The exhaustion of these workers was partly attributable to their custom of pursuing their trade not only in factory hours, but outside the factory, at home. Within the last year, the most widely constructive effort to abolish sweated home labor from the needle trades ever undertaken in this country has been initiated by the New York cloak makers, to whom we next turned for an account of their industrial fortunes.
[Footnote 22: These testimonies are cited from the brief for the Illinois Ten-Hour Law, prepared by Louis D. Brandeis and Josephine Goldmark.
Investigations into the Conditions of Health of the Swiss Factory Workers. Dr. Fridlion Schuler, Swiss Factory Inspector, and Dr. A. E. Burckhardt, Professor of Hygiene.
“Instead of becoming wearied by personal labor, as in earlier stages of industry, it is to-day the unremitting, tense concentration of watching the machine, the necessary rapidity of motion, that fatigues the worker.”
Dangerous Trades. Thomas Oliver, M.A., M.D., F.R.C.P. London. 1902.
“The introduction of steam has revolutionized industry.... While machinery has, in some senses, lightened the burden of human toil it has not diminished fatigue in man. While the machinery pursues its relentless course, and insensitive to fatigue, human beings are conscious, especially towards the end of the day, that the competition is unequal, for their muscles are becoming tired and their brains jaded. Present-day factory labor is too much a competition of sensitive human nerve and muscle against insensitive iron.”
Fourteenth International Congress of Hygiene and Demography, Berlin, September, 1907. Fatigue Resulting from Occupation. Dr. Emil Roth, Regierungsrat, Potsdam.
“With the progressive division of labor, work has become more and more mechanical. A definite share of overfatigue and its sequels, especially neurasthenia, must be ascribed to this monotony—to the absence of spontaneity or joy in work.”
Proceedings of the First International Convention on Industrial Diseases, Milan, 1906. Imbecility and Criminality in Relation to Certain Forms of Labor. Professor Crisafuli.
“When only one brain-centre works, it becomes overfatigued much more easily than if the functions were alternately performed by the various centres.
“Here, then, is another factor in overfatigue due to the monotony of work, interrupted only at long intervals.
“This monotony is the determining cause of local disturbances and endangers the entire organism.”]
THE CLOAK MAKERS’ STRIKE AND THE PREFERENTIAL UNION SHOP
Forty million dollars are invested in New York in the making of women’s cloaks, skirts, and suits. One hundred and eighty million dollars’ worth of these garments are produced in New York in a year.