1864 - Evidence on the employment of
MESSRS. G. LAYTON'S, JAPAN BUTTON MANUFACTURER, LITTLE CHARLES
397. The workshops are parts of a gloomy and deserted .looking
set of: buildings in a back court, reached by a steep narrow
passage, and employ besides the master one man, five women,
two girls over and one under 13, and two boys of 8 and 9.
The nature of the manufacture is described below (b. 402-4).
The floor of the shop is covered with apparently long accumulated
litter and heaps of waste metal &c. To judge from appearances
cleaning is very rare.
398. In the adjoining buildings are shops of the same outward
appearance in which various works are carried on; pearl button
making, gun-work, glass moulds, stirrups, boots, hinges, &c.
399. Jane Freeman.Am 20. Work a press. My thumb is tied
up because I have pinched a piece out of it with the press.
Pinched off the end of my right forefinger at some tin-plate
works in cutting out tin cans with a press, and was out-patient
at the hospital for two months with it. Have been also in
a percussion cap and a pin factory.
Am a tidy scholar; can read [can], but cannot write. Go to
Sunday school still, and did go to a night school.
400. Louisa Copeman, age 14.Press girl. Have pinched
the end of my thumb in the press. Work from 8¼ to 7½,
sometimes 8. Go home to dinner from 1 to 2¼. Can read
[spells b-e, m-y, &c.] Was never
at day school.
[Dress half torn from her bosom.]
401. Ann Taylor, age 9.Shove buttons on a wire ready
for blacking. Was at another place just about like this before,
and worked from 8 to 7. Littler girls than me worked there.
Get my hands clean before I go away from here. Mother brought
me here. Get 2s. a week. Can tell my letters, but not spell
them. Go to school every Sunday and three nights a week.
[Sits 4 or 5 feet from the stove. Looks healthy but uncombed,
&c. The two boys did not know the letters.]