Archive for the ‘Blue Collar’ Category

Age of Hustle

November 9, 2012

*     *     *     *     *

*     *     *     *     *

*     *     *     *     *

Olean Evening Times (Olean, New York) Nov 2, 1912

Advertisements

Whisky; It Burns

October 30, 2012

Image from Life in Western Pennsylvania

FIRE CAUSES A PANIC.

EIGHT PERSONS BADLY BURNED IN PITTSBURG.

Employee Unable to Escape from a Big Building — Walls Fall and Crush Adjoining Houses — Many Persons Hurt in the Crowd.

PITTSBURG, Pa., Oct. 28. — The explosion of a barrel of whisky in the big warehouse of the Chautauqua Lake Ice company yesterday afternoon caused the destruction of over $500,000 worth of property and serious injury to eight persons. Several of the injured, it is feared, will die. A score of more of others received slight cuts and bruises or were trampled on by the mob surrounding the burning buildings. Those seriously hurt were:

T.J. HEILMAN, married; dropped from the third floor to the ground; hands and face terribly burned. His injuries are considered fatal.

MARTIN GRIFFITH, married; dangerously burned.

EDWARD SEES, body and head badly burned; may not recover.

WILLIAM COX, dangerously burned about face and body.

W.M. SMITH, painfully burned; will recover.

LIEUT. FRANK McCANN of engine No. 7; struck by falling bricks and left leg broken.

WILLIAM WISMAN, struck by falling timbers and skull fractured.

JOHN REISCHE, badly hurt by falling timbers.

It was just twenty minutes after 1 o’clock when a number of employes on the third floor of the ice company’s buildings were startled by a loud report, and almost instantly the large room was ablaze. The men started for the stairs, but the flames had already cut off their retreat, and the only means of exit left them were the windows, fifty feet from the ground. By this time the heat was so intense that they were forced to creep out upon the window sills and hang by their hands until the fire department arrived. The flames bursting from the windows burned their hands and faces, but they hung their until the firemen placed their ladders in position and brought them down.

To aid to the excitement it was discovered that a large tank of ammonia was located in the cellar of the ice company’s building, and the police, fearing an explosion, quickly ordered the occupants of the houses on Twelfth street to vacate. All the houses in the neighborhood are a cheap class of tenements and crowded to suffocation with Poles and Slavs. When they were told to move out a panic indescribable started among them. House-hold goods store goods, children and everything that could be carried away were rushed to a place of safety.

The walls of the Mulberry alley side fell in with a crash and a few minutes later the eastern wall came down. The debris buried a low row of tenements in the alley and a three-story brick dwelling on Thirteenth street. The tenements were occupied by families, but fortunately they had been deserted some time before the walls fell in. Not one of the families had a chance to save any of their goods and all their furniture was destroyed. The ruins took fire immediately, and for a while the entire tenement district of Penn avenue was threatened with destruction.

When the walls of the big buildings fell the great mob of people made a rush to get out of danger. Many men tripped and fell and were trampled under foot. Several received painful but not dangerous bruises. Sheets of iron were cast from the burning buildings by the fury of the flames and hurled into the crowds. Scores of people received slight injuries, which were dressed in neighboring drug stores.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Oct 29, 1893

Another article about the same fire:(I think the above newspaper got the date wrong)
Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Oct 27, 1893

Again with the whisky barrels? Really?

MAY REACH TWENTY-FIVE DEAD.

Pittsburg. Feb 10. — The lost of life and property by the fire last night in the great cold storage plant of the Chautauqua Lake Ice company, was the greatest in the history of Pittsburg. At least fifteen persons were killed, over a score injured and property valued at a million and one-half destroyed. The loss of life was caused by the explosion of several hundred barrels of whisky in the ware house, knocking out one of the walls.

The dead are: Lieut. of Police John A. Berry, John Dwyer, William Scott, Jr., the son of President Scott of the Chautauqua State Ice Co.; Stanley Seitz, George Loveless, Mrs. Mary Sipe and her mother; Stanley Sipe, Lieut. Josep Johnson, a fireman name unknown; William L. Wallenstein, and three unknown men.

The missing are: Nathaniel Green, accountant of the Dailmerer building, supposed to be in the ruins; Thomas Lynch, iceman in the employ of the Chautaqua company, supposed to be in the ruins; Edward Berry watchman of the storage building.

It is believed that at least ten more bodies are in the ruins, which are still too hot to be moved. The principal losses are: Union Storage company, $775,900; Hoever’s Storage Warehouse and contents, $600,000; Chautauqua Ice company, $150,000.

Three more bodies were taken from the ruins this forenoon. The dead it is now thought will reach 25. Those taken out this morning were: John Hanna, Bookkeeper and cashier of the Chautauqua Lake Ice Co.; John Scott, another son of President Scott, and an unknown fireman.

_____

Later. — But eight bodies were recovered instead of 14, as first reported. Four are missing, and the firemen believe that a number of others are still under the ruins. The correct list of the identified dead is Lieut. Police Berry; John Dwyer, William Scott, Jr., Stanley Sipe, George Loveless, William A. Wallrobenstein, Josiah Hanna, and William Smith. The missing, Nathaniel Green, Thomas Lynch, John Scott and Edwin Barry.

Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Feb 10, 1898

*     *     *     *     *

More about the Chautauqua Lake Ice Company:

The Olean Democrat (Olean, New York) Mar 14, 1889

The Olean Democrat (Olean, New York) Jan 15, 1891

The Dignity of Labor – The Day and the Times

September 3, 2012

Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) Sep 4, 1910

THE DAY AND THE TIMES.

Never in the history of this holiday has it come in a time so distracted and torn with industrial trouble. Labor day this year finds strikes in every part of the country, with greater upheavals brewing and vastly worse conditions threatened. It is an evil ferment. The world has just emerged from the greatest and most destructive war of all time and of everything the world today stands in need there is not enough. The costs of living here and everywhere are as a consequence at unprecedented levels. Every interference with production, every trammel upon distribution, every obstruction to commerce can have no effect but to give fresh impulse to the ascent of prices.

In this country a widespread strike in the steel and iron industry threatens to inflict practically all industry save agriculture with a paralysis from which everybody will suffer. Farther in the foreground looms the dire possibilities of a general railway strike that once launched can spell but calamity for every interest and every person. No living head in the land can wholly escape some touch of that blight. A fortnight’s tie-up of transportation will see the county stricken to idleness, hunger stalking through  the land and disorder fomenting on every side. This is no picture conjured by idle fancy. The railroads must keep things moving or there can be neither work nor wages, neither food nor fuel, and starving, freezing millions will create a ferment out of which anarchy will not be slow to rise hideously. There can be no temporizing with the question of transportation or no transportation.

Everybody suffers from abnormal conditions. Labor — meaning, that is, the unions — is suffering no more than other classes and varieties of humans who earn what they must have to live and much less than most of them. Striking to advance wages or to impose conditions simply serves to make evil conditions more acute. The need is to find the way to make the cost of living more tolerable and the means by which alone that can be done is to increase production of everything whereof there is a shortage in the world. Drives against profiteers and profiteering may here and there effect some relief, but it will be neither general nor great in degree. There can be no thorough relief in which everybody may share until something like normal conditions are restored and nothing will contribute so much to that consummation as that everybody shall remain at work, do his best and permit on every hand that the best be done.

It is a time for all labor everywhere — organized and unorganized, manual toilers and brain workers, every sort upon whose effort depends in some measure the moving of the essential affairs of the world — to keep a clear head, a stout heart and a spirit of readiness to work together and steadfastly until it has at length worked out the problem of the times. Bolshevism, socialism or any ism, cult or lunacy will not overcome the world’s shortage of necessaries. Only work can do that and the more there are who will stick to the job of producing the sooner will shortage be overcome and conditions reduced to normal. Wild-eyed radicalism will not add a peck of grain nor a pound of beef to the world’s short store. The steadfast industry of all everywhere who are able to produce something needed can pull this old world out of the hole and by no force other can it be done.

Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Sep 1, 1919

Labor Talk: Roosevelt Warns Against Despotism, Envy and Mob Violence

September 2, 2012

PRESIDENT TALKS TO LABOR.

Warns His Hearers Against Despotism, Envy and Mob Violence.

A community of interest, with caste forgotten and personal worth the sole basis of class distinction, with capitalist and wage worker helping themselves by aiding each other and both content to abide by the laws, was the doctrine preached at Syracuse Monday by President Roosevelt as the prime requisite for a prosperous and permanent national life.

As a labor day creed, its acceptance was urged by a warning against a tendency toward despotism, the envy of demagogues and their bent toward mob violence being classed as a danger to the laborer far more malign than the arrogance of the affluent.

“We must act upon the motto of all for each and each for all,” was the keynote of the address, which denounced the leaders who incite class antagonism, whether the labor agitator who shouts for plunder or the unscrupulous man of wealth who seeks to subvert the laws in order to oppress.

“We must see that each man is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less,” ran the final aphorism with which President Roosevelt drove home his plea for the abolition of industrial castes.

The prosperity of the farmer and the wage worker is the index of the nation’s welfare, argued the President, and the interests of every business, trade and profession are so identical that they “tend to go up or down together.” To maintain a healthy government individuals instead of classes must be considered, and the permanency of a spirit that will conserve the rights of others as well as defend one’s own.

In the decline of defunct republics of the medieval age the President traced examples of the pernicious effect of class legislation, and gave point to his warning against demagogy by the conclusion that the result was equally fatal no matter whether the mob or the oligarchy conquered.

To unite the contending classes, the President urged that the wage worker should display sanity and a desire to do justice to others and that the capitalist should welcome and aid all legislative efforts to settle present difficulties. The currency system was cited as an example of legislation that is good because not classlike.

With his argument for the abolition of classes ended, the President launched into a characteristic eulogy of the benefits of hard work, which he styled the “best prize life has to offer.” The idler was dismissed with the quotation, “After all the  saddest thing that can happen to a man is to carry no burdens.” Breadwinners and homemakers, fathers and mothers of families, were given their tribute, the President declaring that there is a place for each among the honored benefactors of the nation.

Following are paragraphs from the President’s Labor Day address:

There is no worse enemy to the wage worker than the man who condones mob violence in any form or who preaches class hatred.

If alive to their true interests, rich and poor alike will set their faces like flint against the spirit which seeks personal advantage by overriding the laws, without regard to whether the spirit shows itself in the form of bodily violence by one set of men, or in the form of vulpine cunning by another set of men.

The outcome was equally fatal whether the country fell into the hands of a wealthy oligarchy, which exploited the poor, or whether it fell under the domination of a turbulent mob which plundered the rich.

In the long run, we all of us tend to go up or down together. It is all-essential to the continuance of our healthy national life that we should recognize this community of interest among our people.

We must keep ever in mind that a republic such as ours can exist only in virtue of the orderly liberty which comes through the equal domination of the law over all men alike and through its administration in such resolute and fearless fashion as shall teach all that no man is above it and no man below it.

Cedar Fall Gazette (Cedar Falls, Iowa) Sep 15, 1903

Where Shall The Line Be Drawn?

August 13, 2012

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

By HOWARD VINCENT O’BRIEN.

PRACTICALLY all the hubbub over the course of events comes down to dispute over where the line shall be drawn between collectivism and individualism.

Men are uncomfortably aware that they are dependent upon the good will and energy of other men for the food they eat and the clothes they wear, but an unquenchable egoism makes them assert stoutly that no one is going to tell them how to run their affairs, that they will not be regimented, that no army of tax-eating bureaucrats is going to lay their fortunes waste.

But no matter how rugged the individual may be, he has no desire to carry his own letters, put out his own fires, or sit up all night with a shotgun, guarding his own strongbox.

Is there any solution for this dilemma?

HATHI TRUST – Digital Library – Prohibiting Poverty

Prohibiting Poverty

Certainly there is a solution, says Prestonia Mann Martin. In her pamplet, “Prohibiting Poverty,” she cuts the knot with the sword of compromise. “The problem has been how to attain safety without losing freedom. The solution,” she says, “lies in a simple compromise between socialism and individualism by applying one to necessaries and the other to luxuries.”

Admitting that as a “plain woman” she understands nothing about money except that it is obviously at the bottom of a system which creates surplus of wealth and prevents its distribution, she proposes a system which will function without money. Meat and potatoes are things, she days; money is only a formula.

Nothing could be simpler than her plan. By it every able-bodied young person would be drafted for economic service at the age of 18, and for eight years would serve without pay in an army of production called the “commons.” These soldiers of peace, attacking what William James called “the moral equivalent of war,” would hew wood, draw water and in general produce the necessities of life for themselves and the rest of the population.

They would not be paid, they could not marry, they would have no vote and — suggests Mrs. Martin — they would not be allowed to drink.

Reward of Toil

This sounds like peonage. But wait! At the age of 26 the toilers would be free, with a livelihood guaranteed for the rest of their days. Having served their term as collectivists, they would become “capitals,” free to engage in any activity that profited or amused them. Life in the “capitals would be just as it is today, except that the necessity of earning one’s daily bread would be removed. A “capital” could go into business (luxury goods or services only), amass a fortune, wear diamonds and own yachts. Or, if he chose, he could lie on his back, playing the mouth organ. No woman would have to marry for a home, because she, too, would be independent.

“The ‘commons’ would constitute, in effect, a colossal insurance company, nation-wide, embracing every citizen without exception, which would issue a guaranteed policy of economic security in favor of every one, its premiums to be paid, not in cash but in work, and its benefits distributed, not in unstable currency but in what is more useful and stable, namely, necessary goods and services.”

Obligatory Labor

To one who objects that this is slavery, the author points out that education is compulsory — with no objections. And she suggests that some day necessary labor will be equally obligatory and accepted as a matter of course.

Beyond doubt the scheme is attractive. Who wouldn’t consent to eight years of labor in exchange for a lifetime free from care? Furthermore, there is no reason to suppose that the plan would not work. Twelve million young people, working together and using the latest machinery, could undoubtedly produce the necessities for 10 times their number. Furthermore, they would probably enjoy the work, as, from all accounts, the young people of Russia enjoy their contribution to Communism. Certainly the youth of 18 would prefer eight years with pick and shovel, with the guarantee of a free future, to four years with books and the assurance of perpetual insecurity.

Will It Be Tried?

The plan is so neat, so absurdly simple, offhand, that nothing like it will be tried in a world that always prefers complexity for the solution of its difficulties. And yet, what is the CCC but a step in this direction? And the CCC seems, on the whole, the most successful of the Roosevelt ventures along new roads.

The plan can hardly be called “practical.” But neither were the plans of Walter the Penniless or — to take a more modern instance — were the plans of John Brown.

Some day Mrs. Martin may have a monument, too.

(Copyright, 1934)

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jul 21, 1934

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Apr 17, 1935

*   *   *   *   *

From the Free Republic:  Regarding the friendly relationship and influences between progressives and fabians:

*Read more at the link.

Mentioned in the Free Republic article above: the Ruskin Colony, an unsuccessful utopian community. – See previous post.

Only a Working Girl

July 24, 2012

Image from Cool Chicks from History

ONLY A WORKING GIRL.

She’s only a working girl, busy each day
In gaining her portion of bread;
Her mother is old and infirm, so they say,
Her father, they tell me, is dead.
And there, at her window, I see her employed —
I glance at her morning and night,
And I think that without her the earth would be void
Of much of its beauty and light.

She’s only a working girl, seeking to send
A brother through college, I hear;
May the angels her deeds of devotion befriend
And crown her endeavor with cheer
More strength to her hands and more warmth to her heart!
May the clouds never darken her sun,
And duty and beauty, in Love’s magic art,
Forever be wedded as one.

She’s only a working girl, Chance has decreed
She must dwell with the lowly on earth;
And yet she is rarer in thought and in deed
Than the queenliest princess of earth.
And I would she might know that her beautiful life,
Though shadowed with want and with care,
Has been, in the midst of my toil and my strife,
A hope and a song and a prayer.

— Nixon Waterman, in L.A.W. Bulletin.

Middletown Daily Argus (Middletown, New York) Feb 14, 1898

Employment

July 23, 2012

 

EMPLOYMENT.

Employment! employment!
Oh, that is enjoyment!
There’s nothing like “something to do;”
Good heart-occupation
Is health and salvation;
A secret that’s known to but few.

Ye listless and lazy!
Ye heavy and hazy!
Give hearts, hands, and feet full employment;
Your spirits twill cheer up,
Your foggy brains clear up,
And teach you the real enjoyment.

The lilies, they toil not,
They drudge not, and moil not,
And yet they are cared for, ’tis true;
But the lily, in beauty,
Fulfills its whole duty;
E’en lilies have something to do;

“They sow not, they spin not,”
‘Tis true, but they sin not;
They work, uncomplaining, God’s will;
Their work never hasting,
Their time never wasting,
The laws of their nature fulfill.

Ye hands white as lilies,
Remember God’s will is,
“Whoso doth not work shall not eat;”
‘Tis heart-occupation
Prevents heart-starvation;
Wouldst thou the great Lawgiver cheat!

Then up, man and woman!
Be godlike —- be human!
To self and to nature be true!
Employment! employment!
Oh, that is enjoyment!
There’s nothing like “something to do.”

Allen County Democrat (Lima, Ohio) Jul 19, 1856

It’s Here! The 1940 Federal Census

April 2, 2012

Image from Forrest Stuart MacCormack Photography

The 1940 Federal census is more than 40 per cent complete in Fayette and Somerset counties, according to Ralph C. Kennedy, district census supervisor, with headquarters in the National Bank & Trust Company building at Brimstone Corner.

“From all indications, the census should be completed in Connellsville next week but the work in the rural areas will not be completed until the end of the month,” he said.

Although complete returns have not been tabulated, a hurried examination of the records reveal that approximately 125,000 persons have already been tabulated in the two counties, the supervisor declared, with Fayette county having nearly 95,000 in that total.

“It appears that the enumerators are averaging about 10,000 persons a day, which is quite a job. This figure, however, is certain to go down when the canvassers strike the less populous districts. A continuation of the fine cooperation the workers have been receiving will east the big job before them. In many cases, re-calls may be avoided if the head of the household will leave necessary information at home to pass on to the enumerator,” Mr. Kennedy said.

He added that regardless of where a person may live, he or she will be enumerated during the decennial canvass. Persons who were living as of 11:59 P.M. Sunday night, March 31, are included although they may have died since that time. Births after that hour, however, are not to be tabulated in the 1940 census.

Mr. Kennedy pointed out the enumerators expect to find quite a few persons in Fayette and Somerset counties living in coke ovens, caves, piano boxes, garages and other places but all of these are to be embraced in the tabulation.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Apr 13, 1940

There were 575,250 unemployed persons in Pennsylvania during the final week of March, 1940, according to U.S. census figures recently released. This represented about 14 per cent of the State’s available labor, compared to a 9.7 percentage in the Nation as a whole. Since March the total of unemployed has shown a considerable decline in Pennsylvania.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Feb 1, 1941

*****

The 1940 Federal Census is ONLINE (not indexed) as of today. Use a 1940 house address to help locate family members etc. (Thanks to Steve Morse for creating the ED finder.)

Theme Song of the Gimme Guys

December 11, 2011

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

You Helped Him — So You’ve Gotta Help Me!

So says:

Farm Board
Veterans
Shipping Board
Railroads
Waterways
Reconstruction Finance Corp.
Moratorium to Save Europe

But What About the Common Man?

The Modesto Bee (Modesto, California) Apr 26, 1932

Boilermaker’s Brawl

November 20, 2011

RIOT AND BLOODSHED.

Fierce Fight Between Union and Non-Union Boilermakers at St. Louis — Several Seriously Injured.

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 8. — The rotunda of the St. James, one of the principal hotels of the city, was a scene of riot and bloodshed last evening, in which forty men were engaged. The contestants were union and non-union boilermakers. Twenty-five brawny union emn marched to the front of the hotel and immediately opened battle on the sixteen non-union workmen quartered there. It was give and take on the hot fashion with fists until the sixteen were forced to retreat to the rotunda. Here the battle was renewed with chairs and cuspidors. Knives and pistols were at last drawn. Clerks, guests and bystanders beat a retreat and pandemonium reigned.

Image from the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers website

At this juncture the arrival of a squad of police put most union men to flight and the struggle ended. Six arrests were made. Of the forty men engaged fully one-half were injured, some of them seriously. One month ago 1,000 boiler makers demanded ten hours pay for nine hours time and went on strike. The John OBrien Company secured sixteen non-union men and they were put to work Friday. Overtures from the union to the new men were unsuccessful and the appeal to force followed.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 9, 1893