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(Partly revised in 1935)


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Letter of transmittal
List of references
Part I.-—The work of the wage-earning woman
(a) How she went to work and what she does_____________________
(b) The number of women employed
(c) What work in the factory means
(d) Early industrial work of women in this country______________
Part II.—The industrial world in which women work___________________
(a) Changing civilizations
(b) Effects of the introduction of machinery
(c) Relation of women workers to the machine age________________
(d) Lives of the workers in the machine age_ __________________
Part III.—Married women workers____________
(a) The number of married women gainfully employed____________
(b) The responsibility of married women for familysupport________
(c) The double duties of married women workers__________________
(d) Some effects of the employment of married women____________
Part IV.—Women and unemployment
(a) How unemployment affects womenI~
(b) The extent of unemployment
(c) Some causes of unemployment
(d) Methods of minimizing unemployment
Part V.—Health standards for women’s work—working conditions______
(a) Service facilities and sanitary conditions in the work place_____
(b) Special health needs in the work place
(c) Industrial hazards: Injuries
(d) Industrial hazards: Disease___________________ ___II__II____~
Part VI.—Health standards for women’s work—working time__________
(a) Daily hours of work______________________________________ 47
(b) Hours of work in the week;45
(c) The night shiftI_____'
(d) Vacations and sick leave with pay
Part VII.—Labor legislation for women_____________________________
(a) Reasons for legislation and forces furthering itII.
(b) Hour legislation in various States
(c) Various types of labor legislation for women__________________
(d) Certain effects of labor legislationI,
Part VIII.—What the wage-earning woman earns
(a) Outworn ideas as to women's wages
(b) Some factors affecting women’s wages
(c) Women’s wages and what they must buy
(d) Economic effects of a low wage scale for women workers____
Part IX—Various connections of women with the industrial and labor
(a) Women in unusual occupations
(b) Women as “ officials and managers”
(c) Women’s labor organizations and some of their leadersII’
(d) Women in official administrative labor positions and women who
have furthered movements for workers
Part X.—Work of the Women’s Bureau
(a) Antecedents of the Women’s Bureau, and formation and person­
nel of the bureau___________________________________________
(b), (c), and (d)----------------------------------------------------------I_IIIII___’










United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

IVashington, May 88, 1935.
The Women’s Bureau frequently receives requests from
groups of women for material on gainfully employed women
arranged in such form as to be used easily for group study or for
meetings. A wider knowledge among such organizations of Ameri­
can women of the conditions and problems of women in industry
can not fail to be of benefit. This series of papers is in line with
the purposes for which the bureau -was created, which include the
duty “ to formulate standards and policies which shall promote the
welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions,
increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profit­
able employment.” For these reasons I beg to submit for publication
a revised outline for group study of the subject of women in industry,
prepared by Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon, in charge of this bureau’s
division of research.
Respectfully submitted.
Mart Anderson, Director.
Hon. Frances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.


This bulletin has been prepared in response to a request for
material in such form as to be used easily by study groups of certain
organizations that desire to obtain information on the employment
of women and the general conditions under which they work.
Ten aspects of the subject have been considered separately. Each
of these is divided into four brief statements, to be read and dis­
cussed by four persons taking part in a meeting devoted to one
phase of the subject.
While this material will be all that is desired in some groups, the
ingenuity of others will suggest further study. For this reason a
few additional sources of information are suggested, with the idea
that the leader or presiding officer for the day or period may select
further readings or may read more widely and prepare some
abstract of the material it is desired to present.
With practically every number here included, certain of the
Women’s Bureau bulletins will be found especially helpful for use
in the selection of additional reading references or in the prepara­
tion of further material by the leader. Those appropriate to each
number will be suggested, and any of these as well as any of the
other publications available from the list of Women’s Bureau bulle­
tins at the end of the pamphlet will be furnished upon request.
The suggested bibliography that follows makes no effort to be
complete or even very long, but attempts merely to include a few of
the more popular works that may be especially interesting or help­
ful. The Women’s Bureau does not furnish the books or magazines
listed, and these must be secured from their publishers or from
libraries. Some groups or individuals may wish to have their own
copies, and in some cases where these papers have been used, libraries
have cooperated in keeping material available. State organizations
taking up the study would do well to purchase a few copies of each
book for lending to readers at points where these can not be obtained
from local libraries.

I. Bulletins of the United States Women’s Bureau. (Furnished on request.
Those appropriate for each subject listed thereby.)
II. Books.1
Abbott, Edith. Women In Industry. D. Appleton & Co., New York,
Bent, Silas. Machine Made Man. Farrar & Rhinehart, New York, 1930.
Beard, Charles A., Editor. Whither Mankind. Longmans, Green & Co.,
New York, 1928.
Chase, Stuart. Men and Machines. The Macmillan Co., New York,
Henry, Alice. The Trade Union Woman. D. Appleton & Co., New York,
1915; Women and the Labor Movement. George H. Doran Co., New
York, 1923.
Wiese, Mildred J., and Reticker, Ruth. The Modern Worker. The
Macmillan Co., New York, 1930.
Wolfson, Theresa. The Woman Worker and the Trade Unions. Inter­
national Publishers, New York, 1926.
III. Magazines.1
The Woman’s Press,* National Board of Young Women’s Christian
Associations, 600 Lexington Avenue, New York City.
Independent Woman, National Federation of Business and Professional
Women's Clubs (Inc.). Published at 34 North Crystal Street, East
Stroudsburg, Pa.
The Survey, 112 East Nineteenth Street, New York City.
'Books and magazines referred to not furnished by Women’s Bureau. It is suggested
that the State organization buy a few copies to lend to local groups where public library
facilities are not available.
5 See especially the issue for May, 1931. This contains an article referring to a number
of poems by various writers that will be of interest in a study of women in industry,
and quotations from some of these; the article is entitled “ People Singing ” and is by
Delores Segelbaum, p. 298. On p. 309 of the same issue a list of books and articles on
unemployment is given.


(a) How she went to work and what she does.
Woman’s work is one of the oldest things in the world as we know
it. From long before the dawn of written history, the evidence of
cave and burial place gives mute testimony to the patient labor of
feminine hands. In the earliest days of human association of any
permanent sort, it was the woman around whom the little family
group revolved.
When machines and factories came into being, the second follow­
ing closely upon the heels of the first, a great part of the former
occupations of the home went out of it. It was no longer good
economy to hand weave the family clothing when power looms could
make the cloth so much faster and, in most instances, so much more
cheaply. Woman changed in a few short years from producer to
consumer, and her husband’s income dwindled accordingly. In the
old days, she, as well as he, had been in truth a wealth creator. Now
she must pay out the money he earned for the purchase of things
that formerly she made. And this earning capacity did not in­
crease at a sufficient rate to bridge the gap thus formed, nor could
it keep pace with the rising cost of living.
In most countries, in consequence, as in the United States, the
women, whether producers or consumers, were forced to follow their
old jobs out of the home and into the factory. They became again
producers beside their husbands, but now in the additional capacity
of wage earner and, in most instances, carrying a double burden
because they could no longer combine their two jobs into the one
continuous performance of running their households.
In the United States, according to the census of 1930, there were
over 10,700,000 women workers gainfully employed. There are few
occupations in which no woman ever has worked. In 12 manufac­
turing industries women operatives and laborers outnumbered men
in both 1920 and 1930. These include the clothing industries as a
whole, silk mills, knitting mills, cigar and tobacco factories, and
candy making.
Having blazed the trail of remunerative employment outside the
home, women have stopped short at practically no type of work,
although many of the jobs they perform are similar to tasks that
'The following bulletins of the Women’s Bureau, which will be of Interest in connec­
tion with this subject, will be furnished on request: No. 3, Standards for the Employ­
ment of Women in Industry. 1928; No. 104. The Occupational Progress of Women.
1910 to 1930. 1933 : and No. 115. Women at Work. 1934.




women had for ages been responsible for in the home. Now that
we have outlived the era when the slogan “ Woman’s place is the
home” was at the height of its popularity, women are found in
occupations that not so long ago were unheard of or undreamed of
as possible and practical ways for women to earn a livelihood.
Four or five decades ago the girl in business was a curiosity, a
woman doctor or lawyer was an object of prejudice, and the woman
professor was scoffed at as a bluestocking. In this country to-day
are thousands of women in such vocations. There are even women
who are managers and superintendents of factories, bankers and
bank officials, chemists, inventors, engineers, architects, and judges.
There are women chauffeurs, draymen, teamsters and expressmen,
garage laborers, switchmen and flagmen on steam railroads, ticket
and station agents, telegraph messengers, steam and street railway
laborers, and large numbers of women working as telephone and tele­
graph operators ; and there are greater numbers of women in other
ranks, working in factories that make cloth, garments, shoes, ciga­
rettes, and countless other articles.
In almost every factory where men work there are some women
employed, and in some kinds of establishments there are many more
women than men. In the clothing factories, where garments, corsets,
shirts, collars and cuffs, gloves, and other articles of wearing apparel
are made, and in knitting and silk mills there were employed in
1920 nearly twice as many women as men.

(b) The number of women employed.
The census of 1930 showed more than 10,700,000 women gainfully
occupied in April of that year. This is an enormous increase over
the number so engaged in 1920, an increase of 26 per cent, which was
much greater than had been expected. Nevertheless, of all the women
in the country who were 10 years old or over, only a little more than
one-fifth were gainfully occupied, and of every 9 employed persons
7 were men.
It is of interest to see what types of work have been engaging
women to the greatest extent. Of every 10 women employed in 1930,
3 were in domestic and personal service, very nearly 2 were in
clerical pursuits, something less than 2 in manufacturing, more than
1 in professional work. This accounts for 8 women or something
over, and the occupations of the remaining 2 were scattered, with
the largest numbers in trade and in agriculture and the group next
in size, that called by the census “ transportation and communica­
tion,” the greatest woman occupation there being that of telephone
When the last census was taken (1930), only a small proportion
of all the women in paid jobs were in pursuits not followed by women
for many years. The largest woman-employing occupation was that
classified by the census as “ servant,” the next was the teaching
profession, and stenographers and typists came third.
Among the various States, the proportional increase in the em­
ployment of women was greatest in California, where there were 94
per cent more women so occupied in 1930 than in 1920. Florida
came next with 76 per cent, then Arizona with 63 per cent, and there
were increases of between 40 and 50 per cent in Oregon, New Mexico,
Michigan, West Virginia, and New Jersey. The smallest gains—
less than 2 per cent—were in South Carolina and New Hampshire,
and fewer than 10 per cent were added to woman employment in
Arkansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Georgia, and Rhode
If we go back to 1910 to get a 20-year view, we find that in agri­
cultural pursuits, which have employed very many women, their
number has declined greatly. The same is true of mining, in which
few women are at work. In every other group, however, women have
made great strides. In fact, their numbers have trebled in clerical
occupations and in public service (a relatively small group) and more
than doubled in trade, the professions, and transportation and
Among the occupations in which men have increased in number
more rapidly than women in the 20 years prior to 1930 are those of
farm laborers, factory foremen, janitors and cleaners, semiskilled
work in chemical, electrical, paper, and certain textile factories, and




the skilled or professional pursuits of tailoring, certain occupations
in the printing trades, musicians and music teachers, and artists,
sculptors, and art teachers. Women have gained over men in certain
jobs such as they have long held and in some of the semiskilled manu­
facturing processes. These include work as stenographers and typ­
ists, waitresses, bookkeepers and cashiers, office clerks, telephone
operators, and operatives in clothing, tobacco, clay, glass and stone,
shoe, candy, and automobile plants. They also show greater in­
creases than men as actors, as college professors, as keepers of hotels,
restaurants, boarding and lodging houses, as real estate agents, and
as barbers and hairdressers. The period showed fewer women but
more men becoming physicians and osteopaths.

(c) What work in the factory means.
Mary van Kleeck, the first director of the woman in industry
service of the United States Department of Labor, has said—
It seems to me that It means three things that we should emphasize here.
First, it represents a chance to earn a living; how good a one it offers can
be discussed later. Second, industry has constituted for women what one
might call an endurance test. Third, it is an opportunity for women to join
in the constructive upbuilding of a better order.

In the industrial world where women are engaged in an almost
bewildering variety of occupations, there is a great deal of specializa­
tion. In fact, industrial processes have become so specialized that
one person is seldom able to complete an entire article. It takes
about 150 different operations to make a shoe, which used to be
made entirely by one person’s hands. Many other products of in­
dustry are subdivided almost as much in the process of manufacture.
Consequently, to-day great groups of women make but one part
of one thing or perform one little operation, doing the same thing
over and over and over again. For example, a woman will do
nothing but stitch cuffs on sleeves, piling them up rapidly—850
pairs a day. Or she will work intensively feeding and keeping up
with a machine that cuts thousands of tin discs during her 9-hour
schedule. Monotony of work has increased with subdivision in in­
dustry and the loss of craftsmanship. This development has been
almost inevitable. Women are not given the same trade training and
opportunities as are men, and so they are the ones who perform the
most repetitious jobs and upon whom the burden of monotony falls
most heavily.
Scientific study has indicated that what would be classed as light
work may become, where continuously repeated, more damaging
physically and psychically than heavier work which affords some
opportunity for variety. Speed, complexity of machinery, monotony
of job, and noise seem necessarily to be associated with our modern
industrial life. Since these causes of strain are with us to stay,
the problem becomes one of planning hour schedules and other
conditions of work so as to reduce the amount of fatigue.
Additional reading: From Women’s Bureau Bulletin 36.
Women in Industry, pp. 8, 9, 10.

Radio Talks on



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(d) Early industrial work of women in this country.
The member assigned to this section of the program should secure,
if possible, Women in Industry, by Edith Abbott. The suggested
readings from which she can select are as follows:
Oh. I. The Colonial Period.
Oh. V. The Early Field of Employment [1808-1840],
Oil. VII. Early Mill Operatives; Conditions of Life and Work.




(a) Changing civilizations.
Many aspects of the age we live in are difficult to understand.
Rapid changes are taking place in some communities, and these
stand side by side with others where changes are less rapid and cul­
ture apparently is more stable. But the developments of to-day
proceed on a large scale, and improved means of transportation and
communication have carried us along so fast that the quick succession
of changes in important centers often produces profound effects upon
localities that are smaller and quite distant from the real causes of
In his introduction to a collection of articles by a number of think­
ers who are trying to understand modern life, Charles A. Beard,
formerly a professor at Columbia University, New York, classifies
civilizations into three types, The agricultural, which may be slave,
feudal, peasant, or freehold; the premachine urban, which includes
handicraft and mercantile pursuits and political capitals j and the
mechanical and scientific, such as is found in our great industrial
cities. The last-mentioned type of civilization he further explains
as follows:
* * * machine civilization * * * differs from all others in that it
is highly dynamic, containing within itself the seeds of constant reconstruction.
Everywhere agricultural civilizations of the premachine age have changed
only slowly with the fluctuations of markets, the fortunes of governments, and
the vicissitudes of knowledge, keeping their basic institutions intact from
century to century. Premachine urban civilizations have likewise retained
their essential characteristics through long lapses of time. But machine
civilization based on technology, science, invention, and expanding markets
must of necessity change—and rapidly. The order of steam is hardly estab­
lished before electricity invades it; electricity hardly gains a fair start before
the internal combustion engine overtakes it. There has never been anywhere
in the world any order comparable with it, and all analogies drawn from the
middle ages, classical antiquity, and the Orient are utterly inapplicable to its
potentialities, offering no revelations as to its future."

An interesting contrast between an agricultural and handicraft
civilization and a civilization of the machine age is given in a com­
parison made by Stuart Chase of life among the Mexican Indians
with that which is developed when machines are introduced. He
says in part:
* * * Houses are built of local materials, clothing is largely home grown
and spun, food comes from the neighboring fields and groves, recreation is a
local product in which all participate, while over the whole economic process1 2
1 The following bulletins of the Women’s Bureau, which will be of interest in connec­
tion with this subject, will be furnished on request: No. 36, Radio Talks on Women in
Industry. 1924 ; and No. 104, The Occupational Progress of Women, 1910 to 1930.
2 Whither Mankind : A Panorama of Modern Civilization. Edited by Charles A. Beard
and containing articles by 16 other modern thinkers. Longmans, Green & Co., New York,
1928, p. 15.




broods a spirit of authentic craftsmanship giving rise to some of the loveliest
pottery, glasswork, masonry, and weaving which the world knows. Nobody has
much; a bad harvest may cause real suffering; you and I would be pro­
foundly uncomfortable adjusting our bathroom, steam-heat, butter-plate com­
plexes to actual living in one of these villages; but there is enough to go
around, in the basic biological sense of the term, leisure to enjoy life, economic
independence within the exigencies of climate and food supply * * *.
Now let us perform a drastic and—mindful of these kindly Indians—a some­
what ghastly surgical operation. Let us graft upon this community the technic
which James Watt set in motion when he solved the problem of the steam
engine a century and a half ago. Invested capital comes sweeping into the
country and with it interest, profits, and wages. Corporations spring like
mushrooms. A lumber company takes over the forest and fuel supply. Con­
tractors undertake the building of houses. Mining concerns exploit the silver,
copper, and gold of the surrounding mountains. Factories proceed to the
manufacture of textiles, agricultural implements, boots and shoes. * * *
Self-sufficiency lies in ruins; the region is clamped into world machine econ­
omy, drawing its supplies of physical goods from the five continents and
supplies of credit from New York and London.
The Indians will have a higher standard of living, more things, and a
perplexing amount of new kinds of trouble. They cease to direct their own
economic destinies and go to work for a boss. Money wages supplant their
sometime more direct means of subsistence. From diversification they turn
to specialization; from cottage craftsmanship to work on the assembly line or
in the machine shop.3
* Chase, Stuart,
pp. 130-131.

The Nemesis of American Business.

Harper’s Magazine, July, 1930,

(b) Effects of the introduction of machinery.
In America, the machine age began to have a decided effect in the
sixties. Mass production got firmly under way about the beginning
of the present century. Since 1899, energy has grown twice as fast
as population.
The development of an industrial era has had many and varied
effects, and has changed the whole fabric of human existence in
countless ways, the ramifications of which often are difficult to un­
tangle and to understand—has intensified its joys and magnified its
For example, large-scale manufacture has meant excessive con­
centration into urban areas, with consequent congested living condi­
tions. The census of 1930 shows that in many States the proportional
increase in the population of the chief industrial cities has far outrun
the corresponding increase in the population of the State as a whole.
Side by side with this effect have come developments in transpor­
tation and communication that are among the marvels of the times.
Thousands of workers and their families can travel distances more
vast and view scenes more manifold than the people of a century
ago ever could have dreamed of. The perfection of certain types
of machinery has resulted in eliminating whole categories of heavy
labor under which human beings formerly were subjected to incessant
The former labor supply was inclined to be immobile and the
earlier processes of living proceeded at a somewhat leisurely tempo;
but a myriad of changes have come with such speed that it fre­
quently has proven difficult—sometimes quite impossible—to adjust
an economic system, a set of business practices, and a method of
living to these new conditions with sufficient rapidity to prevent the
occurrence to large numbers of people of serious and sometimes longcontinued hardships of various types. The many benefits have been
followed too frequently by evils that are taking much time, careful
planning, and continuous effort to reduce them.
Certain favorable attributes of the machine age are given by one of
our keen thinkers as follows: A shortening of hours in the day (per­
haps not in the year, as there formerly were more fetes and holidays);
a raising of real wages; a lowering of prices; and an improving of
the social and political status of the worker. The unfavorable attri­
butes he lists as—initiation of repetitive labor, which tends to reduce
to a dead level of uniformity; production of cheap, plentiful, and
uniform commodities, frequently with the sacrifice of quality and
variety; creation of a tendency toward some class antagonism; en­
couragement of wastefulness, since products are made for sale rather




than for use and are made for cheapness rather than for lasting
qualities.4 He adds that the machine age found the masses of men
living upon the land and has herded them into cities; it made peas­
ants, serfs, domestics, and artisans alike into wage earners; it super­
seded the medieval guilds and drove the descendants of the artisans
into factories, stores, and offices; it found the intellectuals living
on the bounty of wealthy and powerful patrons and it evolved a
class of persons who capitalize their wits, commercialize their tal­
ents, or engage in work within the bounds set by modern business;
it found a ruthless hereditary aristocracy ruling and replaced them
by more impersonal capitalists.
Two effects of machine civilization on the lives of the workers
deserve especial emphasis: The loss of economic independence and
the loss of joy in an expert completed task. In regard to the first,
Stuart Chase says:
When the workman left his cottage and Ms shop for the factory he lost his
economic independence. He gave up his own tools and operated tools owned
by somebody else. He ceased to control his own time and his own job. So
long as the force which owns the factory has no interest in labor save as a
commodity, the workman is distinctly worse off than before.5

As to the second point, loss of the satisfaction that grows from a
completed work well done, two writers may be quoted. Prof. John
It. Commons has said in substance that—
In general it is fair to say that the factory system has depressed the economic
status of artisans and elevated the position of laborers. The experiences of the
shoemakers illustrate this. The extension of markets and the gradual adoption
of machinery both tended to degrade the quality of the work done by journey­
men cobblers. Prices were reduced in a competitive market and artisans
found themselves in an impossible rivalry with factory-made goods and with
the products of semiskilled workers who were able and willing to live at a
lower standard. Machinery hastened the process of substituting laborers for

On the same point Stuart Chase says:
* * * the old artisan saw the product of his skill culminating immediately
before his eyes. Satisfaction came as he worked. The modern designer may
not see the tangible product of his labor for months; indeed, may never see it.
Satisfaction is delayed or completely thwarted. Similarly much specialized
work of the highest skill is only one tiny part of a great process, and often
the worker has no picture of the whole process or where his task fits into it.
The machine has thus operated to split the psychological unity of work and
result and to take away a greater or lesser amount of the craftsman’s completed
satisfaction.* 1
* Condensed from: Borsodi, Ralph. This Ugly Civilization. Simon & Schuster, New
York, 1629.
1 Chase, Stuart. Men and Machines. The Macmillan Co., New York, 1929, p. 329.

W ORK—Continued
(c) Relation of women workers to the machine age.
In the development of the machine age women took their part,
and they followed the industries out of the home and into the factory.
The transition had a profound effect upon the whole position of
women. The real change for them was not the work itself but the
manner in which the work was performed and the change from an
unpaid occupation to a paid one. In other words, with the develop­
ment of the factory system women were transformed from the bread­
winner taken for granted in the home to the paid bread-winner
outside the home.
The skills of the earlier age gave way to new skills. Handwork
included spinning, weaving, woodworking, pottery making, glass
blowing, and the household arts. But the new skills are mainly such
as have not belonged primarily to women—for example, engine driv­
ing, track inspecting, garage work, prospecting and drilling, steel
construction. Other new skills woman has more readily acquired,
although they differed vastly from her former pursuits—for example,
stenography, telephone and telegraph operating, machine-printing
work, medical work, laboratory research.
In relation to her household tasks, an industrial age produces many
devices for lightening labor and simplifying life. These include
such things as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators (electric or otherwise),
sewing machines, canned food, and many other appliances and com­
modities that lighten household labor. It must be remembered,
however, that many women must go outside the home to earn money,
and if the labor of the wage-earning day is too exhausting, the added
work that must be done at home may be, despite the new labor savers,
a greater burden than it was in the years when the entire life of
women was lived at home under the old conditions. Furthermore,
there are many wage-earning women who can afford to buy but few
of the labor-saving devices.
Stuart Chase outlines three stages through which factory machines
have progressed:
First, they supplied more power to the skilled worker. They increased his
output but left his job substantially unchanged.
Second, they subdivided the manufacturing process, allowing unskilled or
semiskilled workers to feed them, remove the output, and carry on the few
repetitive motions which their tending required. * * *
Third, they replaced the unskilled worker with their own steel fingers, doing
the feeding, processing, packaging, themselves. The skilled man comes back
into the picture as inspector, repairer, adjuster of delicate controls. His job
Is interesting, nonrepetitive, requires intelligence.

It is the second and least satisfying of these stages that makes
up the bulk of the work of women in factories to-day. When women
go from the home to the factory they become peculiarly liable to




industrial exploitation. The industries in which they first tend to
be employed are likely to pay very little. Unaccustomed to price
scales outside the home, unfamiliar with the new life, unconnected
with organizations that could educate and benefit, the woman worker
has neither the knowledge nor the facilities to secure adequate pay
and safe work conditions. Low wages and poor conditions go hand
in hand. It is for this reason that, although much is being done in
some places to improve the work surroundings for women and to pro­
vide for them conditions making for health, they still too often are
subject to the earlier conditions described by Mr. Chase as follows:
* * * The initial effect of the machine age was to hurt the worker
physically and mentally. It killed him, maimed him, infected, poisoned, and
above all bored him as perhaps no other culture has ever done. This effect
still obtains in altogether too many areas, particularly in countries which are
just developing the factory system and in backward regions of highly mecha­
nized nations."

In summing up the rapid movement in this new age, Professor
Beard has this to say:
* * * Science and the machine have changed the face of the earth, the
ways of men and women on it, and our knowledge of nature and mankind.
They break down barriers before us and thrust us out into infinity. Not even
the Living Buddha escapes their impact, for ships, railways, motors, and air­
planes carry visitors to disturb the calm of his contemplation. * * * old
rules of politics and law, religion and sex, art and letters—the whole domain
of culture—must yield or break before the inexorable pressure of science and
the machine. Women, perhaps even more than men, find it difficult to steer by
ancient headlands. Accustomed by long necessity to functions that conserve
life, they suddenly discover that the modes of conservation are multiplied by
science and the machine into endless complexity. * * *
* * * [But] by understanding more clearly the processes of science and
the machine mankind may subject the scattered and perplexing things of this
world into a more ordered dominion of the spirit.1
" Chase, Stuart. Men and Machines. The Macmillan Co., New York, 1929, p. 166
Whither Mankind : A Panorama of Modern Civilization. Edited by Charles A Beard
and containing articles
?SnoContal?ioSAr.tlcles by 16 other modern thinkers. Longmans, Green & Co., New York.
1B28, pp. 403—404.
ltzh. tin 4i l.-i—404

W ORK—Continued
(d) Lives of the workers in the machine age.
With the growth of the present era of machinery and large-scale
production there came for many workers extreme specialization in
their tasks, the strain of speed in carrying out their operations, and
the monotony of continuous rapid performance of one process. As
one writer puts it:
* * * the impersonal beat of machinery has made demands, never before
approximated, upon the men and women who serve it. In the textile industry,
for example, the rate of production is determined by the speed of ma­
chines. * * * Human beings are subordinated * * * to the motion of

A brief paragraph from Stuart Chase in regard to some of the
activities in Henry Ford’s factory illustrates the extreme speciali­
zation that takes place in most modern industries:
The chassis-assembly line of Mr. Ford goes (or did for model T) at the rate
of 6 feet a minute. It contains 45 stations or operations. At station No. 1
mudguard brackets are fastened to the frame; at station 10 the motor is
installed. The man who puts on a bolt does not put on its nut; the man who
puts on the nut does not screw it home. At station 34 the motor receives its
gasoline. At 44 the radiator is filled with water; at 45 the finished car arrives
in John Street.

The effect of such work tends to take away the worker’s pride in
his individual job. As Mr. Borsodi has said in substance:
The factory makes it almost impossible for individual workmen to develop
their own personalities; condemns those capable of creative effort to repetitive
The modern worker is a creature of routine, which changes hardly at all
from day to day and from year to year, a cog in huge factory systems of pro­
duction and distribution.

Or to quote from another writer along similar lines:
* * * the machine is opposed to individuality. It is ruthless, routine,
patterned, and precise. It has no use for many of the qualities and attributes
of man, who created it. It has no way to employ that enthusiasm and effer­
vescent imagination which were the wellsprings of its invention.

Along the same lines Arthur Dakin, principal of the Baptist col­
lege in Bristol, England, said in a recent address:
* * * Tears ago a man’s work was probably next to the home the greatest
single factor in the development of personality. To-day it is not so. For one
thing, the nature of work has changed. It no longer brings the same satis­
factions. It leaves parts of personality entirely without exercise, and, more­
over, often the higher parts of personality. In many situations, for example,
only a minimum call is made upon a man’s judgment. The reasoning processes
are scarcely required at all Thousands are never called upon to make any
8 Chenery, William L.
1922, p. 153.

Industry and Human Welfare.

The Macmillan Co.. New York.




decision or to display any sort of initiative, with the result that work has
become less vitally connected with character, and consequently it is in the
leisure hours especially that the development of personality must be cared for.

Long hours of the sort of monotonous work required in many
women’s jobs in factories to-day leave the worker weary and lacking
in initiative.
* * * A recent study of the Psychological Institute of Paris concludes that
adding machines and other calculating devices constitute a distinct danger to
the nervous system if operated for more than two hours a day. A picked
number of intelligent girls were given monotonous cross-stitching work. They
learned quickly and their initial output was very large. After a while, how­
ever, it fell below the output of the girl of average intelligence. They had
been slowly bored to inactivity.
It. L. Cruden, analyzing labor conditions in Detroit, concludes that “ monotony
* * * stifles initiative and may operate as an industrial boomerang. Men
with alert minds report that after eight hours of it they can not settle down
to read or to think.” They must find some emotionally violent form of escape
in jazz, gin, the movies, tabloid murders, cross-country motoring.

Perhaps it was instinctive for the members of the premachine age
to resent the rapidly changing times, but their opposition could not
delay the march of the machine age. A celebrated American poet,
Stephen Vincent Benet, has thus described the fight against the
advent of the newer times put up by one group:
They shot the railway train when it first came,
And when the Fords first came, they shot the Fords.
It could not save them. They are dying now
Of being educated, which is the same.
One need not weep romantic tears for them,
But when the last moonshiner buys his radio,
And the last, lost, wild-rabbit of a girl
Is civilized with a mail-order dress,
Something will pass that was American
And all the movies will not bring it back.

To the frequently sordid pictures of what too often has happened
to the worker with the introduction of machinery, there is hope of
the relief that can be supplied by improving the conditions of work
and life, by understanding the needs of new situations, by the action
of informed public opinion, wise legislation, and more effective
management to prevent abuses. Mr. Chase sounds an optimistic
note as to the present age:
* * * The life of any modern individual is theoretically open to more variety,
but practically may be less varied, than that of an individual in other cultures.
The machine is probably the greatest destroyer of standards which the world
has ever seen. The temporary standards which have sprung up to fill the gap
are all too often ugly and unpleasant. But there is no certainty that they will
last. Indeed, the only certainty is constant change, so long as technology
maintains its present pace.
* * * [But] Ask the traveler if he would prefer to live out his years in
the Wales of the eighteenth century, or as a citizen of the modern British
Empire. Unless he is an incurable sentimentalist he will prefer the varied
life of the modern man to the limitations of the premachine man.


(a) The number of married women gainfully employed.
According to the 1930 census, there were in that year over 3,000,­
000 married women workers. This means that only slightly over 1
married woman in 10 is gainfully occupied, though well over 3 in
10 widowed and divorced women and 5 in every 10 single women
are so employed.
It must be pointed out that the 1920 census publications classed
widowed and divorced women and those with status unknown in the
group with single women, so that it was not possible to ascertain the
total number of women workers who had been married. For the
1930 census, two groups of matrons were reported: One includes
married women living with their husbands, the other comprises those
widowed and divorced. Single women formed another group, but in
this were thrown all those whose marital status was not reported.
It is significant to consider what occupations married women have
entered in the greatest numbers. More than one-third of them are in
domestic and personal service, practically one-fifth in manufacturing,
over one-tenth each in clerical work and in trade, and nearly onetenth in the professions and in agriculture, the remainder being
Since almost two-thirds of the gainfully occupied married women
were found in manufacturing and mechanical industries, domestic
and personal service, and agriculture—types of work in which
women have almost no opportunity for a career—it would appear
that the chief reason they have sought such employment lies in the
demands of economic necessity. Indeed, this point can not be too
frequently emphasized, since many studies show how customary it
has become for married women to be responsible for the total or
partial support of others. This is even more true in a time of wide­
spread unemployment, and in very many cases the married woman
has had to go to work because the man wage earner in the family
has lost his job and is not able to obtain employment.
Of all women gainfully occupied in the United States, the census
of 1930 shows us that only about 29 per cent were married, about 17
per cent widowed or divorced. A decided majority of all such em­
ployed women were single.
Many surveys testify further to the fact that the married woman
often bears a heavy share in the support of the family. For example,
an unemployment census made in Philadelphia in 1931 showed that
about 12,500 families had no earned income whatever except that
obtained by the employment of the married woman, whose husband
might be an invalid or among the jobless.1
1 The following publications of the Women’s Bureau, which will be of interest in
connection with this subject, will be furnished on request: Bui. 75, What the Wage­
Earning Woman Contributes to Family Support. 1929 ; and recent mimeographed mate­
rial on married women's employment. See also LaFollette, Cecile T. A Study of the
Problems of 652 Employed Married Women Homemakers. Teachers College, Columbia
University, 1934.



(b) The responsibility of married women for family support.
Readings from Women’s Bureau Bulletin 75, What the Wage-Earning
Woman Contributes to Family Support, by Agnes L. Peterson.
Read on pages 6-7—Inadequacy of Men’s Wages.
Read on pages 10-11—Contributions by Women.

The gainful employment of the married woman is a part of the
whole problem of economic change. Dr. Gwendolyn Hughes Berry,
author of Mothers in Industry, explains this, and gives instances
showing the necessity for women to help to support the family, as
With the growth of towns and the development of the factory system, how­
ever, production by women and children in the home has been greatly reduced.
The husband’s contribution to family support, meantime, has changed from
commodities ready for immediate consumption to money wages. Whether the
money income earned by the father is less or greater than his former contribu­
tion in kind is not known. The fact remains that while he did not support the
family alone during the period of household production, it is tacitly assumed
by those who question the employment of mothers that his money wage should
to-day support both him and his family.
* * * As her duties in the home are cut down, the mother’s economic
function is becoming specialized outside the home. » * *
Th« struggle to live on the husband’s wage alone, in most industrial families,
is a failure. A canvass of nearly 12,000 families in six industrial sections of
Philadelphia in 1918 showed that the majority, 55 per cent, relied on income
from other wage earners or from lodgers. Only 6 per cent of this entire group
was of the conventional statistical type, husband, wife, and three children
under 16 years of age, supported by the husband alone.
Families not supported by the father alone, as a rule, turn first to the wages
of children (18.6 per cent), next to the wages of the wife (17.7 per cent), and
third to income from lodgers (15.9 per cent). This canvass of almost 12,060
homes showed that in only 7.5 per cent of the total number was more than one
of these sources of supplementary income utilized.
“Why did you go back to work after you were married?” was one of the
questions put to a group of 728 working mothers in Philadelphia. “ My husband
wasn’t making enough,” answered the largest group (29 per cent) ; “ My hus­
band was, dead,” came next (22 per cent) ; followed by “ My husband was
sick ” (14 per cent) ; “ He left me ” (13 per cent) ; “ He wouldn’t support me ”
(11 per cent) ; and “ I’d rather work ” (11 per cent).
These answers show clearly the measure of success which has met the hus­
band’s attempts at supporting his family. The great majority of these wives,
under varying degrees of economic pressure, undertook the partial or entire
support of their families while the husband was living.’

Further testimony to the economic need of the married women is
shown in a small study recently published by the Women’s Bureau of
two groups of married women who applied for jobs in Denver.
In the first group were reported 345 women who had applied to
the Young Women’s Christian Association. Of those giving rea-2
2 AS?7la °£ the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

May, 1929, pp.




sons, 90 per cent were forced to work by economic necessity. Among
the causes of this wras the fact that the husband was dead, that he was
unemployed or in irregular work, that he was in prison, that he was
divorced, separated, or deserting, that his earnings were inadequate,
that sonie financial emergency had occurred in the family. The
other group comprised 103 women who had applied for jobs in a
large department store in the city. Of these, 86 reported economic
necessity as the reason for needing work.
An earlier study of 843 Chicago mothers published by the United
States Children’s Bureau showed that for nearly 70 per cent of them
the father’s support was withdrawn from the family, through death,
desertion, illness, or for some other reason, and for another 12 per
cent his earnings were irregular through seasonal employment or
some other cause. Over one-fifth of these families had four or more
In 132 families whose total year’s income was reported, the budget
for the year outran the entire family income in nearly half the cases.
In families not sending children to day nurseries, 45 per cent of the
children were cared for by neighbors or by some relative other than
the parents while the mother was at work, but for more than onefourth of them no provision for care was made, and almost onefourth of those looked after by other relatives were in the care of
older sisters, most of whom were under 18. The family situation
was unfortunate no less for mothers than for children. One-third
of the women reporting had all their own housework to do in addi­
tion to their gainful employment, while a similar number did it with
the help of the children, and mother after mother spoke of being
worn out or “ tired all the time.” Over one-third of the children
attending school had been absent 30 or more half days, and cases were
reported of delinquency arising from the necessary neglect.3
8 U. S. Department by Helen Children’s Bureau.
Wage-Darning Mothers,of Labor. Russell Wright. 1922.Publication No. 102, Children


(c) The double duties of married women workers.
There are some people who believe that women go into stores,
factories, and mills because they prefer that kind of labor to house­
work. If those theorists could take a peep into the homes of most
wage-earning women, they would discover these same women after
8 or 10 hours of industrial work toiling in the home, at the stove,
or over the dish pan, washtub, or sewing machine. Housework must
be done before and after factory work each day, even though women
get up at 4 in the morning and go to bed at midnight.
In a recent radio address, Miss Mary Anderson, Director of the
Women’s Bureau, said:
Because In the neighborhood there may be a family in which both a man and
his wife work, perhaps drawing very good salaries, this does not mean that
all the married women who are working have husbands drawing good salaries
or that they are only working to earn better clothes, a new ear, or a radio.
That this is not true, the findings of the Women’s Bureau have clearly shown.
The majority of the married women who are working are so employed because
their wages are actually necessary for the support of the home and family.
The figures collected by the bureau in scientifically conducted investigations
show that to support a family even at a level of mere decency requires more
than the income obtained by hundreds of thousands of wage-earning fathers
and husbands to-day.

The records of all the employed women in one industrial city as
taken in the census of 1920 were studied by the Women’s Bureau,
and it was found that about half of the women who were bread­
winners were married women. There were more than 4,000 married
women earning money in this one community. When examined
closely, the records of these 4,000 married women disclosed something
that seems very important. Nearly two-thirds of them were mothers
who had children less than 5 years old. It was found that about
half these mothers of young children earned money at home by tak­
ing in boarders or doing laundry or some other form of work that
did not oblige them to leave home, so that they could care for the
children and work at the same time. But the other half went out
to work and spent their days in mills making woolen and worsted
cloth and in factories making handkerchiefs and other articles.
Agents visited as many of these families as they could and found
among every five women one who was working at night and looking
out for her children during the daytime and one who just left the
children alone at home to look out for each other. Sometimes the
father worked at night and cared for the children in the daytime
while their mother was away, and sometimes the neighbors or the
landlady or relatives kept an eye on the children. Only 1 woman
in 20 had some one who was paid especially to care for her young
children while she was away at work.




Can you see all these mothers leaving home at 6.30 or 7 in the
morning after they have washed and dressed the children and pre­
pared their breakfasts and lunches? Can you see these mothers
working all day, and can you imagine their thoughts as they wonder
whether the children are all right and whether some one has seen
to all the many things little children need ? And at the end of the
day’s work in factory or mill, can you picture the home-coming of
these mothers and the tasks awaiting them ?
By making some provision from public funds, certain States have
attempted to enable widowed mothers who are under economic neces­
sity to remain in their homes and care for their children. Legisla­
tion making such provision has been enacted in 42 States according
to a recent study made by the Children’s Bureau, and the expendi­
ture of public moneys appropriated for payment to these mothers is
reported for 25 of these and the District of Columbia.4 This type
of measure, while in itself valuable and necessary, usually is applied
to a restricted group, and, in the nature of the case, the amount of
aid it furnishes is quite limited. Outside of its possibilities lie great
groups of married women driven by economic need to assume the
double role of wage earner and home maker.1
1 U. S. Department of Labor. Children's Bureau. Publication No. 162. Public Aid to
Mothers with Dependent Children. 1928. And manuscript revision of injures, December,

(d) Some effects of the employment of married women.6
There has been considerable speculation as to the effect of the gain­
ful employment of married women upon the women, upon industry,
and upon society in general. To such questions, as to others that
arise from social conditions that are in constant flux, there is no
complete or final answer.
The effect upon industry of the work of married women has not
been measured, and scarcely can be separated from that of single
women. Employers or foremen have been known to state a prefer­
ence for married women as the most regular workers. Some studies
show considerable irregularity of women as compared to men work­
ers in industry, their home cares often being assigned as a reason;
but such a cause can not be confined to married women—single
women also have many home responsibilities, frequently including
the support and care of dependents.
As to the effects upon society, Dr. David Snedden, professor of
educational sociology of Teachers’ College, Columbia University,
speaking rather of the professional or semiprofessional than of the
industrial woman, has said:
It is the present writer’s conviction that the economic and euthenic conse­
quences of the outworking of married women of superior qualities may * * *
be considerably more favorable than otherwise. * * * Substantial propor­
tions of them are * * * superior producers * * *.

A considerable and growing body of well-equipped professional
women are bearing out this conviction. The experience of most
persons to-day testifies to acquaintance with women who are giving
fine types of service to professions for which they are admirably
suited and by the pursuit of which they are able to add to the family
income amounts that spell for their children more expert care than
they themselves, perhaps poorly equipped for household tasks, could
possibly provide, and far better opportunities of education and
training than the salary of one member of the family alone could
Another writer (Dr. Lorine Pruette) speaks of the need for
married women to maintain earning capacity, since there always
is the likelihood of being thrown upon their own resources. She
Not only does part-time employment of the married woman offer the oppor­
tunity for the development of a new home life, it lessens or destroys the
appalling economic risk taken by every woman who to-day marries and
devotes herself to the traditional r61e of wife. There is no security in
domesticity. It is heartbreaking to see the middle-aged woman, trained for
nothing except the duties of the home, venture out into the industrial world.
Divorce, death, or loss of money may put her in this position, where she has
6 Quotations in this section taken from articles in The Annals of the American Academy
of Political and Social Science. May, 1929.




so little to offer organized industry and so much to suffer. The married
woman who lets herself go upon the easy tide of domesticity is offering herself
as a victim in a future tragedy.

The effect of the employment of married women upon the women
themselves is considered by a keen student of the situation. Ernest
li. Groves. Certain paragraphs of his that bear upon various
aspects of this many-sided problem may be quoted as follows:
* * * Not from body structure or biological function, but from a divi­
sion of labor in which masculine desire had the determining influence, woman
was delegated the home responsibilities and the details of parenthood.
Aside from the nursing of her child, there is no part of the task of house­
keeping or child nurture which man could not have carried on as efficiently
as woman if the path of tradition had led him to the domestic vocation.


* * * women * * * are handicapped because of artificial regulations
based upon the idea still persistent in much of the thinking of men that
the only proper place for the woman is in the home. Excellent teachers of
experience lose their positions if they marry, because of the regulations of
many school systems. In one institution of higher learning the woman teacher
who marries a member of the faculty automatically is removed from the
staff and no questions are asked as to whether by entering matrimony she
has taken over additional responsibilities of domestic character or has lost
through her marriage her desire or ability to teach.
In spite of the prejudice that still persists regarding the married woman’s
employment, built upon the tradition of masculine dominance, fortunately
rapidly passing, there are to be found an increasing number of the younger
group of husbands and wives who find a richer domestic experience possible
because both of them work outside the home. This thoroughly modern type
of man refuses to believe that there is any psychic distinction which marriage
originates that can make his wife happy in a household routine that he would
find for himself unendurable.








The complications that grow out of the employment of women in business,
industry, and the professions are, aside from possible effects upon the choice
of motherhood, socially constructed and will be eliminated by merely increas­
ing the number of women who work after marriage. Artificial handicaps and
obstructing traditions must give way as woman’s economic independence per­
sists and increases. Meanwhile, for the individual wife, the conditions of
our transitional period make her choice of wage employment a cause of diffi­
culties that register their effects upon her personality, her philosophy of life,
and her social attitudes and relationships.


(a) How unemployment affects women.
The hardships of unemployment fall heavily upon women in many
ways. No generalizations on the subject can be made that will cover
the cases of all women, since different groups are affected variously.
There are women who must share the effect on the family of their
husbands’ loss of jobs, women who must assume the burden of sup­
port when the male worker is laid off or permanently displaced, and
women who are themselves out of work and seeking a ]ob for the
support of themselves and sometimes of others also.
In a recent study of families known to settlement workers in 32
cities in all parts of the country, case after case is given of women
who had gone to work because the husband had lost his job. None
of these were in families in which unemployment was caused by
illness or incompetence, but in all cases the man had been an effec­
tive—often a skilled—worker, and he was willing and anxious to
take any kind of job he could get. The following were a few of
the instances included:
A Boston shoe worker whose wife went into a laundry. (Three children.)
A laborer in a New York wrecking company that failed. Wife went into a
restaurant. (Four children.)
A man employed by a Boston ice company. Lost his job with the increase
in electric refrigerators. Wife cleaned offices. (Seven children.)
A worker in a broom factory in Louisville was displaced when the company
failed because unable to buy improved machinery. Wife became a scrub
woman. (Three children.)
A Philadelphia loom fixer’s wife went into a shirt factory.
Wife of a Pittsburgh pipe cutter’s assistant was a high-school graduate and
took up canvassing when he lost his job because of the installation of new
machinery. (Three chiidx-en.)
A Philadelphia truck driver’s wife took up office cleaning. (Seven children.)
A Boston printer whose wife is employed in a restaurant.
(One child,
another baby coming.)

While a larger proportion of men than of women are likely to
be placed by employment agencies, there are times when relatively
more women than men can get jobs. In New York a number of
noncommercial employment agencies exchange record sheets daily
in order to make available to others the johs they can not fill them­
selves. In January, 1929, and again in June, 1930, the proportion
of the persons applying to these agencies that were placed was some­
what higher for women than for men; in the latter month relatively
few of either sex were placed.
But where women can get jobs and men can not, the reason for
this is that women usually are paid less, and if they must assume
the family support it means a definitely lowered living standard for1
1 The following bulletins of the Women's Bureau, which will be of interest in connec­
tion with this subject, will be furnished on request: No. 83, Fluctuation of Employment
In the Radio Industry. 1931; No. 92. Wage-earning Women and the Industrial Depres­
sion of 1930—A Survey of South Bend. 1932 ; and No. 113, Employment Fluctuations
and Unemployment of Women, 1928-31. 1933.
140306°—35------ 3




the family, already likely to be existing on too low a wage to permit
saving for the emergencies of illness or unemployment.
And large numbers of women are among the unemployed. In a
recent study the Women’s Bureau made of the tobacco industry
many women were found permanently out of work because machines
that required fewer operators than before had been installed and
factories had, in consequence, been closed in the smaller places.
Depressed periods mean the curtailing of public as well as private
funds, and school-teachers form a large group thrown out of work.
In New York City alone in the fall of 1930 there were 3,842 accred­
ited teachers on the waiting list.
When a self-supporting woman is out of a job, her situation is
miserable enough. But when a mother—either the wife of a dis­
placed man or herself the bread-winner—is out of work, her distress
over the condition of her children is even more acute than that of
the unemployed woman with no dependents. For, as Miss Grace
Abbott, formerly Chief of the Children’s Bureau, points out, what
children lack this year may permanently undermine their health
and the loss can not be repaired next year.

(b) The extent of unemployment.
As to the full extent of unemployment, only estimates can be
made, based upon such information as has been collected in various
places. Of course, the number of unemployed changes from week to
week and month to month and is never wholly stationary. It is
estimated that even in the most prosperous times there are a million
unemployed, and the recent tendency to displace workers by in­
stalling improved machinery may greatly increase the number that
always will be found out of work.
The American Federation of Labor reported that about one-fifth
of the trade-union members in the country were out of work in the
first half of 1930. And the Secretary of" Labor estimated that the
new industrial workers on the market every year amount to about
2,500,000, the largest groups of these being persons moving from
farms to cities and boys and girls coming to working age. In a
number of cities in which surveys of the situation were made prior
to the 1930 census about one-tenth of the working population studied
were unemployed.
The census of 1930, taken as of April 1, made an attempt to count
the number of persons unemployed at that time. Of the women who
ordinarily were wage earners, 4.7 per cent were unemployed.2 This
did not take into account those who were ill or unable to work, and
these form an additional large group of unemployed, many of whom
are especially destitute. Furthermore, in 29 of the 38 States that
had cities of 50,000 or more, the proportions unemployed in these
urban groups were higher than in the State as a whole. A later
count of 19 cities of 100,000 population or over, by the census, re­
ported 18.9 per cent of all women wage earners in these cities out of
work or on lay-off.
The largest proportions of women unemployed in the State as a
whole—6 per cent or more—were in Rhode Island, Massachusetts,
I* lorida, Oregon, Michigan, and New Hampshire. In the cities the
proportion of women unemployed ran above 10 per cent in New
Hampshire and 6 per cent or more in 10 additional States. The small­
est proportions of women unemployed in any State—about 1 6 per
cent—were in Mississippi and South Dakota. The proportions of
men and of women unemployed differed by less than 1 per cent in
15 of the 48 States and by only 1 to 2 per cent in 14 others.
Reports for all the States show how long persons reported had been
unemployed when the census blanks were filled out. In 15 States at
least one-tenth of the women out of work or on lay-off had been
unemployed for about 6 months or longer; the largest proportions
= Including the two census classifications A and B : persons out of a lob able to work
“efted'in IV

Ur0™ °n

lay‘°ff without pay’

See also Women'sBureauBuL




out so long were in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota, the
smallest in Tennessee and South Carolina. In 23 States 2 per cent or
more of these women had been without a job for more than a year.
More recently, studies of unemployment have been made in the
two important industrial States of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
In Massachusetts a census taken in January 1931 shows that of the
women who formerly were gainfully occupied 16.2 per cent were
unemployed. In Boston 18 per cent of such women were reported
out of work in 1931, and 20.1 per cent by the State census in 1934.
A census taken in Pennsylvania in April 1934 shows that over 22
per cent of the women who had been gainfully occupied were un­
employed at that time. The 1931 census indicated 24.2 per cent of
such Philadelphia women out of work, and the State census showed
29.2 per cent of them unemployed in 1934. As ordinarily proves to
be the case wherever data are available, the Pennsylvania counties
containing the large industrial cities show higher unemployment
of women than does the State as a whole.

(c) Some causes of unemployment.
Why do workers suffer from unemployment? What factors make
for these conditions? One cause lies in the seasonal character of
certain industries. Examples of this are in candy, where peak
production is required to produce Christmas candy and another
smaller peak comes just before Easter, with depressions and loss
of jobs for many workers at other periods of the year. The clothing
industries, likewise, are subject to seasonal variations, and it is
obvious that fruit and vegetable canneries have to operate with full
force at certain seasons and offer no work at others.
In a number of industries that suffer from seasonal fluctuations,
large groups of women are employed. In consequence, while we
have seen that women can sometimes get jobs at low pay when men
can not, this condition for women as an industrial class may be
offset by the concentration of much of their labor in seasonal indus­
tries that mean frequent unemployment, or slack work with conse­
quent low pay. It is reported by the International Ladies’ Garment
Workers Union that many of their members can find work for only
about six months in the year, and William H. Green, president of
the American Federation of Labor, has estimated that in the cloth­
ing industry as a whole workers are employed not over 40 weeks
in the 52.
Besides the seasonal trades, other industries suffer from recurrent
cycles of depression and unemployment. When times are good,
buying power is widespread, a hopeful attitude is abroad, manufac­
turers expand sometimes too much, money values are inflated. Then,
often for a variety of reasons, the market for goods begins to fall
off; factories find themselves overstocked and begin to cut produc­
tion and to lay off workers; workers then have less money to buy
and those still having jobs spend less freely; some save their money
for fear they may be next to be laid off, others that were in seasonal
industries before find their slack seasons lengthened; the market
contracts still more; heavy depression and unemployment are
upon us.
A third general reason for unemployment is called by certain
lengthy names, such as “ technological unemployment,” or that due
to “ rationalization.” This occurs when improved machinery is
developed to take the place of workers more rapidly than these can
be adjusted to other types of jobs, or when large concerns merge
and the resultant curtailed forces can produce under new organiza­
tion as much or more than the larger groups of workers that were
formerly employed.
A few concrete instances of the way in which the too rapid intro­
duction of machines throws people out of work are of interest: In
the manufacture of sewing-machine needles, 1 girl can now inspect as




many as 9 could before; as bean snippers in canning factories ma­
chines have made it possible for 12 women to do the work formerly
done by 200; in textile mills, a machine put in use in 1919 made it
possible for 1 woman to do the work formerly done by 17 drawers-in
of the warp; a machine for packaging bread can now do the work
of a number of women; the electric typewriter is replacing typists;
and the introduction of the dial-telephone system is likely to
close many jobs for girls. Such changes are bound to produce
serious effects upon great numbers of workers, unless constructive
planning prevents these inevitable hardships. President Green, of
the American Federation of Labor, has stated that a new machine
installed in the glass industry threw out of work 20 to 40 glass
blowers for every machine installed, and thirty-one times as many
electric-light bulbs can be made by automatic machinery as by the
former hand processes. Nor is the problem confined to industrial
workers. The merging of business firms or the taking over of small
by large concerns—a process that is now going on at a rapid rate—
sometimes throws out business executives.
Sometimes the malady of unemployment affects highly trained
artists, and the loss of jobs by many skilled musicians in some of our
cities because of the introduction of instruments producing music
artificially has been a tragedy that has made a profound impression
on the public mind.

(d) Methods of minimizing unemployment.
There is a theory sometimes current that a sporadic increase in
buying may assist in inspiring the public confidence to a belief that
recovery is beginning. However, no permanent effect is produced
in this manner, and it may even stimulate a seasonal growth that
may prove disastrous when succeeded by a slump. Furthermore, the
women who are out of jobs or whose husbands have had lay-offs
lasting for many months have no money for such buying. Very
large groups of people can buy only when they have jobs, can con­
tribute to the steadiness of the market only when a condition of
stability has been restored.
For this reason it is obvious that some more permanent methods
of general economic planning must be undertaken. Four very im­
portant points in a constructive program for minimizing unemploy­
ment may be mentioned here: Further attempts at regularization
within the industries, the establishment of sound public employment
agencies, some type of insurance against such unemployment as can
not be prevented or the establishment of a reserve fund to maintain
wages in times of depression, and a permanent shortening of hours
of work—with sustained wages—as improvements in machinery
make less labor necessary to produce commodities and services.
Many individual firms have undertaken methods of regularization,
such as manufacturing for stock or making repairs when orders are
slack; combining services that would reach peak demand in different
seasons, as, for example, the well-known combination of supplying
coal and ice; guaranteeing a certain number of weeks’ pay in the
year; shortening hours of work in slack seasons while maintaining
regular pay—in this connection a system of payment by the year
instead of by the hour or week would be a distinct improvement.
Manufacturers are finding that it pays them to undertake methods
of securing stable conditions, since a large proportion of those who
should be able to buy are wage earners and it is only when people
have work that they can afford to buy, and it is of vital importance
to the development of industry that the buying power of the people
be maintained. The particular methods of attaining this end vary
with industry, locality, and other conditions.
There is great need for help to the worker in finding a job and a
growing sentiment for the carrying on of this work by well-regu­
lated public agencies. Secretary of Labor-Frances Perkins, when
industrial commissioner of New York State, found abuses arising
from private employment agencies that sought to make capital out
of a period of wide-spread unemployment. In some cases agents
collected fees and sent men out to jobs that did not exist; in others,
jobs were given and then the worker caused to lose the job in order




that the agency might collect another fee. Of course, there are pri­
vate agencies that pursue honest policies, but a system maintained at
public expense is necessary for the relief of the unemployed of the
burden of paying a fee in order to secure employment. In certain
large industrial States, such as Ohio, California, Massachusetts, New
York, or Michigan, public agencies are operating with considerable
success and with benefit to many workers.
Finally, relief must be provided for periods of unemployment that
can not be prevented. When insurance can be issued against fire,
unfavorable weather, industrial and traffic accidents, and all man­
ner of other possibilities of calamity, even including death, certainly
the risk of unemployment could be insured beneficially. In certain
American industries and in certain firms with far-sighted manage­
ment this already is being done with success. This system should
be extended.


(a) Service facilities and sanitary conditions in the work place.
The physical condition of the shop or factory in which the woman
worker spends a third or more of the 24 hours of each working day
has definite effects that make for good or for ill health for the worker
and often contribute to the state of health of her family as well.
The health and energies of an individual are bound up with the
welfare and prosperity of the community. The crippling and inca­
pacitating of human beings by industry means the undermining of
the national life. This is particularly true where women workers are
concerned. Sanitary and comfortable work conditions go far toward
maintaining the good health and unimpaired morale of the workers,
which are national assets that should be fostered.
Standards that are recommended for women’s work places by the
Women’s Bureau include provision for pure drinking water, with
individual cups or sanitary fountains; accessible washing facilities,
with hot and cold water, soap, and individual towels; standard and
convenient toilet facilities, with at least one installation for every
15 women; cloakrooms, rest rooms, and lunch rooms.
To the minds of persons accustomed to consider certain con­
veniences necessary to health and well-being, many of these points
need little elaboration. The subject of pure drinking water has been
so well studied in connection with the needs of school children that
there is a common sentiment—in all but three States crystallized
into law to some extent—against the use of the common cup and in
favor of the sanitary drinking fountain or the individual cup.
That care must be taken to have fountains sanitary was shown
in a well-known university several years ago when an epidemic of
streptococcus was traced directly to faulty drinking fountains, which
had the vertical flow on which germs are not washed away but have
been found to remain as long as 25 to 48 hours. To avoid contamina­
tion, in the fountain provided, the flow of water should be at an
angle, so that it can not fall back onto the orifice, and it should
be equipped with an adequate guard to prevent face or hands coming
in contact with the orifice. Certain other specifications that have
been found most satisfactory for the construction of fountains are
set forth more fully in a special bulletin of the Women’s Bureau.
i The following bulletins of the Women’s Bureau, which will be of Interest In connec­
tion with this subject, will be furnished on request: No. 6, The Employment of Women In
Hazardous Industries In the United States. 1921; No. 67, Women Workers and Industrial
Poisons. 1926 ; No. 60, Industrial Accidents to Women In New Jersey, Ohio, and Wiscon­
sin. 1927 ; No. 71, Selected References on the Health of Women in Industry. 1926;
No" 81 Industrial Accidents to'Men and Women. 1930; No. 87, Sanitary Drinking
Facilities. 1931; No. 114, State Reporting of Occupational Disease. 1934. In addi­
tion the Women’s Bureau will send on request two pictorial wall charts, entitled “ The
Woman Who Earns; Keeping Her Workplace Safe; Keeping Her Workplace Comfortable.”




Where individual cups are used, care should be taken that the supply
is not allowed to become exhausted and that it is kept clean.
As regards washing facilities, where these are added not only is
the employee protected but the consumer of the goods as well.
Clean hands make clean work
(That’s a truth we can not shirk).
Soap and hot water and each her own towel
And neither the foreman nor customers growl.

In all industries workers should have facilities for washing before
eating lunch and before leaving the plant, and in some occupations,
especially, frequent washing of the hands is a necessity; in the han­
dling of food, or when work involves contacting poisonous sub­
stances, it should be compulsory.
Toilet requirements should be fully defined by law, and should
cover separation of facilities for men and women, privacy, the pro­
vision of at least 1 seat to every 15 workers, cleanliness, good light­
ing, and suitable fixtures. The Women’s Bureau has in preparation
a bulletin setting forth details as to the type of sanitary requirements
needed, and showing what provisions are made by law in the various
Among its reports, the Women’s Bureau has issued 34 that deal
with some phase of working conditions. These cover approximately
4,700 plants and more than 325,000 women; 20 of them are state­
wide industrial surveys, made in each case at the request of the State
concerned. Conditions of work places as revealed by these reports
present contrasts; in every State there were plants in which
work conditions were excellent, and in many instances employers
had gone farther than the requirements of the State law or the
standards recommended by the Women’s Bureau, but in many of
the establishments the surroundings were such that they constituted
a menace to the workers.

(b) Special health needs in the work place.
The improvement of the health of the workers is a national prob­
lem, and also a very personal one, and therefore a matter of interest
to every worker and employer. Aside from humanitarian reasons,
the employer is vitally interested from the standpoint of the efficiency
of his employees. Engineers and other scientific experts are con­
tinually at work devising better methods of regulating the lighting,
heating, and ventilation of workrooms, minimizing noise and vibra­
tions, and controlling similar matters affecting health.
One of the health problems to which attention was given early
was that of comfortable and hygienic seating and correct posture at
work. In regard to this point the Women’s Bureau has recom­
mended the following:
Continuous standing and continuous sitting are both injurious. A chair
should be provided for every woman and its use encouraged. It is possible
and desirable to adjust the height of the chairs in relation to the height of
machines or worktables, so that the workers may with equal convenience and
efficiency stand or sit at their work. The seats should have backs. If the
chairs are high, foot rests should be provided.

The necessity for providing workers with chairs that will support
the body so that the best working position can be maintained with
the expenditure of a minimum of energy is becoming more gen­
erally recognized, with the increasing realization of the harmful
effects of fatigue.
All States but Mississippi and New Mexico make some legal pro­
vision for seats in work places, and many provide in addition that
workers shall be allowed to use them. However, these laws ordi­
narily make no specification as to type of seat, and in many cases
they do not apply to all kinds of establishments.
It is generally understood that a good work chair must provide
support for the back, a seat shaped to the body, and foot support
(either the floor or a foot rest), and that the height and back must
be adjustable. The measurements vary according to the individual
and the type of operation to be performed.
On three other points affecting the worker’s health, the Women’s
Bureau makes the following recommendations:
Lighting should be without glare and so arranged that direct rays do not
shine into workers’ eyes. Ventilation should be adequate and heat sufficient
but not excessive.

It is common knowledge in this day that bad air, rooms that are
too cold, too hot, too humid, not well ventilated are injurious to
health. They reduce not alone the worker’s vitality but her effi­
ciency as well. It is obvious that sufficient circulation of air and
the elimination, as far as possible, of injurious fumes, lint, dust, or




excessive humidity are important to health. Certain occupations
involve special problems not easy of solution. For example, careful
attention has to be paid to eliminating dust in tobacco factories and
lint in certain departments of textile mills, to minimizing the exces­
sive heat and humidity in laundries, and to carrying off poisonous
fumes from certain substances and to protect workers from flying
particles in buffing and polishing. In many cases methods of dis­
posing of these problems have been worked out effectively, and many
firms have recognized the need of employing technical engineers for
installing devices for this purpose; however, in some establishments
the plant is not equipped with modern devices for handling matters
of such importance to the worker’s health.
In certain occupations where close work is required, defective light­
ing is likely to damage eyesight and impair health, to cause accidents,
and to limit and spoil production. Studies have shown correct
lighting to lessen nervous irritability and increase output and quality
ol product. From careful experiments in one factory it was found
that in several operations production showed a rise of from 8 to 27
per cent with improved lighting. Illumination, whether natural or
artificial, should be of the proper intensity for the job to be done;
facilities should be well arranged and well guarded to protect from
It has long been known that excessive noise produces unfavorable
effects on the nervous system. One writer states that noise is often
a sign of “ wasted energy, of poor design, or of hurried ignorance.”
Although noise may be responsible for an accident or illness, it is
often hard to prove the direct effects. However, recent studies have
shown that definite increases in the output of typists resulted when
noise was reduced. Where heavy machinery is used, some of the
various methods of absorbing sound and vibration should be
employed. Unfortunately, progress in the science of preventing
noise has not progressed so rapidly as have the improvements in
ventilation and lighting.

(c) Industrial hazards: Injuries.
As new industrial processes develop and new machinery is placed
in operation, it becomes necessary to be ever on the alert to make
sure that proper safeguards are taken against the risk of injury that
could be prevented.
The American Engineering Council has found that the number
of machine injuries per worker has increased since 1920, but believes
this to be a temporary feature due to lack of sufficiently rapid adjust­
ment to the changes that are coming so fast in the industrial world.
Although accidents are relatively fewer to women than to men, the
number of women injured is very large. In New York, for example,
over 7,000 women in one year were compensated for accidents.2
Frequently it is very difficult to get complete reports of the num­
ber of accidents that have occurred to women, and it is almost
impossible to make adequate comparisons of the various States in
this respect. The Women’s Bureau recently made a study of reports
in the States from 1920 to 1927, and found that only 21 States at
any time in these years published accident data separately for men
and women. Only 11 reported age of the injured, and only 3 of
these—Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York—used throughout the
period the standard form recommended for reporting age and sex,
by means of which various States may be compared.
The suffering and loss from injury were so evident that early in
this century a movement for some form of compensation to the
worker began to be crystallized into law. Such action was fur­
thered by far-seeing employers as well as by the American Asso­
ciation for Labor Legislation. At present 44 "States have some form
of workmen’s compensation legislation, and the Federal Government
has given similar protection to its life-saving and postal services,
longshoremen and harbor workers, and civil employees.
Money compensation is an excellent thing, but this alone is not
enough. Many of the injuries that occur could be prevented. One
large corporation is said to have reduced accidents 86 per cent in
13 years; one large railroad company is reported to have a record
five times as favorable in this respect as the average for other large
For women in five of six States that gave reports by industry,
over half the injuries were in manufacturing, and chief among these
to cause injuries were the food, clothing, textile, and machinery and
vehicle industries.
In three important industrial States—New Jersey, Ohio, and Wis­
consin—the Women’s Bureau made a detailed study of the reports
“July 1, 1926, to June 30, 1927.

See Women's Bureau Bulletin 81, p. 17.




of more than 3,000 accidents that had occurred in one year. Of
these, over two-thirds had affected the upper extremities. Among
the machines that frequently injure women’s fingers, hands, and
arms are punch presses in metal factories and machine shops, power
sewing and knitting machines, and cutting machines of any type.
For example, girls and women were found to have been injured
taking lumber from a saw, cutting leather in a heel factory, shaving
soap in a soap and perfume factory, operating a flat-work ironer
or an automatic cigar machine, packing food in bottles, carrying or
lifting heavy weights, and in many other ways. It is possible to
guard most of these machines so that fingers or other members can
not be so maimed, and proprietors frequently realize that it is greatly
to the interest of industry and society that such accidents shall not
Nor is the guarding of machinery all that is necessary.
Well guarded now our big machines
But other dangers lurk;
Cluttered, oily floors and aisles
Add peril to our work.

Many injuries occur from falls on slippery floors, in cluttered
aisles, on ill-lighted stairways, or in passageways. In five States
in each of which accidents to women for a year’s period were studied,
over one-fifth of these were due to falls. And falls, it is found,
result in longer periods of disability than do other types of accident.
First-aid facilities, in charge of a competent person, should be
provided in every place of employment.

(d) Industrial hazards: Disease.
Certain occupations present greater hazards of disease than do
others, and in addition the excessive speed that attends some indus­
trial processes is likely to produce permanent nerve strain, often
accompanied by abnormal muscular reactions.
Dust is an ominous destroyer, and persons employed in the dusty
occupations are likely to be affected with pulmonary or bronchial
troubles. Flour, starch, soapstone, talc, wood dust, bran, clay, ore,
and stone dust are very prevalent in industry. Tuberculosis figures
collected by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in 1928 show
death rates' far above the average for pottery workers, stonecutters,
and grinders.
In general it may be said that three chief methods ought to be
developed to combat the deleterious physical effects of dust and
poisonous substances used in industry: (1) Every effort should be
made to reduce the amount of dust, to carry it off, or otherwise to
protect the worker; (2) where less dangerous substances can be used,
processes should be changed to enable their use; (3) occupational
disease should be made reportable and included in workmen’s com­
pensation laws; compensation is allowed for such diseases generally
or for designated diseases of this class in 12 States.3
It will be noted that the foregoing methods of minimizing occuational disease apply to men as well as to women, and such should
e the case. The prohibition of women’s work in occupations ex­
posing them to these dangers will not solve the whole industrial
problem if men still are affected. The finding of substitutes for
poisonous substances and the inclusion of diseases arising from occu­
pation in the compensable lists constitute more fundamental remedies.
As regards the possibility that women may be more susceptible to
certain poisons than are men, in most cases sufficient data have not
been gathered in this country to give proof of this fact. However,
there are two substances that apparently affect women more seriously
than they do men—lead and benzol. The pottery trade carries with
it the greatest danger of lead poisoning for women, and American
potteries have made less headway in protecting workers from mala­
dies due to this cause than have those in certain European countries.
While men also are susceptible to lead poisoning, the effects are
especially injurious to women, rendering them more likely to have
abortions or stillborn children and reducing the vitality of children
born alive. Despite this fact, only two States have laws prohibiting•


• California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New
Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.




or regulating women’s employment in industries where they are in
danger oi such poisoning.4 Benzol poisoning causes anaemia and
rer',;|ers a healthy pregnancy almost impossible.
he poisonous trades in the United States employ a very much
larger proportion of men than women, and the occupations of the
latter usually expose them in a less degree than men; but it is also
true that the number of women subject to the danger of industrial
poisoning is much greater than it was before the war. In many
cases the serious effects of the use of a new substance do not appear
for a period of years, and the tracing of illness to the true cause
sometimes is difficult. Every effort should be made to protect work­
ers from poisonous substances; so far as possible, the use of other
substances should be substituted for those found dangerous- in all
cases occupational disease should be. made reportable and compensa­
ble; and much further study should be made of the effects of various
suspected poisons and of the extent to which these effects apply
especially to women.
11 J
4 New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

(a) Daily hours of work.
Recently a new musical production entitled “ The Dance of the
Age of Steel ” was heard in Philadelphia. Sixty dancers took part
in the presentation, and the press made this statement:
* * * This ingenious ballet presents a cynical survey of the grinding
wheels of the machine age, ironing out individuality of effort, crowding and
pounding human beings down with steam-roller impersonality, and pointing
the hopeless and irreconcilable contrast between warring elements in modern
life. All types—the bourgeoisie, flappers, Boy Scouts, soldiers—even such im­
personal elements as coal, steel, and electricity, playing their parts in the
ceaseless treadmill of modern existence.1

This opera illustrates vividly how different are the conditions of
modern industry from those obtaining at the time when most articles
were made in the home. The invention and development of powerdriven machinery, the subdivision of processes, mass production,
rapid transportation contributing to mass distribution—these and
other factors have helped to mold our present complex economic life.
Such conditions tend to have a very marked effect on the human
beings involved in making the goods now in demand. The factory
method of manufacture described in earlier papers of this series pro­
duces types of strain unknown or infrequent in the time of home
production. Some of these are due to speed, complexity of machin­
ery, noise, subdivision of processes, and monotony of job. These
things mean that the individual is overtaken by fatigue very rapidly.
They make it imperative that every effort should be made to maintain
reasonably short hours in factory and other occupations.
In the needle trades, for example, in some cases a girl tends a
sewing machine carrying 12 needles making 4,000 stitches a minute,
or 2,400,000 in 10 hours—since many work that long—often working
in a bright light and with unshaded eyes, and amidst a noise that
can only be described as a deafening roar.
The telephone service also may be cited as an example of work
requiring great speed. The average hours are 8^, but with over­
time, Sunday work, “ working through,” loss of relief, or “ excess
loading,” as practiced in some exchanges, these are often exceeded.
When you consider problems of monotony, speed, and noise in in­
dustry it is well to picture yourself at such work. For instance you
would probably find it most fatiguing to answer 500 telephone calls
day in and day out. Yet thousands of telephone operators have
answered many times that many calls a day—depending upon the
1 The following bulletins of the Women’s Bureau, which will be of interest in connec­
tion with this subject, will be fusnished on request: No. 18, Health Problems of Women
in Industry. Revised, 1931 ; No. 43, Standard and Scheduled Hours of Work for Women
in Industry. 1925 ; and No. 64, The Employment of Women at Night. 1928.
2 Le Pas d’Acier, by Serge Prokofleff. Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski, and
dance led by Edwin Strawbridge. Washington Star, Apr. 12, 1931.





location and type of equipment. While many of you would find the
mere plugging in a trying operation, telephone operators have had
to receive each of your calls and plug in your connection, follow its
completion and sometimes cheek up to disconnect you; far too fre­
quently they have been held responsible in addition for poor connec­
tions over which they have had no control—long hours of work
have therefore been particularly arduous. The automatic equip­
ment will relieve telephone operators from much that was provoking
and place much of the responsibility for satisfactory telephone calls
upon the person calling.
Scientific study has indicated that what would be classed as light
work may become, where continuously repeated, more damaging
physiologically than heavier work that affords more opportunity for
Extreme subdivision of industrial processes, with the resulting
monotony for the worker, is one of the greatest factors calling for
the reduction of the long day. This is a matter to be considered
particularly in connection with women, because women are em­
ployed very largely in the industries where the subdivision is the
greatest, such as the garment, the boot and shoe, the electrical-supply,
and the textile industries. For example, many women are engaged
in the stitching of long straight seams all day, the tacking of pock­
ets, the pasting of lining stays in shoes, or the running of SO or
more looms in a textile mill. These operations mean the same kind
of work from morning to night, from one week to the next. Spin­
ning, weaving, or knitting means continuous walking between ma­
chines, watching, watching, for stoppage of machines and tying up
broken threads. Because of the great monotony attending the work
through subdivision, the continuous work must not be too long if
health is to be maintained.
There is considerable scientific evidence to show that excessive
fatigue, besides having deleterious physical effects, slows up the
worker. Dr. H. M. Vernon, of the Industrial Fatigue Research
Board in Great Britain, concludes from his studies that when
hours of work are very long a reduction of hours may lead to a
distinct increase of total output. Others have reached the same
conclusion. Moreover, fatigue increases the danger of accident,
lowers the resistance of the worker to infections and other diseases,
and tends to induce various forms of nervous disorder.
The Women’s Bureau recommends that no woman be employed
more than 8 hours a day, and that at least 30 minutes should be
allowed for lunch. How conservative a minimum this is, is shown
by the fact that the late Charles P. Steinmetz, the “ electrical
wizard,” stated that with the possible increase in the use of elec­
tricity the time will come when no one need work more than
200 4-hour days in the year. In the garment trades, for example,
as much clothing as can be sold to advantage, even in good times,
can be made in about 40 weeks in the year, and special arrangements
have been made between employers and employees in certain of
these trades to give workers relatively steady employment for a
certain number of weeks at a wage reasonably suited to maintain
them for the full year. In most industries, even with expanding
markets, much better planning for the use of workers’ time on the



job could be instituted, better work secured, and much more leisure
and a higher living standard assured than now obtains. Thus
far, only 12 States and the District of Columbia legally restrict any
type of employment to 8 hours,3 and in 6 States there is no restriction
whatever in regard to the length of the workday in any industry.4
And experience has shown that while many firms voluntarily make
their own limitations of hours there are always some firms that
will require work for too long a period unless this is prohibited
by law for the sake of the workers’ health.
The Women’s Bureau also recommends that a rest period of 10
minutes be allowed in the middle of each work period without in­
crease in the daily hours. Common sense would indicate the need
for such rests, but in addition a considerable body of evidence exists
from various scientific tests that have been made.
For example, an experiment conducted in the lifting of weights
shows that a worker on “ light-heavy muscular work ” in an 8-hour
day can not give maximum output unless he rests at least one-sixth
of the time. A group of girls folding handkerchiefs produced their
best output when resting 21 per cent of the total working time.
These findings are confirmed by other studies.
Further, it has been found that when one’s middle finger lifts
a weight over and over until completely exhausted a rest of two hours
is necessary for complete recovery; while if the finger is worked only
half as long as this, recuperation requires only a quarter as much
time as in the first case. All such investigations indicate the wisdom
of providing reasonably short hours of work and suitable rest
8 Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York,
Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
‘Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and West Virginia.


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(b) Hours of work in the week.
An important pioneer work, Fatigue and Efficiency, by Josephine
Goldmark, has indicated quite clearly, as have many, succeeding
studies, that the individual handicapped by the physical poisons
produced by fatigue can not work so rapidly or so effectively as can
the person who has sufficient time for rest and recreation.
Seasonably short hours of work in the week are even more impor­
tant than short daily hours, for while a worker might withstand
occasional long days,‘the long week produces cumulative fatigue that
can not be overcome.
. . ,
. .. , , ,,
That a shorter work week does not dimmish production but rather
increases it, because the worker who is not overfatigued is able to do
a more effective job, has been indicated in a number of investiga­
tions One of these was made by the Illinois Industrial survey
Commission in 1918 and had to do with a group of girls wrapping
and packing soap. It was found that production m a 48-hour week
was considerably above that in a 55-hour week.
The minimum weekly standard recommended by the Womens
Bureau is that there should be one day of rest in seven and that, m
addition, the Saturday half holiday should be the custom. With an
8-hour day this recommended standard would make a 44-hour week.
This minimum standard is a very conservative one in these days
when in a considerable number of industrial firms as well as m other
occupations the 5-day week has been instituted.
A tragic commentary on the lack of effective economic planning
instituted thus far in America lies in the fact that, while long bread
lines of unemployed are to be seen in most of our cities, large num­
bers of our workers in industrial and other occupations still bear
the strain of excessive hours of labor.
Many industrial leaders are seeing the fallacy of this situation,
and it is not infrequent to note in the daily press instances of firms
or of large sections of an industry adopting the 5-day week and
statements of managers to the effect that such a step increased pro­
duction. Of course, the salutary effect of this would be entirely
nullified if it should mean in any case a reduction of the weeks
^AfTthe 1930 convention of the American Federation of Labor it
was conservatively estimated that over 500,000 union members have
a regular weekly schedule of five days. It is well known that the
5-day week has been the accepted practice for a large proportion
of those in the occupation of teaching, frequently for office employ­
ees, and sometimes in stores, especially in the summer months
With an 8-hour standard and a Saturday half holiday, 44 hours
a week would be worked. A 5-day week and an 8-hour day would




produce 40 hours; while much shorter hours still undoubtedly could
make for happier and more efficient living if industrial managers
planned effectively and if leisure were wisely used.
Yet only in 10 States does the law place even a 48-hour restriction
on the week for gainful employment in any manufacturing occupa­
tion, while 5 States make no legal restriction of daily or weekly
hours, and in 2 others 70 hours a week would be possible, except for
the fact that Virginia allows no work on Sunday. In 33 States the
laws affecting the largest numbers of workers provide for a week
of oyer 48 hours, 16 of these permitting over 54 hours, and 7 per­
mitting 60 hours or more.
The findings as to increase in production with the shorter day
might be taken to indicate that better planning could inject greater
efficiency—as well as happiness—into the life of the home manager.
A few years ago the United States Department of Agriculture induced
more than 2,000 housewives to keep careful daily records of a typical
week of seven days. The average hours worked were 51 in the week,
while for 950 farm women they were 62. Although city families
usually were smaller and had more help, women in towns of 50,000
and larger worked a little over 48 hours in the week, those in the
smaller towns 51. Marny more household appliances are available
to-day, but many families can not afford them and in others the labor
savers have tended to reduce the work of the household more defi­
nitely to a 1-worker job. There is an important difference in the
work of the homemaker and the woman in industry: Housewives
usually can distribute their own time; not so with the woman who
works in a factory all day and has to do her housework after factory

(c) The night shift.
There is a pretty little verse by Edna St. Vincent Millay that has
been very popular since its appearance. It runs as follows:


My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night.
But, oh, my foes, and ah, my friends,
It gives a lovely light.

This may be all very well for a few individuals, but it would be a
bad practice for most people, and certainly for women who tend
rapid and noisy machines.
Most employed women have responsibilities outside their hours at
the place of business; almost always they must complete more time­
consuming odd jobs than men must—they must launder some or all
of their clothing, darn their stockings, and keep themselves pre­
sentable. But more than that, often they must cook and clean for a
smaller or larger family and very often—whether married or single—
they must bear some share, not infrequently the whole responsibility,
in the care of children.
The health of the worker is all the more seriously impaired if
the employment happens to be on a night shift. Then, indeed, must
the candle be burned at both ends, whether the individual would
wish it or not.
There is a considerable body of medical testimony to the dele­
terious physical effects of night work. “ Outside of great emergency
or absolute industrial necessity, all night work should be abolished,
and more so for women than for men,” says one eminent medical
authority; and another states: “ It is unnatural for most forms of
life to work at night and attempt to sleep in the day.” These opin­
ions are echoed and reechoed by physicians, by life insurance actu­
aries, and by many other scientihc investigators. Night work sins
against nature in the loss of sleep it involves, and this loss of sleep,
with its accumulating fatigue poisons, is far more deadly to the
body than is starvation. For the night worker, the end is fre­
quently ruined health, and in most cases this comes far more quickly
with the woman than with the man, not only because of her different
physical make-up, but because her work does not end when she leaves
the factory, including, as it nearly always does? the manifold house­
hold cares that await her return home. Additional physical evils
are to be found in deprivation of sunlight, most valuable of natural
tonics; in frequent injury to sight; and in a higher number of
accidents, due to the necessity of working under artificial light.
Investigations made by the Women’s Bureau have shown that
the strain and hardship of night work was intensified by the fact
that hours often were very long and that in many cases provisions




were lacking for certain of the facilities important for the health
and comfort of the workers, such as proper rest pauses, lunch
periods, seats, etc. In addition, while wage rates generally were
slightly higher than those for day workers, the amounts actually
earned often were below the corresponding earnings on the day
A recent example of a way in which an industry may solve the
problem of the ill effects of night work has been the plan for elim­
inating night work for women in textile mills, proposed by the
manufacturers themselves. By the first of March, 1931, when this
plan was to go into effect, it had been accepted by over 80 per cent
of the industry, including over three-fourths of the night runners.
Leading mill managers made statements to the effect that the past
experience ordinarily had been that “ peaks of overproduction were
followed by valleys of unemployment.” Mills that had been running
part time day and night had begun full-time day operation with
the elimination of night work. This bears out the belief of a high
official of the Cotton Textile Institute, who outlined the effect of
the new plan as “ increased opportunity for daywork for women
under more favorable conditions * * * including * * * much
greater regularity of employment.” Thus the whole movement tends
to benefit the industry as well as the workers.
The fact that such a plan can be put into effect in an industry
ordinarily much more decentralized than some others is encouraging.
However, much greater permanency for such a move can be assured
if it is followed by legal action, for always there are likely to be
some unscrupulous managers who are unwilling to take forward
steps and who will place upon their employees the needless burden
of unhealthful working conditions.
At present, there are only 12 States that prohibit night work for
women in various manufacturing industries,5 although 6 others
either prohibit in some occupation or place some restriction on night
work. The hours of 10 to 6 appear to be the most commonly affected
by such prohibition or restriction. This is an advance over the
minimum recommendation of the Women’s Bureau, which is that
no woman should be employed between the hours of midnight and
6 a. m. The textile plan referred to prohibits night work from
7 p. m. to 6 a. m.
‘ California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New
Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

(d) Vacations and sick leave with pay.
Executives and business men, like school children and teachers,
look forward to the vacation period, and often the home maker does
also, even though for her it entails much of the labor or preparation
for the family outing. The head of a large company has given a
concise expression of the basis on which the vacation with pay is
likely to be granted—that it “ is a good business proposition on the
theory that a worker will more than pay for his vacation in better
work.” It has been estimated that the typical cost of vacation wages
in general is less than 2 per cent of the total annual pay roll of a
firm. Sometimes this is charged to the overhead ot the various
departments, or it may be deducted from net profits of the business.
It is quite certain that every individual must have some leisure
for health and happiness. “ Leisure to be worth the name must be
pleasurable, vivid, and tranquil,” says a recent writer. “ Leisure is
enjoyed when we do something by individual choice and not by
coercion, and when the doing brings a sense of timelessness and
enrichment * * *; unoccupied time is not leisure, nor is organ­
ized play, nor speeding from point to point.”
Despite the view widely held that vacations with pay are good
business, and the medical testimony to the health requirement for
such an occasional rest, practices as to the arrangement for vacations
vary widely. Since women are more likely than men to have jobs
entailing repetition, routine, and monotony, and since their labor
rarely ends with the day’s work in factory, store, or office, it would
seem that women in particular had need for an annual vacation.
Studies made by the American Management Association, the Fed­
eral Personnel Classification Board, the Metropolitan Life Insurance
Co., the Industrial Relations Counselors, and other agencies confirm
the statement that it is a very general custom to grant vacations with
pay to clerical workers and to the office force in manufacturing
plants.6 The time allowed varies, but most commonly it is one or
two weeks. Under the laws of the United States and various States
and cities, about 2,000,000 public employees are given vacations.
Though vacations are extended to only a small proportion of the
industrial workers, in spite of the fact that the nature of their work,
with its speed, noise, and monotony, would seem to require especial
attention to this matter, the practice is growing. A study published
« American Management Association. Office Executive Series No. 30. Office Working
Conditions and Extra Compensation Plans, by H. J. Taylor. New York, 1928. Reviewed
in Monthly Labor Review, August, 1928, pp. 34-36.
Industrial Relations Counselors
(Inc.). Research Series. Vacations for Industrial Workers, by Charles M. Mills. The
Ronald Press Co., New York. 1927. United States Personnel Classification Board. Report
on Wages and Other Conditions in Government and in Private Employment, published as
House Document No. 602. Reviewed in Monthly Labor Review, August, 1929, pp. 133­
140. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co, Vacations with Pay. New York.




in 1927 estimates that more than 1,000,000 industrial workers in
America are given vacations with pay. The Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics reported in April, 1929, that 71 trade agreements received by
that office since 1926 provided for such vacations.
This may be done by a general shutdown of the plants—but a
more satisfactory method and one employed by over three-fourths
of the firms reported in 1927 is to arrange vacations for various
employees at convenient intervals throughout the year.
That the plan for vacation with pay is making encouraging prog­
ress is shown by a study of the New York Bureau of Women in
Industry made in 1925 and again in 1930. Over this period there
was a 7 per cent increase in the proportion of plants granting vaca­
tions with pay to production workers. This increase is the more
significant in that it has been measured in a year of depression.
A further matter of primary importance is the arrangement for
sick leave with pay. The studv made by the Personnel Classification
Board and a prior study of industrial plants made by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics show that sick leave is quite generally granted
to office workers, although in a study made by the Merchants’ Asso­
ciation of New York less than one-fifth of the offices reported had
fixed rules as to payment. Moreover, the production worker usually
does not receive payment during sickness. Some firms have a system
of allowances for sickness independent of the group-insurance or
sick-benefit plans that employees usually have access to.
For teachers there is a surprising variation in the amount of sick
leave granted by different school systems. Of 332 cities having a
population of 8,000 or more, only 15 granted no pay, 21 gave full
pay for an indefinite period, 1 for six months, and in others the time
varied from 5 to 40 days.7
7 U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education, Health Series No. 12.
Health of the Teacher, by James Frederick Rogers. 1926.


(a) Reasons for legislation and forces furthering it.
Labor legislation for women in the United States has become a
matter of increasing importance in the past few decades as women
have entered more types of gainful employment and as the develop­
ment of machinery has been accelerated. The subject is one having
many ramifications, due to the various types of labor laws and to
the many problems involved, the vast number of women who are
employed, the great variety of their occupations, and the conditions
under which they work, varying with locality, industry, and in­
dividual establishment.
Men and women in industry do not have equal economic power
in bargaining for better standards of hours, conditions, and re­
muneration. Forced into industrial life by increasing economic
pressure, women are the late comers in industry and as such are
in the position of being the cheapest labor in the market, thus tend­
ing to undercut the wages and conditions that have been gained
by men in their longer industrial life. The fact is commonly recog­
nized that men have gained their advantages in the industrial world
largely by means of organization and have preferred this method
rather than that of employing the machinery of the State. In
theory, this method would appear to be desirable for women also,
but women who are wage earners, with one job in the factory and
another in the home, have little time and energy left to carry on
a fight to better their economic status. Entering industry by the
easiest and most widely open door, that of the job requiring "little
or no skill, women workers too often land at the bottom of the
economic scale. They can not improve their conditions, because in
so many instances they are not organized; and often they can not
organize because their need of employment is so great that they dare
not risk the loss of their jobs, no matter how poor, a loss that too
often follows the unskilled workers’ first attempts at organization.
In view of these facts, a definite demand has developed for a method
to produce scientifically and as soon as possible conditions and
opportunities that more nearly equal those of men. This short cut
is legislation, and such laws, "though written for women only, tend
surely though indirectly to benefit men as well, as every gain made
by labor in any direction whatever is a gain for all labor. These
laws, applying as they do to women in industry and ordinarily not
to those in the professions, can not be said to hamper women in
opportunities for a career. The Women’s Trade Union League
' The following bulletins of the Women’s Bureau, which will be of interest in connec­
tion with this subject, will be furnished on request: No. 98, Labor Laws for Women In
the States and Territories. 1932 ; No. 66-1, History of Labor Legislation for Women in
Three States. 1932 ; No. 66-11, Chronological Development of Labor Legislation for
Women in the United States. Revised December 1931. 1932 ; No. 68, Summary: The
Effects of Labor Legislation on the Employment Opportunities of Women. 1928 ; No 79
Industrial Home Work. 1930; No. 115, Women at Work. 1934. pp. 27-32; and No. 135,
The Commercialization of the Home Through Industrial Home Work. 1935.




urges the enactment of such legislation because experience has
demonstrated its need and value to the rank and file of women
wage earners.
The earliest type of labor legislation in our States usually has been
the attempt to secure reasonably short hours of work. The two great
reasons for this demand have been the need for protection to health
and the need for leisure. This was emphasized as early as 1842 in a
petition for hour legislation presented to the Massachusetts Legisla­
ture, which gave the following reasons for the demand:
It would, In the first place, serve to lengthen the lives of those employed,
by giving them a greater opportunity to breathe the pure air of heaven, rather
than the heated air of the mills. In the second place, they would have more
time for mental and moral cultivation * * *. In the third place, they will
have more time to attend to their own personal affairs, thereby saving con­
siderable In their expenditures.

The first hour law passed was one in New Hampshire limiting the
day to 10 hours with certain exceptions and applying to both men
and women. This was passed in 1847.
Taken as a whole, probably the largest single factor making for
the passage of labor legislation for women has been organized labor.
Directly or indirectly it was the influence that made most of the
legislation possible; it initiated most of the laws limiting the hours
of women in factories and mechanical establishments, as well as other
statutes; it represented the bulk of the political strength that made
legislators fear to run counter to measures designed to benefit the
laboring classes; it paved the way for legislation by establishing
through trade-union activity conditions of work that later were made
standard by law.
Other factors that ordinarily have been the moving force in
securing labor legislation have been factory inspectors and other
officials charged with the enforcement of labor laws ; bureaus of labor
statistics; special legislative committees or commissions for the study
of labor conditions; governors; pioneering employers; social, civic,
philanthropic, and church groups; factual studies of conditions to be
remedied by law; and, finally, the spirit of the time.

(b) Hour legislation in various States.
The winter and spring months of an odd year are likely to be an
“ open season ” for all sorts of legislation, including that relating to
labor problems, because in so many of the States that have biennial
sessions the legislatures meet in the odd year.
Since the history of labor legislation for women and children
shows that in many States the first subject considered is the fixing
of reasonably short hours, it is of interest to see how far the various
States have progressed in this direction. It is difficult to summarize
hour legislation, since the provisions in the various States differ so
widely. In some States maximum hours are fixed at one length for
some industries and at a different length for others; in some cases
many industries are covered, in others only one or two relatively
unimportant ones; sometimes the regulation is written into the
statute law, sometimes it is in the form of a rule or order of an
industrial commission or other body to which has been delegated the
power to issue such regulations.
All but six States have some regulation of women’s daily hours,2
but six of those that regulate daily hours have set no weekly limita­
tion,3 two of them being 10-hour States that thus might permit a
70-hour week.4 *
Twelve States in all make some provision for the 8-hour day. In
10 of these this applies to manufacturing, stores, and laundries,6 *
and all of the ten but New York apply this provision to hotels
and restaurants (covered by a 9-hour law in New York). Four of
them apply it also to telephone and telegraph operators. One of
them (New Mexico) restricts the day to eight hours in most estab­
lishments except express, transportation, or public utility businesses
or common carriers, which have nine hours. One State (Oregon)
applies its 8-hour law only to laundries and to needlecraft occupa­
tions. Another (Kansas) has an 8-hour day only for telephone
operators and women in public housekeeping (a 9-hour day in manu­
facturing, stores, and laundries). One State (North Dakota) has an
8i/2-hour day in manufacturing, stores, laundries, hotels and res­
taurants, and telephone and telegraph offices.
Eighteen States make some provision for a 9-hour day; in 14 of
these this applies to manufacturing industries, in 15 to hotels or res­
taurants, in 15 to stores, and in 11 to laundries. Three of these States
None in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and West Virginia
Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, Virginia, and Washington. (See footnote 4)
Illinois and Virginia. However, in the latter State a law against Sunday work is
enforced. In Washington the industrial welfare committee has provided a 6-day week
^°b industries, which limits the week’s hours to 48.
Washington and ^Wy omi ng010™^’ MoIltana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Utah,




have, in addition, 10-hour laws in some industries and live of them
(as shown in the preceding paragraph) have 8- or 8^-hour laws for
some industries.
The laws in 16 States make no provision in any type of occupation
for a day shorter than 10 hours. Three of these (Pennsylvania,
Mississippi, and South Dakota) are included with the States having
the most inclusive statement found anywhere, the first applying the
provision to “ any place within this Commonwealth where work is
done for compensation.” In four States in which there is some legal
restriction of hours in manufacturing, periods of work longer than
10 hours are allowed.6
Nineteen States7 specifically exempt canneries from their hour
regulations, and many others have other exceptions regarding sea­
sonal industries.
Although this summary appears complicated, still it omits many
of the variations that exist in the laws and other regulations, and
it will serve to indicate how very difficult it is to give any adequate
discussion of legal matters in a short period.
J New Hampshire, Tennessee, Vermont, and North Carolina.
Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missonn, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah Vir­
ginia, Vermont, and Washington.

(c) Various types of labor legislation for women.
In general, special labor laws for women deal chiefly with the fol­
lowing subjects: Hours of work, night work, seats for women work­
ers, a minimum wage, the prohibition and regulation of women’s
work in certain occupations or industries and in home work. The
laws on each of the several topics differ widely in extent, in require­
ments, and in application.
Hour and night-work legislation already have been discussed and
minimum-wage laws will be considered later.8 Twenty-one States
and the District of Columbia have provided for such breaks in the
hours of a woman’s employment as a day of rest or one shorter work­
day in the week or time for meals or rest periods during the work­
day. Sixteen States have minimum-wage regulations.
The Women’s Bureau strongly advocates laws requiring the fur­
nishing of seats. To New York goes the credit for the first law,
passed in 1881 and requiring seats for women “ in any mercantile
or manufacturing business or occupation.” Following the passage
of this, 14 States enacted similar legislation before 1890. To-day
47 States and the District of Columbia—all but Mississippi—have
laws requiring the provision of chairs or stools for women employees
in stores or factories or both.
In regard to prohibitory legislation the Women’s Bureau recom­
mends the following:
Women should not be prohibited from employment in any occupation except
those which have been proved to be more injurious to women than to men such
as certain processes in the lead industries.

The first prohibitory legislation for women dates from 1872, when
Illinois forbade women to work in any mine. To-day 26 States have
regulated or prohibited women’s employment in some industry or
occupation, showing in all a total of 38 such restrictions; the remain­
ing 22 States have no prohibitory or regulatory laws regarding any
specific occupation. The most commonly prohibited occupation is
mining, from which 17 States exclude women.
In regard to the lifting or carrying of heavy weights, a provision
considered important by the Women’s Bureau, little progress has
been made in most States, but in five States women are not allowed
to carry or lift heavy weights, the standards varying from 25 to 75
pounds where an exact amount is fixed. For example, in Massachu­
setts m manufacturing or mechanical establishments boxes, baskets,
or other receptacles weighing 75 pounds or more must be equipped
with pulleys, casters, or other contrivances so that they may be
moved easily. In California a similar statute (as passed in 1921 and
amended in 1929) requiring provision for pulleys or casters for
■ Night-work legislation in No. VI; minimum-wage legislation in No. VIII.




weights of 50 pounds or more applies to mills, workshops, restau­
rants, and packing, canning, mercantile, or other establishments em­
ploying women.9 In Washington women in manufacturing and mer­
cantile establishments are not allowed to lift or carry “ an excessive
burden.” The Industrial Board of Pennsylvania has ruled that
women shall not be required or allowed to lift heavy weights in ex­
plosive plants and Ohio prohibits employment requiring the frequent
or repeated lifting of weights in excess of 25 pounds.
Five States—Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and
Pennsylvania—regulate the work of women in core rooms, where
the molds are made for the inside of hollow castings in the metal
industries. In three States—Louisiana, Minnesota, and Missouri—
women are forbidden by law to clean moving machinery.
There are several States—Kansas, Michigan, North Dakota, Ore­
gon, Washington, and Wisconsin—whose laws in general terms pro­
hibit the employment of women under detrimental conditions.
Kansas says that women shall not work in any industry or occupa­
tion “ under conditions of labor detrimental to their health or wel­
fare”; the North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington laws are the
same with the substitution of “ morals ” for “ welfare ”; Michigan
provides that no woman “ shall be given any task disproportionate
to her strength, nor shall she be employed in any place detrimental
to her morals, her health, or her potential capacity for motherhood ”;
and Wisconsin says that no woman shall be employed in any place
or at any employment dangerous or prejudicial to her life, health,
safety, or welfare.
Home-work legislation can be dated from 1885, when New York
sought to end the sweating or tenement workshop system by pro­
hibiting the manufacture of cigars and other tobacco products in
tenement houses in larger cities. This law was declared unconsti­
tutional, but 15 of the States now have laws either prohibiting
or regulating home work and generally requiring cleanliness, ade­
quate lighting and ventilation, and freedom from infectious or con­
tagious disease.
Six States—Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Ver­
mont, and Washington—prohibit the work of women immediately
before or after ehildbirth. In this matter, the United States is
behind European countries, a number of which include this in their
social insurance provisions, some even arranging for compensation
for the mother during this period.
•An order of the industrial welfare commission issued in 1928, applying to fruit and
vegetable canneries, fixed the maximum weight women are permitted to lift or carry at
25 pounds. An order issued in 1919 made less definite provision, not specifying the
maximum weight but merely prohibiting the lifting or carrying of “ any excessive
burden,” and applying only to mercantile establishments and factories (which by defini­
tion include laundries and dry-cleaning plants).

(d) Certain effects of labor legislation.
The total number of women in the United States whose working
hours are regulated by labor legislation amounts to about 2,750 000
only one-third of the 8,500,000 gainfully employed in 192()! Busi­
ness and professional women, those in supervisory positions and, in
general, in the higher ranks of opportunity, usually are not covered
by labor laws. These laws have been directed toward the control of
conditions in industrial, mercantile, and factory occupations. When
applied to certain occupations which differ from those for which
they were drawn, such as the work of conductors on street cars,
pharmacists m drug stores, women in newspaper work, labor laws
have proved to be a handicap in a few instances.
the growth and development of special labor laws resulting
trom the efforts of various groups convinced of their value in pro­
moting the interests of women workers, opposition also has graduallv
arisen among other groups, who came to view these laws as a handi­
cap to womens occupational progress. This opposition arises not
trom the ranks of women m industry, to whom the laws applv.
but from certain women m more professional occupations and mema *ew highly skilled and well-organized trades
The Women’s Bureau has made a special investigation of the
effects of labor legislation on the employment opportunities of
women Thi| covered more than 1,600 establishments, employing
more than 660,000 workers, 165,244 of them women, and personal
interviews were held with more than 1,200 working women who had
experienced a change in the law or who were employed under condi­
tions or in occupations prohibited for women in some other State
Among the industries included were those that were major em­
ployers of women: Boots and shoes, clothing, electrical apparatus,
knit goods, and paper boxes. In addition, women workers in stores
restaurants, newspaper offices, street-railway transportation, elevator
operating, pharmacies, the metal trades, and certain other types of
employment were studied. Particular attention was given to the
effects of laws prohibiting night work and those barring women
from certain specific occupations, such as grinding, polishing buff­
ing acetylene and electric welding, taxicab driving, and gas and
eieccnc meter reading.
The general conclusion of the survey, based on the facts as thev
were found, is that women are necessary to industry and, provided
the laws are properly written, they are not barred from industrial
work nor do they lose their jobs because of the laws; on the contrary
m practically every case they are benefited by them. Moreover’
reasonable legal standards for the employment of women tend to­
ward a marked raising of standards in industry for all workersa shorter work-day for women results in shorter hours for men in




the industries affected. The great majority of up-to-date employers
realize the value of such standards of work and often exceed them
in their own plants. Many of them approve such legislation because
it largely does away with the cheap, unfair competition of unscrupu­
lous employers.
The findings seem to show that the instances of handicap, which
were diligently sought by the investigators, are only instances and
should be dealt with as such, without allowing them to interfere
with the development of the main body of legislation. The material
demonstrates again and again the impossibility of generalization,
the necessity for recognizing differences in different occupations,
industries, and localities. The report concludes that regulatory hour
laws as applied to women engaged in manufacturing processes do
not handicap them but “ serve to regulate employment and to estab­
lish the accepted standards of modern efficient industrial manage­
That certain forces other than legislation do handicap women is
recognized in this report as follows:
In almost every kind of employment the real forces that influence women’s
opportunity are far removed from legislative restriction of their hours or
conditions of work. In manufacturing, the type of product, the division and
simplification of manufacturing processes, the development of machinery and
mechanical aids to production, the labor supply and its costs, and the general
psychology of the times, all have played important parts in determining the
position of women. »*•
In other occupations other influences have been dominant in determining the
extent of women’s employment. In stores a more liberal attitude and successful
experimentation with women on new jobs; in restaurants the development of
public opinion as to the type of service most suitable for women; in pharmacy
a gradually increasing confidence in women’s ability on the part of the public;
in the metal trades a breaking down of the prejudices against women's employ­
ment on the part of employers and of male employees, and demonstration of
women’s ability along certain lines—these are the significant forces that have
influenced and will continue to determine women’s place among the wage
earners Such forces have not been deflected by the enforcement of legislative
standards and they will play the dominant part in assuring to women an equal
chance in those occupations for which their abilities and aptitudes fit them.


(a) Outworn ideas as to women’s wages.
Investigations have established the fact that the great bulk of
women who work in our schools, offices, stores, factories, mills, laun­
dries, and restaurants, must earn money for the essentials of life.
They must work to buy food, to pay rent, to meet doctors’ bills, to
obtain the other necessities of life, and, in addition, large numbers
must support dependents. The old idea known as the “ pin-money
theory ” has been disproven repeatedly under the conditions of life in
the world to-day. It is not an adequate basis for the payment of
women’s wages.
Another fallacious idea is that for the most part women who need
to work live at home and can get along on small earnings. In the
first place, to fix wages on this basis leaves out of account the im­
portant minority who must be responsible for their own entire sup­
port; these constitute more than one-tenth of the women employed
in 17 States surveyed by the Women’s Bureau. But more important
than this is the fact that if an employed woman living at home does
not earn enough for her own support, she is a financial burden on
her family, and to that extent the family—whether able to do so or
not—must subsidize both the girl and the industry in which she
works. Take, for example, a place in which it costs a girl $15 a
week to live; her employer requires all her time but pays her only
$12; the other $3, saved by the employer, must be made up by the
girl’s family. When expressed in simple terms how clear this is.
And if the girl’s earnings are too low to permit of saving and she
becomes ill or loses her job, this fact may be the final cause of sub­
merging an already overburdened family.2
A third idea that has persisted in the past but is being disproven
under modern conditions is that women are transients in their jobs—
that they go to work with the intention of remaining there only a few
years. Women’s Bureau studies show that considerable proportions
of women have been in various industrial pursuits for long periods
of years. Moreover, women frequently can not leave their jobs after
marriage, as has been supposed. In 17 States studied by the Wom­
en’s Bureau, from 15 to 38 per cent of the employed women were
classified as married and from 8 to 25 per cent were widowed, sepa­
rated, or divorced. In one State the proportion of single women
was only 37.3 per cent.
A survey of 22 studies made by various agencies in various States,
cities, and in industrial groups covered more than 60,000 women, and* *
1 The following bulletin of the Women’s Bureau, which will be of interest in connec­
tion with this subject, will be furnished on request: No. 85, Wages of Women in 13
6tates. 1931.
* See Women's Bureau Bulletin 85, pp. 1 and 2.




of these well over half contributed their entire earnings to the familybudget.3
The files of the bureau contain countless stories of women, both
married and single, whose earnings are the sole income of the family.
Among these cases are those of a cigar maker who had supported
her husband and two children for six months because of the man’s
inability to get steady work; a family with three children in which
the husband was laid up with an injury for five months; a woman
employed in the meat-packing industry who said “ It always takes
two to earn enough to keep our family.”
Naturally, fewer women than men have total dependents, the more
common condition being one of joint responsibility; nevertheless,
large numbers of women have such dependents. Of 1,800 women
interviewed by the Women’s Bureau in 1919, 1 in 3 of the single
women had a dependent mother and 1 in 7 of the married women
had a dependent husband. In eight studies by various agencies that
covered about 17,000 women, almost 1 in 7 said they had total de­
pendents. In a study of women who were or had been married,
made in one city by the Bureau of the Census from 1920 figures the
wife or widow was the only breadwinner in about 4,300 families. In
a study of 843 working mothers with dependent children made by
the Children’s Bureau at about the same time, more than two-thirds
of the families had no support from the father.1
Becently, in New York, an undersized boy of 15 killed a storekeeper
in an attempted holdup. This boy’s mother was endeavoring to keep
her home together on $17 a week, and a well-known writer, comment­
ing on this fact, averred that “ the abolition of poverty would pretty
nearly accomplish the abolition of crime.”
To sum up: Women who are at work are not merely seeking to
make a little extra money; most of them must bear their whole
expenses and many must support others besides; on the whole they
are steady workers, often highly skillful, and very necessary to indus­
try. Any wage that does not take these factors into account consti­
tutes inadequate payment for the services given and inadequate
income for the needs to be met.*
3 See p. 12 of Women’s Bureau Bulletin 75, which was recommended for use with No,
III of the present series.
* See Women’s Bureau Bulletin 75, pp. 18-19.

(b) Some factors affecting women’s wages.
Women’s earnings tend to be very low. In most cases this has
resulted from the tradition that certain jobs constitute “women’s
work,” and that the work of women is of little economic value but
will be given almost as freely as it was in the home. Nevertheless,
many of the industrial occupations of women require great dexterity
and skill, and practically all lines of women’s work should be better
The method of payment has considerable influence on the amounts
earned. If workers are paid by the piece, those who work rapidly
often are more highly paid, but the excessive speed sometimes de­
veloped is likely to undermine health. Furthermore, piecework
earnings tend to be very irregular. An hourly or a weekly rate
would seem to guarantee greater certainty of earnings. But it must
be remembered that the amounts actually received often are con­
siderably below the rates fixed.
New methods have brought about practices that often work to the
disadvantage of employees. One of these is that used in paying indi­
viduals who work in a group formed to complete particular parts of
a certain process—familiarly called by the workers a “gang,” and
a system in vogue in many large plants. If any member of the gang
is slow or is a beginner, the work of the whole group is slowed up
thereby, and all suffer loss of earnings. Whatever the method of
payment, time lost because of industrial reasons—such as a break­
down in machinery or a poor run of material—or because of sick­
ness or other personal reason, reduces the worker’s earnings. In a
study of women’s wages in 13 States, the Women’s Bureau found a
very large degree of lost time. In every State from about 30 per
cent to over 70 per cent of the women had earned less than their rates
of pay, and sometimes earnings were more than 10 per cent below
Naturally earnings vary widely in different times, localities, and
industries, and information as to wages paid is likely to be scatter­
ing. Three States—Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York—have
reported monthly on wages of women over a period of years. The
Bureau of Labor Statistics separates some of its wage figures by sex.
The Women’s Bureau makes various special surveys that report the
exact earnings of women, taken from the pay rolls of the firms where
they are employed; sometimes these are supplemented by interviews
with the same women in their homes. The National Industrial Con­
ference Board, the research organization of the large manufacturing
interests, also publishes data on wages separated by sex.*
* See Women’s Bureau Bulletin 85, p. 67.




That women’s earnings are low as compared with men’s is indi­
cated in the reports from the three States mentioned. For example,
in a month taken in each of these States at the end of 1928 or early
in 1929 women’s weekly wages were only about 55 per cent as much
as men’s weekly wages. The National Industrial Conference Board
studies show women’s wages to be even lower than those of unskilled
It is sometimes difficult to appraise what is going on in a period
until that time is past, and little material is available as to the effect
of depressions on women’s wages. However, the New York division
of women in industry compared the earnings of women placed by
public employment agencies in January, 1929, and in the same month
in 1931, and found that a considerable decline had occurred. For
example, stenographers formerly offered $15 to $35 could in 1931
earn only $9 to $20; saleswomen formerly offered $13 to $25 are now
offered a wage as low as $12, though the highest runs to $30; while
sewing-machine operators before offered $18 to $25 could make only
$15 to $20 in 1931.•
• See Women’s Bureau Bulletin 85, pp. 154-157.

(c) Women’s wages and what they must buy.
The general standard the Women’s Bureau recommends for the
payment of women’s wages is as follows:
Wages should be established on the basis of occupation and not on the basis
of sex or race. The minimum wage rate should coyer the cost of living for
dependents and not merely for the individual.

We all know from personal experience how the purchasing power
of the dollar varies with costs of living—how in 1917, for example,
a dollar would go less than three-quarters as far as we had been
accustomed to; and then prices advanced still further, and in 1920
the same dollar bought only one-half as much. That is what is
meant by the term “ real wages ”—not the wage itself but the wage
taking into consideration the value of the dollar.
In this way wages over a period of years may be compared, and
the Women’s Bureau has done this for the earnings of 79,000 women
in factories in 13 States. According to 1930 values, the median of
these women’s earnings—and the median is the middle point, half
the women receiving more and half receiving less—was below $13
in 10 of the 13 States. And, after all, it can’t be easy to live on less
than $13 a week, can it ? When the many requirements to be met are
considered, such sums obviously are quite inadequate.
Let us compare a few careful estimates of costs. Frances Perkins,
when industrial commissioner of New York, stated that for an indus­
trial woman in New York City the cost of room and meals alone
was $14.69 a week. This allowed nothing for clothing, doctors’ bills,
loss of time through illness, or the many incidental expenses gener­
ally considered minimum necessities. In 1927 the Young Women’s
Christian Association in Duluth gave the figure of $17.76 as the
minimum cost of a woman’s budget in that city. A year later the
Bureau of Labor Statistics in Texas stated, after careful study, that
$15 a week was the least a woman could exist on, and this excluded
any expenditure for illness or recreation, as well as any reduced
earnings in the year because of lost working time. In 1930 the Con­
sumers’ League of Cincinnati estimated that a woman’s minimum
living cost was $17.50. The Industrial Commission of Colorado, in
its report issued for 1928-1930, considered $17.20 the least a woman
could live on.7
In none of the 13 States for which the Women’s Bureau has ascer­
tained earnings as of a 1930 value was the median as high as these
In 21 States prior to 1933, an attempt had been made to estab­
lish by law a minimum figure for wage payments to women. Some' See Women’s Bureau Bulletin 85, pp. 150-154.




times this was done by a commission authorized to study the living
costs of women and the situation in various industries and to fix the
least amount they must be paid in order to enable the workers to
live decently. Sometimes the amounts fixed varied for different
industries; sometimes they had to be changed to meet the changing
value of money in different years. Naturally the process was a diffi­
cult one, and its adjustment was bound to take a considerable time.
In all cases the minimum set was a compromise on an amount that
would not be too high for the industries to pay and ordinarily it
was considerably less than the findings from the cost-of-living study
on which it was based indicated as necessary; in most instances it
constituted mere existence and not an acceptable living wage. In
1923, 10 years from the time the first minimum wage law became
effective and consequently before the system had been in existence
over a wide enough area or for a long enough period of years for
its experience to be adequately measured and- perfected, the United
States Supreme Court, in a case involving the District of Columbia
law, declared that law unconstitutional, five members of the court
concurring in the decision.
This gave a great blow to the development of a method designed
to secure more adequate earnings to women and thus to alleviate in
some measure their frequent economic distress. Three States in
which the law on the subject is worded differently from the one
declared unconstitutional still are able to give some attention to the
maintaining of a minimum wage for women.
Spurred by the acute conditions of a period of business depression,
with the hardships it imposed upon both industry and workers, new
impetus was given in 1933 to minimum wage laws of a type thought
to conform to the United States Constitution where the "earlier laws
had not done so. Under this plan seven States, several of them im­
portant industrially, set up new machinery for the fixing of mini­
mum wages industry by industry after the study of the particular
conditions existing. These States are Connecticut, Illinois, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Utah. (Write the
Women’s Bureau for other current material on the minimum wage.)

(d) Economic effects of a low wage scale for women workers.
Not only is the low wage frequently paid to women a serious
matter for those who must live on the amounts received; it is an
unfortunate factor in the economic life of the country, and especially
is it significant when it is remembered that two in every nine wage
earners are women.
Any industrial group working for less than the standard that
revails will be likely to have the effect of lowering wages for all.
ndustries in which low wages are paid to women are likely to pay
low wages to men as well.
At its convention in Atlantic City in 1925, the American Federa­
tion of Labor made the following declaration :


We hold that the best Interests of wage earners as well as the whole social
group are served by increasing production in quality as well as quantity and
by high wage standards which assure sustained purchasing power to the
workers, and therefore, higher national standards for the environment in
which they live and the means to enjoy cultured opportunities.

Many economists and thinkers to-day are using similar lines of
reasoning. Dr. Glenn Frank, president of the University of Wis­
consin, has given a clear statement of the present trend of thought
in regard to the importance of good wages in the following words:
The simple fact is that a machine economy must, along with the making
of commodities, see to it that the consuming millions have money with which
to buy the products the machine economy creates. And that means higher
wages than we have yet paid, shorter hours than we have yet set, and lower
prices than we have yet fixed * * * the logic of events is * * * prov­
ing that the basic policies that will prove best for labor are the policies that
will prove best for capital and vice versa.
In the entire history of business America, every general reduction of hours
and every general rise in wages, however bitterly fought by business and indus­
trial leadership at the time, has been followed by a fresh accession of business
activity and general prosperity * * * high wages, short hours, low prices,
are now seen to be the only things that can, In the interest of the solvency of
capitalism, keep our industrial order a going concern.

Addresses made at the Christmas meetings of the national socialscience societies held in Cleveland in 1930 showed the shifting of
interest from the production problems that used to form the basis of
most economic discussion to the economics of the distribution of
materials and of income.8
8 For example, Dr. William Leiserson, a nationally known arbitrator and a professor at
Antioch College, said at this meeting:
* * * All through the nineteenth century economists were obsessed with the idea of
the niggardliness of nature and the scarcity of goods. * * * Nations could not pro­
duce enough to provide for their increasing population with expanding wants. * * *
* * * Now we know that nature can be controlled by man and made to yield its
bounties even superabundantly. * * *




* * * Is it not time for economists to point the way to sound methods of control­
ling income distribution to stabilize wage payments in spite of fluctuating employment
as accounting scientists and management scientists pointed the way to stabilization of
the incomes of the investment and management classes?—Address published in full in
American Labor Legislation Review. March, 1931, pp. 65ff.




Figures of the Federal Trade Commission indicate that about 60
per cent of our national wealth is now owned by about 1 per cent of
the population. Business men, employers, economists, and workers
are now realizing that, since from two-thirds to three-fourths of
the buying public is made up of wage earners, if a market is to be
found for the increased goods that can be produced the millions
of workers must have more money to enable them to buy their
share of these products and more leisure to give opportunity for
their use.
The argument for a wage for women that enables them to live
decently is reenforced by the economic thought of the day that
recognizes the advantages to industrial society as a whole of a high
wage for all workers.


(a) Women in unusual occupations.
It is illuminating merely to run through the census list of the occu­
pations in which women were engaged in 1920. In addition to all
those in which women ordinarily are expected to be found, and the
long lists of factory employments in which people now have become
accustomed to finding women, there are many that may seem more
Perhaps it is not surprising to know that thousands of women in
1920 were “ ticket and station agents ”; “ gardeners, florists, fruit
growers, and nurserymen ”; “ postmasters ”; or “ floorwalkers and
foremen in stores.” But it may seem somewhat more strange that
over 1,000 were “ mail carriers ” and “ undertakers.”
In addition, hundreds were classified as “ shoemakers and cobblers
(not in factory),” as “paper hangers,” as “engravers,” as “chauf­
feurs,” and as “ longshoremen and stevedores.” More than 100 were
“ carpenters; ” “ lithographers; ” “ painters, glaziers, and varnishers ”
in the building trades; and workers on road and street construction
and repairs.
An article by Miriam Simons Leuck in the Annals of the American
Academy for May, 1929, gives many interesting stories of individual
women in various unusual employments. She says, for example:
* * * Mrs. Bella B. Toner at New Centerville, on the * * * Reading
Railroad, is a veteran in railroad work, having been station agent, baggagemaster, telegrapher, and flagman at her post for the past 51 years * * *.
Mrs. Etta M. Hopkins, in charge of the Fort Wright tower (near Spokane,
Wash.) of the Great Northern Railroad, has a real man’s job, throwing the
levers which open and close the switches, changing the signals, handing up
train orders * * *.
* * * There are two women who have served as master, pilot, and captain
of boats on this waterway [the Mississippi River] for many years. The first
of these, Mrs. Mary Becker Greene, received her pilot’s license in 1895, her mas­
ter’s in 1896, and has been in active service ever since * * *. Mrs. Blanche
Leathers * * * is master pilot and captain of the Natchez, plying between
New Orleans and Vicksburg * * *.

One of the oldest employments open to women, outside those in
the home, was the keeping of taverns and “ ordinaries,” and women
did this in America in the seventeenth century. Occasionally a
woman of that day ran a mill or even worked in a sawmill. In the
early eighteenth century there were many women printers, both as
compositors and at the press, and some worked in the early paper
mills. Most of those in industry were in some form of textile manu­
In 1840 there were reported to be only 7 manufacturing occupa­
tions open to women; but in 1920 there were women engaged in all




but 35 of the entire 572 occupations listed in the census. There were
even a few women reported as “ blacksmiths,” “ loom fixers,” “ bag­
gagemen,” “ furnacemen and smeltermen,” “ plasterers,” “ brick and
stone masons,” “ machinists,” and “ iron molders, founders, and
The article already cited has this to say of a woman blacksmith in
New York:
* * * Mrs. Sophie Penkinson, just around the corner from Broadway,
has worked at her chosen field of horseshoeing and general blacksmith work
for over 30 years. * * * Mrs. Penkinson shoes an average of 10 horses a
day; declares she has never found a horse that was hard to handle * * *.

Other occupations in which women are less frequently thought of,
but in which some were reported in 1920, were “ tinsmith and copper­
smith,” “ piano and organ tuner,” “ mechanic,” “ cemetery keeper,”
“ bootblack,” “ porter, steam railroads,” and there even were reported
three auctioneers and two life-savers.

(b) Women as “ officials and managers.”
I he census figures for 1930 indicated that large numbers of women
were in the field of management, or officials, or in independent busi­
ness. For example, from over 5,000 to more than 10,000 were re­
ported under each of the headings of “ manufacturers ”, “ man­
agers and officials ” in manufacturing, and “ bankers and bank offi­
cials.” Over 1,000 were “ owners, managers, and officials ” of
theaters; “wholesale dealers, importers, and exporters”; “proprie­
tors, officials, and managers ’’ of telephone and telegraph compa­
nies ; and “ managers and officials of insurance companies ”; smaller
numbers were “ loan brokers and pawnbrokers ”; “ commercial
brokers and commission men ”; “ officials and superintendents ” of
steam railroads; and “ operators, officials, and managers ” in the
extraction of minerals.
Then there are other occupations that obviously require specialized
skill or very good judgment if they are to be effectively carried on, as
for example, hunter, trapper, and guide; marshal and constable; or
And when all this is said, the great body of professional women
remains still to be considered—over a million of them—authors,
editors, clergymen, teachers, trained nurses, dentists, draftsmen, law­
yers, physicians, civil and electrical engineers, architects, and others.
No general resume has been made of the women in executive and
managerial positions, and to do so obviously would be a gigantic task.
However, the numbers reported in the census give a background for
discovering in some measure which are the more usual, which the
more unusual, of managerial, official, professional, and semiprofes­
sional positions, and frequent stories of the activities of individual
women are to be found in such magazines as the Woman’s Journal,
the Independent Woman, the Woman’s Press, and others.
It may be of interest to mention two women widely variant in
talents and interests; one of whom is of special interest to labor and
to management for her unusual handling of a difficult business, while
the other is of importance because of her original work in the field
of management and efficiency.
At the death of her father Miss Josephine Roche became the pro­
prietor of the Rocky Mountain Fuel Co. in Colorado, and she deter­
mined to control its management herself and direct it along lines of
cooperation with the mine operatives.
The company issued in 1928 an agreement reading in part:
* * * Our purposes are: To promote and establish industrial justice; to
substitute reason for violence, confidence for misunderstanding, integrity and
good faith for dishonest practices, and a union of effort for the chaos of the
present economic warfare; to avoid needless and wasteful strikes and lockouts




through the Investigation and correction of their underlying causes; to establish
genuine collective bargaining between mine workers and operators through free
and independent organization ; to stabilize employment, production, and markets
through cooperative endeavor and the aid of science; to assure mine workers
and operators continuing mutual benefit and consumers a dependable supply of
coal at reasonable and uniform prices; to defend our joint undertaking against
every conspiracy or vicious practice which seeks to destroy it; and in all other
respects to enlist public confidence and support by safeguarding the public

At the close of 1929, when other companies were suffering, this one
reported an increase in production of 29 per cent, with a decrease of
19 cents per ton in mine costs; an increase of seven-tenths of a ton in
daily production per man; and an increase of over one-fourth in
average of annual earnings per worker. In addition, the company
had the advantage of staunch union support and no strikes.
The other woman, Dr. Lillian M. Gilbreth, is a consulting engineer,
and her prominence in the field of scientific management has been
unique. Having taken a doctor’s degree at Brown University, she
has been active in the Taylor Society, and is an honorary member of
the Society of Industrial Engineers. She has collaborated in certain
of her husband’s publications and has herself done some writing in
this field; for example, the article on scientific management in the
New International Encyclopedia is from her pen.

(c) Women’s labor organizations and some of their leaders.1
It is a natural human trait for persons having like interests to
form associations. Those who pursued various occupations in
medieval times had their craft guilds, and to-day it is considered a
helpful thing for those practicing any type of profession to come
in contact through organization with others similarly engaged—be
it doctors, lawyers, financiers, undertakers, press representatives,
road builders, dentists, or any of those in a host of other types of
When women began to enter factory occupations they did like­
wise. The earliest information we have of the organization of em­
ployed women for better work conditions goes back to about 1825,
although the names of a few women workers stand out before that
period. For example, Hannah Borden, whose expert weaving even
when she was quite a little girl led her father to find a place for her
in a mill in Fall River, Mass., of which he was a stockholder.
The girls of that clay were quite spirited in demanding improve­
ment in their work conditions. When a cotton mill in Paterson,
N. J., changed the dinner hour from 12 to 1 o’clock, the woman and
child workers left at noon; this was in 1828^ and was the first
recorded strike among women in this industry for better conditions.
About six years later a female protective association was formed in
Lowell, Mass., and 2,500 girls marched through the streets singing:
Oh, isn’t it a pity such a pretty girl as I
Should be sent to the factory to pine away and die.

These girls refused overtures from their employers in any way
except through their union officers, and declared “As our fathers
resisted * * * the lordly avarice of the British ministry, so we,
their daughters, never will bear the yoke which has been prepared
for us.” At this time some of the mill owners had constructed
boarding houses, which often were very crowded and badly aired.
Tuberculosis was prevalent. The boarding-house keepers had an
arrangement with certain mill owners that half the girls’ board
would be paid them directly by the factory out of the girls’ wages.
Although working women formed organizations in other localities
there was no concerted movement at that time. In 1833 seamstresses
and tailoresses in Baltimore organized; in 1835 the Female Improve­
ment Society was formed in Philadelphia by members of the sewing
1 The following books would be of Interest In connection with this subject: D. S. Bureau
of Labor. Report on Condition of Woman and Child Wage Earners in the United States,
Vol. X, History of Women in Trade Unions, by John B. Andrews and W. D. P. Bliss, 1911.
Henry, Alice. Women and the Labor Movement. George H. Doran Co., New York, 1923
Wolfson, Theresa. The Woman Worker and the Trade Unions. International Publishers!
New York, 1926. W'olman, Leo. The Growth of American Trade Unions. 1880-1923
National Bureau of Economic Research, New York, 1924. Ch. Y.




trades; the shoe binders formed The Female Society of Lynn and
Vicinity for the Protection and Promotion of Female Industry;
in 1851 a shirt-sewers’ cooperative union was formed in New York,
and the women who were members of it quoted a poem, Hood’s Song
of the Shirt, as applying to themselves:
Sewing at once with a double stitch
A shroud as well as a shirt.

The labor-reform associations sometimes worked for legislation
establishing better conditions for women workers. In 1845 Miss
Sarah G. Bagley, then president of the Lowell Female Labor Reform
Association, testified before the Massachusetts legislative committee
as to conditions in the textile mills. This is said to be the first official
investigation of the condition of adult laborers, and was a move
largely inspired by the activities of women.
In 1869 the first convention was held by the Daughters of St.
Crispin, a shoe-workers’ organization, which appears to be the earliest
recorded national trade-union of women. In this year, also, women
first became members of one of the 8-hour leagues that had grown
up—that of Boston.
In 1881 women were allowed to become regular members in the
early men’s union organized on a national scale and known as the
Knights of Labor; four years later a department of women’s work
was created which employed an investigator, Mrs. Leonora M. Barry.
In the first year she visited 30 cities and spoke over 100 times; in
three years the women members numbered 12,000, with a great
variety of trades represented. Records of the Knights of Labor
were printed and afford the basis of a consistent organization his­
tory. It has been estimated that by 1923 about 250,000 women
were organized; another estimate was that in 1920 there were 396,000
women members of various trade-unions (women’s, and men’s and
women’s) ,2
In 1903 the Women’s Trade Union League was formed, its first
convention attended by seven persons, and its first president being
Mrs. Mary Morton Kehew, of Boston. Perhaps the woman most
responsible for its formation and growth was Mrs. Raymond Robins,
who for many years gave untiring service and financial aid to the
development of the organization. She was its president until 1922
when she became honorary president, the active office then being
held in succession by Maud Swartz, of the International Typo­
graphical Union, and Rose Schneiderman, of the United Cloth Hat
and Cap Makers, elected in 1929. By 1920 the Women’s Trade
Union League was organized in at least 19 cities and contained mem­
bers of 53 trades. The proceedings of its seventh annual conven­
tion, held in Philadelphia in 1919, list as affiliated with the league 30
international unions, 8 State labor bodies, and 77 city central labor
organizations in 27 States and Canada.
Of course, it is impossible to list all the women who have taken
an important part in labor organizations, but a few of those at work
in recent times may be mentioned. In 1870 Augusta Lewis, of New
York, was elected corresponding secretary of the International Typo­
a Wo-lfson, Theresa.

Op. cit., p. 127 ; and Wolman, Leo.

Op. cit., p. 99.



graphical Union. The Glove Workers’ International Union has had
as its president Agnes Nestor; she had formerly served as its secre­
tary-treasurer, an office later held for many years by Elisabeth
Christman (now secretary-treasurer of the Women’s Trade Union
League). Another woman—Sarah Conboy—was, for several years
following 1915, secretary-treasurer of the Textile Workers’ Inter­
national Union; and in 1923 Julia O’Connor was president of the
Telephone Operators’ Department of the International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers. At all times since its formation a woman
has been on the board of the Boot and Shoe Workers’ International
Union; the International Ladies’ Garment Workers has had a woman
as officer, several women have been on its board, and women have
been on the board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers. The
American Federation of Labor has appointed, at various times, sev­
eral women as special organizers. Among other organizations of
national scope, the American Federation of Teachers has as a vice­
president Selma Borchardt, and the Federal employees’ unions
have women in important offices. Many more organizations and very
many interesting women who have been active in labor organiza­
tions could be listed, but the space of a large volume would be re­
quired to make such information complete.




(d) Women in official administrative labor positions and women
who have furthered movements for workers.
That women are taking their part as officials and inspectors is
evident from the figures of the 1930 census, which report 980 women
as State, 5,855 as county, and 3,109 as city officials and inspectors.
Naturally their duties and the fields they cover are varied.
A very small number of these women inspect factories, under the
State labor laws or regulations to insure safe and healthful condi­
tions of work for women and children. The whole budget of a
State for factory inspection—for both men and women—ordinarily
constitutes a small proportion of all that is spent by the State under
the head of safety; of the expenditures for protection of persons and
property reported by the United States Department of Commerce
in 1928, only 2.9 per cent were for factory inspection, a very small
amount when the large groups of men and women workers are
Even to-day there are few women executives in State labor depart­
ments. The first woman to hold such an executive position was Mrs.
Florence Kelley, appointed by the Governor of Illinois in 1893 as
chief of factory inspectors in the State. A graduate of Cornell
University and a member of the Illinois bar at a time when women
university graduates were few and women lawyers very unusual, she
did a thorough job for 4 years. After that time her originality,
keen mind, and forceful personality were active for more than 30
years in the local, State, and Federal campaigns for labor laws and
various other types of social legislation.
Present or past officials of the Women’s Bureau in the United
States Department of Labor and of the earlier Federal organizations
that preceded it will be given somewhat more detailed consideration
in the tenth number;4 they include Marie Obenauer, Mary van
Kleeck, Mary Anderson, and Agnes L. Peterson; those of the Chil­
dren’s Bureau include Julia Lathrop and Grace Abbott.
One great industrial State had a woman as commissioner of labor,
Frances Perkins, of New York. In the same State Nelle Swartz is a
member of the industrial commission and Frieda Miller director of
the division of women, in industry and minimum wage.
Obviously, it is not possible even to list here the women who are in
labor departments and factory inspection in all the States. The
Bureau of Labor Statistics lists such women in 30 States, though, of
course, their duties vary widely, and their official status is scarcely
ever the same in any two cases.5
5 U. S. Bureau of the Census. Financial Statistics of States, 1928. Table 11, u 78.
4 See p. 77, post.
6 U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly Labor Review, July, 1934, Labor Offices
in the United States and in Foreign Countries, pp. 225-247.




In addition to these officials, and to those active in the organizations
of their own trades, there have been other socially-minded persons
who have worked or have formed organizations for the improvement
of women’s working conditions. As early as 1828, Matthew Carey,
“ an independent and public-spirited citizen,” called attention to the
low wages paid women in Philadelphia, and was a moving spirit in
the organization of the women there. At about the same time or a
little later Frances Wright was writing in the interest of such move­
ments, and after the Civil War Grace Dodge was instrumental in­
organizing working women’s clubs. In 1866 the Working Women’s
Protective Union was formed to aid working women in the collection
of their wages. In the present time Margaret Dreier Robins and her
sister, Mary E. Dreier, have given long and devoted personal energy
as well as wealth in furthering the purposes of the Women’s Trade
Union League.
In 1886 the Working Women’s Society of New York was formed
with the help of Josephine Shaw Lowell and others; it aimed to fur­
ther working women’s organization, and to educate the public to the
need of better conditions. From this grew the National Consumers’
League, first arising in local branches in New York, Boston, Phila­
delphia, and elsewdiere, and formed on the principle of interesting
consumers to use only goods made under satisfactory conditions; this
standard was determined after careful investigation, and approved
firms were placed on a “ white list ” and allowed to put the distin­
guishing label of the society on their goods so that buyers would be
sure of it. Among the persons active in forming the New York
branch, in addition to Mrs. Lowell, were Maud Nathan, later its presi­
dent, and Dr. Mary Putnam Jacobi, daughter of the publisher,
George P. Putnam, and the first woman to become a member of the
New York Academy of Medicine.
The group in New York was first formed after an investigation
reported by Alice Woodbridge in the winter of 1889-90. Ten years
later the league became national in scope, with Mrs. Florence Kelley
as its executive secretary. Among the outstanding white lists there
were prepared those for candy and hosiery manufacturers. The
league was aided by two prominent lawyers, Felix Frankfurter and
Louis D. Brandeis; Josephine Goldmark prepared briefs for its cases
and published the results of her brilliant researches on the effects of
fatigue; Carola Woerishoffer gave up a summer trip abroad to work
in laundries to ascertain for the league the conditions prevailing there,
and Louise Lockwood did similar work in the silk industry.
Many others could be mentioned, but one woman who is a pioneer
in a scientific field must be included at all events—Dr. Alice Plamilton, who as a professor in the Harvard Medical School has devoted
years of investigation and research to the problem of occupational
diseases, publishing from time to time the results of her findings.


(a) Antecedents of the Women’s Bureau, and formation and per­
sonnel of the bureau.
In the decade from 1900 to 1910 there was a growing recognition
that women were increasing rapidly in industrial pursuits and that
many problems confronting working women should be the concern
of the Federal Government itself.
Almost the first official utterance of the National Women’s Trade
Union League, which had been created at the Boston convention of
the American Federation of Labor in 1903, was the passing of a reso­
lution requesting the Federal Government to make an investigation
of women in industry. In 1906, three Chicago women—Mrs. Ray­
mond Robins, Miss Jane Addams, and Miss Mary McDowell—went
to Washington and appeared before a congressional committee to ask
for an appropriation to make a special investigation of women in
industry. The appropriation finally was granted by Congress, and
the investigation was conducted by Charles P. Neill, then Commis­
sioner of Labor in the Department of Commerce and Labor. The
investigation extended over a period of three years, from 1907
through 1909, and covered many of the industries in which women
wTere employed. The report was published in 19 volumes and laid
the basis for an insistent demand for a bureau in the Government
whose concern should be the working woman. In 1913 the Depart­
ment of Labor was separated from the Department of Commerce.
A women’s division was established as a subdivision of the Bureau
of Labor Statistics. It was first headed by Marie Obernauer, and
the reports issued by her division in this early period give evidence
of a thorough and scientific approach to the work. However, her
efforts for women were placed under a heavy handicap by the form
of organization, for she was but one of five executives in the bureau,
the other four being men. Under these circumstances it was natural
that the groups interested in employment conditions affecting women
should continue their work for the establishment of a separate
women’s bureau.
The American Federation of Labor at its conventions passed reso­
lutions asking for the creation of a women’s bureau, and the presi­
dent, Samuel Gompers, and the legislative committee were active in
the agitation for such a bureau. In 1916 Representative Casey, of
Pennsylvania, introduced in Congress a bill to create a woman’s
division in the Department of Labor, but this bill did not pass.
In 1918 the increased employment of women and the Nation’s great
need of their work led to the institution of a Woman in Industry
Service, headed by Mary van Kleeck. Having been director of the
committee on women’s work and of industrial studies under the
Russell Sage Foundation, Miss van Kleeck brought experience in




investigation as well as a brilliant mind to her task, and when the
war was over she urged upon the attention of the country’s leaders
the permanency of women’s entrance into various occupations and
the consequent need for a Federal body that should make continual
study of the situation of employed women.
In this she was supported by organizations of those who saw the
importance of such a move. The joint committee of the Senate and
House heard representatives of the following organizations in the
interest of forming the Women’s Bureau:
American Federation of Labor.
National Women’s Trade-Union League.
National Federation of Federal Employees.
National Consumers’ League.
National League of Women Voters.
National Young Women’s Christian Association.
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
United States Department of Labor.
Child+cn’s Bureau, United States Department of Labor.
Division of Industrial Studies of the Bussell Sage Foundation.
University of Chicago Settlement.
Women’s Executive Committees of the National Republican Committee
and National Democratic Committee.
National Republican Congressional Committee.

Accordingly, in 1920, the Women’s Bureau was established in its
present form, created to—
* * * formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare
of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their effi­
ciency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.

In harmony with the policy of the Government, the Women’s
Bureau has no mandatory powers nor any laws to administer. How­
ever, it is the duty of the Federal Government to make sure that in
our eagerness for expansion of industries and the ever-growing de­
mand for more production we do not neglect the important human
resources of our country, and do not exploit women. The declara­
tion of standards and policies by the Women’s Bureau has the force
inherent in facts scientifically secured and presented and tends to
influence the industrial standards of the several States.
Since its formation, the bureau has been headed by Mary Ander­
son, who had been assistant director when Miss van Kleeck was
director of the then Woman in Industry Service, and had had years
of experience with the Boot and Shoe Workers’ Union and the
Women’s Trade Union League. The assistant director appointed
was Agnes L. Peterson, who had served as industrial supervisor with
Miss van Kleeck, and formerly had been a superintendent of the
first bureau of women and children organized in any State.1
The Children’s Bureau had been organized in the United States
Department of Labor earlier than the Women’s Bureau, and during
its history has been headed by two outstanding women—first, Julia
Lathrop, and later Grace Abbott; the work of these two directors,
both thoroughly grounded in the principles of social work, and with
valuable previous experience, is known wherever the expert care of
the child is sought, be it the dependent or delinquent ward of the
State, the child in industry, or the child in the home.1
1 Bertha M. Nienburg succeeded Miss Peterson in 1934.
2 Katharine F. Lenroot succeeded Miss Abbott in 1934.

(b), (c), and (d).
For use in this connection, make your own selections from Women’s
Bureau Bulletin 84, Fact Finding with the Women’s Bureau. If
you have not a copy of this bulletin, it can be obtained by request.
Sections especially suggested are those beginning on pages 1, 9, 28,
and 32.


[Any of these bulletins still available will be sent free of charge upon request]


1. Proposed Employment of Women During the War in the Industries of
Niagara Falls, N. Y. 16 pp. 1918.
2. Labor Laws for Women in Industry in Indiana. 29 pp. 1919.
3. Standards for the Employment of Women in Industry. 8 pp. Fourth
ed„ 1928.
4. Wages of Candy Makers in Philadelphia in 1929. 46 pp. 1919.
5. The Eight-Hour Day in Federal and State Legislation. 19 pp. 1919.
6. The Employment of Women in Hazardous Industries in the United
States. 8 pp. 1921.
7. Night-Work Laws in the United States. (1919.) 4 pp. 1920.
8. Women in the Government Service. 37 pp. 1920.
9. Home Work in Bridgeport, Conn. 35 pp. 1920.
10. Hours and Conditions of Work for Women in Industry in Virginia. 32
pp. 1920.
11. Women Street Car Conductors and Ticket Agents. 90 pp. 1921.
12. The New Position of Women in American Industry. 158 pp. 1920.
13. Industrial Opportunities and Training for Women and Girls. 48 pp.
14. A Physiological Basis for the Shorter Working Day for Women. 20 pp.
15. Some Effects of Legislation Limiting Hours of Work for Women. 26
pp. 1921.
16. (See Bulletin 63.)
17. Women’s Wages in Kansas. 104 pp. 1921.
18. Health Problems of Women in Industry. 6 pp. Revised, 1931.
19. Iowa Women in Industry. 73 pp. 1922.
20. Negro Women in Industry. 65 pp. 1922.
21. IVomen in Rhode Island Industries. 73 pp. 1922.
22. Women in Georgia Industries. 89 pp. 1922.
23. The Family Status of Breadwinning Women. 43 pp. 1922.
24. Women in Maryland Industries. 96 pp. 1922.
25. Women in the Candy Industry in Chicago and St. Louis. 72 pp. 1923.
26. Women in Arkansas Industries. 86 pp. 1923.
27. The Occupational Progress of Women. 37 pp. 1922.
28. Women’s Contributions in the Field of Invention. 51 pp. 1923.
29. Women in Kentucky Industries. 114 pp. 1923.
30. The Share of Wage-Earning Women in Family Support. 170 pp. 1923.
31. What Industry Means to Women Workers. 10 pp. 1923.
32. Women in South Carolina Industries. 128 pp. 1923.
33. Proceedings of the Women’s Industrial Conference. 190 pp. 1923.
34. Women in Alabama Industries. 80 pp. 1924.
35. Women in Missouri Industries. 127 pp. 1924.
36. Radio Talks on Women in Industry. 34 pp. 1924.
37. Women in New Jersey Industries. 99 pp. 1924.
38. Married Women in Industry. 8 pp. 1924.
39. Domestic Workers and Their Employment Relations. 87 pp. 192-4.
40. (See Bulletin 63.)
41. Family Status of Breadwinning Women in Four Selected Cities. 14o
pp. 1925.
42. List of References on Minimum Wage for Women in the United States
and Canada. 42 pp. 1925.
43. Standard and Scheduled Hours of Work for Women in Industry. 68
pp. 1925.

Supply exhausted.


No. 44. Women in Ohio Industries. 137 pp. 1925.
•No. 45. Home Environment and Employment Opportunities of Women in Coal­
Mine Workers’ Families. 61 pp. 1925.
•No. 46. Facts about Working Women—A Graphic Presentation Based on Cen­
sus Statistics. 64 pp. 1925.
No. 47. Women in the Fruit-Growing and Canning Industries in the State of
Washington. 223 pp. 1926.
•No. 48. Women in Oklahoma Industries. 118 pp. 1926.
•No. 49. Women Workers and Family Support. 10 pp. 1925.
No. 50. Effects of Applied Research upon the Employment Opportunities of
American Women. 54 pp. 1926.
No. 51. Women in Illinois Industries. 108 pp. 1926.
No. 52. Lost Time and Labor Turnover in Cotton Mills. 203 pp. 1926.
No. 53. The Status of Women in the Government Service in 1925. 103 pp.
•No. 54. Changing Jobs. 12 pp. 1926.
No. 55. Women in Mississippi Industries. 89 pp. 1926.
No. 56. Women in Tennessee Industries. 120 pp. 1927.
No. 57. Women Workers and Industrial Poisons. 5 pp. 1926.
No. 5S. Women in Delaware Industries. 156 pp. 1927.
No. 59. Short Talks About Working Women. 24 pp. 1927.
No. 60. Industrial Accidents to Women in New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin..
316 pp. 1927.
No. 61. The Development of Minimum-Wage Laws in the United States, 1912
to 1927. 635 pp. 1928.
•No. 62. Women’s Employment in Vegetable Canneries in Delaware. 47 pp.
•No. 63. State Laws Affecting Working Women. 51 pp. 1927. (Revision of
Bulletins 16 and 40.)
No. 64. The Employment of Women at Night. 86 pp. 1928.
•No. 65. The Effects of Labor Legislation on the Employment Opportunities of
Women. 498 pp. 1928.
No. 66-1. History of Labor Legislation for Women in Three States. 133 pp.
No. 66-11. Chronological Development of Labor Legislation for Women in the
United States. 145 pp. 1929. (Revised 1932.)
No. 67. Women Workers in Flint, Mich. 80 pp. 1929.
No. 68. Summary: The Effects of Labor Legislation on the Employment Op­
portunities of Women. (Reprint of Chapter 2 of Bulletin 65.) 22
pp. 1928.
No. 69. Causes of Absence for Men and for Women in Four Cotton Mills.
24 pp. 1929.
No. 70. Negro Women in Industry in 15 States. 74 pp. 1929.
No. 71. Selected References on the Health of Women in Industry. 8 pp.
No. 72. Conditions of Work in Spin Rooms. 41 pp. 1929.
No. 73. Variations in Employment Trends of Women and Men. 143 pp. 1930.
No. 74. The Immigrant Woman and Her Job. 179 pp. 1930.
No. 75. What the Wage-Earning Woman Contributes to Family Support. 21
pp. 1929.
No. 76. Women in 5-and-10-cent Stores and Limited-Price Chain Department
Stores. 58 pp. 1930.
No. 77. A Study of Two Groups of Denver Married Women Applying for Jobs.
11 pp. 1929.
No. 78. A Survey of Laundries and Their Women Workers in 23 Cities. 166
pp. 1930.
No. 79. Industrial Home Work. 20 pp. 1930.
No. 80. Women in Florida Industries. 115 pp. 1030.
No. 81. Industrial Accidents to Men and Women. 48 pp. 1930.
No. 82. The Employment of Women in the Pineapple Canneries of Hawaii.
30 pp. 1930.
No. 83. Fluctuation of Employment in the Radio Industry. 66 pp. 1931.
No. 84. Fact Finding with the Women’s Bureau. 37 pp. 1931.
No. 85. Wages of Women in 13 States. 213 pp. 1931.
No. 86. Activities of the Women’s Bureau of the United States. 15 pp. 1931.
• Supply exhausted.


No. 87. Sanitary Drinking Facilities, with Special Reference to Drinking
Fountains. 28 pp. 1931.
No. 88. The Employment of Women in Slaughtering and Meat Packing. 210
pp. 1932.
No. 89. The Industrial Experience of Women Workers at the Summer Schools,
1928 to 1930. 62 pp. 1931.
No. 90. Oregon Legislation for Women in Industry. 40 pp. 1931.
No. 91. Women in Industry—A Series of Papers to Aid Study Groups. 79 pp.
1931. (Partly revised in 1935.)
No. 92. Wage-Earning Women and the Industrial Depression of 1930. A Sur­
vey of Soutli Bend. 84 pp. 1932.
No. 93. Household Employment in Philadelphia. 88 pp. 1932.
No. 94. State Requirements for Industrial Lighting. A Handbook for the
Protection of Women Workers, Showing Lighting Standards and
Practices. 65 pp. 1932.
No. 95. Bookkeepers, Stenographers and Office Clerks, Ohio, 1914-1929. 34
pp. 1932.
No. 96. Women Office Workers in Philadelphia. 17 pp. 1932.
No. 97. The Employment of Women in the Sewing Trades of Connecticut—
Preliminary Report. 13 pp. 1932.
No. 98. Labor Laws for Women in the States and Territories. Revision of
Bulletin 63. 71 pp. 1932.
No. 99. The Installation and Maintenance of Toilet Facilities in Places of
Employment. 89 pp. 1933.
No. 100. The Effects on Women of Changing Conditions in the Cigar and
Cigarette Industries. 187 pp. 1932.
No. 101. The Employment of Women in Vitreous Enameling. 64 pp. 1932.
No. 102. Industrial Injuries to Women in 1928 and 1929. 36 pp. 1933.
No. 103. Women Workers in the Third Year of the Depression—A Study of
109 Students in the Bryn Mawr Summer School. 16 pp. 1933.
No. 104. The Occupational Progress of Women, 1910 to 1930. 90 pp. 1933.
No. 105. A Study of a Change from 8 to 6 Hours of Work. 17 pp. 1933.
No. 106. Household Employment in Chicago. 62 pp. 1933.
No. 107. Technological Changes in Relation to Women’s Employment. (In
No. 108. The Effects of the Depression on Wage Earners’ Families: A Second
Survey of South Bend. (In press.)
No. 109. The Employment of Women in the Sewing Trades of Connecticut.
Second and final report. (In press.) See also Bulletin 97.
No. 110. The Change from Manual to Dial Operation in the Telephone Indus­
try. 15 pp. 1933.
No. 111. Hours, Earnings, and Employment in Cotton Mills. 78 pp. 1933.
No. 112. Standards of Placement Agencies for Household Employees. 68 pp.
No. 113. Employment Fluctuations and Unemployment of Women. 1928-1931.
236 pp. 1933.
No. 114. State Reporting of Occupational Disease, Including a Survey of
Legislation Applying to Women. 99 pp. 1934.
No. 115. Women at Work. 60 pp. 1934.
No. 116. A Study of a Change from One Shift of 9 Hours to Two Shifts of
6 Hours Each. 14 pp. 1934.
No. 117. The Age Factor as It Relates to Women in Business and the Pro­
fessions. 66 pp. 1934.
No. 118. The Employment of Women in Puerto Rico. 34 pp. 1934.
No. 119. Hours and Earnings in the Leather Glove Industry. 32 pp. 1934.
No. 120. The Employment of Women in Offices. 126 pp. 1934.
No. 121. A Survey of the Shoe Industry in New Hampshire. 100 pp. 1934.
No. 122. Variations in Wage Rates Under Corresponding Conditions. 57 pp.
No. 123. The Employment of Women on Work Clothing and Cotton Dresses.
(In press.)
No. 124. Women in Arkansas Industries. 45 pp. 1934.
No. 125. The Employment of Women in Department Stores. A Study in
Selected Cities of Five States in 1933. (In press.)
No. 126. Women in Industry in Texas. (In press.)


No. 127. Hours and Earnings in Tobacco Stemmeries. 29 pp. 1934.
No. 128. Potential Earning Power of Southern Mountaineer Handicraft. 56
pp. 1934.
No. 129. Industrial Injuries to Women in 1930 and 1931 Compared with In­
juries to Men. 57 pp. 1935.
No. 130. Employed Women Under N.R.A. Codes. (In press.)
No. 131. Industrial Home Work in Rhode Island. 27 pp. 1935.
No. 132. W’omen Who Work in Offices: I. Study of Employed Women; II.
Study of Women Seeking Employment. 27 pp. 1935.
No. 133. Employment Conditions in Beauty Shops. 46 pp. 1935.
No. 134. Summaries of Studies of the Economic Status of Women. 20 pp
No. 135. The Commercialization of the Home Through Industrial Home Work.
(In press.)
Pamphlet—Women’s Place in Industry in 10 Southern States. 14 pp. 1931.
Memorandum on the Practicability of Setting Maximum Stand­
ards of Work in Cotton Mills Operating Under the Stretch-out
System. 4 pp. 1933.
Labor Legislation for Women, January to June 1933. 4 pp. 1933.
Leaflet—Why Legislate Living Wages for Women Workers? 1935.



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