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IMMIGRANTS IN INDUSTRIES.

SILK GOODS MANUFACTURING AND DYEING.

This report, which was prepared under the direction of the Commission by W. Jett Lauck, superintendent of agents, forms part of the general report of the Immigration Commission on immigrants in industries.

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SILK GOODS MANUFACTURING AND DYEING.

PART I-GENERAL SURVEY OF THE INDUSTRY.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.

Growth of the industry-Increase in the number of employees-Territory studied— Households studied-Members of households for whom detailed information was secured The preparation of the report-Employees for whom information was secured—[Text Tables 1 to 8 and General Tables 1 to 3].

GROWTH OF THE INDUSTRY.

During the past thirty years the silk goods manufacturing industry has undergone a remarkable expansion. In 1880 the capital invested in the industry in the United States amounted to only $19,125,300 and the annual output was only $41,033,045, as contrasted with a capital commitment of $109,556,621 in 1905 and an annual production to the value of $133,288,072. The growth of the industry in the United States and in the principal silk goods manufacturing States during the period 1880-1905 is shown in the table which immediately follows:

TABLE 1.-Growth of the silk goods manufacturing industry in the United States and in selected States, 1880-1905.

From United States Census Report, Manufactures, 1905, Part III, Table 16.]

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INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES.

From the standpoint of recent immigration the most significant feature in connection with the growth of the silk industry has been the resultant increase in the number of employees due to the fact that the necessary operatives have been obtained largely from among recent immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. The expansion of the operating force of the industry may be readily understood from the fact that only 31,337 wage-earners were employed in 1880, as contrasted with 79,601 in the year 1905. The table below shows the increase in the number of operatives in the United States as a whole and in the principal producing States during the period 1880

1905:

TABLE 2.-Increase in the number of silk goods wage-earners in the United States and in selected States, 1880-1905.

[From United States Census Report, Manufactures, 1905, Part III, Table 16.]

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The investigation of the industry was restricted to the principal silk goods producing localities of the Middle and New England States, special emphasis being placed upon Paterson, N. J., and the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania.

HOUSEHOLDS STUDIED.

A total of 272 households the heads of which were employed in the industry, were studied in detail. In the following table the number of households studied is shown according to general nativity and race of head of household:

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