital in special ma­
chines, such as—
1. Hemstitching—picot attachment.
2. Tucking—1 to 6 needle machines.
3. Button sewing.
4. Buttonhole.
5. Pleating.
6. Felling.
7. Embroidery cutting.
8. Union Special for finishing raw edges of seams (overcasting)..
9. Putting on bands and running elastic.
10. Attachments.
a. Hemmer.
b. Ruffler.
c. Cutter to make picot edge, to cut edges any width from seam.
d. Apron belt maker.
11. Two-needle machine sewing bias bands, setting in sleeves.
b. Detailed plan of organization to secure rapid movement of work and
accurate check in all workers—
1. High specialization of process—subdivision of labor.
2. Large amount of supervision of workers.
3. Elaborate system of checking workers to trace mistakes.
c. Predominance of women.
4. Requirements of worker.
a. Accuracy.
1. Edges together straight.
2. Straight seams.
3. Mitering.
b. Understanding of machines.
c. Speed, which depends on—
1. Experience in the work.
2. Knowledge of short cuts and of where work can be slighted.




IN D U ST R IE S FO R W H IC H

TRADE SCHOOLS TR A IN .

217

B. Simple product—Concluded.
4. Requirements of worker—Concluded.
d. Ability to comprehend and follow directions, as finished product is not
shown.
e. Interest in amount produced, since production is monotonous.
5. System of teaching (unskilled workers can be taught).
a. By showing specific processes, not product.
b. Simple machines, and simple processes first.
c. Special machines and difficult processes if learner is willing to be taught.
d. Forewoman is teacher and overseer, not a w
orker. Several in a large
shop.
OPPORTUNITIES AND REQUIREMENTS IN DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF THESE TRADES.

A brief presentation of the qualifications demanded of workers and
of wage opportunities in the factories producing the varied types of
product in the power-sewing machine trades-may serve to point the
way to adaptation of trade training to the needs of the trade.
DRESSES AN D W AISTS.

Dress and waist factories, making a product which ranged in price
from $3.75 to $20 each, showed several common characteristics.
First, the great variety of “ numbers7 or “ lines” produced necessi­
7
tates an almost infinite number of styles or models. One waist
factory reported that “ formerly we made new designs twice a year,
but styles change too fast for that now.” One factory making a
high-grade product had 300 “ active numbers,” and in April reported
that they had designed 70 new ones since January. Another waist
factory had about 200 active styles. A dress factory required “ the
designers to produce a new model every day. The success of the
firm depends on up-to-date models.”
The great variety in lines produced has an important significance
for the workers, for “ the girls are shown the style of the waist and
after having been shown once, they always know the style by the
number afterwards.” In other words, the worker must be so famil­
iar with the construction of the dress or waist that she knows by
looking at the model how to put together the bundle of heterogeneous
pieces delivered to her at the window. “ A sample hangs on the wall
or is put on the figure which the girls can look at. They are supposed
to be able to look at the model and put the waist together.” “ She
has need of a dressmaker’s knowledge of the way things go together,
as she has to make very complicated garments by looking at the
model.”
One of the greatest requirements of workers in a high-class dress
and waist factory is technical knowledge of the construction of a
garment, for in the manufacture of the better-grade product, the
tendency seems to be toward general construction, i. e., having one
person make practically the complete garment, instead of special­




218

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRA D E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

ization. In five of the seven dress and waist factories studied in
Boston and Worcester the operators made the complete waist or
skirt, except such finishing processes as sewing on buttons or hooks
and eyes. The same tendency was discovered in New York, about
25 per cent of the workers being waist or skirt operators or dress­
makers.1 The five employers making good-grade product were
unanimous in requiring from the worker the knowledge and ability
demanded by independent construction. This is not the same kind
of dress construction required in custom dressmaking, and for this
reason, custom dressmakers frequently find it difficult to fit into
the factory, for in custom dressmaking the fundamental principle is
individual adaptation of the particular dress to a particular figure.
In factory dressmaking, the dress is supposed to come exactly cor­
rect from the cutter, and the operator must stitch the seams in ac­
cordance with exact measurements and without variation, basting
or much pinning. The dress needs little fitting and variation or ad­
justment by the draper, if the cutter and operator have done their
work correctly.
^Second, skill in manipulation of materials which comes from prac­
tice in handling different goods is fundamental. Silks and chiffons
are more difficult than cotton and linen goods. Most employers mak­
ing silk and chiffon waists and dresses maintain “ that work on coarse
materials doesn’t help much.” “ Work on cotton goods doesn’t help
for the emphasis has been on speed, not finish.” Bias bands, trim­
mings, lace, and embroideries must be sewed without basting, which
requires a knowledge of the relative stretch and pull of the different
materials. As a result, few inexperienced workers begin on the
machines, but usually pass through preliminary stages such as that
of boxer, cleaner, or examiner. These occupations have no relation
to the process of power-machine operating, but accustom the young
worker to the handling of materials, to shop discipline and applica­
tion, and give an appreciation of the necessity of accuracy.
The factory dressmaker needs a knowledge of the simple straightstitching power machines, but may have little need for knowledge
of or skill on special machines which are used comparatively little on
high-grade product. The primary requisites are, therefore, knowledge
of and skill in dress construction, with the supplementary assets of
manipulative skill and trade knowledge.2
What does the factory dressmaking, as a trade, offer to the worker
who has these qualifications ? The following pay rolls of two typical
factories show something of the relative importance of different
classes of workers and of wage opportunities:
1 Bui. No. 146, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, pp. 26 and 43.
2 See definitions of these terms in Bui. No. 145, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Conciliation,
arbitration, and sanitation in the dress and waist industry of New York City—Appendix I, A study of
the dress and waist industry for the purpose of industrial'education, pp. 174-177.




IN D U ST R IE S FO R W H IC H

219

TRADE SCHOOLS TR A IN .

T a bl e 1 2 6 —

NUMBER IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED AVERAGE
WEEKLY WAGE IN 1914—PAY-ROLL RECORD OF FACTORY A, MANUFACTURING
WASH DRESSES.
Number earning specified average weekly wage.
Occupation.

$8
$9
$10
$6
$12
$7
$15
and
and
and
and
and
and
and
under under under under under under over. Total.
$15
$10
$12
$7
$8
$9

Under
$6

MEN.

Nonneedleworkers:
Designer........................................
Cutter...........................................

1
1

1

1
1

1
2

1
4

Total..........................................
Power-machine operators—skirt
makers.............................................

2

1

2

3

5

4

Total, men................................

2

i2
2
3

1
3

1

!
2 ..........i

2

i2
7
15
24

4
3

5

11

29

1

1
1
5
1
1

1

4

5

9

WOMEN.

Nonneedleworkers:
Forewoman..................................
Cutter...........................................
Matcher........................................
Cleaner..........................................
Gives out work.............................

4
1

Total..........................................
Hand sewers:
Finisher........................................
Trimmer.......................................
Hook and eve sewer.......................
Draper..........................................

1

10
9
19
4

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

1

1
1

5

1

1
1

1
1

2

2

i

11
14
21
13

5

4

2

2

3

l

59

2
1
1

-3

8
6

6

1
5
2

5
2

l
i
3

2
30
14
1
1

4

4

14

6

8

7

5

48

3
1
1

2

42

Power-machine operators
Sample maker..............................
Waist maker.................................
Skirt maker..................................
Buttonhole maker2......................
Hemstiteher2...............................
Total..........................................

2

1

Unclassified........................................

11

l

Total, women.............................

52 |

9

19

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

54 )

11

21

J ..........

1 One earned $45 and one $30.

9

10

9

13

11
16

1

6
10 |

1
12

117
146

2 Work on special machines.

T a b l e 1 2 7 — NUMBER

IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED AVERAGE
WEEKLY WAGE IN 1914—PAY-ROLL RECORD OF FACTORY B, MANUFACTURING SILK
AND LINEN TAILORED WAISTS.
Number earning specified average weekly wage.
Occupation.

Nonneedleworkers:
Forewoman..................................
Designer and cutter.....................
Errand girl...................................
Presser..........................................

$8
$7
$10
$12
$6
$9
$15
Under and
and
and
and
and
and
and
$6 under under under under under under over. Total.
$12
$15
$7
$8 ; $9
$10

Total..........................................
Needleworkers:
Hand finisher...............................
Power-machine operators—
W aist maker ........................
Tucker...................................
Buttonhole maker..................
Total..........................................

11

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

14

l




4

1

!

1

l

3
6

1

1

3

.

1

1I
r

1

l

2

...... 1.......

1
1
1

1

l |

3

2

41 .

1

2

3

3

#|

1

1
1
3
2
7
6

* ..........
I

13
1
2

-j

22

1

29

220

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L GIRLS.

Factory A, manufacturing linen and gingham dresses selling at
wholesale from $3.75 to $10 each, employed 117 women and 29 men
during the year. Ninety-one per cent of the women were sewers, 41
per cent being power-machine operators and 50.4 per cent hand
sewers. Fifty-six per cent (56.5) of the machine operators, excluding
special machine operators, earned $8 or more and 71.2 per cent of the
hand sewers earned less than $6. Five men worked on the machines
as skirt makers, and the weekly average of four of them for the year
was$15ormore—one $31.33, and another $32.27. Noneof the women
skirt makers earned $15, one-half earning $9 or more as compared with
one-third of the waist makers in this earnings group. These powermachine operators on waists and skirts make the article complete, 54.5
per cent earning $8 or more. Two sample makers, one averaging $9.38
and one $12.77, make the samples which constitute the mod el from which
the operators work. Two special machine op erators run a hemstitching
and a buttonhole machine, each averaging less than $7. The manu­
facturer who makes high-grade silk and chiffon dresses frequently has
no special machines, sending out the hemstitching if required, and
hooks and eyes, buttons, and buttonholes, are sewed by hand.
Dresses and waists of good quality are draped on the figure by
“ drapers',” who pin the waist and skirt together, arrange the plaits or
gathers, pin on the belt or any trimming. They have usually been
dressmakers or operators previously. About one-half earned $8 or
more. Finishers, trimmers, and hook and eye sewers do the finishing
handwork on the dress, and because no particular skill is required,
the great majority earn less than $7.
Factory B, a small factory manufacturing silk and linen tailored
waists selling at wholesale for $12 to $42 a dozen, employed no men.
A woman designer and cutter, who has grown up in the factory,
plans, designs, and cuts the waists with hand shears, never cutting
more than two or three layers at once.
“ There is no real reason why cutting could not be done by.women,”
said a high-grade dress manufacturer, “ but designing and cutting
require special training. There are no logical steps of advancement
in the factory.” Moreover, in factories producing a medium-grade
product or using a very firm material, the goods are spread on a
cutting table “ sometimes 300 lays at a time” and are cut by men
with a revolving disk run by electricity. The woman designer and
cutter in factory B had begun as a sewer, but because the factory was
small she had had opportunity to learn cutting and designing. All the
girls in this small factory still have access to the cutting and design­
ing room and “ can pick it up if they have the capacity for it.” “ Our
designers get their ideas from store windows, fashion books, and styles
seen in New York,” said one manufacturer. “ They aren’t original
designs in the sense that they originate styles.”




IN D U ST R IE S FOR W H IC H

TRADE SCHOOLS T R A IN .

221

There were more than two machine operators to one hand sewer.
Thirteen of the 16 power-machine operators were 1 waist makers”
1
and made the waist throughout, except for any tucking or button­
holes which might be done by machine, and for the hand finishing.
More than one-half the power-machine operators averaged for the
year $9 or more, and all the hand finishers less than $6.
NECKWEAR.

Neckwear is also characterized by a great variety of “ lines” and
the girls are having to learn to do new things all the time to secure
novel effects. Women designers and cutters are found in neckwear
factories because of their originality of taste and style. The fore­
woman in a small factory in Boston making high-grade product
must produce a new design every day.
The construction involved in the making of neckwear is less com­
plex than that of dresses or waists, but the “ girls must have some
knowledge of how the pieces go together” from looking at a sample
collar. Artistic skill and ability, deftness and lightness of touch are
essential in the manipulation of the dainty, delicate laces and nets
which stretch, pull, and become flimsy with handling. Milliners fit
nto this work fairly well (and the seasons dovetail), particularly in
making the bows and trimmings and handling the net and lace. The
requirements of this trade demand more knowledge of special machines
than is necessary in dressmaking. Straight-stitching machines,
hemstitching, plaiting, and overlocking or zigzagging machines are
used in the making of neckwear. The stitching is on short lengths
but on difficult materials.
In factory C, of which the pay roll is shown below, manufacturing
collars.of net, light-weight and fine embroidered materials and
malines, as well as ruffs, bows, and chemisettes, not less than 9
stitches and sometimes 14 stitches to the inch are required, preventing
great speed, as the emphasis is on finish. Lace must be stitched on
the edge of bias pieces of net, net must be tucked, hemstitched, and
hemmed, and wire supports sewed on these delicate materials without
stretching, pulling, or soiling them. This necessitates a different
distribution of workers from that found in the dress and waist making
industry. Table 128 shows the number and kind of workers employed
in a typical neckwear factory, and the wages they earn.
A good deal of handwork is necessary for finishing and trimming
neckwear, and consequently the hand sewers constitute a more
important group here than in the two factories previously discussed,
forming 40.7 per cent of the total number of employees and 52.4 per
cent of the needle-workers. In wages, however, the power-machine
operators show more favorable conditions than prevail among the




222

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E OF TRAD E-SCH O O L G IRLS.

handworkers. Not one of the latter averaged over $7 a week, while
half of the machine operator earned $7 or over, and two-fifths
earned $8 or more a week.
128.— NUMBER IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED AVERAGE
WEEKLY WAGE IN 1914—PAY-ROLL RECORD OF FACTORY C, MANUFACTURING
NECKWEAR.

T able

Number earning specifie d average weekly wage.
Occupation.

$6 and
under $7

Under $6
Nonneedleworkers:
Cutter...................................................
Stock g irl.............................................
Gives out work.....................................
Presser..................................................

2

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

2

Needleworkers:
Hand sewers—
Finisher..........................................
Helper............................................
Bow maker.....................................
Flower maker................................
General worker..............................
Power-machine operator.......................

$7 and
under $8

1
1

$8 and
under $9

Total.

2
1

2
1
1
2

3

6

2

1
1
1
3

1

4

5
1
1
3
1
10

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

7

9

1

4

21

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

7

11

2

7

27

c h il d r e n ’ s

3

2
1
2

DRESSES.

In the manufacture of children’s dresses, as in factory D whose pay
roll is given in Table 129, no hand sewers are found, as the materials
used are strong and firm cotton goods, and there is no special
emphasis on hand finish. Nor is there any need for drapers, for
these dresses are not fitted on the form, as is done in the high
grade dress factories where the emphasis is on finish and style.
Moreover, the power-machine stitching is much more specialized.
There are general operators, joiners (who sew together waists and
skirts), trimmers (who stitch on bands of different colors or bias
cloth and fancy braids), sample makers, and special buttonhole and
button machine operators. Even with this amount of specialization
of processes the employer complained, “ I can't use girls from the
undermuslin trade because they don’t know how to put a garment
together. My workers must know how to put a dress together and
how it should look when it is done.”
As the pay roll shows, the range of wages in this factory is much
less than in factories making dresses and waists for adults. Only
24 per cent of the total group of workers earned as much as $8 or
more a week, and only 31 per cent $7 or over. Among the machine
operators not on special machines, only 22.2 per cent earned $8




IN D U ST R IE S FO R W H IC H

TRADE SCHO OLS TR A IN .

223

or over, and 59.2 per cent earned under $6 a week. There was con­
siderable difference in the earnings of the different kinds of workers;
not one of the four workers on sleeves earned as much as $7 a week,
while only one of the six trimmers earned less than $7.
T a ble 1 2 9 .— NUMBER

IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED AVERAGE
WEEKLY WAGE IN 1914—PAY-ROLL RECORD OF FACTORY D, MANUFACTURING
CHILDREN’ S CLOTHING.
Number earning specified average weekly wage.
Occupation.

Under $6 and $7 and $8 and $9 and
$6 . under under under under
$8
$9
$10
$7

Nonneedleworkers:
Forelady...................................................
Designer....................................................
Folder .....................................................
Presser......................................................

5
4

1

1

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

9

1

2

22
5
2
3

1
3
1
1

2

Needleworkers—machine operators:
General ..............................................
Skirts........................................................
Skirt trimmer...........................................
Sleeves......................................................
Joiners.......................................................
Trimmer...................................................
Sample maker...........................................
Buttonhole1
..............................................
Button sewer1
...........................................

1

1

1

$10
and
over.

Total.

1

1
1
7
5

2

14

1

25
10
4
4
2
6
3
1
2

1

2
1
1
3

2

i
2

2

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

32

7

3

10

2

3

57

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

41

8

5

10

2

5

71

1Work on special machines.
UNDERW EAR.

The manufacture of underwear is characterized by extreme
specialization of processes, extensive use of special machines, such
as the zigzag machine for joining lace and edges or overcasting
seams; one, two, three, and four needle tucking machines; buttonsewing and buttonhole machines; while the use of straight stitching on
seams and a long stitch makes possible the development of a good
deal of speed. In spite of the specialization of processes, “ a girl
is given a bundle and is expected to know how the pieces go
together,” and she does not have the advantage of a sample before
her to look at when in doubt. The pay rolls of two typical under­
wear factories, one in and one outside of Boston, are shown in Tables
130 and 131.




224

IN D U ST R IA L E X P E R IE N C E

OF TRAD E-SCHO O L G IRLS.

T a b l e 1 3 0 . — NUMBER

IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED AVERAGE
WEEKLY WAGE IN 1914—PAY-ROLL RECORD OF FACTORY E, MANUFACTURING
MUSLIN UNDERWEAR—BOSTON.
Number earning specified average weekly wage.
Occupation.

Under $6 and $7 and $8 and $9 and
under under under under
$6
$7
$8
$9
$10'

MEN.

$10
and
over.

Total.

Cutter..............................................................
Shipper............................................................

5
5

1
1

2

1

1

12
2

22
8

Total, men.............................................

10

2

2

1

1

14

30

Nonneedleworkers:
Designer.....................................................
Stamper ................................................
Helper.......................................................
Examiner . ..
..
...................
Boxer, folder, and presser..........................

2
21
19
5

1
6
2

1
1
2
1

il
3

1

4
1

il
4
36
23
8

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

47

9

5

4

1

6

72

Needleworkers—machine operators:
Sample makers..........................................
Machine operators.....................................

197

1
31

2
22

1
12

3
1

2
3

9
266

WOMEN.

1

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

197

32

4

5

275

244

41

24
29

13

Total, women.........................................

17

5

11

347

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

254

43

31

18

6

25

377

1 Receives $50 weekly wage.
T

131.—NUMBER IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED AVERAGE
WEEKLY WAGE IN 1914—PAY-ROLL RECORD OF FACTORY F, MANUFACTURING
MUSLIN UNDERWEAR—OUTSIDE BOSTON.

able

Number earning specified average weekly wage.
Occupation.

Under $6 and $7 and $8 and $9 and
under under under under
$6
$9
$7
$10
$8

Nonneedleworkers:
Examiner.................................................
Forelady....................................................
Shipper......................................................
Presser.......................................................
Office.........................................................
Ribbons.....................................................

6

1

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

7

4

2

1

18
5
1
1
3
1

5
3

5
2
1

2
1
1

2
1
1

$10
and
over.

1

Needleworkers—machine operators:
Finisher.....................................................
Seaming
.............................................
Binding ...................................................
Ruffling . .
..
..........................
Hemstitching.............................................
Tucker ..................................................
Hamburg.....
...........
...................
Laceworker. .
..
. ...................
Buttonholes
- ...................
Mending .
- .......................
Two-needle machine..................................
Buttons ...................................................
Bands........................................................
Gatherer....................................................

1

3

1

1

2

1

2
3

3
1

5
4

1

2

2
2

6

21

7

1

30
11
3
2
3
3
2
1
2
1
3
1
1
1

1
1

1

1

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

31

12

15

5

1

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

38

16

17

6

2




Total.

64
6

85

225

INDUSTRIES FOR W H IC H TRADE SCHOOLS TRAIN.

The needleworkers in factory E are either sample makers, twothirds of whom earn $8 or more, or power-machine operators, who
are expected to be able and are required to work on any product
needed at a particular time ; almost three-fourths of these averaged
less than $6. In factory F, however, the power-machine operators
have definite processes on which they work, such as finishing,1
seaming, binding, ruffling, hemstitching, tucking, etc., 14 different
distinct processes appearing from the occupations of the workers on
the pay roll. Possibly because this specialization permits the devel­
opment of greater speed, the level of earnings is not quite so low among
the machine operators in this factory as in factory E. Nearly onehalf (48.4 per cent) earned less than $6 a week, and 67.2 per cent
earned less than $7 a week, while 9.4 per cent, as against 6 per cent
in factory E, earned $8 or over.
SHIRTS.

Extreme subdivision of labor is found in a factory manufacturing
men’s shirts. Eighteen processes appear from the pay-roll record,
and there are no handworkers. Each worker has one special process.
The characteristics of production are straight stitching, long stitches,
and speed. Here, machine operating as a process is more important
than knowledge of construction for most of the workers because of
the extreme specialization of processes, yet the girl who puts in
sleeves, puts on cuffs, or joins shoulders needs a certain amount of
this technical knowledge, and the yoke stitcher must be accurate.
More than one-half earned $8 or more.
1 3 2 .—N U M BER IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVIN G EACH SPECIFIED A V E R A G E
W E E K L Y W A G E IN 1914—P A Y -R O L L RECORD OF FAC T O R Y H, M ANUFACTURING
M EN’ S SHIRTS.

T able

Number earning specified average weekly wage.
Occupation.

Machine operators:
Buttonhole.......................................................
Hemmer
Band stitcher...................................................
Fronts................................................................
Seamer..............................................................
Band maker.....................................................
Button sewer...................................................
Cuff and band turner.....................................
Sleeve facer.......................................................
Cuff maker.......................................................
Cuff stitcher.. ................................................
Cuff setter.........................................................
Sleeve setter.....................................................
Shoulder j oiner................................................
Label stitcher..................................................
Yoke stitcher...................................................
Band setter.......................................................
Sleeve facings...................................................
Total...............................................................

$8 and
under
$9

$9 and
under
$10

2
2
1
2

2

2

Under
$6

$8 and
under
$7

$7 and
under
$8

1

1
1
1
1

2

1
1
'1

2
2

1

7

5

1
1

1
1
1
2
7

1
12

8

1 Girls who put the garments together, putting in sleeves, collars, ctc.

85225°— 17— BuU. 215-------15




3

1
2
2
1

1
1

$10
and
over.

6

Total.

7
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
3
1
2
2
1
3
1
1
5
3
45

226

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
APRONS AN D ROMPERS.

Even in the manufacture of aprons and rompers there is a great
variety of styles, Factory I reporting “ 432 active numbers.” This
branch of industry has highly specialized processes, six girls working
on one apron— (1) a seamer, (2) a finisher, who sews on strings and
bias bands and hems the bottom, (3) one to make the strings, (4) one
to mark places for buttons and buttonholes, (5) a buttonhole maker,
and (6) a button sewer. The manufacture of this product requires
no high grade of manipulative skill and demands, perhaps, less
knowledge of construction than is needed in any other branch of the
factory sewing trades.
The workers have no models to copy, as in the high-grade dress
and waist factories, but “ the forewomen show them how to put the
new numbers together and the work is principally straight stitching.”
The characteristics of production are much specialized machinery,
highly subdivided processes, long straight stitching, long stitches
where they do not show, and speed. The requisites of the workers
are, primarily: (1) Knowledge of the machines, both straight-stitching
and special machines— that is, actual knowledge of the parts of the
machine and their production; (2) ability to do straight stitching; (3)
speed gained both from physical dexterity and from systematic
handling and use of short cuts where feasible. “ Work on silk unfits
them for this trade, ” says one employer. “ They are too slow.” •
The
needleworkers are all power-machine operators, about 70 per cent
earning $7 and over.
1 3 3 .—NUM BER IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED W E E K L Y
W A G E IN 1914- PAY-R OLL RECORD OF FACTORY I, M ANUFACTURING APRONS.

T able

Number earning specified weekly rate.
$12
$15
$6 and $7 and $8 and $9 and $10
Under under under under under and
and
and
under under under Total.
$6
$8
$9
$10
$7
$12
$15
$20

Occupation.

MEN.

Cutters.......................................................
Shippers.....................................................

1
1

1

2
1

Total, men......................................

2

1

3

WOMEN.

N onneedleworkers:
Forewomen.......................................
Cuts embroidery...............................
Examiner...........................................
Presser................................................
Packer.................................................
Machine stitchers.....................................
15
25

2
1
1
7

1
1
1

2

------

Total, women................................

15

25

7

4

1 |

4

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

15

25

7

4

1

6

2
2
1
1
1
49




1Not including 4 piece workers.

1

1 59

227

INDUSTRIES FOR W H IC H TRADE SCHOOLS TRAIN.
CURTAINS.

The manufacture of scrim and cheesecloth curtains is also char­
acterized by subdivision of labor and the use of special machines and
many special attachments. Manipulation is more important in
curtains than in aprons because of the more difficult materials
involved. Since the curtains have to hang straight and are in a
strong light, all defects are visible. The work involves primarily
deftness in handling difficult materials, knowledge of special machines
and processes, long straight stitching, and speed. All sewers (except
in some factories the mender) are power-machine operators. Hem­
ming tops is the simplest operation; making hems and bands is the
next stage of advancement; sewing on edges, insertions, turning cor­
ners, and hemstitching are the most skilled operations. Fifty-eight
per cent of the hemstitchers and 76.2 per cent of those stitching inser­
tions, edges, and corners earned $7 or more. A little over one-half
the latter earned $8 or more. More than one-half of those hemming
tops, and hemming and banding earned less than $7. %
T a b l e 1 3 4 . — NU M BER

IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED A V E R AG E
W E E K L Y W A G E IN 1914-P A Y-R O L L RECORD OF FACTO RY J, M AN UFACTURING
CURTAINS.

Number earning specified average weekly wage.
Occupation.
Under
$6

N onneedleworkers:
Forewomen. . . .
Inspectors..............
Lace cutters............
......
Boxers and recorders.
Pressers..........................................
Total...........
Power-machine stitchers:
Insertions, edges, corners...............
Hems and bands.
Hemming tops.................................
Hemstitchers........ ..
. .
Total................................

$6 and $7 and
under under
$8
$7

$8 and
under
$9

$9 and $10 and Un­
under
over.' classi­
fied.
$10

1
4

3

1
6

1

13

12

4

5
3
4
2

10
1
2
7

14
5
1
3

5

14

20

23

6

4 i

3
2
2

1
3
10

3
1
1
8

7

14

5
4
2
6
17

1

2
10
5
7
27

i

1

Total.

1

51

3

42
13
10
19

1

84

Unclassified..............................................

8 I

2

2

1

1

1 j

2

17

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

32 ,

30

35

36

11

6 1

2
-

152

SKIRTS.

The skirt industry, as has been pointed out, is primarily a man’s
industry, 64.4 per cent of the 281 workers appearing on the pay roll
of factory K being men. Much of the same characteristics of produc­
tion appear as in dress manufacturing, the operator producing a com­
plete skirt, except for the' finishing processes, and needing a knowl­
edge of dress construction and tailoring. Very few special sewing




228

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

machines are used, as emphasis in this particular factory is put on
hand finish. The work is fairly evenly divided on the basis of sex,
•the men doing the stitching and the women the handwork. Only
11 of the 128 power-machine operators were women, and 9 of these
earned $10 or more. Eighty-seven per cent of the men operators
earned $10 or more, and 27.4 per cent averaged $20 or more for the
year. Seventy-three of the 100 women were hand sewers— finishers
(who put on snaps, hooks and eyes), alteration workers, basters
(who mark the place for plaits and baste them down), and button
sewers— and 35.6 per cent of these earned $7 or more.
The requisites for power-machine stitching on skirts are a knowl­
edge of garment construction, physical strength to handle and stitch
the heavy materials long straight stitching, and speed. For the
hand sewing, only the elementary principles of sewing are required.
T a b l e 1 3 5 . — NUM BER

IN EACH OCCUPATION RECEIVING EACH SPECIFIED AV E R A G E
W E E K L Y W AG E IN 1914— PA Y -R O L L RECORD OF FACTORY K, M ANUFACTURING
SKIRTS.

Number earning each specified average weekly wage.

Occupation.

Un­
der
$6

$6
and
un­
der
$7

$7
and
un­
der
$8

18
and
un­
der
$9

$9
$10
and and
unun­
der ' der
$12
$10

$12
and
un­
der
$15

$15
and
un­
der
$20

$20
and
over.

2
2

3
17

3
14
6

3
20
30
6
5

To­
tal.

MEN.

Nonneedleworkers:
Foreman..................................................
Cutter......................................................
...................................................
Presser.
Button maker.......................................
Stock........................................................

1
4
4

2

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

9

2

Needleworkers—power-machine opera­
tors:
Sample maker........................................

1
1

3

2

4

4

20

23

64

1
2
2
3
3
Skirt5maker............................................ 9

23

37

7
25

8
109

1

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

0

2

2

3

3

10

23

37

32

117

Total, men..........................................

14

4

2

3

5

14

27

57

55

181

2

3

2

3

3

3

20

11

7

6

4

4
7

1
4

WOMEN.

Nonneedleworkers—button makers.........
Needleworkers:
Hand sewers—
Finisher...........................................
Alterations......
......................
B aster....
...................
Button sewer..................................
Power-machine operators—
Sample maker................................
Skirt maker.....................................

16

2
1

1

50
1
5
17

.........

5

1
2

i

5

1
10

2

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

31

17 1

9

11

4

3

7

2

Total, women..............................

33

20 |

11

14 |

7

6 |

7

2 1

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

47

24

13

17 |

12




20

34

84

......

59

100

55

281

INDUSTRIES FOR W H IC H

229

TRADE SCHOOLS TRAIN.

STRAW H ATS.

The manufacture of straw hats is a highly skilled industry, practi­
cally monopolized in Massachusetts by women, though in New York
men are coming into the trade. The requisites are primarily, (1)
knowledge of construction of straw shapes of assorted kinds, (2)
deft and easy manipulation of the difficult and rather perishable
straw braids, and (3) a knowledge of a particular straw sewing
machine. Model hats are placed before the workers to refer to and
to copy, and “ shapes” or molds are accessible so that the hat frame
may be frequently fitted to get the proper shape and head size.
Because of the short season, the wage and season of the 107 straw
machine operators working in factory M are given together. Eightytwo (82.2) per cent earned an average wage of $10 or more, and more
than four-fifths of these (84.1 per cent) had a working season of from
20 to 35 weeks. Seventy-one per cent had an average wage of $12
or more, and 85.5 per cent of these worked 20 weeks or over. Almost
three-fourths (73.8 per cent) of the total number of workers had a
working season of from 20 to 36 weeks.
1 3 6 .— NUM BER EM PLOYED FOR EACH SPECIFIED PERIOD W H O R ECEIVED
EACH SPECIFIED A V E R A G E W E E K L Y W A G E IN 1914— P AY -R O L L RECORD OF
FACTO RY M, M ANUFACTURING STRA W HATS.

T abl e

Number earning specified average weekly wage.
Number of weeks employed.

$8
$12
$18
$10
$15
$9
$20
Un­
$22
and and
der under under and and and and and and Total.
under under under under under
$8
over.
$12
$9
$15
$18
$22
$10
$20

Under 4 weeks..............................................
4 weeks and under 8 weeks ......................
8 weeks and under 12 weeks......................
12 weeks and under 16 weeks....................
16 weeks and under 20 weeks....................
20 weeks and under 24 weeks....................
24 weeks and under 28 weeks....................
28 weeks and under 32 weeks....................
32 weeks and under 36 weeks.....................

6
1
1

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

8

1

1

2

1
1

3

6

1
1

5

2
1

2
1

4
4
1

5
1
14
8
2

12

33

1
8
6
6
1

1
2
3
2
2

3
2

1
3
1
1

10
4
3
8
3
33
25
15
6

22

10

5

6

107

This finishes the outline of the characteristics of the different
branches of the factory sewing trades, and of the demands they
make upon their workers. Because of the variations in the qualifi­
cations required of workers in the manufacture of these different
products, the individual worker does not shift from one branch of
the industry to another as much as might be expected.
Only 5 of the 81 trade-school girls going into the cloth machineoperating trades had worked in three different branches of the trade,
and only 23 had worked in more than one. The manufacture of
dresses, waists, neckwear, children’s clothing, aprons, and curtains
has received the great majority of the girls from the trade school.




230

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

Nor do the girls who have gained their training in the trade come up
through the several branches of the trade, because proficiency in
one may train her directly away from the ^thers, as has been men­
tioned in reports from employers.
M E T H O D S OF LEARN ING IN T H E TR AD ES.

“ We don’t want learners” is the usual statement in a high-grade
dress factory. “ We can’t have the machines producing less than
their capacity and the goods are too expensive/’ In the mediumgrade factories, however, “ the foreman makes girls sitting near help
a beginner whether they want to or not.” In another Boston fac­
tory “ if an inexperienced hand comes in, she is usually started on
finishing, which is what everyone can do who has ever sewed. Then
she is taught by the forewoman and the girl sitting next to her, first on
the simpler processes, straight seams and so o n /’ A Worcester firm
manufacturing cotton waists reported that, “ When green girls come,
at the very start we put them on cleaning, or measuring or gauging
buttonholes. After they have been near the machines for a while
they usually want to run them. They usually show ability or we
do not keep them at all. We start them on a machine without a
needle until they learn to control the power. Then we put them on
sleeves or places where the work doesn’t show much. After a girl
can do sleeves well, she is put on body making, then setting in sleeves
and collars. We insist on the girls' learning several machines, so if
one department gets congested we can move them about. They
sometimes object to learning new machines, but as they are so young
they can usually be induced to make the change.”
Manufacturers producing a cheaper product in which the material
is less expensive, more easily handled, and the processes more spe­
cialized will more frequently take on inexperienced workersf though
usually they insist that the applicant “ must be able to do straight
stitching.” An apron manufacturer says, “ Girls are taught to some
extent in dull season. The forewoman will show them three times
and no more.” The usual route by which the young girl gets on the
machine is through the hand processes. A large factory manu­
facturing muslin underwear has evolved a fairly definite scheme of
training and procedure in the initiation of young workers under the
direction of a capable forewoman. A girl is first taught to control
the power, which “ can be done in two hours. She then sews on
rags until she can sew straight.” Her progress from the standpoint
of product is as follows: (1) Nightdress, (2) chemise or combination,
(3) corset cover, (4) drawers, (5) skirt. From the standpoint of
process, she is taught (1) stitching and felling of seams, (2) putting
the hem on the bottom or the lace on the bottom (sometimes with a
zigzag machine), (3) making facings and bands, (4) trimming the




INDUSTRIES FOR W H IC H TRADE SCHOOLS TRAIN.

231

neck and sleeves (that is, putting on the lace or embroidery some­
times with a zigzag and sometimes with an ordinary machine), (5)
tucking on the tucking machine, (6) ruffling and putting on the
ruffles, (7) making and setting in the yokes. “ It takes a girl a year
to become experienced in this work.”
C OST OF TEACH IN G IN TH E FACTO RY.

Employers have a hazy idea of the cost of initiating a young
learner. An apron manufacturer maintained it cost $20 to $30 to
train a new worker in his factory. A curtain manufacturer claims
it costs him $35. As shown on the basis of actual production,1an
inexperienced worker was paid $22.32 more than her work was worth
during her first six weeks in the factory, and with the addition of the
use of the machine, spoiled materials, and time of the forewoman, the
cost doubtless reached, if it did not exceed, the higher amount
named by the employer.
An interesting illustration of the cost of teaching in the factory is
found in a straw-hat factory which in 1914 took on 40 new workers
in an average force of 150 women stitchers. The learners are taken
on October 1, about six weeks before the regular season opens.
They are paid $4.50 a week for'two months, or longer if necessary.
Four experienced workers are assigned as teachers at $3 a day, 1
teacher to 10 girls. For two months, they give full time to training
the learners to make by hand the straw “ tips” and to stitch straw
braid and shape it on the form. After eight weeks, some of the girls
are ready for semiindependent work on piece rates and two teachers
can take care of the group. For eight weeks at least the learners
simply sew braid together, producing nothing salable. The braid is
ripped up again and again and sewed again for practice. If a girl
completes her apprenticeship in eight weeks, the cost of her training
is as follows:
$4.50 per week for 8 weeks.............................................................................................. $36.00
One girl’s share of teacher’s salary ($18 per week for 8 weeks for 10 girls)........ 14. 40
Total cost (not including cost of materials used or depreciation of
machines)............................................................................................................. 50. 40

Thirty-three of the forty girls “ made good,” thus increasing the
proportional cost for each successful worker. This employer main­
tains it costs him about $2,000 a season to train his new workers.
Many of the young workers are not capable of doing productive
work at the close of their eight weeks’ training. The following table
shows the weekly record of two sisters, cases A and B, and of a third
woman, case C, who were initiated into the factory at the same time.




i See Table 31, pp. 51, 52.

232
T

able

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.
1 3 7 .—W E E K L Y W AG ES OF T H R E E “ L E A R N E R S ” IN A ST R A W -H AT FACTO RY
FOR ONE SEASON.

[Figures above the heavy rule indicate earnings received as apprentices, those below, the earnings received
after the girl became an independent worker on a piece rate, actually producing hats.]
Specified wage received
each week by—

Specified wage received
each week by—
Week.

Week.
A.
$4. 50
4. 50
4. 50
4. 50
4. 50
4.50
4. 50
4.50
4. 50
4.50
4. 50
4.50
4. 50
4. 50
4.50
4. 50
4. 50
4.50
4.50

First.............
Second..........
Third...........
Fourth.........
Fifth.............
Sixth............
Seventh........
Eighth..........
Ninth...........
Tenth...........
Eleventh___
Twelfth........
Thirteenth..
Fourteenth..
Fifteenth___
Sixteenth. . .
Seventeenth.
Eighteenth..
Nineteenth..

B.
$.4. 50
4.50
4. 50
4. 50
4. 50
4. 50
4.50
4.50
4.50
4.50
4.50
4.50
4. 30
16.90
21.95
20.75
22.90
23. 05
13.75

A.

C.
$4.50
4.50
4.50
4.50
4.50
4. 50
4.50
3.80
11.80
5.35
17. 35
12. 30
7.90
21.35
16. 70
15.00
19.35
13. 25
26.70

Twentieth............
Twenty-first........
Twenty-second..
T wenty-third___
Twenty-fourth. . .
Twenty-fifth........
Twenty-sixth___
Twenty-seventh..
Twenty-eighth...
Twenty-ninth___
Thirtieth...............
Thirty-first...........
Thirty-second___
Thirty-third.........
Thirty-fourth___

$4.50
4.50
7.55
7.55
10.95
9.65
8.95
10.15
13.80
8.75
6. 90
1. 45

Total..

180. 20

B.
$17. 55
29.55
26. 05
23.00
26.70
25. 55
29.25
25.95
27.10
27.15
21.45
13.75

$17.85
23.05
21.75
24.70
22.90
22.50
25.75
24.15
29.45
29.45
16.25
18.40
15.60

10.60
3.00

Average wage.

470. 65

507. 75

15.18

14.93

As an apprentice, the girl simply sewed straw and ripped it up
again and again until she could be’trusted to use the straw which,
because expensive or because stylish that particular season, must
be conserved for hats intended for sale. It is interesting to note
in the case of B and C, who were put on a producing basis in a shorter
period than A, that both fell back the first week on piece rate, then
jumped to a wage almost four times as large the second week.
Case A was 21 years and case B, 23 years of age. Case A worked
five months as an apprentice, her wage alone thus costing her employer
$94.50 instead of the standard amount of $36. Case B worked 12
weeks as an apprentice, her wage during her training thus amount­
ing to $54. Case C, a woman of 25 years, was put on a producing
basis after seven weeks’ apprenticeship. The record of these workers
for the season also illustrates the wide variations in returns as a result
of this expenditure of time and money in training. Case A earned a
total of $180.20 for the season of 31 weeks. Case B earned $470.65
during the same period. Case C, who was very quick in learning,
earned $507.75 for a season of 34 weeks,
AM O U N T OF S H IFTIN G A M O N G FA CTO RY EM PLO Y EE S.

The extent to which a factory takes in inexperienced workers
largely determines the amount of shifting discovered on the pay
roll. In one dress factory the pay roll showed that of 117 women
employed during the year, 73 had held their places only from one to
five weeks. Fourteen had left at the end of the first week and 18
more at the end of the second week. In a curtain factory the pay




INDUSTRIES FOR W H IC H TRADE SCHOOLS TRAIN.

233

roll showed 152 women employed during the year, of whom 65 had
worked less than 12 months. These women were, however, not
quite so transitory as those of the dress factory, as only 22 of them
left under five weeks, and 27 were in the factory 15 weeks or more.
In an underwear factory which takes young learners, 53 per cent of
a total of 347 women appearing on the pay roll during the year
stayed less than 12 weeks, and 42.1 per cent stayed less than 8
weeks. In the year 1910 in this factory 65.8 per cent of a total of
315 stayed less than 12 weeks.
SUMMARY.

A survey of the sewing trades shows the importance and the
need of trade training for young workers. The emphasis on train­
ing for the custom sewing trades and the neglect of the factory
trades, however, seems surprising, since the whole evolution within
the industry is in the opposite direction. While the school has failed
to take cognizance of the decreasing opportunities for young work­
ers in the custom sewing trades, the experience of its pupils shows
that they are bearing the brunt of these industrial changes. The
general lack of information as to conditions and opportunities in the
factory trades probably explains this lack of adjustment. Acquaint­
ance with the many different trades which constitute the clothing
industry is essential to successful trade training, for the product
determines whether the demands made on the workers are primarily
for technical knowledge of garment construction, manipulative skill,
trade knowledge, or speed. Proficiency in one trade may mean
inefficiency in another. Since the high-grade factories manufac­
turing a product requiring technical skill seldom take inexperienced
workers, the young girl who learns in industry must begin on unre­
lated processes or enter factories producing low-grade product, which
may train her away from rather than toward the better types of
factories. The workers shift very little from one product to the
other. Moreover, there is a heavy dropping out of young learners
in the industry. The expense involved in training the young worker
in the factory and the uncertainty of securing the benefits of this
training make the majority of employers unwilling to develop a
systematic plan of training. The school's great opportunity at pres­
ent lies in this field.







CHAPTER VIII.— SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.
The new type of vocational education is judged by the ability of
its pupils to meet the demands of the vocation for which it offers
training. Popular interest, whether favorable or adverse, desires
concrete information on the experience of the pupils trained. The
trade school from the beginning has tried to develop a system for
keeping in touch with its former pupils, (1) by an annual canvass by
letter asking for a statement of position and wage, (2) by the mainte­
nance of a placement bureau, and (3) by personal contact through its
social organizations, such as clubs and reunions.
The pressure of more insistent daily problems and the difficulty of
keeping in touch with all pupils, however, have made a scientific and
complete system of records impossible. Nor have educators fully
appreciated the importance of a comprehensive and concrete knowl­
edge of the situation as a whole. “ We don’t need statistics,” *‘ W e
haven’t time for investigations,” “ We know the girls’ needs,” are
statements frequently heard. The school has drawn up long lists
of individual pupils and their wages, but these in themselves have
little significance for educators or for the general public. For the
real significance of wages is dependent on many factors, nor does a
knowledge of wages alone necessarily provide the school with the
most vital type of information for intelligent and successful procedure.
Industrial education is so new that it is neither fair nor safe to
draw sweeping conclusions as to future possibilities of this type of
training. But popular interest and the rapid spread of this form
of education seem to call for a clearer understanding of its purpose.
Where and under what conditions can it be profitably developed and
realize its fullest possibilities? Trade training for girls is generally
conceded to^offer the most difficult problem connected with indus­
trial education, as well as the one in which least progress has been
made toward a solution. Yet the need for a solution is increasingly
evident.

The great development in mechanical processes which means in­
creased opportunity for the boy, results in decreasing demand for
the fine handiwork and individuality of product in which the woman,
heretofore, has found her opportunity.
Educational institutions of any kind have usually kept in touch
with their successful pupils, but lost sight of the failures. Presentday democratic and social-minded people are asking, “ What propor­
tions succeed and what proportions fail?” More than one-third, 36.3




235

236

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

per cent, of the 2,500 girls going out from the three trade schools in
Massachusetts used their training in a wage-earning capacity. More
than one-third (38.6 per cent) of the 2,044 girls going out from the
Boston Trade School during its 10 years’ existence, more than onefourth (27.4 per cent) of the 343 girls going out from the Worcester
Trade School during its three and one-half years’ existence, and less
than one-fourth (23 per cent) of the 113 girls going out from the
Cambridge Trade School during its two years’ existence entered their
trades.
What proportion should be expected to use their training ?
Curiously, the vocational schools have collected little data on which
to base a comparison. The proportion from the three trade schools
using their trades, one-third, is higher than is found among those
taking the four years’ course of the Girls’ Practical Arts High School,
or among the pupils of the Industrial Schools for Boys in Worcester
and New Bedford. Some advocates of trade schools object to
judging their success by their ability to induct their pupils into the
trades for which they train; if, however, a school can not do this,
is it a trade school? No one would expect that all pupils or even a
large proportion of the pupils trained in any vocational school would
permanently remain in their first vocation. But unless a reasonable
proportion utilize their training, several questions are pertinent.
(1) Are the schools drawing the type of pupil which can meet the
demands of the trades for which they offer training? (2) Are the
trades for which the schools train well chosen? That is, (a) Can
they utilize the numbers trained in the trade school? (b) Do they
offer adequate opportunities from the standpoint of skill and advance­
ment to justify the expenditure of time and money involved in train­
ing for them ?
To appreciate fully the significance of these figures— the survival of
one-third— we must know (1) what types come for training, (2) how
long they remain, (3) what are the requisites of success, and (4)
what are the local trade opportunities. A most serious adminis­
trative and educational difficulty is encountered at the outset in the
wide range in equipment of the pupils who apply for training. From
the standpoint of maturity, 34.9 per cent were under 15 years of age,
28.8 per cent were 15 but under 16, 29.3 per cent were 16 years and
under 18, and 7 per cent were 18 years and over at entering trade
school. From the standpoint of schooling, 48.2 per cent had not
graduated from grammar school, 31.3 per cent were grammar-school
graduates, and 20.5 per cent had previously attended a secondary
school. The trade school is confronted on the one side, therefore, with
a group of immature pupils who present a wide range in capacity for
training, 44.6 per cent of whom leave under the age of 16 years, and
70 per cent of whom in Boston and Worcester remain less than 12




SUM M ARY AND CONCLUSIONS.

237

months. On the other side comes the demand from the trade for
general intelligence, maturity, and experience.
The significance and reality of these trade demands are apparent
from a study of their bearing on the girl’s utilization of her training.
Education is important. Only 23.1 per cent of the girls not graduat­
ing from grammar school as compared with 52.6 per cent of the
grammar-school graduates, used their trade. Maturity has a still
more direct bearing on the girl’s opportunity to use her training.
Only 7.7 per cent under 15 years of age at the time of leaving
school, 34.4 per cent 15 and under 16 years, and 45.3 per cent 16
and under 17 years used their training, while 55.8 per cent 17 and
under 18 years and 63.1 per cent 18 and under 19 years of age at
leaving the trade school used their trade. At least a minimum of trade
training and repetition of processes is fundamental. Of those trained
in the sewing courses in the three schools, only 8.4 per cent of those
remaining in the trade school less than six months, and 43.4 per cent
of those remaining six months and less than 12 entered the trade, but
84.2 per cent of those remaining 12 months and less than 18 used their
training. Study of trade conditions shows that these proportions are
not merely fortuitous. Of 100 dressmakers who had acquired their
experience in the trade, only 24.7 per cent had not graduated from
grammar school, 47.4 per- cent had graduated from grammar school
but gone no further, and 27.8 per cent had attended high school.
Only 11.8 per cent of the dressmakers reported by the United States
Census of 1910 were under 21 years of age.
The choice of the trades for which training is offered, therefore, is
fundamental* and it seems curious, in the light of the census returns
of 1910, to find that almost three-fourths of the girls enrolled in the
three trade schools in 1915 were registered in the dressmaking course.
Another very important question, and one which, curiously enough,
educators have apparently little appreciated, is that of ability to
persist in the trade for which training has been acquired. Yet it
throws light on two most vital points: (1) It provides an index to
opportunity from the standpoint of numbers and requisites of the
workers, and (2) it should provide the educator with a standard for
measurement of the strength or weakness of the training. In Boston,
by the end of the first year, a little more than four-fifths of the 744
who were found by investigation to have used their trades were still
in their trade; by the end of the second year, three-fifths and by the
end of the third year a little over two-fifths of this selected group
still persisted. Nor is this sifting due to marriage, as is popularly
supposed, for two-thirds in their seventh year were still engaged
in wage-earning occupations. Trade conditions predominate as the
most important cause of leaving, for the sewing trades present two
serious problems, (1) the inherent hardships involved in the long




238

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

process of acquiring requisite skill and in the short seasons, and (2)
the decreasing opportunity for young inexperienced workers. Never­
theless, in comparison with the young unskilled workers whose
records may be read from the educational certificates in the school
offices, these young trade-school girls show remarkable permanence
in trade, position, and establishment. Nor should a failure to per­
sist in the trade necessarily be taken to indicate retrogression. On
the contrary it may mean betterment for the girl with higher educa­
tional advancement. * Nevertheless, should not the school establish
for its own guidance and as a test of its success, a certain fairly
definite proportion which should be expected to succeed and persist
in the trades for which it offers training ?
This survey covering the study of the three trade schools for girls
in Massachusetts, and of the working experience of all their pupils
who used their training one week or more and of all others who
attended the trade school nine months or more, suggests certain con­
crete conclusions.
I. For the general public:
1. The trade school does not cater to “ the masses,” but, never­
theless, reaches a new type of girl very similar in the three cities,
whose educational needs hitherto had not been specifically met.
The trade-school girl comes from a family less comfortably circum­
stanced than the high-school girl, but more comfortable than the
girl who applies for a working certificate at the age of 14 years. The
large majority come directly from the grammar school; they corre­
spond, from the standpoint of nativity, to the total 15 to 20 year old
school population, and a fair degree of economic comfort is indicated
in their contribution to the home, number of other wage earners, and
comparatively few dependents in the home. A reasonable degree of
economic comfort might be expected, since
(a) The trade school is a secondary school in which the majority
must remain one year or more to succeed in their trade.
(b) The trade school trains for a few specific trades which demand
(1) a comparatively high degree of education; (2) a comparatively
long course of training with a rather high minimum of skill and
practice in the processes; (3) increasing maturity, and (4) a par­
ticular type of manual skill and technical knowledge.
(c) The custom sewing trades have marked seasons and do not
offer steady or continuous employment.
2. Trade schools for girls, as yet conceived, train primarily for the
custom sewing trades and can not fulfill their purpose where there are
no sewing trades, or where very limited opportunities are open to the
young, partially equipped worker. The recent development of
courses in “ trade cooking” or “ catering” is most interesting, but
the opportunity to utilize this training in any other capacity than




SU M M ARY AND CONCLUSIONS.

239

ordinary domestic service is very limited because of the extreme
immaturity of the girls trained. When they become older they
encounter the competition of girls from “ practical arts high schools,”
or from the colleges of domestic arts, with longer and more complete
training. If established for or giving home training, these schools
should be frankly so designated and generally recognized as such by
the parents who send their daughters for training. Growth out of
local needs and adjustment to local demands is the fundamental
basis for a trade school's success.
3. The custom sewing trades are undergoing a tremendous indus­
trial reorganization resulting in continually decreasing opportunities
for the young inexperienced worker. They must be recognized more
and more as (a) a vocation for girls who can afford to spend a longer
time in acquiring financial independence; (b) as wholly inadequate
in most cities, in the demands for numbers alone, to constitute the
primary basis for a system of trade training, and (c) as demanding a
definite type of worker with some general education, maturity, skill,
and experience.
4. The so-called “ trade-school girl” therefore represents a fairly
high degree of selection, since, first, she was able to attend a sec­
ondary school; second, she survived the training in the trade school
in a ratio of 1 to 3; and, third, she has been able to persist in a
trade which has short working seasons and requires special trade
qualifications and a long stage of preparation.
II. For the trade educator:
1. Trade training must develop in accordance with the trend of
industrial evolution. Since the whole industrial trend is toward
increasing development of machine processes, an extended system of
trade training for hand processes will not reverse the tendency.
2. The trade school must grow out of the needs of the community.
3. The trade school for girls gives a real advantage to its pupils
when established as a result of local demands.
(a) It provides a place (1) where the girl can secure specific
training for wage earning during the years from 14 to 16, during which
years the skilled industries are practically closed to her, and (2) where
she can be tested out under favorable circumstances and sympa­
thetic teachers.
(b) It levels up the inadequate background of the girl with a lower
educational standard through correlation of its allied courses, and
equips her to compete with the girl who has had better educational
opportunities.
(c) It lifts the girl over the unskilled, unrelated processes by pro­
viding her with the fundamental principles and some trade skill,
enabling her to begin at a higher initial wage on the processes leading
directly to advancement and skill. The initial advantage is its real




240

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

contribution. When once established in the trade, advancement
depends on individual capacity to profit by the opportunities which
arise.
(d) It provides, through its placement bureau, a valuable connect­
ing link between school and industry, and gives the girl the protection
of an organized institution in securing work. This phase of voca­
tional training offers much greater opportunities than have yet been
appreciated or developed. If systematically organized, the depart­
ment for placement should enable the school (1) to keep in close
touch with industry and its rapid changes in processes, and with its
demands from the standpoint of numbers and qualifications of work­
ers; (2) to learn through the experience of its pupils in industry, and
(3) to develop in accordance with changing demand.
(e) It provides a place to which the former pupil may return in dull
season or unemployment for supplementary or advanced training.
This phase of trade training, too, is just in its infancy, but, if sys­
tematically developed, it will make some of the most valuable con­
tributions in vocational training.

4. The type of girl which succeeds in gaining access to the trade
seems to be the grammar-school graduate, with a minimum age of 16
years, a trade-school course of at least a year, and with sufficient
economic support to tide over the first three years necessary to become
established in the. trade.
5. When once established in the trade, maturity, experience, and
capacity to assume responsibility and initiative determine the girl's
advancement. At beginning work, increased maturity shows
increased wage returns. Less than three-fifths (58.9 per cent) of the
Boston Trade School girls beginning work at 14 years and under 16,
earned $6 or more at the end of the first year. Almost two-thirds
(64.1 per cent) of those beginning at 16 years and under 18 and more
than two-thirds (70.7 per cent) of those beginning at 18 years and over
earned $6 or more at the end of the first year. A similar correlation
between maturity and wage is discovered for the trade-trained girls.
By the end of the third year, in neither group has the girl beginning
work at 18 years maintained her advantage, but in both groups, the
girl beginning at 16 years maintains an advantage over the girl
beginning at 14.
Thus the age of 16 to 18 years, which because of child-labor legisla­

tion is automatically becoming the minimum age, is apparently the
most propitious age for entering these trades. Changing conditions
in the custom trades, however, raise the question if this will be true
during the next 10 years. The business of the trade educators is to
know the facts, no matter how fast they may change. .
While ‘ 'common sense" is a very insistent demand from employers,
just how close is the relation between education and advancement




SU M M ARY AND CONCLUSIONS.

241

is not so clear as the relation between age and advancement perhaps,
because of the comparatively small proportion, one-fourth, who have
had more than a grammar-school education. The girl with a highschool education finds more profitable employment in the business
pursuits. On the limited basis of one-fourth, the high-school girl
who has learned in the trade maintains a decided advantage over the
grammar-school trade-trained girl. The difference in opportunity
is less obvious in the trade-school group. This may be due to the
ability of the school to supplement the inadequate preparation of its
girls who have a low educational equipment. At the end of the first
year’s experience, the trade-school girl who has previously attended
high school seems to have no advantage, but by the end of the third
year, an advantage becomes apparent. Since a certain type of
manual skill and technical knowledge is the fundamental requisite
for success, variation in educational background seems to have little
significance at first. When the necessary skill has been acquired,
however, advancement depends on ability to think, to plan, and to
originate. If academic education develops this ability, it will provide
the girl with very important qualifications.
6.
A surprising similarity in wage and advancement is discovered
for the trade-school girl and for the girl who has learned in the trade
which should give the trade educator an impetus for a closer study
of the demands of these trades. The trade-school girl starts with a
decided initial advantage. Her year’s training in the trade school
enables her to enter the trade as a producer, rather than as a learner,
and she can thus begin at a higher initial wage than the untrained
girl. She does not, however, maintain a correspondingly higher
wage throughout her working career. Like the trade-trained girl, she
reaches an average wage of $8 by the third year, and approximately
$9 by the end of the fourth year. The short seasons in the sewing
trades, however, seriously lower the annual income. While the girls
who remain in their trade maintain an apparently higher wage scale,
the longer working year of those who leave for other occupation
doubtless results in more satisfactory financial returns.
III.
Development and expansion of trade training for girls can
be realized only with a wider selection of trades. The most obvious
opportunity is found in the factory sewing trades. Not until there
has been a pedagogical analysis of the trades, such as has been made in
the custom sewing trades, can success in this field be realized. A
fundamental difference confronts the young trade-school worker on
entering these two divisions of the clothing trades. In the custom
trade, she enters as a young helper who works under the close super­
vision and with the aid of a skilled worker. In the factory trades,
and especially in the manufacture of the high-grade product, she must
85225°—17—Bull. 215------16




242

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE OF TRADE-SCHOOL GIRLS.

be equipped to enter as an independent worker. She must have a
minimum age of 16 years and sufficient skill, trade knowledge, and
technical training for independent production with a minimum degree
of speed and accuracy. This industry is made up of many sub­
trades, each making widely different demands and offering a great
variety of opportunities for a satisfactory wage and advancement.

But trade training for women must find a wider foundation than
the sewing trades to justify its establishment in a great many cities.
For in many localities these trades are practically nonexistent, and
particularly in their opportunity for employment of young, inex­
perienced workers. The real problem in trade training for women
to-day is to discover the educational possibilities in a wider variety of
trades.
IV.
Industrial education for girls has a real opportunity from
both an educational and an industrial standpoint. Modern industrial
competition makes adequate training in the factory increasingly
difficult and unsatisfactory. Conditions within the industry change
so fast, however, that it is difficult for an outside organization to keep
pace with them. Since successful vocational education necessitates
closest study of the needs and conditions of the vocation, time and
opportunity must be allowed teachers and placement agents to visit
and study the girl and the industry. Every means which simplifies
and smooths the transition from school to industry should be devel­
oped, and this can be effected only through closest connection and
mutual understanding between school and employers. Trade schools,
as has been discovered, can also perform an important service in sup­
plementing the girl’s general education. Their real problem is to so
expand the content of their training, that the girl may know, while
receiving the secondary schooling, that she is at the same time pre­
paring herself directly for wage earning.




APPENDIX A.—COURSES AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE
TRADE SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS IN MASSACHUSETTS,
COURSES IN THE TRADE SCHOOLS.

Courses in trade schools were originally designed with a double
intent— trade training and training for the home. “ The training not
only contributes to the making of efficient tradeswomen, but it also
contributes to efficient home service.” 1 The importance of training
for hQme making is recognized still, but the trade schools have found
it increasingly difficult to make this teaching anything but inci­
dental, because of the youth of the pupils, the short time they can
spend at the trade schools, and the exacting demands of the indus­
tries for which they train their pupils.
The principal trade taught in each school is dressmaking, which
is divided into preliminary and advanced courses. The object of the
preliminary courses is to develop skill in handling materials and
facility in the use of the different stitches. Although most of the
trade-school pupils have had some sewing in the grades, it has not
been systematic or extended enough to prepare pupils to do real
dressmaking. Trade schools assume that the pupils are unac-.
quainted with all sewing processes, and teach the proper way of work
from the start. An interesting system of correlation is being devel­
oped in Somerville, where the director of the vocational school for
girls has charge of the sewing in all the schools. She is thus able
to plan the sewing courses from the fifth grade in the grammar school
through the vocational school or the high school in logical sequence.
The teachers in this preliminary sewing in the trade school are, as a
rule, academically trained, because they are able to interest young
and immature pupils better than trade-trained teachers,2 who are apt
to be impatient with beginners.
Two methods of teaching are at present in use. In the Boston
Trade School the pupil practices a stitch until she can do it well, when
she makes it on a sampler. This becomes a notebook of her progress.
When she can do the elementary stitches, she begins work on the
salable product. In Worcester, where a salable product is insisted
on from the start, the pupil begins with the simple hem on a dish1 Worcester, Report of Trustees of Independent Industrial Schools for the year ending Nov. 30, 1911,
p. 622. See also Fourth Annual Report, Boston Trade School for girls, December, 1908, p. 19; Fifth Annual
Report, Boston Trade School for Girls, December, 1909, p. 12; Report of Boston School Committee, 1909,
Document 15, p. 11.
2 Academically trained teachers have received instruction in vocational colleges and have had a limited
trade experience. Trade teachers have gained their knowledge from experience in the trade.




243

244

APPENDIX A.

cloth and completes a number of articles in a given order, each article
more complicated than the preceding and involving old processes as
well as a few new ones. As soon as the pupil is able to handle mate­
rials deftly and use stitches accurately and intelligently she takes
up more advanced sewing—first infants’, next children’s, and last
women’s clothing. At the start the teacher exercises very close super­
vision, but gradually she demands greater independence on the part
of the pupils. The object of the advanced work is to teach the girls
to apply their knowledge of stitches and the handling of material to
more difficult problems, with little direction from anyone. For this
reason trade-trained teachers familiar with shop methods are given
charge of the advanced work. They are able to teach short-cut
methods in sewing, “ the tricks of the trade,” which produce the
effect desired with the minimum expenditure of time. In the
advanced sewing the value of speed is emphasized, and the girls are
taught by means of time cards to see how much their time is really
worth. The course in dressmaking is incomplete, since cutting and
fitting are not systematically taught, first, because there will be no
demand on the pupils for this kind of knowledge for some time after
they leave school, and, second, because the girls are, for the most
part, too immature to be trusted with the responsibility of cutting
expensive materials, even if they could be taught the principles
involved. The purpose of the training in dressmaking is to fit the
girls for dressmakers’ assistants.
The object of the course in milhnery is to train girls as milliners’
helpers. In most of the trade schools the tendency is to curtail the
numbers who take the millinery course, because of the seasonal char­
acter of the trade. In the preliminary course the stitches used in
millinery are taught on cotton materials. The girls are taught the
several kinds of frame making and wiring.
They are next taught to cover hats with silk, velvet, and straw,
and are given some instruction in bow making. No attempt is made
to teach trimming of hats. An effort has been made in one of the
schools to teach the making of fancy articles, like neckwear, as a
dull-season occupation.
Power-machine operating on cloth holds trade possibilities greater
than dressmaking or millinery for the majority of workers, but
its demands are less understood than are those of the custom sew­
ing trades. The work has not, as a whole, been so carefully ana­
lyzed, nor have the possibilities for success open to a well-equipped
worker been emphasized. In Boston there has been some agita­
tion for a factory school, but with no tangible results. The great
difference lies in the requirements of the worker. The young dress­
maker or milliner begins as a helper under the direction of an experi­
enced worker. The young power-machine operator is expected to




COURSES AND ADMINISTRATION OF GIRLS* TRADE SCHOOLS.

245

be an independent worker. Thus, the young trade-school girl enter­
ing a dressmaking or millinery shop finds herself in conditions more
like those in the school than does the girl entering a factory.
The school aims to train pupils to become intelligent workers
who have established automatically correct habits of work. It
teaches the girls to use several makes of ordinary power machines and
special machines, to handle materials and put them together without
basting. It also gives such training as it can in the assembling of
complex garments. In Worcester, the girls do two-needle joining
on corsets, and make children’s dresses and women’s house dresses.
In the trade itself, short-cut methods seem to be part of the secret of
success, and the school teaches economy of motion as far as it can.
To gain speed, the girls are required to keep time cards, and if a girl
can not make a garment in the standardized time, she must try
again. When an order comes for a large number of garments of one
pattern, the girls are allowed to compete with one another for speed
and accuracy. Employers think that the time allowed by the school
for the course is too long for the advancement attained. The pupils,
to succeed, need a certain degree of maturity and a sturdy physique,
the lack of which accounts perhaps for the failure of many to re­
main in their trade.
Power-machine operating on straw hats, which is offered in the
Boston Trade School, makes the same demands on the worker for
speed and ability to work with little supervision. The wage oppor­
tunities in straw-hat making in Boston are good, but the work is
extremely seasonal. The object of the course in straw stitching is
to equip pupils to handle all kinds of straw and make all kinds of
“ blocks.” They are taught to do the “ tips” at first, then crowns
and brims of simple blocks and finally the more complicated pro­
cesses. The straw stitcher can usually do power-machine operat­
ing on cloth, but it is not a part of the course.
Trade cooking or catering, very recently introduced in trade
schools, aims to teach pupils to be intelligent assistants in tea and
lunch rooms. In Cambridge, the girls do “ accomodating,” which is
catering for small dinners. They obtain orders from customers for
cake and cookies and execute these orders in the school kitchen.
The Boston Trade School serves luncheons in several factories and
schools, giving the girls the practice they need. In Worcester, the
girls in trade cooking serve luncheons at the Boys’ Trade School.
The girls, as a rule, work under very close supervision. They are
taught a system of accounting, and are required to show a profit on
their work. Little effort is made to teach the reason for food com­
binations, but correct principles are taught by practice. The pop­
ular prejudice against domestic work makes the outcome of these ven­
tures into trade cooking rather dubious. The trade-school girls are




246

APPENDIX A.

too immature to compete successfully with women trained in catering
in vocational colleges, and domestic work seems the only alternative.
Trade design, taught only in the Boston Trade School, has for its
aim the teaching of girls to fill positions as designers in factories and
shops. The girls have been too young to use the training directly.
The successful designers found in Boston shops and factories are
trade workers who know the demands of the industry because of
having worked up through the ranks. At present, the trade in
Boston makes use of only a few original designers, and these have had
superior art training, as well as trade experience.
The supplementary courses in academic branches, art, cookery, and
physical training follow in their methods ordinary school principles.
The academic and art teachers obtain their problems from trade work.
The course in cookery is supposed to teach the girls what combina­
tions of food will produce the greatest efficiency in a trade worker.
The physical training course is designed to foster group activities and
to teach girls the principles of hygienic living.
The analysis of trades to discover fundamental processes and the
proper sequence for teaching, the search for new trades to be taught,
the development of supplementary courses— all these have meant
pioneer work in education, and work which has been subjected to
direct and immediate tests. Trade-school courses are still variable
in all particulars; and a course eminently successful in one city may
prove a complete failure in another.
COURSES OF DEPARTMENTS IN THE WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL.1

Four trades are taught at the Worcester Girls’ Trade School, dress­
making, millinery, power-machine operating, and business cooking.
In addition to the trade training each girl has lessons in business Eng­
lish and arithmetic, civics, industrial history, applied art, and physical
education. All girls except those in cooking have home-cooking les­
sons and the cooking pupils have home-sewing lessons.
Eighty per cent of the time spent in school is given to physical
work and the remainder is divided into periods for the allied sub­
jects. About 35 hours a week are taken up in school work.
A fundamental method in all trade-school teaching is to lead the
pupil gradually from one process to another, giving practice in the
new process just previous to applying it in the construction of some­
thing useful. Anticipatory work too far in advance is apt to fail in
functioning.

The following courses show how this is worked out; each article
made is based on a process already mastered or one just learned on
practice pieces.
i This section on the Courses of departments in the Worcester Trade School was prepared by Miss
Helen R. Hildreth, principal, Worcester Girls’ Trade School, Worcester, Mass.




COURSES AND ADMINISTRATION OF GIRLS* TRADE SCHOOLS.

247

DRESSMAKING.

The following statement shows in tabular form the processes taught
in the dressmaking department:
DRESSMAKING COURSE IN WORCESTER TRADE SCHOOL FOR GIRLS.
Problem.

Process.

New process.

Overhanding.........
Napery hem..........

Basting; backstitching; overhanding; use of gauge.
Napery hem..............................
Outline stitch............................

Basting; o v e r handing.

Gathering; plain hemming; Placing gathers is a difficult
problem.
band by hand; sewing on lace.

5. Kitchen apron,
gingham.

Basting; hemming
on machine.

6. Cooking apron,
percale.

Basting; machine
stitching.

7. Child’s
petti­
coat, muslin.

Flat seam; button­
holes; gathering
ruffle; straight
hem.
Gathering ruffle;
s h a p e d he m;
plain seam.

Plain seam; locked corners;
machine stitching; pocket;
band by machine.
Flat seam; French seam; bias
facing; buttonhole; sewing
on button; fitted hem.
Tucking with gauge; hem­
ming placket; ruffle on bot­
tom; bias band to head ruffle.

1. Pincushion, vel­
vet.
2. Crash towels___
3. W o rk c o v e r ,
lawn.
4. Sewing apron,
lawn.

8. GirPs petticoat,
muslin.

9. B u n g a l o w
apron,
per­
cale.
10. Middy blouse,
twill.

F r e n c h s e a m;
pockets; button
and
button­
holes, etc.
Pocket; flat seam;
French seam.

Overcasting; bound placket;
ruffle set under tuck; ma­
chine tucker; bias and
straight in same seam; bias
facing to finish top of skirt;
adjustment of tape in top of
skirt.
Vertical tucks; flat facing on
outside of apron.

Remarks.

Second one for speed.
Softer material.

First machine work.
Idea of true and garment bias
facing and bias side of gore.
Allowance for tucks and creas­
ing them.
First use of skirt gores.

Kimono sleeve.

Facing front; making collar;
sleeve with cuff; lapped
seam in setting in sleeve:

A fair idea of construction is given by this course and the stitches
learned are repeated many times in undergarments and children’s
clothing until their use becomes automatic. Some of the simple
fancy stitches used as decoration are also learned. With this the
elementary sewing is completed, and a few weeks are devoted to
work on children’s dresses, which approaches dressmaking in many
respects.
The preparatory dressmaking course involves the making of shirt
waists and simple skirts, a model waist lining, and a skirt showing
several different ways of finishing the waist line and bottom. After
making nurses’ uniforms and other house dresses the girls are put in
the advanced dressmaking class, usually at the second year, and then
all the training is given on orders for such dresses as are taken in any
good dressmaking shop. In this way the use of a great variety of
material is made possible; for, with the previous instruction, the girl
now needs to be given an endless number of opportunities to apply
what she has acquired since entering school.
No attempt is made to teach cutting and fitting in the courses in
this trade, for the majority of the girls are under 16 years of age and




248

APPENDIX A.

are too young to understand it from a trade point of view. From
intelligent observation, most of the girls are able to make their own
clothes and those of their family.
POWER-MACHINE OPERATING.

As all processes in operating are carried out with no basting, the
lower piece of the goods lies loosely against the feed and will be car­
ried along faster than the upper piece unless this is prevented. This
“ pull” of the feed must be controlled where ends should come even.
It may, however, be used as an aid where fullness is desired. It is
the central factor in operating, and the pull of the cloth necessitated
by it must be learned to insure success as a tradeswoman.
Elementary operating consists of: (1) Knowledge and care of the
machine; (2) control of the power; (3) simple processes and seams;
(4) necessary muscle control and coordination.
The pupil learns in the first few days, more or less, according to
individual ability, how to clean and oil the machine, how to thread,
names of parts, how to wind bobbin while running machine and
doing other work, proper tension or appearance of stitch, sound of
machine (because if it varies something is wrong), position and use of
knee lifter, use of chaser, position of foot while running the machine
and while at rest, and the proper position in the chair to avoid back­
ache and round shoulders.
POW ER-M ACHINE OPERATING COURSE IN W ORCESTER T R A D E SCHOOL FOR GIRLS.

Problem.

Process.

1. Straight lines-----

a. Pupil follows line-in
plain gingham, us­
ing colored thread.
b. Ruled lines on white
cotton cloth, col­
ored thread.

New process.

Pupil learns divisions of inch
in use of measure, both
tape and ruler. Alternate
periods of ruling and ma­
chine stitching.

c. Stitching to measure
by use of tape on
unbleached muslin;
bias stitching.
2. Machine apron.. . Stitching to measure un­ Stitching to design, bias or
diagonal; hem; corner;
bleached muslin, col­
control of feed’s pull;
ored thread, following
square patch pocket.
warp and woof threads.
3. Towels of crash.. Hem;*corner finish.........

4. Dust cloths of
cheesecloth.
5. Dishcloths o f
cheesecloth.

Long hem; comers.........

6. Holders of calico
or g i n g h a m
w ith flannel­
ette lining.
7. Kitchen apron,
gingham.

Several thicknesses.........




Remarks.

Straight lines; even edges Several thicknesses quilt­
ing; even edges in fold­
ing.
Plain seams..........................

Plain seams; hem...........
I

Gathered by hand; band;
locked corners; straight
patch pocket.

Seam put in by teacher to
give d em onstration of
quick, good work. Feed
control needs much prac­
tice at first, but soon be­
comes mechanical.
Stiff, heavy material gives
practice in feed control and
edge stitching, an essential
factor.
Soft, thin material in above
processes.
Control of easily slipping
material.
Bias stitching
preparatory to garment
bias seams.

Gathering by hand to de­
velop dexterity of many
muscles at one time.

COURSES AND ADMINISTRATION OF GIRLS* TKADE SCHOOLS.

249

P O W E R -M A C H IN E O P E R A T IN G C O U RSE IN W O R C E S T E R T R A D E SCH O O L F O R G IR L S —
Concluded.

Problem.

Process.

New process.

Remarks.

apron,

Patch pocket; curved. . .

Reasons for mitering shape
of garment, gores, etc.

9. Waitress apron,
percale.

French seam; m u c h curved hem; straight
hem; band set over
plain material; bias
on bib; square corners;
buttons.
French seam; flat seam;
band.

French seam; set-on gores;
curved hem; bias facing
neck and arm size; mitered corner; button
sewed on.
Bib set on band with flat
seam; square mitred
corner; fullness fed in.

8. Cooking
calico.

10. Child's drawers
(Hill cotton,
Fruit of the
Loom, Cam­
eo,
2, 0 0 0 ;
Hamburg or
nainsook for
ruffle).
11. Misses’ drawers.

Bound placket; tucks; ruf­
fle set under tuck; right
and left parts.

Bound placket; ruffle
under tuck; French
seam; flat seam; band
at back; buttons.

Yoke in front; tucks above
ruffle.

12. Ladies’ drawers. French seam...................

Ruffle under braid or tape;
strapped seam; faced
center darts; facing with
tape as finish at top. *
Putting 5 gores together;
deeper hem.

13. Petticoat..

French seams; bound
placket; tucks; faced
band; darts.

14. Corset c o v e r
with peplum,
lace trim.

French seam; hem top
of cover; hem around
shaped arm size and
peplum; tape run in;
buttons; hand gathers.
As above..........................

15. Corset c o v e r
without pep­
lum.
16. Nightdress........

French seam on set-m
3; lace setting.

Gores begin work of skirt
making. Use of feed to
give fullness by allowing to
pull; much practice of edge
stitching, many curves.

Box plait; setting lace; set­
ting peplum.

Hem bottom; tape around
waist.
Sleeve setting; binding
over curved top of gown.

Yoke setting and reasons for
it. Tucks are made by
measure to aid in develop­
ing accuracy and eye train­
ing.

Reason for 5 gores shown on
form and direction oi
threads in each. Garment
bias. Handling of deeper
hem.
Use of cover gives reason for
shape and material. Rensons for curves, shape c i
person and lines of cover.
Different finish of waist line
gives variety in treatment
and process.
Set-in sleeve gives relation of
curves to each other and
reasons.
Low neck and
short sleeve are followed by
high neck and long sleeve
with cuff as more difficult
process.

Having completed, these garments the pupils have control of the
machine and have mastered the fundamental processes; they must
then apply them in many different styles of garments, using a great
variety of materials and trimmings.
Those who show ability are given training on special machines and
taught to do special kinds of construction. As in dressmaking, the
idea is to give innumerable opportunities to apply the knowledge
acquired in the elementary class.
The ability to make use of the facts one has learned is the most
vital thing in any line of education.
MILLINERY.

Millinery does not lend itself to the same outlining that garment
making does and so the course is worked out by topics rather than
in a sequence and the pupil attacks the simpler parts first, but
according to the season in which she begins.




250

APPENDIX A.

The following topics are required to be mastered during the course:
M illin e r y

C ou rse

in W o r c e s t e r T r a d e

Bandeaux:
Straight.
Curved.
Circular.
Stitches:
Running.
Backstitch.
Plain hemming.
Rolled hemming.
Buttonhole.
Blinds titch.
Cross-stitch.
Catstitch.
Fold stitch.
Tie stitch.
Frames:
Wire, from measurements or models.
Buckram.
Covering:
Straw, plain and fancy.
Velvet, silk, etc.
Net or lace, plain or shirred.
Facing, plain and shirred:
Velvet.
Silk.
Chiffon.

S c h o o l f o r G ir ls .

Bindings:
Snapped.
Blindstitched.
Stretched.
Puffed.
Corded.
Flange.
Trimming:
( а ) Making—
Folds, French and plain.
Wiring ribbon.
Ornaments.
Mourning veils.
(б) Applying to hats and bonnets.
Renovating:
Hats.
Velvet.
Ribbon.
Crepe.
Curling feathers.
Designing.
Color combinations.
Salesmanship.

Having worked out these subjects in dolls’ hats, as well as full-sized
hats, the last spring season in school, the girls are placed in local
shops, where they get the experience in the trade which the school
can not give to the extent desired. Millinery is becoming so much
a wholesale proposition that custom trade is very fickle, and a school
can not secure sufficient patronage to carry all the order work the
pupils should have.
TR AD E C O O K IN G .

The trade cooking class has prepared, served, and “ accounted”
the luncheons at the Boy’s Trade School. This training has been
in the form of counter service and that in the table service has been
gained by the service of dinners once or twice a month in the school
library room, to clubs, and school dinner parties. As the class de­
velops, the work of serving in families and doing catering of various
kinds will be taken up.
ACA DE M IC , A R T, AND C O O K IN G (GEN ERAL) COU RSES, AND PH YSICAL EDU CATION .

The academic, art, and cooking (general) courses, and physical
education are for the general development of the pupils and are
sometimes of a cultural nature, but usually are closely allied to the
trade which is the major subject, and so differ in content for each




COURSES AND ADMINISTRATION OF GIRLS* TRADE SCHOOLS.

251

group of girls. The main, topics are the same, but the details within
them vary to suit the peculiarities of the business which is involved
in the trade.
A

c a d e m ic

Co u r s e s .

First year:
1. Arithmetic, workroom methods, necessary drills, etc., given only part of the
year except with low-grade pupils.
2. English, oral and written, as related to trades.
3. Spelling—trade terms and phrases and words in common use.
4. Writing.
5. Citizenship.
6. Industrial history and geography for advanced girls.
Second year:
1. Advanced trade arithmetic.
a. Shop organization.
b. Estimates for materials.
c. Economy in cutting—relation of width of material to cost, etc.
d. Estimating costs of single garments and garments duplicated in quantity.
2. English.
a. Written and oral directions for making garments or parts of garments.
b. Business letters, orders, application for positions, etc.
3. Textiles.
a. Study of quality, weaves, textures, adulterations, etc., through simple
practical tests.
b. Short history of the development of textiles in common use with their
relation to women’s work.
4. Industrial history and geography as related to women’s work.
5. Apportionment of income—expenditure.
All academic courses are arranged to fit the needs of various groups, both,
as to trade and as to the ability of the pupils.
A

rt

Co u r ses.

First year:
1. Color scales.
2. Form, spacing, proportion, and line by arrangement of tucks, trimmings, etc.
3. Designs for trimmings—embroidery, etc.
Second year (elective):
1. Applied design—advanced work.
2. Costume designing.
3. Designing of hats.
G eneral Co okery Courses.

First year.
1st period, 9.00 to 10.30 a. m.
1. Care of supplies from the market. Preparation of vegetables, meats, des­
serts and soups that require more than one hour for preparation and
cooking. Cooking of these dishes begins during the first period of the
morning and, if incomplete, is finished by next class.
2. Shaping and setting rolls to rise.
2d period, 10.30 a. m. to 12 m.
1. Preparation of meats, desserts, quick soups, quick breads (such as biscuit,
muffins, etc.), requiring less than an hour for cooking.
2. Packing luncheon to be sent to the boys’ school.
3. Baking of rolls and breads set previously.
4. Arrangement of dining room.
5. Serving luncheon to pupils and teachers.




252

APPENDIX A.

First year—Concluded.
3d period, 1.00 to 2.30 p. m.
1. Washing dishes, care of sink, refrigerator, towels, etc.
2. Preparation of stock soups.
3. Care of left-over food.
4. Setting bread and rolls for breakfast next day.
5. Desserts, such as lemon jelly, blancmange, etc.
6. Cooking of foods that require slow cooking, such as ham, which can con­
tinue cooking without special attention.
Second year (elective).
1. Planning menus to given costs.
2. Buying, cooking, serving of meals from six to eight people.
3. Canning, preserving, pickling.
4. Elementary food chemistry.
Second-year classes meet in the afternoon and give more time to theory and
independent work than first-year pupils.
P H Y S IC A L E D U C A T I O N .

1.
2.
3.
4.

Light gymnastics.
Dancing.
Personal hygiene—care of eyes, teeth, the throat and ears, etc.
Corrective exercises.
P

r o g r am

.

Each girl’s program in the day classes includes:
F IR S T Y E A R .

I. Trade work in one trade—22 to 25 hours per week.
II. Cookery—2 lessons of 1| hours each per week.
III. Class instruction—3 to 4J hours per week.
1. Trade arithmetic (not given all year except to girls backward in arithmetic).
2. English—oral and written.
a. Business letters.
b. Compositions based on trade work.
3. Spelling—trade terms, phrases and words in common use.
4. Writing.
5. Citizenship—social ethics.
The above subjects are not necessarily presented parallel to each other.
One subject such as arithmetic is presented for one term of 14 weeks or two
terms, as necessary, and another substituted as advisable.
IV. Art.
1. Color scales.
2. 'Line, such as arrangement of tucks, rows of insertion, etc.
3. Spacing and proportion by arrangement of trimmings, etc.
4. Designs for garments, trimmings, hats, etc.
Y. Physical education—2 lessons of 45 minutes each per week.
1. Short drills in marching, wand drills, etc., for cooperation.
2. Games such as tag, pass ball, volley ball, etc.
3. Folk dancing.
3. Hygiene.
SECOND Y E A R .

I. Trade work—22 to 25 hours per week.
II. Advanced cooking (elective)—2 lessons of 1J hours each per week.




COURSES AND ADMINISTRATION OF GIRLS* TRADE SCHOOLS.

253

III. Class instructions—3 to 4J hours per week.
1. Advanced trade arithmetic given for one term of 14 weeks.
a. Shop organization.
b. Estimates of material for garments.
c. Economy of material.
d. Estimates for prices on single garments and large orders such as
underwear, etc.
2. English.
a. Accurate descriptions of work, etc.
b . Directions for making garments or parts of garments.
3. Textiles.
a. Study of weaves, textures, adulterations, etc., through practical tests.
b. Short history of common textiles—cotton, linen, wool, and silk.
4. Industrial history and geography as related to women’s work.
5. Citizenship—practical civics.
6. Apportionment of income—expenditure.
IV. Art (elective).
1. Applied design—designs for dress trimmings, hat trimmings, buckles, bands,
etc.
2. Costume designing.
3. Designing of hats.
V. Physical education.
1. Continuation of first year’s work.
ADMINISTRATION OF GIRLS’ TRADE SCHOOLS.

Since all of the girls’ trade schools in Massachusetts must be
approved by the State board of education as to organization and
courses of study in order to receive State aid, they resemble one an­
other in general plan of administration.1 The city furnishes the
school plant, and the State pays annually half the net cost of mainte­
nance.2 Two systems of local administration of trade schools are
in operation, unit control in Boston and Cambridge and dual control
in Worcester. In Boston and Cambridge, trade schools are a part of
the regular public-school system and are administered by the school
committee. In Worcester, the boys’ and girls’ trade schools are
under the control of the board of trustees of the independent indus­
trial schools, and are entirely independent of the school committee.
This board of trustees is composed of nine persons, chosen by the city
council from the city at large. At present, seven of the nine mem­
bers are employers and the other two are employees. The question
of the type of control best adapted to the administration of industrial
schools is still unsettled.3 The advocates of unit control believe that
division of authority in the school system tends to decrease its
effectiveness and to obscure the essentially educational features of
1Massachusetts Acts of 1911, ch. 4 71 , secs. 8 and 9.
2 Net maintenance sum is the total sum expended for maintenance, less the amount of tuition claims
and receipts from the work of pupils and sale of products.
3 See Manual Training and Vocational Education, Vol. X V I, No. 7 , March, 1915, pp. 4 2 6 -4 3 0 .




254

APPENDIX A.

trade training. Those who favor dual control claim that trade
schools under the control of the ordinary school committee tend to
make trade courses cultural rather than strictly vocational, and to
lose the connection with industries which is essential to their success.
The Boston and Worcester trade schools have advisory committees
chosen from employers and other persons interested in trade schools,
which assist the schools in relating their work to the needs of the
community.
Girls’ trade schools are, in one aspect, business organizations
which manufacture and sell. The cost of the plant is not excessive.
The furniture and equipment of the Worcester Trade School for
Girls was valued at $5,475 November 30, 1914; in addition to this,
the school has “ material and made-up stock” to the value of $2,000.*
The maintenance cost of trade schools is heavy for several reasons:
(1) Salaries are high, because the school hours are long and the
equipment of trade teachers enables them to command good wages
as forewomen. The school has to offer them as much as they can
earn in the trade. (2) The number of teachers is relatively large, to
insure small classes and the requisite individual teaching. (3) The
cost of supplies is great. The per capita cost of instruction is ascer­
tained by dividing the total cost of maintenance by the average
membership. The term is the regulation 40 weeks’ school year
in Boston and 42 weeks in Worcester. By the year, girls’ trade
schools cost far more for maintenance than any other type of
public education. However, the long school day means almost
one-third more hours of instruction than are offered at the Prac­
tical Arts High School of Boston. Considered on this basis, the
cost of girls’ trade schools is almost identical with the cost of the
Practical Arts High School. Under private management, the ex­
penditure for maintenance of the Boston Trade School ranged from
$109.50 to $150 for each girl,2 while Table 138 shows that, in the years
for which data are given, for the period under public management
the per capita cost ranged from $101.85 to $119.47, indicating that
the cost of trade schools tends to diminish as. they become better
established. The per capita cost is based on the total expenditure
for maintenance. As a matter of fact, the real cost is much smaller
because of the revenue derived from the sale of product. The ratio
of value of product to cost of maintenance varies from year to year,
from about one-fifth to one-fourth.
1 Worcester Auditor’s Annual Report for the financial year ending Nov. 30,1914, p. 236.
2 See first four annual reports of the Boston Trade School for Girls.




255

COURSES AND ADMINISTRATION OF GIRLS* TRADE SCHOOLS.
T a b le

1 3 8 .—PER CAPITA COST OF BOSTON AND W O RCESTER T R A D E SCHOOLS FOR
GIRLS AN D TH E PRACTICAL ARTS HIGH SCHOOL OF BOSTON.

Cost per year for each pupil.1
School.
1909-10
Worcester Trade School2...............................
Boston Trade School3.....................................
Practical Arts Trade School 3........................

1910-11

$101.85
85.66

1911-12
$194.64
114.45
74.60

$119.47
78.46

1912-13
$201.97
(4)
74.58

1913-14
$154.84
(4)
81.95

1 Forty weeks in Boston, 42 weeks in Worcester.
2 Data furnished by the Worcester Trade School for Girls.
s Data obtained from the document containing the report of the business agent in the report of the Boston
school committee for specified years.
4 The accounts of the trade school for girls, regular and summer term, and the girls’ evening trade school
were consolidated Apr. 1,1912, and no data on the per capita cost of the day school have since been available.

The income from the sale of product at the Worcester Trade School
shows an interesting variation. The dressmaking department pro­
duces the largest revenue, and is the largest department in the school.
The receipts from cooking, that is, “ supplementary” cooking, a
course taken by all pupils, come next. The revenue is derived from
the lunches served to pupils and teachers. Power-machine operating
shows a decided increase during the two years, 1912-13 and 1913-14.
T a b l e 1 3 9 .—R E V E N U E FROM SALE OF PRODUCTS OF EACH D EP AR TM EN T OF THE

W ORCESTER

TRA DE

SCHOOL.

Revenue from product sold.
Year.
Dress­
making.

1911-12.......................................................................................................
1912-13.......................................................................................................
1913-14.......................................................................................................

Milli­
nery.

$582.28
1,661.90
3,199.93

$290.89
276.68
278.41

Powermachine Cooking.
operat­
ing.
$300.53
569.86
753.30

$1,183.54
2,426.34
2, 213. ia

The several departments of the trade schools execute orders, but
the school office controls the financial transactions of the school.
The different departments set the selling price on stock work or
orders. The primary basis for this is the current market price.
The article is sold at this set price, if possible, but it sometimes has
to be disposed of for a smaller amount. The school office assumes
all the responsibility of obtaining orders and collecting s
debts.
The making of a salable product involves a great deal of account­
ing and demands business ability on the part of the school director.
It has proved to be the only means of giving the pupils the necessary
trade practice, but can never be sufficient in amount to render the
school even approximately self-supporting.




256
T able

APPENDIX A.
1 4 0 .—A N N U A L R E V E N U E FROM SALE OF PRODUCT AN D COST OF M AINTENANCE
OF BOSTON AND W O RCESTER GIRLS’ T R A D E SCHOOLS.

Cost of
mainte­
nance.1

Year.

Value of
product
sold.

Per
cent
reve­
nue
is of
cost.

Value of
product
sold.

Per
cent
reve­
nue
is of
cost.

W ORCESTER TRADE
SCHOOL.

BOSTON TRADE
SCHOOL.2

19113.........................
1912 4.........................
1913 4.......................
1914 4.........................

Year.

Cost of
mainte­
nance.1

$24', 611.58

5 35,535.25
5 42,611.03
5 49,999.88

$7,262.26
9.655.57
6 10,633.07
11.551.82

29.5
27.2
25.0
23.1

1912 4......................... 7$16,018.73
1913 4......................... 7 24,483.27
1914 4......................... 7 28,866.06

e$2,357.24
8 4.934.78
8 6,444.82

14.7
20.2
22.3

1 Exclusive of new buildings, rents, repairs, administration, supervision.
2 The data for Boston were obtained from the document containing the report of the business agent in
the reports of the Boston school committee for the specified years.
s Ten months’ school session.
4 Twelve months’ school session,
e Includes cost of evening trade schools.
6 Includes sale of product of evening school.
7 Data obtained from che report of the Worcester auditor for specified year.
*Data furnished by the Worcester Trade School for Girls.




APPENDIX B.—EVENING INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS.
Evening industrial schools for girls differ from girls’ trade schools
in personnel and in methods of teaching, also in intent. Girls' trade
schools are, in the main, preparatory, although the Boston Trade
School also offers continuation courses to its own pupils when they
are out of work, giving somewhat advanced courses to accredited
pupils who have had trade experience. The Boston Evening Trade
School for Girls is wholly planned to meet the needs of trade workers
for continuation training which shall supplement their experience.
The practical arts training in the evening schools in Boston and
Worcester consists of home-making rather than trade courses. The
problem of selection of courses and the proper sequence of processes
to be taught is somewhat the same in both day trade schools and
evening industrial schools. The evening trade schools offer a field'
for valuable experiment in trade continuation work for mature
pupils. The value of the study of such types of evening industrial
schools as are already in operation lies in the information obtained
as to the kind of supplementary education needed by working women.
17 years of age and older and the methods of teaching these older
pupils which have been most successful.
The Massachusetts laws provide for two types of State-aided even­
ing vocational schools for women. One, operating under the law of
1911,1 offers “ trade, extension” courses to women employed during
the day in occupations for which they receive training at night.
The second and predominant type, operating under the law of 1912,2
offers “ practical arts” courses to “ all women over 17 years of age
who are employed in any capacity during the day.”
The act of 1911 was, doubtless, aimed at the solution of the
problem of the boys’ rather than of the girls’ continuation or supple­
mentary trade training. The short time devoted to acquiring
the training in the evening classes made it impossible fully to train
a worker. To avoid crowding the labor market with partially
trained workers, attendance was limited to those employed in the
trade, “ in order that instruction in the principles and the practice
of the arts may go on together.” 3 The school was expected to supply
the principles,* while the day occupation provided the practice.
In 1912 an “ Act to provide for the establishment and maintenance
of evening classes in the practical arts for women” was passed to
1 Massachusetts Acts of 1911, ch. 471, sec. 1, art. 6.
2 Massachusetts Acts of 1912, ch. 106.
3 Massachusetts Acts of 1911, ch. 471, sec. 3.

85225°— 17— Bull. 215------ 17




257

258

APPENDIX B.

legalize and provide for State aid to the many evening industrial
schools which did not conform to the law of 1911.
Not until 1913-14 was a girls’ evening industrial school organized
to operate in accordance with the terms of the law of 1911. In
that year the Boston Evening Trade School for Girls was reorganized
on a “ trade extension” basis for women employed during the day
in occupations for which training was offered in the evening; it is
still, in 1915, the only evening school for girls in the State operating
under this law. As shown in the following table, the change in
purpose and requirements resulted in a decrease of 50.2 per cent in
the enrollment in 1913-14, since all who desired the practical arts
course must go to other schools.
1 4 1 .—TOTAL R EG ISTR ATIO N IN TH E BOSTON EVE N IN G T R A D E SCHOOL
FROM 1912 TO 1914, AND PER CENT OF INCREASE OR DECREASE IN EACH Y E A R
AS COMPARED W IT H PRECEDING Y E A R .

T a b le

School year.

1911-12 .......................................
1912-13 .......................................
1913-14.........................................
1 Report of Boston School
2 Report of Boston School
3 Report of Boston School
* Decrease due to change
during the day.

Per cent of
increase (+ )
Number of
or de­
pupils
crease (—)
registered. compared
with pre­
ceding year.
i 191
« 331
3 165

+73.3
« -5 0 .2

Committee, 1912, Document 6, p. 39.
Committee, 1913, Document 9, p. 39.
Committee, 1914, Document 6, p. 39.
in requirements for admission, that all pupils be working in allied trades

According to the law, an “ evening class in. an industrial, agri­
cultural, or household arts school shall mean a class giving such
training as can be taken by persons already employed during the
working-day, and which, in order to be called vocational, must in
its instruction deal with the subject matter of the day employment
and be so carried on as to relate to the day employment.” 1 The
interpretation of this clause, however, is elastic. The announce­
ment of courses of the Boston Evening Trade School in 1914-15
offers to power-machine operators, dressmakers, or milliners,
machine operating on ordinary machines, special machines and
straw-hat machines; to dressmakers, costume sketching, designing,
and the making of garments; to dressmakers and milliners different
processes of millinery; to needleworkers, garment construction and
embroidery; to housekeepers, plain and fancy cooking.2
Even more liberal is the actual working out of the law. In the
power-machine operating room of the school a saleswoman in a
millinery establishment struggled with the elementary processes of
1 Massachusetts Acts of 1911, ch. 471, sec. I, art. 6.
2 Boston Trade School, Evening Trade School Announcement of Courses, 1914-15.




259

EVENING INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS.

straw power-machine operating. Shoe stitchers and cloth machine
operators made straw hats in the evening school. The day dress­
maker who went from house to house learned and practiced powermachine operating. While this training was undoubtedly valuable
to these women, they did not have the opportunity to practice during
the day the principles acquired in the evening, and because of the
short session and short hours they did not have adequate time to
acquire a working knowledge of a new trade. Since the school is
in session only three evenings a week from October to April and each
session is only two hours long, a pupil by attending every session
could receive only 144 hours of instruction, the equivalent of 16
working-days.
Of necessity, the group system of teaching must be employed,
and yet the differences in equipment, age, and occupation of the
pupils make a great deal of individual instruction necessary, since
the enrollment is too small to group successfully those needing
similar teaching. The Worcester Trade School has to solve the prob­
lem for the practical arts courses, but this is not so difficult as for
the trade-extension course, where every worker needs instruction
in a specific process, and where no two may need exactly the same
thing.
In the Boston Evening Trade School, the course chosen by the
pupil is pursued during the whole winter. It is very elastic, however,
since the women may receive instruction in any specific trade process
which they need in their day work whenever this need arises, with­
out regard to the regular sequence of processes in the school, course.
The report of the ages of the workers coming to the evening trade
school for supplementary training shows a very small proportion
of young workers. This is indicated in the following table:
T a b l e 1 4 2 . —N UM BER

AN D PER CENT OF PUPILS IN SPECIFIED AGE GROUPS IN THE
EVEN IN G IN D U ST R IA L SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS IN BOSTON, W O R C EST ER , AND CAM­
BR ID G E, 1913-14,1
Number.

Per cent.

Boston.

Boston.

Age group.2
Even­ Homeing
mak­
ing
trade
school. school.
17 to
18 to
21 to
Over

Wor­ Cam­
ces­
Total.
ter. bridge.

Even­ Homeing
trade making
school. school.

Wor­
Cam­
ces­
Total.
ter. bridge.

18 years...................
21 years...................
25 years...................
25 years...................

18
12
18
124

160
206
110
770

98
183
210
333

13
66
108
297

289
467
446
1,524

10.5
6.9
10.5
72.1

12.9
16.5
8.8
61.8

11.9
22.2
25.5
40.4

2.7
13.6
22.3
61.4

10.6
17.1
16.4
55.9

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

3172

s 1,246

824

484

2,726

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

1Seventy-eighth Annual Report, Massachusetts Board of Education, 1913-14.
2Age groups are as given in report.
3“ Total enrollment will not equal total different numbers since some are enrolled in more than one
course.” Seventy-eighth Annual Report, Massachusetts Board of Education, p. 262, note.




260

APPENDIX B.

Almost three-fourths (72.1 per cent) of the pupils enrolled in
1913-14 were over 25 years of age, and 82.6 per cent were 21 years
and over. Thus, instead of drawing a proportionately larger group
of young workers, as might be expected, only 17.4 per cent in the
evening trade school were under 21, while in all Boston manufacturing
industries, 27.6 per cent and in the sewing trades 19.3 per cent were
in this young group. The trade school is drawing an abnormally
large proportion of older women, for only 72.4 per cent of the women
in all manufacturing- and mechanical pursuits and 80.7 per cent in
the sewing trades in Boston were 21 years and over.1 A wide varia­
tion is also found in the several courses in the Boston Evening Trade
School. As shown in Table 143, in cloth power-machine operating
87.1 per cent of the pupils were 21 years and over and 80 per cent over
25, showing the largest proportion to be older women, a condition
contrary to that in the trade, for the census of 1910 showed that, of
the four trades taught in the trade school, this trade had the largest
proportion (30.6 per cent) of workers under 21 years of age.2 Over
83 per cent (83.3) of those enrolled in dressmaking and 76.2 per cent
in millinery were 21 years of age or more, corresponding more nearly
to proportions in the trade itself, where 87.5 per cent in dressmak­
ing 3 and 77.6 per cent in millinery 4 were 21 years and over.
In the Boston Evening Trade School for Girls both the materials
and the finished product are the property of the school. During the
last few lessons of the course the pupils are allowed, in some cases,
to make garments of their own materials, which are then their own
property. They are allowed to buy the garments they have made
during the first part of the course at the cost of materials. This
system of making up product which shall belong to the school,
and which also prevails in the day trade school, has the advantage
of securing uniformity of product and standardization of course,
although the differing needs and abilities of the pupils really result
in an output which is varied in character. The disadvantage of the
system is that the women lack the incentive to good work and
regular attendance which exists when they are making something
for themselves.
The following table shows the relation of the age of pupils to the
courses taken in the evening industrial and trade schools of Boston,
Worcester, and Cambridge in 1913-14:
1 United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV , Occupations, p. 540. “ Sewing-machine operators” and “ semi­
skilled operatives in suit, coat, cloak, and overall factories” are combined here with dressmakers, milliners,
and tailoresses.
2 United States Census, 1910, Vol. IV , Occupations, p. 540. Sewers and sewing-machine operators,
and semiskilled operatives in suit, coat, cloak, and overall factories are combined.
3 Idem. Dressmakers, seamstresses and tailoresses.
* Idem. Milliners and millinery dealers.




T a b l e 1 4 3 . — NUMBER

AND PER CENT OF PUPILS TAKING SPECIFIED COURSES IN THE EVE N IN G IN D U STR IAL AND TRADE SCHOOLS IN BOSTON,
WORCESTER, AND CAMBRIDGE, 1913-14,1 B Y AGE GROUPS.

NUMBER.
Boston Evening Trade School
for Girls.

Worcester Girls’ Independent
Evening Trade School.

Boston evening practical arts
courses.

Cambridge evening practical
arts courses.

17-21.2 21-25.2 Over 25. Total.

17-21.2 21-25.2 Over 25. Total.

Total.

Course.

6
8

8

12
32

18
48

5
11

4
6

12
68

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

30

18

124

21-25.2 Over 25. Total.

90

10
253
28
75

3
61
22
24

3 824

366

110

251

196

287

734

21
85

30

14

46

3 172

281

210

333

55
657
142
392

56
9
14

15
58
16
19

9
179
43
66

24
293
68
99

97
1,732
210
602
85

770 31,246

79

108

297

3 484

2,726

42
343
92
293

PER CENT.
33.4
16.7

16.7

66.6
66.6

100.0
100.0

23.8
12.9

19.1
7.1

57.1
80.0

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

17.4

10.5

72.1

5.4
9.3
15.5
6.1

76.4
52.2
64.8
74.8

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

19.1
13.3
14.1

62.5
19.8
23.5
19.2

37.5
61.1
63.2
66.7

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

100.0

29.4

8.8

61.8

100.0

16.3

22.3

61.4

100.0

26.7

39.1

100.0

100.0
100.0

33.2

15.5

51.3

100.0

34.1

25.5

40.4

Idem, p. 262.

GIELS.

1 Seventy-eighth Annual Report, Massachusetts Board of Education, pp. 262, 264, 268.
2 Age groups are as given in report.
3 uTotal enrollment in evening schools will not add to equal total different numbers, since some are enrolled in more than one course. ”

FO
E

261




100.0

18.2
38.5
19.7
19.1

34.2

SCHOOLS

Cooking.....................................
Dressmaking......................................
Embroidery......................................
Millinery.
..............
Power-machine operating.

INDUSTEIAL

Cooking...............................................
Dressmaking......................................
Embroidery........................................
Millinery.............................................
Power-machine npp.ra.ting .

17-21.2

EVENING

17-21.2 21-25.2 Over 25. Total.

262

APPENDIX B.

The second type of evening schools, providing instruction in house­
hold and other practical arts, is open to women 17 years of age who
are employed in any capacity during the day. To this group belong
the evening industrial schools in Cambridge, Worcester, and Boston.
Almost three-fourths of the pupils (71.6 per cent) in these schools
were 21 years of age or more. In 1913-14, 70.6 per cent of the women
in these classes in Boston, 65.9 per cent in Worcester, and 83.7 in
Cambridge were 21 years of age and over. An older group is to be
expected in this particular type of school as the women come to
make their own clothes. Two types of schools offering “ practical
arts” courses have developed; evening classes in ordinary public
schools, with home standards of work and a long course lasting
through the season, and the Worcester plan, with a systematically
arranged course of short units and the product approximating the
trade standard in finish.
The evening industrial schools in Worcester attract a younger
group than those of Cambridge and Boston. In Worcester in 191314,less than two-fifths (39.1 per cent) of the pupils enrolled in dress­
making were over 25 years of age while in the Boston Evening Trade
School two-thirds (66.6 per cent), in the Boston evening practical
arts courses one-half (52.2 per cent), and in the Cambridge practical
arts courses about two-thirds (61.1 per cent), were over 25 years of
age. In the millinery about the same proportions in the Boston
Evening Trade School (57.1 per cent) and in the Worcester evening
school (51.3 per cent) were over 25 years of age. In the Boston
practical arts courses, 74.8 per cent and in the Cambridge practical
arts courses 66.7 per cent of those taking millinery were over 25 years.
The Worcester evening school showed the largest percentage of
pupils from 17 to 21 years of age, one-third (34.1 per cent) being less
than 21 years old, while in the Boston Evening Trade School 17.4 per
cent, in the Cambridge practical arts courses 16.3 per cent, and in the
Boston practical arts courses 29.4 per cent were from 17.to 21 years
of age. The tendency in Worcester, however, seems to be toward an
increase in the age of pupils. In 1913-14,40.4 per cent and in 1914-15,
one-half (51.1 per cent) of the pupils were 25 years of age and more.




263

EVENING INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS.

1 4 4 ,—NU M BER AND PER CENT OF GIRLS IN SPECIFIED AG E GROUPS
E N R O LL ED IN T H E W ORC ESTER GIRLS’ IN D E P E N D E N T E V E N IN G T R A D E SCHOOL
IN 1913-14 AN D IN 1914-15.

T able

Number.

Per cent.

Age group.1
1913-14

1914-15

1913-14

1914-15

17-18 years of age. ....................................................................
18-21 years of age......................................................................
21-25 years of age.....................................................................
Over 25 years of age.................................................................

98
183
210
333

37
136
171
360

11.9
22.2
25.5
40.4

5.3
19.3
24.3
51.1

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

824

704

100.0

100.0

1 These age groups are given in the form used in the report of the Massachusetts Board of Education.

The surprisingly large proportion (72.3 per cent) of women more
than 21 years of age in these industrial evening classes in Boston,
Worcester, and Cambridge is quite unlike that existing in other types
of evening schools. In February, 1914, 5,501 girls, excluding the
non-English-speaking pupils, were registered in all the Boston
evening schools.1 Of these, 36.2 per cent were 21 years of age and
over. A study of working girls in the New York evening schools
made in 1910-11 showed 23.4 per cent 21 years of age and over.2 In
the evening classes of the Manhattan Trade School in 1913, 38.3 per
cent of the pupils were 21 years or over.3
The adaptation of a course to the varying needs of so mature a
group presents a serious problem. The very fact that so few young
girls enroll in the evening industrial classes should be suggestive as
it seems to show that any sort of trade continuation work designed
to reach young people must be offered in working hours, with an
arrangement by which the girl can attend without loss of pay, such as
has been in operation in Boston for children of 14 to 16 years of
age since September, 1914. Girls under 21 years of age evidently
will not give up their evenings to supplementary trade training
either because they have not yet appreciated the benefit of it or
because they are too tired physically, or because they are unwilling
to spend their evenings in trade atmosphere. Although it seems
probable that young women more than older ones need instruction
in their trades, it is the older women in Massachusetts who attend
trade-extension courses with trade standards as well as the courses
in practical arts.
It is difficult to find any relation between the occupations of
women attending evening industrial schools and the courses they
choose at the school. Almost all varieties of occupation were repre­
1 Report of the Boston School Committee, 1914, Document 6, pp. 45, 46.
2 Mary Van Kleeck: Working girls in evening schools, p. 29.
3 Idem, p. 133.




264

APPENDIX B.

sented in the Worcester Girls’ Independent Evening Trade School in
1914-15. This is shown in the table which follows:
1 4 5 ^ -N U M B E R A N D PER CENT IN EACH OCCUPATION OF GIRLS E N R O LL E D IN
SPECIFIED COURSES IN W ORCESTER GIRLS’ IN D E P E N D E N T E V E N IN G T R A D E
SCHOOL, 1914-15.

T able

Number of girls enrolled in courses in preliminary dressmaking.

Occupation.

Plain waist and
skirt.

Plain sewing.

Two
courses.

One
course.

One
course.

Two
courses.

Plain
sewing
and
waist
or
skirt.

Num­
ber.

5
5

12
24

1
33
55

0.4
12.6
20.9

10
1

89
2
8
50
4
24

33.9
.8
3.0
19.0
1.5
9.1

Total.

Per
cent.

Earning.
Manufactures:
Custom clothing................................
Needle trades.....................................
Other manufactures........................

6
5

6
17

1
4
4

Total................................................
Transportation.........................................
Trade..........................................................
Clerical occupations.................................
Professional service.................................
Domestic service......................................

11

23

9

2
12
1
10

2
9
10

2
6
1
1

6
1
2

36
1
2
17
1
1

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

36

44

19

20

58

177

67.3

17

12

18

10

28
1

85
1

32.3
.4

Not earning.
A t h o m e..................
........................
At school..................................................
Total................................................

17

12

18

10

29

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

53

56

37

30 |

87 |

86
263 |

32.7
100.0

Number of girls enrolled in courses in intermediate dressmaking.
Occupation.

Without
plain
sewing.

Total.
In addi­
Followed Powertion to pre­ by ad­
machine
operat­
liminary
vanced
Number. Per cent.
course.
course.
ing.

Earning.
Manufactures:
Needle trades.....................................
Other manufactures........................

36
25

7
1

18
6

61
32

21.4
11.2

Total.................................................
Transportation..........................................
Trade...........................................................
Clerical occupations.................................
Professional service
............................
Domestic service.......................................

61
1
3
35
4
8

8

24

4

93
1
4
42
5
12

32.6
.4
1.4
14. 7
1.8
4.2

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

112

19

2

24

157

55.1

Not earning.
At home......................................................
At school.....................................................

116
2

4.

2

4

126
2

44.2
.7

1
6

1
1

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

118

4

2

4

128

44.9

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

230

23

4

28

285

100.0




265

EVENING INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS FOE GIRLS.
T a b l e 1 4 5 . —N U M BER

AN D PER CENT IN EACH OCCUPATION OF GIRLS E N R O L L E D
IN SPECIFIED COURSES IN W O R C ESTER GIRLS* IN D E P E N D E N T E V E N IN G T R A D E
SCHOOL, 1914-15—Concluded.

Number of girls enrolled in Courses in advanced
dressmaking.

Grand
total.

Courses in millinery.

Occupation.
With­
out
plain
sew­
ing.

Com­
In ad­
Total.
Total.
dition
bined
with
to pre­
Two
Num­ Per
One
limi­
course. courses. dress­
ber. cent.
nary Num­ Per
mak­ Num­ Per
ber. cent.
course. ber. cent.
ing.

Earning.
Manufactures:
Custom clothing........
Needle trades.............
Other manufactures.

6.7
20.0

Total........... .
Transportation..........
Trade...........................
Clerical occupations..
Professional service..
Domestic service.......
Total...............

1. 8

17

0.9
16.6
14.3

12.6
8.1
25

2.2
1 1. 1
6.7
25

22.5

224
3
15
115
24
44

31.8
.4

54.9

37.8

117

1.8
16.2
10.8
3.6

11.1

425

60.4

45.1

275

39.1
.5

101

2.1
16.4
3.4
6.3

Not earning.
At home..,
At school.
Total.
Grand total..

31.1
2.2

15

33.3

15

100.0

32

34

50

279
100.0

As indicated in the above table, about one-third (31.8 per cent) of
the pupils were in manufacturing industries (corsets, underwear,
mattresses, shoes, and envelopes); more than one-fourth (28.6 per
cent) were in occupations other than manufacturing, while almost
two-fifths (39.6 per cent) were not earning, but were in their
own homes. About one-half of those in manufacturing were in
the needle trades, from which were drawn only 17.5 per cent of
the 704 enrolled. One-sixth, then, of the number enrolled in the
Worcester evening school in 1914-15 were engaged during the day
in occupations allied to the courses taken in the^evening, which is
almost the same as the proportion (16.4 per cent) engaged in clerical
occupations.
One-fifth (22.1 per cent) of the women enrolled in intermediate
and advanced sewing and 13 per cent of the women enrolled in pre­
liminary dressmaking were engaged during the day in the needle
trades. The knowledge of sewing gained from their day occupations
would seem to give these women some advantage in taking the
advanced courses. But just as the women attending evening indus­
trial schools belong to a group too advanced in age to profit most
by the teaching, so they follow, to a large extent, during the day,
occupations not at all allied to the evening courses.




266

APPENDIX B.

One hundred and seventy-five of the 704 women enrolled in the
Worcester evening school were married; all but four of these were at
home. The variety of occupation, age, and marital condition of the
pupils makes the problem of successful grouping extremely difficult;
but the effort is made to keep women of about the same age and
occupation in the same classes.
The question of irregularity of attendance at evening schools
seems almost hopeless of solution as long as the pupils are busy in
some capacity during the day. The Boston Evening Trade School
serves a supper at small cost, so that the women may come direct
from work to school. The Worcester evening school offers short
courses, which terminate at fixed dates, and it requires a completion
of one course before another is undertaken, thus putting a premium
on regularity of attendance. This scheme has been very successful,
as an average of 88 per cent of the women enrolled are present at each
session, and those who can not come habitually telephone or send
their excuse.
The chief problems, then, which are presented to educators in the
evening vocational schools are how to attract (1) a larger proportion
of young workers, and (2) a larger number of women employed in
allied trades during the day; that is, how to present the advantages
of the school to the classes most in need of them. Many workers
engaged in the manufacture of clothing or straw hats were visited
who wished there were some place where they could learn special
machines or could work up speed. Although in some cases they
lived within a few blocks of the trade school, they had never heard
of it. Another problem is to secure regularity of attendance, so that
the lessons may be of some real value to the worker. The successful
development of these evening vocational courses must follow the
line of the demands of the worker, which depend on the demands
of the trade. These demands point to regularly organized short-unit
courses with pupils having the same background and tKe same needs
grouped together, and to close connection with the trade.
The length of term in all evening schools is from October 1 to
April 1. In the B6ston Evening Trade School, the pupils are expected
to come three evenings and in the Worcester evening school two
evenings a week. In Worcester, the school is in session four evenings
a week, but the same classes meet on alternate evenings, and the
session lasts two hours. In the Boston and Cambridge evening
practical arts courses a course lasts through a school year. In
Worcester, a short-unit system has been developed, each unit com­
plete in itself. The units are so arranged that it is possible to progress
from one subject to another, or to enter after the beginning of the
term, when a new unit is begun. The units range in length from eight




EVENING INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS POE GIRLS.

267

to twenty-four lessons. Millinery has four units of eight lessons
each, two in the fall and two in the spring. During the winter
the pupil in this course may, take sewing, but only a few do so.
Each pupil makes or trims a hat during each of the courses, and
some make more than one. In plain sewing, which must be taken
by all women who know nothing about needlework, there are four
courses of 12 lessons each, the second half-year repeating the
work of the first. Pupils work from the start on garments rather
than on samplers, as in the Boston Evening Trade School. The
garments made are an apron, dressing sack, corset cover, and night­
gown. The plain skirt and plain waist, 12 lessons each, are both
repeated four times. The courses in fancy waists and plain onepiece dresses are 16 lessons each, repeated twice, while advanced
dressmaking, repeated once, is given in 24 lessons. This last course
was designed primarily for dressmakers, but had to be taught in a
more elementary way than was anticipated. One-third of the pupils
enrolled in this course were at home and only 6 per cent were dress­
makers. This is of interest because there is said to be a real need
for more independent dressmakers who will go from house to house.
The natural supposition would be that such a course would attract
women who aspired to meet this demand. Children’s clothing was
offered, but as no one chose this course, it was discontinued.
Each pupil furnishes her own material for garments. The school
supplies cotton cloth from which a flat bag with strings is made. At
night the women fold their work and place it in their bags which are
piled up and wrapped in bundles, which take little room and are free
from dust. Each garment must be finished and inspected by the
teacher in charge of the class and by the supervisor of the night work,
who grades each garment, criticises it, and occasionally requires that
some part be done over before it is taken home. The standard of
finish is that of the shop. The advantages claimed for the system,
aside from the regularity of attendance secured, are the interest of
the pupils and its adaptability to their need. Some enter for only
one or two units in September, while some enter in other months.
Two-thirds (67 per cent) of the whole number came in September,
and about one-tenth (11.8 per cent) in November, when the second
units began. The school plans to offer the courses the pupils want
most. This year the one-piece dress proved most popular. For
next year the school plans to offer a course in cutting and fitting for
its own graduates and others who are qualified to take such work.
The two tables which follow show, first, the plan of short-unit
courses of the Worcester Girls’ Independent Evening Trade School
and, second, the number and per cent who entered the school in
specified months from September, 1914, to March, 1915.




268
T able

APPENDIX B.
1 4 6 .— PLAN OF SH OR T-UNIT COURSES OF TH E W O RCESTER G IRLS’ IN D E ­
P E N D E N T EVEN IN G T R A D E SCHOOL, OCTOBER, 1914, TO A P R IL , 1915.

Courses in dressmaking.
Inter­
mediate.

Preliminary.

Advanced.

Week beginning—
Plain
sewing.

Plain
skirt.

Unlined
waist.

Sept. 28.........................

Chil­
dren’s
cloth­
ing.

Plain
dress.

Fancy
waist.

Ad­
vanced
dress­
making.

2 lessons.

Oct. 5................ „ ........
Oct. 12..........................
12
Oct. 19.......................... lessons.
Oct 26
Nov. 2...........................
Nov 9
Nov 16
Nov. 23.........................
12
Nov. 30
lessons.
Dec. 7...........................
Dec 14
Jan. 4 ........................
Jan. 11.
Jan. 18..........................
12
Jan. 25......................
lessons.
Feb. 1
Feb. 8...........................
Feb 15
Feb. 22..........................
Mar. 1............................
Mar. 8
12
Mar. 15.......................... lessons.
Mar. 22..........................

12
lessons.

12
lessons.

6 lessons.

8 lessons.

16
lessons.

16
lessons.

12
lessons.

24
lessons.

8 lessons.

24
lessons.

4 lessons.
12
lessons.

Courses
in
millin­
ery.

8 lessons.

6 lessons.
6 lessons.

16
lessons.

16
lessons.

2 lessons.
12
lessons.

12
lessons.

6 lessons.
4 lessons.
6 lessons.

12
lessons.

12
lessons.

16
lessons.

16
lessons.

8 lessons.

6 lessons.

1 4 7 .—NU M BER AN D PER CENT OF PUPILS W HO E N T E R E D T H E W ORCESTER
GIRLS’ IN D E P E N D E N T E V EN IN G T R A D E SCHOOL IN SPECIFIED MONTHS,
1914-15.

T able

Women entering school
in specified months.
Month.
Number.

Per cent.

September..................................
October......................................
November..................................
December...................................
January.......................................
February....................................
March..........................................

472
58
83
2
44
41
4

67.1
8.2
11.8
.3
6.2
5.8
.6

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

704

100.0

In the Boston Evening Trade School, the day trade teachers give
their services in the evening. They are thoroughly familiar with the
subjects to be taught and the best way of presenting them. On the
other hand, their hours in the day school are long, and they are not able
to give to their work the freshness of energy which teachers from out­
side the school can bring. In Worcester, the school obtains its even­
ing teachers from the trades. They are used to directing workers,
but are less familiar than are the regular teachers with the pedagogy




EVENING INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS FOR GIRLS.

269

of the subject, and hence are apt to emphasize product rather than
correct methods. The day trade-school teachers are not tired by
evening work for their regular duties. Under this arrangement some
one official must be given general supervision of the evening school
work, as the teachers are not accustomed to the standardization of
work necessary in a school. When the day trade-school teachers
serve at night, this supervision is unnecessary.
The method of teaching in the evening industrial schools is that of
practice, with so much of the theory as comes naturally with the
lessons. The classes are small, the teacher supervises the women
individually, making a class lesson of individual problems which
apply to the work of all. In the Worcester evening school the pupils
do all the cutting and fitting. The teacher supervises both processes.
One pupil helps another with the draping; sometimes the teacher
drapes one side of a waist on the form and the pupil drapes the other.
The whole idea in the Worcester school is, not to help the women to
get cheap dressmaking and millinery done, but to teach them the
principles of both processes. In Boston each pupil is given all possi­
ble help on points of individual difficulty.
A study of the evening industrial schools for girls in Massachusetts,
then, means a consideration of two types of school; first, the type
which offers trade extension courses for women in allied trades during
the day; second, practical arts courses for women employed in any
capacity during the day. In both types of school the women over
21 years of age predominate, and in both there are relatively few
women enrolled in courses which will help them directly in their day
occupations. The evening industrial schools are, therefore, not yet
fulfilling the need for advanced training of women workers in the
trades. The tendency in the evening industrial schools, however, is
toward greater systematization of teaching and standardization of
product. There is yet to be developed a systematized program for
continuation work of a really advanced character for young workers
already in various trades. The short-unit method seems to be the
most satisfactory system.







INDEX.
A.
Page.
Academic courses of Worcester Trade School...................................................................................................
251
Administration of girls' trade schools.............................................................................................................. 253-256
Age:
A t beginning work, as a factor determining wage advancement....................................................... 133-138
.a.t beginning work, as affecting wages of Worcester Trade School girls..............................................
162
A t beginning work, effect on wages of trade-school girls...................................................................... 133-136
At-beginning work, effect on wages of trade-trained girls.................................................................... 136-138
At leaving school, relation of, to utilization of trade training.................................................................27-30
Boston Trade School girls, in relation to permanence in trade.............................................................. 84,85
Employment and, of Woreester Trade School girls..................................................................................
154
Industrial distribution and, of Worcester Trade School girls studied.............................................. *149,150
Industrial distribution, wages, and, of Cambridge Trade School girls............................................. 169-171
Length of working experience and, of Boston Trade School girls studied.......................................... 70-72
Previous schooling and, of pupils entering the trade schools.................................................................22-26
Pupils leaving the Boston Trade School, under private management, 1904 to 1909, and under
public management, 1909 to 1914...............................................................................................................
30
Trade-school girls, at beginning work......................................................................................... ............ 186-188
Aprons and rompers, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing..................................
226
Area from which Boston Trade School girls are drawn............................................................................... 173,174
Art courses of Worcester Trade School...............................................................................................................
251
Average wages. (See Wages.)
B.
Basis of trade training.............................................................................................................................................
195
Boston Evening Trade School for Girls:
Age of pupils in ............................................................................................................................................. 259-262
Courses of............................................................................................................................................................
258
Enrollment in....................................................................................................................................................
258
Boston Trade School for Girls:
Age and length of working experience of girls from................................................................................. 70-72
Age of girls entering.........................................................................................................................................22,23
Age of girls in relation to permanence in trade.......................................................................................... 84,85
Area from which girls are drawn............................................................................................................... 173,174
Average wages of girls compared with those of trade-trained girls.................................................... 105,106
Average weekly wages of girls in successive years...................................................................................98-106
Classified weekly wages of girls in successive years in sewing trades................................................ 107-113
Comparative wages of trade-school and trade-trained dressmakers and factory sewers at specified
periods......................................................................................................................... ‘ .............................. 124-127
Courses offered i n ............................................................................................................................................. 19,20
Distance from school of girls, and persistence in attendance.............................................................. 174,175
Distance from school of girls, and use of trade....................................................................................... 175,176
Effect of length of working experience of girls in determining wage advancement...................... 127-133
Effect on wages of girls of age at beginning work.................................................................................. 136-138
Enrollment in specified courses in ................................................................................................................ 20,21
Establishment of...............................................................................................................................................
8
Girls who used trade for which trained....................................................................................................... 75-95
Growth of enrollment in.................................................................................................................................. 15,16
Industrial distribution of girls at end of specified periods out of school.............................................. 77,78
Initial wage of girls........................................................................................................................................ 114-116
Length of working season of girls by trades............................................................................................ 143-145
Movement of girls from one trade to another, or from one position to another................................. 88-90
Number and per cent of girls who did not use trade for which trained.............................................. 72-75
Placement of pupils by....................................................................................................................................41-44
Policy in respect to initial wage................................................................................................................ 114,115
Previous schooling of pupils of...................................................................................................................... 24,25
Rate of advance in wages of girls in different groups........................................................................... 101,102
Rate of wage advance of girls compared with initial wage.................................................................. 115,116
Reasons of girls for leaving primary trade.................................................................................................. 93-95
Reasons of girls for never using their trades............................................................................................... 73,74
Relation of wages of individual workers to average wage.................................................................... 102,103
Secondary employments of girls................................................................................................................... 90-93
Shifting in industry of individual girls........................................................................................................ 85-88
Stability in industry of girls who used their trades.................................................................................. 75-78
Stability of girls in trade for which trained................................................................................................ 78-90
Time required by different groups of girls to reach $8 a week...............................................................
101
Wages and length of working season of girls........................................................................................... 143-146
Wages and occupations of girls at specified periods in their working experience.......................... 117-127
Wages and occupations of girls never using trade for which trained....................................................
124
Wages of girls (Chapter I V ) ......................................................................................................................... 97-147
Wages of girls remaining in trade for which trained and of those leaving it for other occupations. .
99,
100,117-123
Wages of girls trained for sewing trades, classified according to length of working season and
trades............................................................................................................................................................ 145,146
Wages of girls who never used trade for which trained........................................................................100,101
Wages of trade-school dressmakers classified according to previous schooling............................... 138-141




271

272

INDEX.

C.
Page.
Cambridge evening industrial schools for girls, ages of pupils in.............................................................. 259-262
Cambridge Girls’ Trade School:
Age, industrial distribution, and wages of girls studied...................................................................... 169-171
Age of girls entering..........................................................................................................................................22,23
Courses offered in .............................................................................................................................................. 19,20
Enrollment in specified courses in................................................................................................................
21
Establishment of...............................................................................................................................................
8
Previous schooling of pupils of...................................................................................................................... 24-26
Children’s dresses, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing................................... 222,223
Conclusions suggested by survey...................................................................................................................... 238-242
Cookery, general, courses in, Worcester Trade School................................................................................. 251,252
Cost:
Maintenance, of trade schools.........................................................................................................................
254
Of teaching in the factory........................................................................................................................... 231,232
O f Worcester Trade School plant..................................................................................................................
254
Per capita, of trade schools.......................................................................................................................... 254,255
Courses:
Academic, of Worcester Trade School....................................................................................................... ;
251
Art, of Worcester Trade School.....................................................................................................................
251
Boston, Worcester, Cambridge, and Somerville trade schools...............................................................19,20
Customs sewing trades, reasons for relatively high enrollment in......................................................... 21,22
Departments in the Worcester Trade School......................................................................................... 246-253
Physical education in Worcester Trade School.........................................................................................
252
Short-unit, Worcester Girls’ Independent Evening Trade School.................................................... 266-268
Summer-school, offered by B oston and Worcester trade schools...........................................................
35
Trade schools.................................................................................................................................................. 243-246
Trade schools, relative demand for the different.................................................................. *..................20-22
Courses and administration of the trade schools for girls in Massachusetts (Appendix A )................. 243-246
Curtains, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing........................................................
227
Custom dressmaking. (See Dressmaking; Sewing trades.)
Custom sewing trades. (See Dressmaking; Sewing trades.)
Custom work, decrease of, and growth of factory work in millinery........................................................ 205-208
D.
Dresses and waists, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing................................. 217-221
Dressmaking:
Course in, of Worcester Trade School....................................................................................................... 247,248
Custom, attitude of employers toward beginners.................................................................................. 201,202
Custom, attitude of employers toward trade schools and trade-school girls.................................... 202-205
Custom, evolution of..................................................................................................................................... 200-205
Factory sewing trades and comparative wages of trade-school and trade-trained girls in, at
specified periods........................................................................................................................................ 124-127
Stability in, of girls trained in B oston Trade School...............................................................................
80
Time required by Boston Trade School girls to reach $8 a week in......................................................
101
Wages of trade-school and trade-trained girls classified according to previous schooling............. 141,142
(See also Sewing trades.)
Dual control of trade schools.............................................................................................................................. 253,254
E.
Earnings. (See Wages.)
Economic status of families of trade-school girls........................................................................................... 182-188
Education. (See Schooling.)
Education, academic, and trade-school training as affecting wages of Worcester Trade School girls.. 162,163
Education, academic; as a factor determining wage advancement........................................................... 138-142
Employers, cooperation between, and trade school........................................................................................ 63,6^
Employment of Worcester Trade School girls in successive years............................................................ 150-153
Enrollment in specified courses in Boston, Worcester, and Cambridge trade schools.............................20,21
Enrollment in trade schools and other public schools, comparison of growth of....................................... 15,16
Enrollment in trade schools, growth of.............................................................................................................. 15,16
Evening industrial schools for girls (Appendix B )...................................................................................... 257-269
Evening industrial schools for girls, method of teaching in....................................................................... 268,269
Evening schools. (See Boston Evening Trade School for Girls; Worcester Girls’ Independent Even­
ing Trade School.)
Evening vocational schools. (See Vocational schools.)

F.
Factors affecting wages of Worcester Trade School girls........................................................................... 160-163
Factors determining wage advancement........................................................................................................ 127-142
Family condition of trade-school girls............................................................................................................. 188,189
Family income, contribution to, by trade-school girls................................................................................ 189-192

G.
Girl who has been trained in the trade school, the (Chapter V I ) ............................................................. 173-194
H.
High School of Practical Arts in Boston, enrollment and number of graduates using trades taught..

65

Income. (See Family income; Wages.)
Industrial distribution, age, and wages of Cambridge Trade School girls studied.............................. 169-171
Industrial distribution and age of Worcester Trade School girls studied............................................... 149 150
Industrial distribution of Boston Trade School girls at end of specified periods out of school .
77 78




INDEX.

273

Page.
Industrial education, new questions involved in............................................................................................. 9,10
Industrial experience:
Boston Trade School girls (Chapter I I I ).....................................................................................................67-96
Length of, and age of Boston Trade School girls...................................................................................... 70-72
Length of, as a factor determining wage advancement........................................................................ 127-133
Trade-school girls, statistical basis of study of................................................ .........................................
69
Wages and, of Worcester and Cambridge trade-school girls (Chapter V ) ........................................ 149-172
Industrial needs and opportunities, necessity for understanding and recognition by trade edu­
cators................................................................................................................................................................... 171,172
Industries for which trade schools train (Chapter V II).............................................................................. 195-233

M.
Marriage as an interruption to working career of trade-school girls......................................................... 192,193
Massachusetts State-aided evening vocational schools for women, types of........................................... 257,258
8,9
Massachusetts, trade schools for girls in, growth of.........................................................................................
Methods by which trade-school pupils secure positions................................................................................. 64,65
Methods of learning in the power-machine sewing trades.......................................................................... 230,231
Millinery:
Attitude of employers toward trade-school girls................................................................................... 208,209
Course in, of Worcester Trade School....................................................................................................... 249,250
Evolution of trade............................................................................................................................. ........... 205-210
Growth of factory and decrease of custom work in............................................................................... 205-208
Stability in, of girls trained in Boston Trade School...............................................................................
80
Time required by Boston Trade School girls to reach $8 a week in.....................................................
10 1
(See also Sewing trades.)
Movement of Boston Trade School girls from one trade to another, or from one position to another.. 88-90
N.
Nativity of trade-school girls............................................................................................................................. 176-181
Neckwear, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing................................................. 221,222
O.
Occupations. (See Secondary employments.)
Occupations ana wages at specified periods of Worcester Trade School girls....................................... 157-160
Occupations and wages of Boston Trade School girls at specified periods in their working experi­
ence...................................................................................................................................................................... 117-127
Occupations of fathers of trade-school girls.................................................................................................... 182-184
P.
Physical-education courses in Worcester Trade School..................................................................................
252
Placement of pupils by Boston Trade School................................................................................................... 41-44
Power-machine operating:
Course in, of Worcester Trade School...................................................................................................... 248,249
Relative cost to employer of training a trade-school girl and an untrained girl................................ 51,52
Stability in, of girls trained in Boston Trade School...............................................................................80,81
Time required by Boston Trade School girls to reach $8 a week in.....................................................
10 1
(See also Sewing trades.)
Program of each girl in day classes of Worcester Trade School................................................................. 252,253

R.
Reasons for leaving primary trade, given by Boston Trade School girls................................................... 93-95
Reasons for not using trade given by Worcester Trade School girls........................................................ 15 4 ,15 5
Reasons given by Boston Trade School girls for never using their trades.................................................73,74
Reasons given by girls for entering trade schools.............................................................................................25,26
Reasons given by girls for leaving trade schools...............................................................................................44-46
Rompers. (See Aprons and rompers.)

S.
School problem, the (Chapter II ).. . .................................................................................................................... 15-46
School tests~ for ascertaining trade ability........................................................................................................... 55-58
Schooling:
Previous, and age of pupils entering the trade schools............................................................................ 22-26
Previous, relation between, and tendency to enter trade for which trained...................................... 30-34
Previous, wages of trade-school dressmakers classified according t o . .............................................. 138-141
Schools. (See Boston Evening Trade School for Girls; Boston Trade School for Girls; Cambridge
Girls’ Trade School; High School of Practical Arts in Boston; Somerville Vocational School for
Girls; Trade schools for girls; Worcester Girls’ Independent Evening Trade School; Worcester
Girls’ Trade School.)
Scope of trade-school work, prevailing misconceptions of.............................................................................. 46-48
Secondary employments 01 Boston Trade School girls................................................................................... 90-93
Sessions, day, of trade schools, hours of, and time devoted to specified studies............. .........................
35
Sewing trades:
Academic education an important factor in success of women in......................................................... 32-34
Classified weekly wages in successive years in, of Boston Trade School girls................................. i07-113
Custom, courses in, reasons for relatively high enrollment in................................................................ 2 1,22
Custom, effect of changes in, upon opportunities for trade-school girls. . . ................................... 209,210
Custom, evolution of custom dressmaking.............................................................................................. 200-205
Custom, evolution of millinery trade........................................................................................................ 205-210
Power-machine, amount of shifting among employees........................................................................ 232,233

85225°—17—Bull. 215------18




274

INDEX.

Sewing trades—Concluded.
Page.
Power-machine, analysis of characteristics of production in factories making light-weight
products.................................................. ............... ....................................................................................214-217
Power-machine, cost of teaching in the factory...................................................................................... 231,232
Power-machine, extent and character of, in Boston and Worcester............................................... 213,214
Power-machine, extent to which taught in trade schools.......................................................................
210
Power-machine, list of subtrades...................................................................................................................
211
Power-machine, methods of learning in................................................................................................... 230,231
Power-machine, need of training for..........................................................................................................211-213
Power-machine, opportunities and requirements in different branches of......................................217-230
Trade-trained girls in, Worcester............................................................................................................... 165-168
Wages of trade-school girls trained for, classified according to length of working season and trades. 145,146
(See also Dressmaking; Millinery; Power-machine operating.)
Shifting among factory employees, amount of............................................................................................... 232,233
Shifting in industry of individual Boston Trade School girls....................................................................
85-88
Shifting in industry of untrained girls................................................................................................................ 87,88
Shirts, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing.............................................................
225
Short-unit courses of Worcester Girls’ Independent Evening Trade School......................................... 266-268
Sifting-out process in schools................................................................................................................................. 75-77
Skirts, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing......................................................... 227,228
Somerville Vocational School for Girls:
Age of girls entering.......................................................................................................................................... 22,23
Courses offered in.............................................................................................................................................. 19,20
Establishment of...............................................................................................................................................
8
Stability in industry of Boston Trade School girls who used their trades..................................................75-78
Stability in trade for which trained of Boston Trade School girls................................................................ 78-90
Stability of trade-school girls in trade positions................................................................................................ 60-63
State-aided evening vocational schools for women in Massachusetts, types of...................................... 257,258
Straw hats, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing................................................ 229,230
Summary and conclusions (Chapter V III)..................................................................................................... 235-242
Summer-school courses offered by Boston and Worcester trade schools.....................................................
35
Survey, conclusions suggested b y ......................................................................... ........................................... 238-242
Survey, purpose, methods, and scope of............................................................. 1............................................. 10-13
Systems of local administration of trade schools in operation........................................................................
253
T.
Test applied to vocational schools....................................................................................................... ...............
67
Time actually spent in trade school by pupils.................................................................................................. 35-38
Trade ability, school tests for ascertaining......................................................................................................... 55-58
Trade cooking, course in, of Worcester Trade School......................................................................................
250
Trade demands, special methods for adapting trade-school pupils to......................................................... 58-60
Trade-school experience, facts shown b y............................................................ *.............................................
66
Trade-school training, difficulty of determining effectiveness of.................................................................. 67-69
Trade schools for girls:
Aim of leaders in movement to establish.....................................................................................................
15
Cooperation between, and employers........................................................................................................... 63,64
Courses in......................................................................................................................................................... 243-246
Courses in, and administration of, in Massachusetts............................................................................. 243-246
Establishment of first, in United States.......................................................................................................
8
Growth of, in Massachusetts...........................................................................................................................
8,9
Maintenance and per capita cost of............................................................................................................ 254,255
Methods by which pupils of, secure positions............................................................................................. 64,65
Noncompetitive character of........................................................................................................................... 16-18
Reasons given by pupils entering summer session for not remaining for full session........................
57
Reasons of pupils for leaving...........................................................................................................................44-46
Revenue from sale of product of................................................................................................................. 255,256
Special methods for adapting pupils to trade demands........................................................................... 58-60
Stability of pupils of, in trade positions....................................................................................................... 60-63
(See also Boston Trade School for Girls; Cambridge Girls’ Trade School; Somerville Vocational
School for Girls; Worcester Girls’ Trade School.)
Trade-school girls:
Adjustment of, to the trade............................................................................................................................. 48-55
Age at beginning work.................................................................................................................................. 186-188
Contribution of, to family income.............................................................................................................. 189-192
Effect of changes in custom sewing trades upon opportunities for.................................................... 209,210
Employment of, during interval between grammar-school and trade-school attendance.............184-186
Family condition of....................................................................................................................................... 188,189
Marriage as an interruption to working career of............................................................................ ....... 192,193
Nativity of......................................................................................................................................................176-181
Occupations of fathers of............................................................................................................................... 182-184
(See also Boston Trade School for Girls; Cambridge Girls’ Trade School; Somerville Vocational
School for Girls; Worcester Girls’ Trade School.)
Trade-school training, length of, effect upon permanence in trade.............................................................. 40,41
Trade-school work, prevailing misconceptions of scope of.............................................................................. 46-48
Trade-trained dressmakers, wages of, classified according to previous schooling................................... 141,142
Trade-trained girls:
Average wages of, Boston............................................................................................................................. 103-105
Average wages of, compared with those of Boston Trade School girls.............................................. 105,106
Classified weekjy wages in successive years in sewing trades, Boston............................................... 111-113
Effect of length of working experience in determining wage advancement, Boston......................127-133
Effect on wages of age at beginning work................................................................................................. 136-138
Occupations and wages of sewing girls in Worcester............................................................................. 165-168
Trade training for girls:
Basis of............................. J .................................................................................................................................
.
195
Degree to which utilized...................................................................................................................................26,27
Length of, distribution of girls using their trades b y ................................................................................ 38-41
Problem of...........................................................................................................................................................
7,8
Relation of age at leaving trade school to utilization of........................................................................... 27-30
Trades taught in Boston, Worcester, Cambridge, and Somerville trade schools....................................... 19,20
Trades to be taught in trade schools, bases of selection of...............................................................................
19




INDEX.

275

u.
Page.
Underwear, opportunities and requirements in factories manufacturing................................................ 223-225
Unit control of trade schools...................................................................................................................................
253
V.
Vocational schools:
Evening, for women in Massachusetts, State-aided, types of.............................................................. 257,258
Evening, problems of........................................................................................................................................
266
Sifting-out process in ........................................................................................................................................ 75-77
Test applied to...................................................................................................................................................
67
W.
Wage advancement, factors determining......................................................................................................... 127-142
Wages:
Age, industrial distribution, and, of Cambridge Trade School girls................................. ............... 169-171
Average, at specified periods, of Worcester Trade School girls........................................................... 155-157
Average, of trade-trained workers in Boston........................................................................................... 103-105
Average weekly, in successive years, of Boston Trade School girls......................................................98-106
Boston Trade School girls (Chapter I V ) ................................................................................................... 97-147
Boston Trade School girls remaining in trade for which trained and those leaving it for other
occupations..................................................................................................................................... 99,100,117-123
Boston Trade School girls who never used trade for which trained.................................................. 100,101
Classified, at specified periods, of Worcester Trade School girls.............................................................
157
Classified weekly, in successive years in sewing trades, of Boston Trade School girls................... 107-113
Comparative, of Boston Trade School and trade-trained dressmakers and factory sewers, at
specified periods.......................................................................................................................................... 124-127
Industrial experience and, of Worcester and Cambridge trade-school girls (Chapter V ) ..............149-172
Initial, of Boston Trade School girls.........................................................................................................114r-116
Initial, of Boston Trade Sehool girls, compared with rate of wage advance................................... 115,116
Initial, policy of Boston Trade School as to............................................................................................ 114-116
Length of working season and, of Boston Trade School girls............................................................. 143-146
Length of working season and, of Worcester Trade School girls........................................................163-165
Occupations and, at specified periods, of Worcester Trade School girls........................................... 157-160
Occupations and, of Boston Trade School girls, at specified periods in their working experience 117-127
124
Occupations and, of Boston Trade School girls never using trade for which trained......................
Rate of advance m different groups by Boston Trade School girls.......................................................
101
Relation of wages of individual workers to average wage, of Boston Trade School girls............. 102,103
Trade-school dressmakers, classified according to previous schooling.............................................. 138-141
Trade-school girls, effect on, of age at beginning work......................................................................... 133-136
Trade-school girls, trained for sewing trades, classified according to length of working season and
trades............................................................................................................................................................ 145,146
Trade-trained dressmakers, classified according to previous schooling............................................ 141,142
Trade-trained girls, effect on, of age at beginning work...................................................................... 136-138
Trade-trained girls, in sewing trades in Worcester.....................m.......................................................167,168
Worcester Trade School girls, age at beginning work as affecting.........................................................
162
Worcester Trade School girls, as affected by academic and trade-school training.........................162,163
Worcester Trade School girls, as affected by length of working experience....................................160-162
Worcester Trade School girls, factors affecting...................................................................................... 160-163
Waists. (See Dresses and waists.)
Women’s clothing trades:
Decrease in number of custom workers.......................................................................................................
196
Decrease in proportion of young workers employed............................................................................. 197-199
Growth of factory product in.........................................................................................................................
197
(See also Sewing trades.)
Worcester Girls* Independent Evening Trade School:
Ages of pupils in ............................................................................................................................................ 259-263
Occupations of girls enrolled in specified courses in............................................................................. 264,265
Short-unit courses of..................................................................................................................................... 266-268
Worcester Girls’ Trade School:
Age and distribution of girls studied........................................................................................................ 149,150
Age and employment of girls.........................................................................................................................
154
Age of girls at beginning work as affecting wages.....................................................................................
162
Age of girls entering..........................................................................................................................................22,23
Average wages of girls at specified periods.............................................................................................. 155,156
Classified wages of girls at specified periods................................................................................................
157
Courses of departments of........................................................................................................................... 246-253
Courses offered in .............................................................................................................................................. 19,20
Employment of girls in successive years............. .................................................................................... 150-153
Enrollment in specified courses in................................................................................................................ 20,21
Establishment of..............................................................................................................................................
8
Factors affecting wages of girls.................................................................................................................. 160-163
Growth of enrollment in ................................................................................................................................. 15,16
Length of working experience and employment of girls..................................................................... 153,154
Previous schooling of pupils of......................................................................................................................
24
Reasons given by girls for not using trade.............................................................................................. 154,155
Wages and length of working season of girls........................................................................................... 163-165
Wages and occupations of girls at specified periods................... ......................................................... 157-160
Wages of girls, how affected by academic and trade-school training................................................ 162,163
Wages, how affected by length of working experience......................................................................... 160-162
Working experience, length of, and employment of Worcester Trade School girls.............................. 153,154
Working experience, length of, as affecting wages of Worcester Trade School girls............................. 160-162
Working season, length of, and wages of Boston Trade School girls........................................................ 143-146
Working season, length of, and wages of Worcester Trade Schoolgirls.................................................. 163-165
Working season, length of, by trades, for trade-school girls........................................................................ 143-145




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