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MESSRS. G. LAYTON’S, JAPAN BUTTON MANUFACTURER, LITTLE CHARLES STREET.
397. The workshops are parts of a gloomy and deserted .looking set of: buildings in a back court, reached by a steep narrow passage, and employ besides the master one man, five women, two girls over and one under 13, and two boys of 8 and 9. The nature of the manufacture is described below (b. 402-4). The floor of the shop is covered with apparently long accumulated litter and heaps of waste metal &c. To judge from appearances cleaning is very rare.
398. In the adjoining buildings are shops of the same outward appearance in which various works are carried on; pearl button making, gun-work, glass moulds, stirrups, boots, hinges, &c.
399. Jane Freeman.—Am 20. Work a press. My thumb is tied up because I have pinched a piece out of it with the press. Pinched off the end of my right forefinger at some tin-plate works in cutting out tin cans with a press, and was out-patient at the hospital for two months with it. Have been also in a percussion cap and a pin factory.
Am a tidy scholar; can read [can], but cannot write. Go to Sunday school still, and did go to a night school.
400. Louisa Copeman, age 14.—Press girl. Have pinched the end of my thumb in the press. Work from 8¼ to 7½, sometimes 8. Go home to dinner from 1 to 2¼. Can read [spells “b-e,” “m-y,” &c.] Was never at day school.
[Dress half torn from her bosom.]
401. Ann Taylor, age 9.—Shove buttons on a wire ready for blacking. Was at another place just about like this before, and worked from 8 to 7. Littler girls than me worked there. Get my hands clean before I go away from here. Mother brought me here. Get 2s. a week. Can tell my letters, but not spell them. Go to school every Sunday and three nights a week.
[Sits 4 or 5 feet from the stove. Looks healthy but uncombed, &c. The two boys did not know the letters.]