THE BEVERLY INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY AND EXECUTIVE OFFICER
To the Trustees of the Beverly Independent Industrial School:
Gentlemen I have the honor to submit herewith the fifth annual report of the Beverly Independent Industrial School.
Having been officially associated with the school for only four months, my knowledge of its work is necessarily limited and therefore disqualifies me for making recommendations for its future. Even a limited acquaintance with the school, however, is sufficient to convince one that we owe much to Superintendent A. L. Safford who performed the arduous pioneer work that must have been necessary to found such an institution, and to Superintendent R. O. Small under whose able administration the school has become so firmly established in our community. Evidences are by no means lacking that this school is supplying a real need in this city. There are other needs, however, that are as real and as urgent as that satisfied by the present Industrial School. The manner in which these needs may best be relieved is not, however apparent. A report prepared by Superintendent Small, with the cooperation of the Woman’s Educational and Industrial Union of Boston, furnishes valuable data, from the pupils’ standpoint, for guidance in this problem. A portion of the statistical tables and the conclusions drawn there from are printed below for your consideration with the hope that we may be led thereby to enlarge the scope of our work in industrial education.
JUVENILE LABOR IN BEVERLY
“The purpose of this study is to determine whether more trade training should be offered in the public schools of Beverly. To help in solving this query, the names of those boys and.10 girls who had left Beverly schools since September 1908 were secured from the records kept at the School Committee rooms. Only the names of those were taken who were under 16 years of age when leaving school and whose first employment was by firms having a number of young workers. The homes of these boys and girls were visited and their industrial record obtained through a personal interview with themselves or their parents.
“Of the 226 boys and girls who came in the above class, 199, or 87.3 percent were found and interviewed. The fact that so large a percentage is still living in Beverly shows a noteworthy stability of population, and especially of young workers, which should be of significance in determining a scheme of trade training. “In addition to the 199 children interviewed, data was secured from 15 others-brothers or sisters of the original 199. Thus information was obtained for a total of 214 young workers, of whom 129 were boys and 85 girls; of these 24 are vacation or after school workers.
“The main facts sought were the nationality present age of the child, age at which he left school, are at beginning work, his reasons as well as those of his parents for leaving school and his industrial record. A special effort was made to obtain information on the kind of work done, how it was secured and learned, the length of time each position was held and the weekly wage.
TABLE SHOWING PRESENT AGES OF THE 190 WORKING CHILDREN NOT AT SCHOOL
|Years of Age||Number||Per Cent.|
|20 and over||3||1.6|
One-half of the children for whom data was secured are still under 17 and would thus be affected by trade training if it were now introduced.
TABLE SHOWING NATIVITY AND NATIONAL AFFILIATIONS OF THE YOUNG WORKERS. (Table Abbreviated)
|A. Native Born.|
|1. Beverly||76||35.5 per cent|
|2. Other Parts of U. S.||101||47.4 per cent.|
|Total||177||82.9 per cent.|
|B. Foreign Born.|
|1. English Speaking||25||11.6 per cent.|
|2. Non-English Speaking||12||5.5 per cent.|
|Total||37||17.5 per cent.|
|Grand Total||214||100 per cent.|
Three-fourths of these children are American-born, and a large proportion of them have always lived in Massachusetts. Only 5.6 percent. of the children, and 11.7 percent of the fathers come from non- English-speaking countries. Thus the problem is an English-speaking one, not a foreign one, and this fact is of special importance in considering continuation or part-time school work.
TABLE SHOWING AGE OF WORKING CHILDREN ON LEAVING SCHOOL
|Age on Leaving School||Number||Percent|
*Those leaving school under 14 can be accounted for as follows:
three left when just 13, two of whom were ill, and one had left school in England and then attended a half-time school for a year. The other ten would have reached 14 before the school re-opened in September. Five of them, however, began work immediately on leaving school and before they were 14.
There is as much shifting among those who have been at work three years as among those at work one year. After three years at work the boys shift more than the girls. Out of 129 boys, 16 have improved their wage and prospects by shifting, six have increased their wage but decreased their prospects, 11 have increased their wage but not improved their prospects. In two industries only, in shoe-making and shoe-machine work, was advancement shown by boys who have not worked in other industries. In the former only two out of 18 have advanced reasonably well, while in the latter one-half have shown marked advancement according to the time they have been at work. Among many of the boys, however, constant shifting from one industry to another is found with apparently no aim in view. There is more stability among the girls, and they do not shift to so many different industries.
But the fact that these workers have changed their positions a number of times would not necessarily augur want of industrial success, were there changes from poorer to better work, though in different industries; or were there a gradual increase of wage-earing power; or a development on an apprenticeship basis, passing from stage to stage in the same industry, though working for different firms, one stage serving as a stepping stone to the next.
TABLE SHOWING NUMBER OF THOSE WHOSE HIGHEST AND PRESENT WAGE ARE IDENTICAL AND OF THOSE WHOSE PRESENT WAGE IS LOWER THAN THE MAXIMUM. TABLE SHOWING AMOUNT OF DECREASE IN THE WAGES RECECEIVING AT PRESENT LESS THAN THEIR HIGHEST WAGE
The beginning wage for 68 per cent varies from $3 to $6. For the group at work less than two years, 30.9 per cent of the boys and 26.8 per cent of the girls have been able to earn from $7 to $12 a week, while 29.1 per cent of the boys and 53.7 per cent of the girls receive $4 or less. About one-half of both boys and girls who have worked two years or more are earning from $7 to $11. Only 68 per cent of the boys who have worked three years or more are earning their highest wage now. While the boys who have been at work three years or more show a decrease of 21 per cent of those earning their highest wage now, only nine per cent of the girls show a similar situation. A decrease from the maximum wage-earning power for 89 per cent of the girls and one-half of the boys is from $1 to $2. The remaining 50 per cent of the boys show a decrease ranging from $3 to $10.
I believe that this problem merits our serious consideration and that its solution lies in enlarging the scope of our present industrial school either by adding new lines of industry to the day school or by introducing evening schoolwork.
S. HOWARD CHACE,
Dec. 30, 1913. Secretary and Executive Officer
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR
BEVERLY INDEPENDENT INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL
For the Year Ending December 31, 1913
To the Board of Trustees of the Beverly Independent Industrial School:
Gentlemen: While this report is the fifth presented to the Board, it covers only the fourth year ending July 12, 1913, and part of the fifth school year. In accordance with the wishes of his Honor the Mayor, that all reports for the City Document be as brief as possible. I shall omit many matters necessary to former reports.
FOURTH SCHOOL YEAR JULY 29, 1912-JULY 12, 1913.
In many respects this year will stand as a typical one. Most of the boys had entered within two years, hence had not come under the difficult conditions attending the first year of a new enterprise, as had the older boys now graduated.
Seventy-seven different boys were enrolled. On the last session of the year these were accounted for:
In school at end of year, 56 promoted to full-time during the year,14 withdrew to enter other trades, 1 moved from city, 1 dropped for inefficiency or truancy.
Total membership: 77
The per cent. of attendance for the year was 96.8 and absences were about equally distributed between the schoolroom and the factory. Including holidays the school was closed only seven days out of the fifty weeks’ session.
There has been constant growth in the quality and content of instruction. Much attention has been given to applied science and an additional teacher was placed in charge of this department. The room in the basement was equipped with benches, vises, forge, anvils, files, surface plate, hand tools, etc., and arranged for installation of the Flather lathe formerly in the High School, and loaned to us through the generosity of the School Committee. Access to this new equipment has meant much to the boys. As a course in applied science now stands, it is unique and a forward step made by the instructor.
In machine-tool study and in drawing there have been noteworthy changes looking to the practical bearing of these topics.
Questions have often been raised as to the training of our boys, whether they were not being trained as expert operators on a few machines, instead of having experience on all of the machine-tools, found In the best factories. For three years I have kept careful data on this point and give below the figures for the year 1912-13. Every Monday the boys report the machines worked upon, and the number of hours given to each machine, so that the instructors may be able to arrange work according to the previous experience of each boy.
TABLE SHOWING THE EXTENT OF ALL-AROUND SHOP TRAINING BY PERCENTAGE OF TIME SPENT ON DIFFERENT CLASSES OF WORK
There can be no question as to the value of the training offered and the freedom from making operators instead of machinists.
The third group of full-time boys, six in number, was sent into the factory January 20, 1913. This group had been on part-time basis for an average of three years, two and a half months. A fourth group, eight in all, was sent out at the close of the year, July 28. This group had been on part-time for an average of three years, although the time of one boy was exactly two years, while another fell just five days short of four years.
This variation in the length of attendance illustrates clearly the basis of promotion, quality of work regardless of the length of time in the school. Just as soon as a boy is considered qualified to be tried out in the factory he is placed on full-time receiving all of his earnings; graduation follows a thorough trial period in the factory.
The workmanship and earning ability of these two groups is satisfactory. Although work in the factory has been “dull” there is every reason to believe that these boys will maintain the excellent standard set by former groups; in many respects their training is more varied. Wages have ranged from twenty-three to thirty-five cents an hour.
A word here is necessary regarding the qualifications of boys put on full-time. The school does not by this action stamp the boy as a first class workman; promotion simply means that the school believes that it has developed the best that is in the boy so far as it can and feels that he should now stand “on his own feet.” It sends the average boy forth with an equipment that, if faithfully used, will help him earn from three to ten dollars more than is received
by the untrained workman.
On July 10, 1913, the second class of boys was handed Certificates of Graduation by Mayor MacDonald Chairman of the Board of Trustees. These eight boys had worked eight months on full-time.
All our graduates, twenty-two in number, are at work in the factory. In common with all mechanics they have suffered from short time and scarcity of work, but their earnings have still kept an average of over thirty cents an hour. It is gratifying to report almost universal satisfaction with the character of the work given them at the factory. There seems to be an entire absence of favoritism shown our boys on the part of the foremen; they receive the same treatment as other workmen and stand on their merits. A special evidence of the spirit of the graduates is shown by the attendance of four of them on courses at the Franklin Union, Lowell Institute and Wentworth Institute in Boston.
EARNINGS OF PART-TIME BOYS
High-water mark was reached in the earnings for the year. This is gratifying when one considers that the presumably best earners in school had been placed on full-time. The total number of hours worked was 61,5861/4 the cash earned was $11,403.02, an average rate per hour of eighteen and a half cents. The rate per hour for the year 1911-12 was fifteen cents and for 1910-11 was thirteen and one-half cents.
It is especially gratifying to note that the boys of the second year earned twenty-one cents an hour thus showing conclusively that new life has come to the school.
Half of the above earnings only are paid to the boys as agreed upon between the company and the school, the other half being applied to maintenance.
PART OF FIFTH SCHOOL YEAR, JULY 28-DECEMBER 31, 1913
On the opening day eight boys were promoted to full-time in the factory thus removing from the regular roll all who had enrolled at the opening of the school August 2, 1909. Twelve new boys were enrolled. The average age of these is higher than that of former students; the grade standing was either Grade IX or X. There seems to be a tendency for prospective students to remain as long in the High School as possible and this tendency is decidedly praiseworthy. A mature student coming to us will complete his course one or two years earlier than others and will profit more both through his studies and through his wages. An eight-grade boy needs to be unusually good to carry the work here.
I have found that more attention must be paid to the physical build of the boys, so have given preference to boys over five feet four inches in height and correspondingly heavy. Under that height a boy is too severely handicapped in ” working on the machine tools; the danger attending a boy who has to stand on a box to reach his work must be avoided.
There is an increasing tendency for fathers and brothers who work in the factory to send their sons or brothers here. Of the new boys over seventy percent have fathers in the factory or in the machinist’s trade, while over fifty percent of the boys in the school are sons of machinists or of men employed in allied trades. This fact is a sterling endorsement of the character of the school work. Instead of “knocking” their own trade as most mechanics do these men urge their sons to enter it.
The enrollment for the first twenty-two weeks of the fifth year now stands:
Boys in fourth year of school: 4
Boys in third year of school: 16
Boys in second year of school: 26
Boys in first year of school: 12
In addition to this there are under our supervision fourteen full- time boys not yet graduated. There are twenty-two graduates.
EARNINGS OF PART-TIME BOYS FOR PART OF FIFTH YEAR
The total earnings of the school at slightly under that of a year ago due to the reduction in working hours of the factory and also to the immaturity of several of the boys. The hours worked total for the twenty-two weeks 27,338% and the cash $4,500.42. The rate per hour is sixteen cents and four mills. Each boy earned on an average $7.20 per week of work. Half of this goes to the boy on the agreement with the factory which retains half as part payment of the cost of maintenance. It is worth note at this point the fact that for this time the factory hours were forty-five per week in- stead of fifty as heretofore. I am glad to report that the school is now working on a regular schedule in common with the rest of the factory.
A FOREWARD MOVEMENT
The school has now passed the experimental stage so far as courses, methods and results are concerned. It seems that the time has now come for a Forward Movement for industrial education in Beverly. In some quarters the impression exists that this school was founded only as a training school for machinists. That is its present work, but it is not all. According to the report of the Beverly Com- mission on Industrial Education made to the Massachusetts Commission, May 10, 1909, “an initial course in the theory and practice of the machinist’s trade” might be followed by “specialization in some branch of the machinist’s trade, pattern-making, molding and casting, forging, tempering, machine-drawing and inventing, etc.” In the Order of the Board of Aldermen, May 18, 1909, establishing the school the purpose was stated as “instructing the youths” in the machinist’s trade or in such other trades or occupations as shall be deemed expedient by the Board of Trustees.” By a recent decision of the State Board of Education schools of our type are divided into departments, our school at present being thus rated as a “Machinist Training Department.” It seems to me that the work of the school can now be broadened to meet the vocational needs of other Beverly boys who are not to be machinists.
TRAINING FOR OTHER TRADES
The machinist’s trade will doubtless call for the largest number of Beverly boys, but those wishing to enter other trades must either go elsewhere for training or pick up a trade in a hap-hazard way. In accordance with state laws the city must either furnish the training or pay for tuition in other cities.
Carpentry, either inside or outside, furnishes a’ splendid vocational field and the demand for trained men will continue for many years along this North Shore,-but how can our boys be trained for this trade? I know two Beverly boys who left school to enter the carpenter’s trade but gave it up because they were unable to learn under present conditions. The same is true of other vocations that should naturally be open to Beverly boys. The way could be opened for teaching the trades of pattern-making, foundry work, and mechanical drawing. The present equipment and teaching force could carry the heaviest part of the schoolroom preparation for these trades.
The boy already at work needs our attention. He will not re- turn to school so must be trained while at work or not at all. He should have the opportunity of attending day classes for several hours a week on his employers’ time. Many cities and towns are providing these classes and it is only a question of time till Beverly does so. This school should be the meeting place for £he boys’ need and his opportunity. It is the logical place for such instruction and is well equipped for handling the situation. The new Child Labor Law is already bringing problems that industrial schools must solve; because a boy is compelled to work is no reason why he should be compelled to drop his education.
EVENING TRADE CLASSES
In the Order already quoted the purpose of the school is stated as “instructing youths in day or evening classes” and “instructing any persons already employed in the industries in evening classes in such industrial trades or occupations as shall be deemed expedient by the Board of Trustees.” Instruction is thus to be provided for two groups:
(1) youths from fourteen to twenty-one years of age desirous of learning; a trade;
(2) any persons, age not restricted, already employed in the industries. The first group, those learning a trade, may receive instruction in either day or evening classes, while the second group, those already in the trades, are restricted to evening classes. Under’ present conditions we cannot provide instruction and equipment for learning a trade in evening classes. This is possible only when the school has in its own building machines and equipment suitable for trade instruction or when it has access to an equipment elsewhere.
It would be possible to install a machine-tool outfit in the school building but this is undesirable and would be a wasteful duplication of part of our present equipment at the factory. Is it altogether a dream that some day, not remote, such prosperity shall come to the United Shoe Machinery Company as shall require so much of its plant to run evenings that a place may be found in the factory for this school to teach evening students? There are difficulties in carrying out such a scheme but none more formidable than were met and surmounted when this school was organized.
The second group, those already in the trades, must be taught in evening classes. This branch of industrial school work offers the largest field for service in our community. In our largest manufacturing plant there are at least two thousand men and boys who could be helped to increase skill and earning ability if we gave them the opportunity. In other factories and shops there are many more to whom we should prove a stimulus and practical help.
For this second group I respectfully suggest that work be under- taken in the fall and winter of 1914. There are no substantial objections to the plan. From experience elsewhere with several hundred men in evening classes I am sure that a surprisingly large number of men would enter our evening classes and would find what they sought; men are anxious for advancement and we owe them the opportunity. . The main reasons for this school undertaking this work are:
(1) the studies needed and specially planned for men in Beverly trades are not offered elsewhere;
(2) the school is in the best position to know what ought to be taught and how because it selects its teachers from men in the trades taught;
(3) the Order establishing the school places evening trade instruction in the hands of the school;
(4) the standing of the school is a guarantee of the quality of the instruction.
The courses taught in the school would be treated as Unit Topics, that is, instruction would be giving in a special topic of a series without regard to the rest of the series so that a student could take only what he needed, provided his preparation was satisfactory. For example: Machinist’s Mathematics Series covers such topics as Figuring Tapers, Simple Indexing, Differential Indexing, Screw Threads, Finding Cutter for Special Gears. Each topic is taken up at a predetermined date so a student wishing to study Differential Indexing, for instance, could take it on its date and stop when through. The number of students we may serve in this way is vastly more than by the older method of requiring an entire course.
As to instructors: with our own force to draw on and a number of other well qualified men in the city or within easy reach, the problem would not be difficult. The expenses of the classes would not be much more than involved in the cost of instruction but in this case as in the day school the State shares part of the cost. I trust that this plan may commend itself to you and may result in action.
WILLIAM P. TAYLOR, Director.