« EelmineJätka »
Page 80, table heading, read "Glass Workers- Master Shearers,” for “Glass
Blowers,” &c. Pages 157, to 159, Table VIII, headings, read “Showing Summary of Diseases
Contracted at Trade," and "Age When Contracted,” for “Causes
of Decline,” and “Age of Decline." Page 311, 17 lines from bottom, read “Mortgagors,” for “Mortgages.” Page 326, foot note, 3 lines from bottom, read “Rural Population to the Cities,”
for “of the Cities.”
The influence of occupation upon the health and trade-life of workmėn never has been sufficiently investigated, although, as a very important phase of the industrial question, it deserves serious attention. It is true, some valuable statistics of occupational mor. tality have been collected in England from the annual reports of the Registers-General, Drs. Farr and Ogle. These compilations, the latest of which are reproduced in the Appendix, give the average age at death of particular classes of persons and indicate the diseases peculiar to them. But it is questionable whether such tables are of much service in determining the number of years the enumerated occupations have shortened the lives of those engaged therein.
As is admitted by the authorities mentioned, “the mean age of death of people in different businesses after all furnishes very erroneous indications, as it is affected so much by the ages at which people enter and leave, as well as by the salubrity or insalubrity of any particular profession.” The actuary of the New York Mutual Life Insurance Company, referring to the unreliability of statistics of occupational mortality, mentions the somewhat extreme example of judges, whose average age at death is found to be high : “The inference that would be made from this fact, that the occupation of being a judge tends to longevity, may or may not be true. It seems to me quite as likely, that nothing more is proved than that a healthy class of men become judges. Apart from this, it would rather show that men do not become judges until already advanced in years. This fact might make an immense difference in
the average age at death." Then again, it is improbable that the larger proportion of those employed in industrial pursuits, excepting, possibly, those commonly classed as dangerous, such as mining, seafaring and the like, die in harness, as it were : the more unhealthy or enervating a trade, the greater the probability that physical impairment will compel the worker to seek other but more suitable employment, perhaps, many years before his death ; but vital statistics do not show this historical record.
These considerations induced the Bureau to pursue a different but largely experimented line of inquiry in the investigation, begun during the year, into the “ effect of occupation on the health and duration of the trade life of workmen.” A beginning has been made with three of our most important industries, namely, glass, hatting and pottery. The effort was primarily directed to obtaining from journeymen, of twenty-one years and upwards, a sufficiently full history of their trade life for a correct estimate of its duration. The tables in Part I comprise the summarized replies from 4,739 journeymen actively engaged in their respective occupations, as well as information respecting several hundred workmen who, from incapacity or other causes, had quit the trades at which they were once employed.
In connection with and as introductory to these original data, is given an account of the results of the more general observations of medical experts, based on private professional experience or the official inspection of workshops and mills. These go to show the needs of efficient factory laws, and the excellent effects where they have been energetically pushed and administered. In the United States where but little progress has been made in this direction, the results of our experience are necessarily limited. It is only within very recent years that departments of factory inspection have been established in but nine of the States. Such legislation, so far as it goes, seems to be fairly efficient. Little attention, however, has been given to the sanitary regulation of workshops; and taken a whole, these factory acts are far less comprehensive than those enacted in many of the European countries, notably, France, Switzerland, and especially, England, whose laws, consolidated into the Factory and Workshop Act of 1878, have formed the model for such legislation elsewhere. This important statute is reproduced at the close of Part I, as is also the more general but no less efficient act in force in the Swiss Confederation since 1877
As extensive an investigation of the subject of recorded indebtedness in New Jersey as was deemed advisable, in view of the probability, at the time, that statistics of farms, houses and mortgages would be gathered, by the United States Census department, for the whole country-an inquiry which is now being prosecuted, The number of real estate mortgages recorded was collated from the official records of the several counties, and, especially the number, nature and amounts of foreclosure executions issued, the conclusions having been reached that the latter data rather than the extent of mortgage indebtedness, other things being equal, indicate the condition of the land holding classes. Foreclosure executions point to the embarrassment of the mortgage debtors; while a mere mortgage incumbrance often signifies the contrary, especially when the borrowed money is being used in remunerative productive industry. As a matter of fact, this inquiry, the results of which are set forth in Part 2, shows, that the tendency in periods of business activity has been towards the increase of mortgages and decrease in foreclosures ; and conversely, in hard times. There has been a constant increase in the total number of recorded mortgages in this State since the business revival at the close of the last decade, as well as a generally marked decrease in the foreclosure rate. This tendency, however, has been much less observable in those counties which are rural than in the urban a state of affairs for which, there is considerable evidence to show that the decreasing value of farm land and the depressed condition of the agricultural interests are largely responsible.
To satisty a demand for information on the industrial co-operative legislation in this country and Great Britain, a synopsis of the laws regulating the organization and management of co operative associations in the United Kingdom, as well as the comparatively few and less comprehensive acts which are in force in the United States, are reproduced in Part 3. The final chapter of this report, Part 4, is devoted, as customary, to such so-called labor legislation as was enacted at the session of the State Legislature in 1890
The supervision of this work of obtaining the statistics for Part 1 of this volume was chiefly in the hands of Mr. Charles H. Simmerman, secretary of the Bureau, and I desire to acknowledge his earnestness and fidelity in the prosecution of a line of inquiry, which, though somewhat novel, is, nevertheless, a niost important one. I wish also to acknowledge the valuable services of Mr. Joseph Fischer, chief clerk, and to express my satisfaction at his devotion to the interests of the office, and his efficient aid in the preparation of the present report.