Wage Earning and Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 151 pages of information about Wage Earning and Education.


There are employed in Cleveland at present approximately 2,500 motormen and street car conductors.  Almost all of them are of American birth, and the majority are natives of the city.

As in railroad work each applicant for employment must pass an examination, although the requirements are less exacting than those demanded in railroad work.  The preliminary training occupies about 10 days, during which the motorman is taught by actual car operation how to operate the controller, how to apply and release the brakes, and other duties connected with the careful running of the car through crowded streets.  The conductor is taught the names of the streets, how and when to call them, where stops are to be made, when to turn lights on and off, how to act in case of accidents, and the various duties which deal with the sale, collection, and reporting of transfers and tickets.

No one is admitted into the service before the age of 21 or after 35.  Promotion usually comes in the form of better runs.  The chances of promotion to positions above the grade of conductor or motorman are very slight.  About 90 per cent of the men belong to the local union.  Union rates of pay for motormen and conductors are higher in Cleveland than in most cities in the country, in spite of the fact that this is the only large city in the country with a three cent street car fare.  The wages of both motormen and conductors are 29 cents an hour for the first year and 32 in succeeding years.  The hours of labor are very irregular.  The usual working day is from 10 to 12 hours.

The author of the report is of the opinion that no special instruction for this type of workers can be given by the public schools.



A smaller proportion of the industrial population in Cleveland is engaged in printing than in most large cities.  The number of persons employed in printing occupations in 1915 is estimated at approximately 3,900, made up chiefly of skilled workmen.  Little common labor is used in any department of the industry.

The business of printing is usually conducted in small establishments.  There are not more than six plants in the city which employ over 75 wage earners.  Data collected from 44 local printing shops, showed an average working force of only 36 persons.  Due largely to this characteristic printing affords an unusual number of opportunities for advancement to the skilled workers in the industry.  The smaller the establishments are the greater is the proportion of proprietors, superintendents, managers and foremen to the total number of wage earners.  Ten per cent of the total working force in the printing industry is employed in supervisory and directive positions.  In many of the large manufacturing industries of the city the proportion in such work is less than three per cent.

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Wage Earning and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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