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The Scrap Book, Volume 1, No. 5 July 1906   By:

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Vol. I. JULY, 1906. No. 5.



Breathes there the man with soul so dead Who never to himself hath said, "This is my own, my native land!" Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd As home his footsteps he hath turned From wandering on a foreign strand? If such there breathe, go, mark him well! For him no minstrel raptures swell; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim Despite those titles, power, and pelf, The wretch, concentered all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust from whence he sprung Unwept, unhonor'd, and unsung.

"Lay of the Last Minstrel," Canto VI.

The Latest Viewpoints of Men Worth While

An Old Business Man Testifies to the Progress the World Has Made Since Seventy Years Ago Lewis Carroll's Advice on Mental Nutrition Rudyard Kipling Defines What Literature Is Richard Mansfield Holds That All Men Are Actors Professor Thomas Advances Reasons for Spelling Reform Helen Keller Pictures the Tragedy of Blindness With Other Expressions of Opinion From Men of Light and Leading.

Compiled and edited for THE SCRAP BOOK.


Stephen A. Knight, an Aged Cotton Manufacturer, Tells of Work and Wages Seventy Years Ago.

The more deeply one looks into the conditions of life in the "good old times" the more likely is he to find reason for exclaiming, "Thank Heaven, I live in the Now!" Life held out comparatively little for the American working man three quarters of a century ago. Wages were very small, education was exceedingly hard to obtain, and the comforts of life were few in comparison with the present time.

At the recent meeting of the National Association of Cotton Manufacturers, in Boston, Stephen A. Knight, of Providence, a former president of the association, gave his reminiscences of old time mill work. Mr. Knight began as a bobbin boy in a mill at Coventry, Rhode Island, in 1835. After the lapse of seventy years he says:

My work was to put in the roving on a pair of mules containing two hundred and fifty six spindles. It required three hands a spinner, a fore side piecer, and a back boy to keep that pair of mules in operation. The spinner who worked alongside of me died about two years ago at the age of one hundred and three, an evidence that all do not die young who spend their early life in a cotton mill. I am hoping to go one better.

The running time for that mill, on an average, was about fourteen hours per day. In the summer months we went in as early as we could see, worked about an hour and a half, and then had a half hour for breakfast. At twelve o'clock we had another half hour for dinner, and then we worked until the stars were out.

From September 20 until March 20 we went to work at five o'clock in the morning and came out at eight o'clock at night, having the same hours for meals as in the summer time.

For my services I was allowed forty two cents per week, which, being analyzed, was seven cents per day, or one half cent per hour.

Old Time Profit Makers.

The proprietor of that mill was accustomed to make a contract with his help on the first day of April for the coming year. That contract was supposed to be sacred, and it was looked upon as a disgrace to ignore the contracts thus made. On one of these anniversaries a mother with several children suggested to the proprietor that the pay seemed small.

The proprietor replied: "You get enough to eat, don't you?"

The mother said: "Just enough to keep the wolf from the door."

He then remarked, "You get enough clothes to wear, don't you?" to which she answered, "Barely enough to cover our nakedness... Continue reading book >>

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