Wage Earning and Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 151 pages of information about Wage Earning and Education.
personal interests to the interests of the business.  To these should be added the quality of patience, for there must be vacancies before there can be promotions, and vacancies among the better positions are not frequent.  Ten of the establishments visited, employing a total working force of over 5,000 men, reported but eight vacancies among foremen’s positions over a period of one year.  These same establishments had in their employ a total of 618 all-round machinists and tool makers.  Assuming that only the machinists and tool makers were eligible for promotion, the mathematical chance per man of becoming a foreman during the year was about one in 77.

Other occupations studied in detail were pattern making, molding, core making, blacksmithing, and boiler making.  Pattern making offers the most interesting work and the highest wages among the metal trades, but the total number of American born pattern makers in the city does not exceed seven or eight hundred, so the field of employment is relatively limited.  Molding and core making, in which between 4,000 and 5,000 men are engaged, have practically become foreign trades.  Less than 20 per cent of the molders in the city were born in this country.  These trades offer few opportunities for employment to boys of native birth.  Somewhat similar conditions exist in the blacksmithing trade.  Changed methods of production have largely done away with the old-time blacksmith, who survives only in horse-shoeing and repair shops.  The proportion of native blacksmiths is steadily declining, and it is unlikely that any considerable number of boys from the public schools will enter the trade.  The boiler making trade employs relatively few men, the total number of native born boiler makers at the time of the last census being less than 600.  The trade seems to be at a standstill.  The increase during the previous decade was less than five per cent against a total population increase of 46 per cent.  The average earnings per hour for these trades in the establishments visited by members of the Survey Staff are shown in Table 21.


                                  Average earnings
    Workers Per Hour

Pattern makers                        .44
Skilled molders                       .39
Semi-skilled molders                  .27
Skilled core makers                   .39
Semi-skilled core makers              .27
Blacksmiths                           .33
Boiler makers                         .32

The findings and recommendations as to training emphasize the fact that the vast majority of boys who become workers in the metal trades leave school by the time they are 15 with at most a common school education, so that any vocational training before they go to work must be given between the ages of 12 and 15 and before

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Wage Earning and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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