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tioning and collecting family schedules from the locality. If the schedules, however, were not immediately forthcoming, the preliminary report, which showed total population and families, by races, was used in apportioning the number of family schedules to be secured. In this event, interpreters, ministers, priests, and other persons familiar with the immigrant population were relied upon for securing addresses of families of the various races to be studied by means of the family or household schedules. The data relative to the households were secured by special agents who used interpreters to interrogate the several races.

The individual schedules or cards secured from the employees of industrial establishments gave a complete census, or returns at least, for the larger number of industrial workers in the community. The family schedule, which as compared with the individual schedule was detailed and extensive in the inquiries made, was designed for intensive study in connection with carefully selected representative families. Moreover, as the number which might be secured was limited because of the time and expense involved, the family schedules, in addition to being apportioned by races, were also apportioned: (1) By industries; and (2) by communities; the standards of distribution being: (1) The extent to which a certain race was engaged in a specific industry; and (2) the proportion which a certain race bore to the total foreign population of a certain locality. The number of schedules assigned to each race was also divided into certain numbers for families of certain periods of residence in the United States. This method of apportionment was adopted because it would not only enable families of similar races to be secured from different geographical divisions and environments but would also permit tabulations to be made: (1) By races; (2) by industries; and (3) by localities. Schedules of families whose heads were native-born and employed in the same industry as immigrant heads of households were also assigned in numbers sufficient for comparison with the foreign-born.

In addition to the individual cards, family schedules, and other material gathered for statistical presentation, supplementary data in the form of community reports, industrial notes, special studies, and transcriptions of pay rolls were secured. Some of the community reports were very exhaustive in their treatment and covered every phase of contact and influence of recent immigration upon American life and institutions. In making a study of the establishments and in securing transcriptions of pay rolls, special forms, as already described, were used. In some localities, studies of the wage scale of the industrial plants were also made for a period of 25 or 30 years with a view to ascertaining what effect, if any, the employment of recent immigrants had had upon the wages of American workmen. Other similar lines of work were conducted with the purpose of tracing out the results of racial displacements and other subjects of economic import.

Mention has already been made that in addition to the purely community studies and methods of work, a general industrial census by means of the individual cards was planned. This result was attained by securing the assistance of industrial corporations

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and transportation companies. Special agents were detailed to make arrangements with corporations and manufacturers for a census of their employees. This work was very successful, owing to the cooperation of employers of labor. With scarcely an exception, small employers, local corporations, and large holding companies, with more or less inconvenience and expense, complied with the request of the Commission. In the case of some of the large industrial corporations having plants in different parts of the United States, the securing of the cards represented a large outlay of money by the corporation, and a corresponding saving to the Commission.

The individual schedule or cardwork embraced in its scope the larger number of industrial communities of any significance east of the Rocky Mountains. The data given on the cards was supplemented by the gathering of descriptive, historical, and industrial data, special agents being detached from the community groups and assigned to the collection of this material.

It is quickly evident from a glance at the original plans, as outlined above, that the work was laid out in a way which required a long period of time for completion. As a natural result, when it was ordered by Congress during the fall of 1908 that the field work should be ended by July 1, 1909, considerable changes in procedure were necessary. In order to cover the territory and the studies planned, it was at once decided that the collection of all detailed and descriptive matter which was not absolutely necessary should be abandoned and that stress should be laid on the gathering of purely statistical data susceptible of presentation in tabulated form. In accordance with this decision, the detailed studies of communities and industrial establishments were curtailed, less emphasis was placed upon the special investigation of the economic effects of immigration, and the efforts of the field force concentrated upon securing as large returns as possible by means of individual cards from employees of leading industries. Descriptive and general industrial and community material was also gathered in the form of limited reports on establishments and localities. As a result of these changes in procedure there was a loss in intensive work, but a corresponding gain in the extent of territory and number of establishments, individuals, and families covered, and the field work was brought to a satisfactory conclusion at the time designated.


The financial breakdown of November, 1907, as is well known, was marked by industrial stagnation to a greater or less degree throughout the country. A majority of industrial plants were compelled to operate with reduced forces and, in the case of some industries, to shut down entirely. Fortunately, there was no important reduction of wages in the leading industries, it being usually considered better policy to run the various plants a shorter period of time at the accustomed wages rather than to close the plants or to operate full time on a reduced wage scale. This was especially true of the iron and steel industry, and also of the coal and iron ore mining industries, which are closely related to the iron and steel trade. By the beginning of the year 1908 the activities in the iron and steel industry had been sharply curtailed and a large number of men were thrown out

of work or placed on a short-time basis. This state of affairs continued for several months until an upward movement became noticeable which tended more and more toward normal conditions during that year, with practically a complete revival during the early part of the year 1909.

In the coal industry the anthracite district during the same period was not so seriously affected as the bituminous regions. Companies in Pennsylvania which were engaged in supplying bituminous coal to the trans-Atlantic trade and for other high-grade steaming purposes suffered very little falling-off in demand. The coking-coal and other regions of Pennsylvania, as well as similar districts in West Virginia, Virginia, and Alabama, were forced to limit their output by reason of the depression in the iron and steel and other basic industries. The Middle West and the Southwestern States of Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas were most seriously affected in their coal-mining operations by reason of the fact that, in addition to the general industrial depression, the demand for coal was greatly reduced during 1908 by the falling-off in the domestic consumption, due to an open winter and the use of natural gas for heating, and to the fact that many railroads operating in this territory substituted crude oil for coal for steaming purposes.

Conditions in the iron-ore mining districts were similar to those existing in the coal regions during the same period. This was especially true of operations in Alabama. On the other hand, during the spring of 1909, when conditions in other parts of the country were favorable to a revival, a return to normal conditions was much delayed on the Minnesota and Michigan ranges by an extensive and prolonged strike of men occupied in the traffic on the Great Lakes. In the case of industries engaged in the manufacture of articles for which there is a general and constant demand, such as meat products, cotton, woolen, and hosiery and knit goods, shoes, furniture, clothing, and agricultural implements, the influence of the depression was not much felt. The glass industry was but slightly checked in its operations. Establishments engaged in the production of wooden and steel cars, sheet and tin plate, wire, novelties, and other commodities, the consumption of which was optional or dependent upon activity in industrial affairs, were very seriously affected and were the last to resume normal activities.

To summarize briefly the situation, all industries with the exception of those noted above were more or less restricted during the last two months of 1907 and the first five months of 1908, after which there was a gradual upward trend toward normal conditions; the industries engaged in the production of goods for which there was a fluctuating demand being the last to return to the usual operating basis.

The effects of this general depression extending over a number of months, upon the field work of the industrial investigation was not so great as might be expected for the reason that the industrial field work did not actually get underway until the recovery was in progress and the return to normal activities strongly apparent. The investigation of the economic effects of immigration was started in July, 1908, and was confined to two steel and two coal communities-one bituminous and one anthracite-until the close of that year. The

coordination of the economic and other special investigations into the general industrial investigation was made in the summer of 1908, but the field force did not reach its maximum number, and the scope of the work was not extended beyond the limits mentioned above until January, 1909. Moreover, the work of securing a general industrial census by means of the individual schedules was not widely undertaken until the latter part of February of the same year, and the cards were not actually filled out until several months later. The significance of the depression from the standpoint of the field work, therefore, was mainly confined to the three iron and steel and coal communities covered by the economic investigation. In the case of these communities, so far as the field work progressed under the effects of the depression, efforts were constantly made to secure data covering normal conditions along with that portraying the existing situation. Family schedule agents were instructed to hold this object in mind in carrying on their work. Recourse was also had to the books and records of industrial establishments, and transcriptions were made of earnings and prices paid for labor during past periods of industrial activity. From the accounts of mercantile establishments, family expenditures were also secured for normal periods. In gathering community and industrial data, the normal situation was also constantly held in mind.

Moreover, the leading industries, as already mentioned, adopted a policy of working shorter time rather than cutting wages. The day or hour wage and earnings for any occupation were, therefore, the same under abnormal as under normal conditions of operation. It is true that the hours worked per day or days or hours per week were often less than the normal time and the earnings correspondingly less, but in such cases the normal earnings were secured along with the abnormal. The only disparity as compared with normal conditions lay in the fact that, owing to the exigencies of the situation, a highly skilled workman, because of the depression, might be forced to enter an inferior occupation and invalidate to that extent the normal showing for a particular race or individual. This would scarcely be appreciable and need not be considered as of serious import. Practically 95 per cent of the schedules for individual employees were secured during the spring and early summer of the year 1909, and were not liable to show any considerable influence of depressed conditions for the reason that in most industries the effects of the depression were disappearing. Even in the case of these cards distinction was made between normal and abnormal conditions by requiring the usual earnings to be entered along with the short-time earnings in the case of employees who were working under the effects of the depression. The only instances in which the depression and consequent curtailment of employment affected the results obtained occurred in securing data relative to annual earnings and annual family income. The period of 12 months preceding the date of the inquiry in some cases included several months of the period of industrial depression. As regards industries the employees of which were forced to undergo loss of time or curtailment of earnings, an attempt was made to secure normal results by substituting a normal year for the period of 12 months, part of which included the industrial depression.




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