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swarmed men and boys, running to and “They average from a dollar to a dolfro and mechanically dodging the soft lar and a half a day.” balls of molten glass as they passed from "That's pretty good money for young one to the other. Whenever a blower boys to make. I should think you could stepped aside from one of the openings get men to do the work for that price.” in the furnace, a vivid, white glare threw "The boys are quick and nimble—the ghastly light on the faces of the work- blowers don't want men for assistants." ers and discovered a fiery cauldron in the “What do the boys do, anyway?" belly of the furnace.
"You see, the blower sticks his pipe "What is the temperature around those into the furnace and draws out a little ovens?” we asked.
ball of molten glass. He rolls it on the “Right up close to the openings it's slanting-topped table, blows into the about 110 or 115, but of course as soon as other end of his pipe, and then lays the they step away from the hole they are in long glass bubble into an open mold. A the normal temperature of the room." boy holds the mold, while the blower puts "The normal
in the hot glass. temperature of the
Then the room !" I repeated,
closes the mold, incredulously. We
and, w hen the could feel the heat
blower has finished from the furnaces
blowing the bottle, beating against our
the helper cracks faces from where
off the stem of we stood.
glass from the top "Yes, the blow
of the mold. This ers soon get used
boy is called the to it. But in win
'cracker off boy.' ter time the carrier
When the hot glass boys have it harder
has cooled a trifle than the blowers,
the 'cracker off because they have
boy' puts the unconstantly to run
necked bottle into from the furnaces
the holder of the out into the cold
'sticker up boy, room and back
the 'sticker again. But the boys
up' boy hands the don't mind it," he
bottle holder, with hastened to say.
its still fiery con"What are those
tents, to the fintubes that come
isher. That man down the
sitting down about heads of the work
ten feet away from ers?" was our next
the furnace is the question.
finisher. He has a Child-worker taking garment for delivery. “Those pipes
separate furnace of carry in fresh air for the blowers and his own, where he reheats the head of helpers," said the foreman. “You see we the bottle and puts on the neck. We do everything possible to help our work- have but one or two 'carry in' boys here, ers," he added proudly.
because we find we can use the men just "Why? Are there any bad gases com- as well. The ‘carry in' boys carry the ing from the furnaces?" we asked in bottle to the annealing furnace where it surprise.
is tempered." "Well, you see-oh, they don't mind it We drew nearer and watched the procat all. They make such good money that ess closely. As the blower finished with they are willing to put up with a few the bottle in the mold a large blister of inconveniences.
fine glass formed at the top of the mold, “How much do the boys make ?" showing that he had blown long enough.
CHILDREN WHO KNOW NO CHILDHOOD. Cotton mill operatives, ranging in years from eight to thirteen. The girls have worked from age of six. 2. Two youthful Sons of Toil. 3. At work as "doffers” in Southern cotton mill. 4. Stunted and misshapen from carly labor. 5. Little Mike, twelve years old, earns eight cents an hour. 6. Group of cotton loom
girls. 7. Only thirteen, and works all night in a machine shop. 8. Five little girl mill workers.
Then when the "cracker off" boy broke sends his son to the glass works to make off the blow pipe this blister of fine.glass a living. It is impossible to conceive how burst into smithereens and flew into the conditions could be worse. The boys work air. The floor around the furnaces was in frightful heat in summer, and run conliterally covered with this fine tissue- stantly from the terrible heat of the furpaper glass.
naces to the below zero temperature of "Doesn't that fine glass ever get into the room in the winter. They slave like the eyes of the boy sitting over the living automatons in an atmosphere mold ?" we asked.
loaded with deadly gases and obnoxious "Oh, no, the boys know how to take fumes and filled with flying particles of care of themselves. They don't mind it glass. It is so necessary to save time in the anyway. · Over here you can see them work that the men and boys are all hudblowing long glass tubes for small vials,” dled together as closely as possible. Two said the foreman, anxious to change the blowers work from one opening in the subject, and we passed back into another furnace. The result is that the hot, part of the room.
liquid glass is passed around hurriedly, It is no wonder that a blower never missing the workers' legs and arms and bodies by only a fraction of an inch. But tasks that no one else will do. Down the the men and boys don't always miss each whole line of child labor industries, those other. The clothes of the workers are who have seen the little tots work testify seared in places, and many of them carry that they all belong to the same dumb, scars for life on their bodies.
broken-spirited army. Their lives are as The boys are required by law to be blank as their faces. They work today thirteen or fourteen years old, depending that they may eat, and eat that they may pon the state. They may be as old as work tomorrow. Their work is as lifethat, but they don't look it. They are pale less as their life is like a machine. For and wan. They are stunted, undeveloped long, dreary hours their little half-develand dumb. The most striking thing about these little martyrs of industry is the way in which they mechanically go through their tasks, quickly, but without a sound. They dance like so many mute puppets to the hurdy-gurdy of the blowpipe. Oppressed? They have had their young life and spirit crushed out of them by the deadly rhythm of petty tasks that they repeat a thousand times a day, but they do not know it. They may steal an appealing look at you, but they enact their ghastly pantomime as pitifully dumb as any member of the brute creation.
Glass factories are not the only places where little children slave away their
GROUP OF Willing Workers. lives when they should be in school and
These boys, many of them under fourteen, boast gleefully under home influence. In fact tne work
of having outwitted the mine inspectors. ing conditions in glass works are so bad that the industry pays about the best oped bodies go through the same deadly wages and employs about the oldest chil- motions. They slap five thousand bits dren of any of the child slave industries. of paper, and have earned twenty cents Child labor has become so imbedded in for the day's labor. That is the way our our industrial life that there is scarcely paper candy bags are made. They make a business which does not employ tiny, their needles fly as fast as time, that they uneducated children for the dull routine may pile up a hundred and fifty or sixty
pennies at the end of
week. They dart like human bobbins after broken threads. They grub in the flying coal for pieces of rock and slate. They open and shut a glass bottle-mold, till their muscles ache with the machine-like motions. They dip little sticky morsels into a vat until
the chocolates may be counted in four figures. They paste labels on paper boxes or repeat a thousand times one or two sim
ple motions before a AT WORK IN THE BREAKERS.
dangerous machine in
a tin can factory. They turn in the were not literally child slaves. Two milledges of 8,000 box covers in a day. ion little, frail, delicate souls spinning They work in damp, consumptive base- their lives away in deadly toil; deprived ment cigar factories, scale boilers of of every home influence which we have ocean steamers, and run to and fro all had and which is their heritage as well night long in bakeries. They labor in as ours, snatched from the schooling and felt factories, dve rooms, in the deadly the education which is the pride of every phosphorous soåked air of match fac- American, and saddled with the world's tories and the repulsive smells of varnish heaviest burdens—the hopeless, despairrooms, and a hundred other vile, disease- ing servitude of 'aching bodies and breeding and dangerous occupations. starved souls. From the coal mine to the ocean steamer, Out of these two million toddling marfrom the stately office building to the tyrs the state of Pennsylvania, which sweat-shop they strive vainly to keep soul boasts a City of Brotherly Love, contains and body together on any starvation the largest proportion. So far as the wage that our industrial pittance-mon- Southern States are concerned in this gers are willing to give them.
child slave industry, the Government staBut how many are there of these child tistics show that Pennsylvania alone emslaves ? The United States Census re- ploys more children than all the Southern port for 1900 gives a total of 1,752,187 States combined. And Pennsylvania is children admittedly employed in gainful the state in which were fought the battles occupations in the United States at that of Brandywine and Germantown, where time. But only those who have worked was pitched the camp of Valley Forge, steadily on the child labor problem for and where the battle of Gettysburg deyears can tell you how grossly inadequate cided the freedom of the slave. But she are those figures. They declare that it freed the black slave only to drag into is astounding to see how many little chil- bondage her own children. For these dren nine, ten and eleven years old are child laborers are not all foreigners, by working under age-certificates declaring any means. Nearly fifty per centthem to be fourteen. One worker says forty-seven and eight-tenths per cent, to that the children seem to jump from ten be exact-are white native-born Amerito fourteen without any reference what- cans, of native-born American parents. ever to the Gregorian calendar. In large The report of the Pennsylvania Bureau factory towns the school attendance of of Mines for 1900 shows that there are children eight and nine years old, will be over 20,000 slate pickers alone, working about three times that of children be- in the anthracite fields of this great State. tween ten and fourteen. In addition to These boys are supposed to be thirteen these cases of perjury, there are thou- years old, but the laws are so inadequate sands among the tenements who do not that it is as easy to find boys under thirget into the census returns at all. They teen working on the breakers as it is to do home piece work for sweat-shops, and find bor's thirteen or over. These boy's work out in families, where they are sit on long benches and pick slate and never discovered by the census taker. stone out of the crushed coal as it comes
Besides all these who have been left shooting by them in a steady streani. out of the one million seven hundred and When they first go into the breakers they fifty thousand children between ten and are dubbed “red tops” by their fellows fifteen years of age, we find that child until their torn and mangled fingers stop labor is constantly on the increase. Child their bleeding from grubbing in the flylabor in Iowa has trebled in four years. ing coal. The worst part of it all is that In New York State the numbers have in- this cruelty could be stopped by the colcreased thirty-three per cent in five years. liery operators if they wanted to install What then are we to believe? To say mechanical slate pickers. These mathat there are two million child slaves chines have been installed in some places would be putting it conservatively, leav- and have worked successfully, but the ing an outside allowance of several hun- mine owners do not want to go to the dred thousand, in case there were any initial expense of putting them in. This among the Government's estimate who
army of twenty thousand little slate grub