Page 6 of 9
May 20.—MESSRS. SMITH AND KEMP’S BUTTON MANUFACTORY.
This is a large establishment. Many of the windows have broken panes and as the people work directly opposite to them, they must be liable to catch cold. Some of the shops are very hot. The privies are used in common by the males and females.
No 367 —Mr. Kemp
Is a partner in the firm. The business carried on consists of the manufacture of metal buttons, and hooks and eyes. The boys are principally employed in assisting the journey-men in “cobbing,” turning the wheel for the lathe and “drawing through.”
It would not interfere with their business if children under 9 years were not allowed to work. It would cause some inconvenience and loss if children between 9 and 13 were only allowed to work 8 hours a day. Such a restriction would principally affect the “cobbers,” and those “drawing through.” The cobbers receive less wages than any other class of workpeople, on an average about 1s. 6d. a-week. On the whole does not think such a limitation would cause much inconvenience. It would not be injurious if young persons under 18 were restricted to 12 hours’ labour, exclusive of meals. Night-work is not required.
(Signed) JOHN KEMP.
No. 368.—Betsey Woodroff, 9 years old.
Can read, cannot write. Has been 1 year at a Sunday-school; is taught to read and spell. There is an evening school twice a-week for writing and accounts; the girls are admitted to this at 12 years.
Has been 1 year at work as a “putter in.”
Comes at 8 A.M. and leaves at 7 P.M.; sometimes stops till 8, 9, and 9½ P.M. This is not often the case. Has 1 hour for dinner, and ¼ of an hour or more for tea.
Earns 1s. 6d. a-week. Works for the firm. Has good health.
(Signed) BETSEY WOODROFF X her mark.
No. 369.—Emma Reeves, 12 years old.
Can read an easy book; can’t write. “Jesus Christ was the Son of God.” Does not know who put Jesus Christ to death.
Went to work at 5, as a “putter in.” Works now at colouring; it is very hot work, over a stove.
Comes at 8 A.M., leaves at 7 or 8 P.M.; sometimes till 9; one night stopped till 11 P.M.
Has 1 hour for dinner, and ½ hour for tea.
Earns 3s. 6d., set wages, from 8 A.M. till 6 P.M.; is paid for over-work; likes overwork. Gives her wages to her mother; has a penny now and then for herself. Work agrees very well with her health.
(Signed) EMMA REEVES X her mark.
[Note.—This girl works with another over a hot stove; one suffers from the heat, the other does not at all.]
No. 370.—Mary Anne Tibbits, 12 years old.
Can read an easy book; can’t write. Has been 18 months at a Sunday-school. Is taught to read and spell. There is an evening school twice a-week, for writing and accounts; intends to go now her mother is better; the work won’t prevent her going. “A year is 12 months.” Does not know what “reason” means. “Jesus Christ was God.” He was nailed to the cross for men. Does not know by whom he was put to death.
Has been three years at lacquering.
Comes at 8 A.M., leaves at 7 P.M. Sometimes stops till 8 or 9½, never later.
Has 1¼ hour for meals.
Had 1 day at Christmas, Good Friday, ½ day at Easter, 1 day at Whitsuntide, and ½ day at each fair. Once a-year for 3 weeks they have no work, whilst stock is being taken.
Earns 3s. 3d., regular wages; is paid for overwork.
The shop is too hot for her; has the head ache; last year had the erysipelas, which they said was from the work. The other girls complain of head ache.
(Signed) MARY ANN TIBBITS X her mark.
No. 371.—William Chaplin, 13 years old.
Can read an easy book; writes a little.
Blacks hooks and eyes.
Earns 3s.; has no over-work. Works for Mr. Jeffson. Gets a box if he neglects his work. Four girls work in the same shop. Has good health; the work agrees with him.
No. 372.—Thomas Baldwin, 9 years old.
Can read well; can write a bit. Went three months to a day school; goes now to a Sunday-school. “Human means woman.” Does not know what future means.
Has worked at turning the wheel for a lathe 12 months.
Comes at 7 A.M., sometimes at 8; leaves off at 8 P.M., sometimes 9; has stopped till 10 P.M. on Saturday night. In the winter came at 8 A.M. and left at 4 or 6 P.M.
Has about 10 minutes or ¼ of an hour for breakfast, 1 hour for dinner, ½ hour for tea, or less, as the man pleases. Earns 2s. 3d. if he comes at 7 and leaves at 8 P.M.
It is not hard work; it makes his legs and arms ache. Stands at his work. Stops for a minute or two when the man sets the tools.
Has a good appetite, and sleeps well at night.
(Signed) THOMAS BALDWIN X his mark.
[Note.—This is a quick boy, but he does not seem to understand much of what he reads. He is very badly clothed.]