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WOOLLEN MANUFACTURES IN THE UNITED STATES.
The number of sets of machinery or series of cards—a set forming the unit for calculation in woollen machinery-employed in the United States, reported to the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, on the 25th of October, 1865, was 4,100. The estimated number in the United States, as all were not reported at that time, was 5,000. The distribution and weekly consumption of foreign and domestic wool appear in the following table:
Statement of aggregate results, obtained up to October 25, 1865, in reply to
circulars of February 24 and May 30, 1865, addressed to wool manufacturers.
Remainder of the State
The value of the woollen manufacture is shown in the following:
for the year ending June 30, 1864.
(Calculated from official report of United States Commissioner of Internal Revenue.)
$3,238, 098 67 9, 044, 762 00 3, 145, 933 67 38, 905, 399 00
2,963, 154 33 11, 873, 763 67 10, 850, 180 00
2, 752, 652 00
548, 134 67
58, 486 00
72, 980 00
545, 128 33
8, 696 00
1, 526 67
5, 267 00 242, 370 67
2, 364 00 85, 634 67 11,794 33 11, 384 00 33, 754 33
860 00 15, 489 67
$3, 476, 483 67 9, 079, 677 00 3, 708, 721 67 40, 603, 651 00 10, 892, 700 33 15, 866, 641 00 13,977, 775 00
2, 778, 084 00 16, 599, 713 33
548, 134 67 451, 912 00
63, 753 00 359, 905 00
75, 344 00 1, 400, 877 67
558, 615 33 359, 084 33 151, 848 33 105, 317 67 118, 305 33
9, 146 00 14,947 67 538, 956 00 128, 620 67
121, 868, 250 33
THE PACIFIC MILLS, LAWRENCE, MASSACHUSETTS.
Paper presented at the Paris Exposition. This paper is a statement written in response to a call from a jury of the Paris Exposition for distinct illustrations concerning “persons, establishments, and localities, which, by a special organization or special insti. tutions, have developed a spirit of harmony among all those co-operating in the same work, and have provided for the material, moral, and intellectual well-being of the workmen."
"* Pacific mills” is the corporate name of a joint-stock company devoted to the manufacture, from the raw staples, of ladies' dress goods of cot
ton wholly, of worsted wholly, and of cotton and wool combined, and the printing and dyeing of the same. It is located in Lawrence, State of Massachusetts, United States of America, 26 miles from Boston. Its post office address is, “Pacific Mills, Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States of America."
J. Wiley Edmands, Boston, is the treasurer of the company, and Wm. C. Chapin, of Lawrence, the local agent or manager. The management is confided by about 150 stockholders to nine directors, chosen annually.
The original number of shares of the company was 1,000, costing $1,000, or 5,000 francs, each, making a total capital of $1,000,000, or 5,000,000 francs. The cost of the buildings and machinery having exceeded this sum, 1,500 shares more, at same cost, were issued, making the total number of shares to be 2,500, and the cost of the capital $2,500,000, or 12,500,000 francs.
They commenced operations near the close of the year 1853, but no goods were ready for market until the spring of 1854. The amount of machinery then consisted of 1,000 looms, with carding, spinning, and dressing machinery sufficient to supply them, together with combing machines and spinning for worsted yarn, used in the manufacture of mixed fabrics, and was equal to the production of about 200,000 yards weekly of calicoes and mousseline de laines, with 10 printing machines for preparing these goods for market.
The buildings and machinery have been since increased, so that there are now in operation about 100,000 spindles for spinning cotton, with cleaning, picking, and carding machines to supply them, and about 16,000 spindles for worsted, with all the necessary preparing machines to occupy 3,500 looms for weaving the two classes of goods above named and others, together with 18 printing machines, producing a weekly average of about 700,000 yards. The machinery is propelled by eight turbine wheels, six of them being 72 inches in diameter, and two 84 inches in diameter, with a fall of water equal to 26 feet, yielding 1,500 horse-power.
The average sale of the manufactured goods of the company for a few years past exceeded $7,500,000, or 37,500,000 francs. About 3,600 workpeople are now employed by the company. Of these there are 1,680 men, 1,510 women, 80 boys between 10 and 12 years, 140 boys from 12 to 18 years, 40 girls from 10 to 12 years, and 150 girls from 12 to 18 years.
In the origin of the establishment the principle was adopted by the managers that there was to be a mutual dependence between employers and employed, each having rights which the other should respect, and that, inasmuch as the success of the proprietors must depend much upon the cheerful and intelligent co-operation of the work-people, certain plans were adopted to secure “the material, moral, and intellectual wel. fare of the workmen,” both as a duty to them and one of self-interest to the proprietors.
MATERIAL WELFARE OF WORKMEN.
For the material well-being of the laborers, special care was used in the original construction of the workrooms to make them cheerful, comfortable, and well ventilated, so as to avoid, as far as possible, the unpleasant drudgery of work, and to secure order and neatness throughout. Houses were constructed for dwellings which should give to families residences at moderate cost of rent, that would secure the health and comfort of the work-people, while they were cheerful and attractive. Men pay for these houses a weekly rent about equal to one-eighth of their wages. Large buildings were erected for the use of single females whose residences were at a distance, and divided into 17 large apartments, capable of accommodating 825 persons in the aggregate. The rooms are arranged for two persons each, well ventilated and lighted, and comfortably furnished. Unmarried men are never allowed to lodge in these houses, nor in any case a married man, except he is accompanied by his wife, and then but rarely. Females pay about one-third of their average wages for rooms in these boarding houses, including food, lights, and washing. Fuel for fires in their rooms is an extra expense. It is common to provide coal, and sometimes flour, to the work-people at the cost price of large quantities.
Another effort for the material welfare of the operatives was adopted in the earliest history of the enterprise, and has been continued for nearly 13 years, with marked success, doing much to promote “harmony among all those co-operating,” and to establish a bond of sympathy and union,
An association was formed, called “Pacific Mills Relief Society," of which each person employed by the company must be a member, the entire management thereof being in the hands of the work-people, each officer being chosen by themselves from their own number, excepting the president, which office has always been filled by the resident agent or manager, who rarely acts, however, except as counsellor or umpire.
Each person on commencing service elects whether he shall pay two, four, or six cents per week to the relief fund, the lower sum being a little more than oth part of the weekly average wages of those who are the youngest, and consequently least paid, and the highest sum, six cents Weekly, bearing the same proportion to the average weekly wages of the entire body of work-people. When the sum in the hands of the treasurer of the society, who is always the confidential clerk of the company, and keeps the deposit with the company for protection, has reached the sum of $1,000, the weekly subscription of all persons who have been employed by the company three months ceases, while it continues with the new comers.
This condition of funds occurs so often that for nearly one-half of the time the older employés are not assessed, and the real sum withdrawn from their wages annually is a very small proportion of their wages, and is far from being a burden to the poorest.
When a person has been in the employ of the company three months, and, consequently, for that time paid his elected sum to the funds of the relief society, he becomes a full member of that society, and entitled to certain privileges. If sickness occurs, preventing him from labor, and he sends notice to the overseer, or head workman of his room, one of the appointed stewards is sent to learn the nature of the illness, and the sick one becomes the special charge of this steward, who, for a man, is one of his own sex, or, if a female, a woman, and it is this steward's duty to see that a nurse and physician are secured, if necessary, and to draw from the wardrobe of the society such changes of personal and bed linen as the circumstances demand.
Each sick person, if the illness continues one week, is thenceforward granted an allowance from the funds of the society. He who has paid two cents per week for at least three months receives $1 25 weekly for the period of 26 weeks, if sick so long. Double this sum is allowed if four cents have been paid, and $3 75 when the amount paid has been six cents weekly. In cases of special need the officers of the society are authorized to make an extra allowance, though great care is used in such a dispensation. Those who die poor have their funeral expenses paid, and are respectably buried in the beautiful lot in the city cemetery belonging to the society. In some cases the deceased has been sent to his native town by the desire of his friends, without cost to them, if they were poor.
Sick members are often accompanied to their friends by a steward, or the overseer of their work-room, when too feeble to go alone, or the friends too poor to come for them. The blessings of this society are thus made known to parties at a distance, and it often induced persons of excellent character to seek employment of this company, while those who have secured the benefits of the relief society retain it in warm remembrance. More than one poor mother, whose only child, while a member of this society, has been disabled by sickness, has found the weekly allowance an invaluable aid to her slight income, and called loudly for blessings upon its officers and the institution with such a work of merciful kindness. Many a father and mother, or other relative, whose child or friend has been sent to this company, have besought the blessings of Heaven upon the members of this society, who have cared for their absent ones in the time of sickness, and soothed them as they have faded away from life.
Though there is not space for details of great interest, it must be seen that this plan has a direct tendency to promote sympathy for each other among the work-people, and to secure a bond of union. Most surely those who daily observe its workings see it.
It will also be noticed that a very important feature of this plan is that it is an association of the work-people themselves, wholly controlled by them, and consequently sure of permanency while favored to its present extent by the employers. This is likely to continue, because they witness its important influence and usefulness.