Wage Earning and Education eBook

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

Newspaper pressroom workers
  Foremen 6.11
  Web pressmen 4.33
  Web pressmen’s assistants 2.95

Formal apprenticeship is practically unknown.  The boy begins as a pressfeeder, usually on a platen press, and in the course of time gets to be a platen pressman.  A knowledge of platen presswork does not qualify a man to run a cylinder press, and as a rule the platen pressman who wants to change must serve some time as a cylinder pressfeeder and cylinder pressman’s assistant.  There is no organized system for training beginners.  The boy who wants to become a pressman must pick up the trade through experience and practice, the length of time required depending chiefly on how frequently changes occur among the force of pressmen employed in the shop.


The bindery is the only department of the industry in which any considerable number of women are employed.  Some of the occupations, such as gathering, sewing, and stitching, are practically monopolized by women.  They are also employed extensively in hand and machine folding.  About one-fifth are gatherers and one-fifth sewers and stitchers.  The other three-fifths are distributed among a number of occupations usually classed as general bindery work.

The occupations in which men predominate are forwarding, ruling, and finishing, and cutting.  The forwarders comprise more than one-fourth of the total number of men engaged in bindery work.  The other two skilled trades—­ruling and finishing—­give employment to about 35 men each.

The average daily earnings in the various occupations, based on returns from 44 establishments, were as shown in Table 29.


Workers in trade | Men | Women | ------------------------------+-----------+-----------+ Foremen | $4.78 | $2.05 | Rulers | 3.56 | .. | Finishers | 3.51 | .. | Forwarders | 3.23 | .. | Cutters | 3.21 | .. | Machine-folders | 2.81 | 1.49 | Wire-stitchers | .. | 1.57 | Apprentices | 1.53 | .. | Gatherers | .. | 1.52 | Sewers | .. | 1.52 | Other bindery operatives | 1.40 | 1.51 | ------------------------------+-----------+-----------+ >

On account of the seasonal character of the work considerable time is lost through unemployment, particularly in those occupations in which women predominate.

Beginners in these occupations in which the majority of the women are employed, start on folding or pasting, and as opportunity presents, gradually acquire practice in the higher grades of work, such as gathering and machine operating.  There are some traces of the apprenticeship system in forwarding, ruling, and finishing, but these trades are so small that all of them combined require only a very few new workers each year.

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Wage Earning and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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