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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (May 29, 1909)
LIXCOLX, NEBRASKA, MAY 29, 1909
Child Labor a Deadly
Menace to Civilization
Every citizen of our country ought
to be well-informed about this prob
lem of child labor. It is of prime im
portance that everyone should make
himself familiar with important civic
and national economic conditions, and
child labor Is a problem so far-reaching
and so Interwoven with others
that It Is of particular interest. It in
terests the poet and the painter, who
have delighted to depict the beauty
and the purity ot childhood; it inter
ests the educator, threatening as it
does our long established standards
of literacy and culture; it interests the
statesmen, who fear the racial degen
eracy sure to result; it interests the
manufacturer, forcing upon him un
skilled and Inefficient operatives, and.
perhaps most of all. it Interests the
worklngman. for he sees in it a men
ace to his own and his children's live
lihood. The busy man may not wish to go
into the entire history of the long
fight against child labor, but he should
know something of . its beginnings
BOYS WORKING IN
(The machinery in this mill has
more than a century ago. when the
good people ot England were shocked
to learn that thousands ot English
children, some of them not more than
live or six years of age, were being
driven to death in their factories and
mines. The pauper children ot the
London workhouses were being fed to
the machine almost as children in the
ancient Idolatries were fed to Moloch.
Pauper children whom nobody owned,
deserted waifs, orphans and thousands
to supply the demand for cheap labor
created by the introduction ot factory
methods in the manufacture ot textile
goods. These puny laborers were
worked to death, but that was not a
serious matter because the supply
seemed amply able to fill up the de
pleted ranks; and when the workhouse
supply became low, there were not
lacking English fathers and mothers
who were willing to send their chil
dren to the factories that they them
selves might live In greater ease.
When all this became known and
the conscience of the English people
was aroused, there was .enacted in
1S02 the first English factory law,
which though but a beginning was a
step In the direction ot reform.
In America the conditions have
never been so bad as they were in
England a century ago, but they have
been bad enough. When factories were
first introduced in this country we
bad the advantage of having seen the
experience of England, and from the
first there were some restrictive laws
in regard to the employment of chil
dren. Then too, our universal feeling
tor popular education kept the child
In the school tor at least a few years.
But within the past geneartion there
has come a change in the nature of
our population, and the factories,
which urgently need the cheapest la
bor they can get. have extended iheir
field to part of our country where they
had been formerly unknown. America
now has to consider the case of thou
sands of clhldren who toil in the tex
tile mills,' North and South. We have
to reckon with the army ot little boys
constantly bending over the chutes of
the coal and clear from clinkers at the
expense of their very life blood; and
that other army ot boys working at
night In the superheated glass factor
ies. We have to consider the girls
employed in the department stores.
In the cigar factories, and the can
neries; the messenger boys, and the
newsboys, and the bootblacks, get
ting an education in our public streets.
We have to remember the unfortunate
children, and the very babies, kept
awake and at work at night in a
sweatshop home. Every citizen should
ask himself what it means when the
census reports 1.T50.1TS children be
tween the ages of 10 and 15 years em
ployed in gainful occupation. It is
worth while to consider whether the
gain is on the part of the child or
on the part only of the manufacturer.
It is worth while to consider what
profit it shall be to the nation If divi
dends are increased, while children
are destroyed. All these children are
of school age and they ought to be
in school, fitting themselves for some
useful career. What may we expect
as a result of their passing those years
in the factory instead of in the school?
They are not likely to become so
habituated to their monotonous and
wearying tasks that they will learn
to love a life of drudgery, as was
hoped by some English philanthrop
ists. Rather are they likely to do
what many have done, throw off the
hateful burden and go out into the
land to join the ever increasing army
of vagrants and tramps. They cannot
be expected to acquired or retain much
literary knowledge, and so they in-
A COAL BREAKER.
been built to fit their height.)
troduce the hazard of a large percent
age of ignorant and even illiterate
persons in our population. We have
been proud of our standards of intelli
gence, and it is somewhat of a sur
prise to some of us to know that the
percentage of illiteracy of the adult
population in the United States is
greater than that of any of the more
progressive European antions, yet this
is true even of our most progressive
states. The public school, which we
have always regarded as the palla
dium of our liberties, has failed to
reach one full tenth of our population.
and it has failed to reach effectively
a much greater proportion.
These children in the factories and
mills are deprived equally of an op
portunity for proper physical develop
ment. They have no opportunity for
free exercise or for life in the open
air, and what greater needs has the
growing child than pure air and exer
cise? It Is not surprising to find that
many of them go to fill early graves
and that others lively only the half
life of physical infirmity and mental
We are told that child labor is on
ly a result of poverty. - True, child la
bor and poverty usually go together,
but it is perhaps, truer that poverty
Is a result of child labor, rather than
child labor a result of poverty. At
least, the two together form a vicious
circle, each creating the other. Where
children work adults are either forced
out of employment or obliged to work
at wages fixed by child standards. The
family income is never permanently
increased by the employment of chil
dren. Rather it is decreased, even
though the adult members of the fam
ily continue their accustomed work.
The young workers are not fitting
The Labor Movement in Europe
V. LABOR T.TgAn-gftS TN THE CHURCH.
At least twenty of the labor members in parliament are affiliated
with the church, and several of them are "lay" or unordained
preachers, spending their Sundays in conducting religious services.
Large numbers of the leaders of labor in England and Scotland are
actively interested in the church indeed, they will tell you that
they received their training as public" speakers in the church.
" Mr. Arthur Henderson. M. P., chairman of the labor party in the
house of commons, is vice-president of the great church brotherhood
movement in Great Britain, which has a membership of 500.000.
He. together with such men as Will Crooks, M. P., George Xieholls,
M. P.. and other labor leaders who are not members of parliament,
frequently speak at the national conventions and Sunday afternoon
themselves for any useful career and
after a few years they are pushed out
from the positions which they occu
pied, with nothing higher to which
they may aspire and without the
training, the strength, or the skill to
do even ordinary manual labor.
Every citizen should know the laws
of his own state in regard to the em
ployment of children and he should
interest himself to see whether those
laws are enforced. If the laws are
not up to the highest standard or if
they are not properly enforced, it is
due to a lack of intelligent public in
terest and the citizen owes it to him
self and to the state to help in awak
ening such an interest. Humanity
Christianity, patriotism, and self-interest
all unite in protesting again
child labor. It must be eliminated.
Let us do it now! By Everett W.
Lord, Secretary Xew England Child
Note. Information regarding child
labor may be obtained by anyone who
cares to apply to (he National Child
Labor Committee, 105 East Twenty
second Street, Xew York City.
THE ENGINEERS' MEETING.
Plans Practically Completed
Hearty Good Time.
The reunion planned by Division Xo.
9S, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi
neers, to be held in Lincoln June 29
30, will be the biggest of its kind.
This means that it will be something
worth waiting for and going many
miles to see.- In addition to the good
features of each session and they
THE PROPER TIME TO BOOST
(Being the Rhyming Ruminations of the Boosting Bleaeh
erite Who is There With the Leather Lungs, Win or Lose.)
We ean all be loyal boosters when the home team is aheatl;
We ean all be loud-lunged shouters when we beat."
But the "fan" best loved by player is the one as gay, or gayer,
When the home team goes kerplunk into defeat. . -
We can, all wear smiling faces when the home team hits the ball
And we push our winning scores aeross the goal;
But it takes a loyal creature in the grandstand or the bleacher
To keep "rooting" when the home team's in a hole.
When we've got 'em on the hog train it's an easy thing to boost,
But it's different when they've got us going south.
When we win we're all the eustard ; we're the boys that cut the
If we lose, the "knocker" gets there with his mouth.
We ean all be happy winners when the scoreboard looks our way,
But the cheerful loser is the man we love.
May the Lord spare thai affliction of the man whose predelietion
Is to give the down grade team a hearty shove.
When the home team's up against it is the time to give a boost ;
That's the time the loyal "fan" will rise and "root." (
When the visitors are winning only "knockers" take an inning,
And it's time the loyal "fans" gave them the boot.
Here's a bleacherite who's pulling for the home team, lose
or win ;
Mr. Hard Luck can't forever camp in town.
You can bet your bottom dollar, and your hat, eoat, shirt and
That they can't keep Guy Green's bunch of players down."
Cheer up, Mr. Grouchy Loser! Throw your hammer in the
weeds ; ,
Boost, instead of always knocking on the team.
Quit your everlasting growling smile a bit, instead of
Wait until the pla3ers generate more steam.
Don't think Fox, or Jude, or Pritehett, "Gus" or Waldron
love to lose,
Or that Thomas, "Gag" or Mason like defeat.
Don't think "Davy," Jones or "Sully" love to linger in the
Victory is for all the team a morsel sweet.
will be the very best the social fea
tures, will embrace a variety of things
calculated to make the visitors be
lieve that the Lincoln men know
how to do things.
There will be some big Brotherhood
men in attendance, not all of them en
gineers, either. The governor, the
mayor and County Judge Cosgrave will
deliver addresses of welcome.
Many New Members for the Month of
Six hundred and fifty-two new mem
bers were initiated into the Order of
Railway Telegraphers during the
month of March.
The grand division opened their
regular bziennial session in Atlanta,
Ga., Monday, with the largest attend
ance in its history.
The surplus in the mortuary fund
of the mutual benefit department now
exceeds $253,000, which is the high
VETOES EIGHT-HOUR BILL.
Governor Draper of Massachusetts
has vetoed the bill which provided that
no public employes shall be required
to work more than eight hours a
day. The bill was an amendment to
an eight-hour act already on the sta
tute books, providing that public em
ployes would not be "required or re
quested to work more than eight
hours a day, the claim having been
made that the present law is evaded
by "requests" that overtime work be
meetings of the brotherhood in various cities. These church brother
hoods, by the -way, are composed very largely of ' trades unionists,
as I discovered when addressing brotherhood mass meetings in
London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.
The trades union leaders on the other side have learned the
value of having the church with them, and the chnrch, .at any rate
the non-conformist church, is closely identified with the interests of
working people. It is also quite evident, that whatever the average
workingman may personally think of the church and of the tem
perance question, he is careful to select his leader, and as his repre
sentative in the house of commons, the man who is of a high moral
character and usually one who is a total abstainer and a member
of the church.
Worlringmen Want an
Opportunity to do Things
There was an interesting meeting
at the city hall last Monday, afternoon.
called to consider ways and - means
of "helping the workingmen and oar-
ticipated in by ministers, laymen.- T.
M. C. A. workers, women of the City
Improvement Society, and others. Pro
fessor Howard was elected chairman
and that especial friend of labor, L.
O. Jones, was elected secretary- The
matter of drinking fountains and pub
lic lavatories was given first atten
tion, and" after the need for them
was discussed at length a committee
was appointed to interview the ciiy
council in relation thereto. It was
stated that there was a double need
for these conveniences "now that the
saloons have been closed."
Then the meetfng proceeded to dis
cuss some other things that the work
ingmen might need, "now that the
1 1 ' f w . ..?f
CHILDREN CHEAPER THAN COTTON.
saloons have been closed." and a
municipal club house was suggested.
Another suggested coffee bouses. Some
one else suggested a place where men
might play pool and billiards amidst
clean surroundings, which brought out
a protest' from another who was quite
sure that pool and billiards were the
inventions and chief weapons of the
devil. Unfortunately no one sug
gested ping pong and croquet, to say
nothing of "flinch." and golf, "bow
that the saloons have been' closed.
Another committee was appointed to
consider the club and coffee honse
It was also suggested that "now
that the saloons have been closed"
it might be a good idea to provide a
series of public band concerts in the
city park, and this suggestion met
with instant favor, and some of the
ministers present even went to the
length of saying that Sunday after
noon concerts in the park might be
helpful, especially in view of the fact
that "now that the sloons have been
closed. Somehow or other, the Im
pression was conveyed that owing to
the closing of the saloons it was Im
perative that something be done for
the workingman. the intimation being
that workingmen spent all their leis
ure hours in the saloons.
One man present, who adinltted
that he did not and could not speak
for workingmen, but woo aid lay
claim to speaking as a workingman,
declared that it was high time to quit
insulting the workingmen by offering
to do something for him. "What the
workingman wants." declared this par
ticular speaker, "is an opportunity to
do things for himself. His Inherent
democratic feelings Impel him to re
sent the idea of always and eternally
having others do something for him
while insisting that he do not bias that
is repugnant to the ideas and hsnwf
This speaker also declared that ii
churches were not reaching the work'
ingmen as they should, which declara
tion brought out a dec la rat low front
Rev. Dr. Roach that the speaker vt
making assertions he could not sub
stantiate, and the farther iatimatioa
that the speaker did sot know ainca
about church work. The speaker re
torted by saying that as he was tie
son of a minister, the grandson of a
minister and a very eose relative of
two other ministers, and himseif a
church member as well as a workiag
man he felt somewhat qualified to taTSr
with knowledge upon that partfcraiar
Mrs. T. J. Doyle injected a Utile
ginger into the discussion by favrairias;
what there was about the saloon to
attract men. She was qnite certain K
was something other thaa the oe
desire to drink, for she could aot be
lieve there was any amssement la
merely drinking intoxicants. She de
clared that slovenly home keeping
and poor cooking was responsible for
a large part of the loafing arosad sa
loons. This brought oat a rejoinder
from another woman who was abso
lutely sure that men loafed arowad
saloons and spent their money there
because they craved in toxica at. This.
by the way. merely demonstrated that
the good woman who made the asser
tion simply didn't know what she was
Dr. Weatherty. pastor of All goals
church, declared it to be his opinion,
that it was time to qtiit putting them
selves in the altitude of "doing some
thing for the workingmen.' and be
gin helping working men to do right
things. He favored park concerts
Sunday afternoons and week-day eve
nings, public play grounds and tike at
tractions, all owned aad controlled
by all taxpayers, not by any partlea
Iar organization. This would make the
workingmen a part and a parrel of
The Rev. A. TU Weatberly stored
that the chair appoint a committee of
three to prepare a suitable aseinoriai
to the city coancil arging the estab
lishment of drinking fountain. The
committee includes A l Weather!?,
lira. J. l ClaSin asd C. E. Prevey.
A. J. Xorthrup asked that a conv
':tee of seven be appointed fey the
-hair to investigate the matter of a
gathering place, rest room aad aamse
ments to report at a latter saeeiisg.
The committee consists of C Sf.
Mayne. A. 3, Xortflrup. W. Jl. Maa
pin. W. E. Hardy, W. A. Seller k. Mis
Lncile Eaves and E. S. Ripley.
It was agreed that a eotnmitiee of
three be appointed with Mr. Hage
now as a member, to consider the
qoestioa of band coaeerts fa the eity.
Dr. S. Z. Batten. A. Hag-enow asd A.
L. YVe-'berty were named.
It was decided, "now that the sa
loons are closed. to hold another
meeting at a later date to coaside.
ether questions aad to hear tie re
ports of the committees appointed.
The meeting then adioaraed.
WHITE FIREMEN STRIKE.
Every white Sretui aad hostler eta-
ployed on the Georgia Railroad is oat
on strike as a protest against the em
ployment of negroes by the company.
The officials of the road say the strike
will not interfere with the
of the trains.
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