Making Both Ends Meet eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Making Both Ends Meet.

“We often noticed that the workers in the hospital laundries were far less contented than those in the other classes of laundries.  It was not surprising that they lacked enthusiasm for their work, for laundering is not an interesting task; but, with conditions far beyond any other type of laundry, it was strange that the hospital workers should be the most shifting, faultfinding, and dispirited laundresses we encountered.  Part of this we attributed to the depressing effect of an atmosphere of sickness, part to the fact that workers living out are doubtless stimulated by the diversion of having a change of scene—­of seeing at least two sets of people, and, above all, generally by some special sympathy and concern for their individual fortunes.  In the last hospital laundry where we worked, one conducted by the Sisters of Charity, though the hours were long and the wages were only $10 a month, there was an exceptional air of cheerfulness and interest among the workers.  This was due to no special privileges of theirs, but to the contagious spirit of personal interest and kindness inherent in all the Sisters in charge.

“The bitterness that characterized workers living in the hospitals was observed by Miss Hopkins among the laundry workers living in the hotels.”

III

“The twenty-one hotels where we conducted our inquiry were extremely varied, ranging from a yellow brick house near the Haymarket, with red and blue ingrain carpets and old-fashioned bells that rang a gong when one twisted a knob, to the mosaic floors and the pale, shaded electric lights of the most costly establishments in New York.

“As to the sanitation of the twenty hotels visited, only six had their laundries above ground.  All the others were in basements or in cellars.  In most of these the ventilation was faulty and the air at times intolerably hot.  It is a striking fact—­showing what intelligent modern regulation can accomplish—­that one laundry two stories underground in New York was so high-ceiled and the summer cold-air apparatus so complete that it was comfortable even in the hot months.  In most of the hotel laundries there were seats for the takers-off.  Only three of the laundries had wet floors; only three were dirty; only one had an insanitary lavatory and toilet room.

“In regard to the danger of injury, of the nineteen mangles that I inspected for dangerous conditions, six were insufficiently protected.  It is the custom in most hotels, when an article winds around the cylinder of the mangle, to pluck it off while the mangle is in motion.  The women sometimes climb up on the mangle and reach over, in imminent danger of becoming entangled either by their dresses catching or by pitching forward.  The machinery of hotel laundries is even less carefully guarded than is that of a commercial laundry, and in some establishments is, besides, dangerously crowded.  This was the

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Making Both Ends Meet from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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