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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78



Rate paid.—3s. 6d., 3s. 8d., 7s. 6d. per hundredweight (according to thickness of chain.)

Average Working-day.—Twelve hours.

Average Earnings.—7s. per week.

Remarks.—The largest chain, 3/8 in. diameter, was made by a young woman of twenty-one years of age. She can make 3 cwt. of chain per week, at 3s. 6d. per hundredweight. She pays "2s. 6d. for fuel, 4d for carriage, and 3d. for rent of stall; net earnings, 7s. 5d.

The next chain was made by a woman forty years of age. She pays 2s. 3d. for fuel, 3d. for carriage, and 3d. for rent of stall, and earns 6s. 5d. net per week. The¼ in. and 3/16in. chain was made by a woman twenty-nine years of age, who earns on an average about 6s. 8d. per week. Girls enter this trade as they leave school, at the age of thirteen or fourteen, and usually work for a fortnight or three weeks without receiving any wages. The learner would then receive 4s. to 5s. per week, and afterwards might rise to 10s. per week as she got older and stronger, but the average weekly wage is 6s. to 8s., often, in times of bad trade, being even less than this. Wages increase as the woman learns to do finer work. Women's wages are not one-third of those of the men. The latter do better and finer work, and use a "dolly"—i.e., a hammer worked by a treadle—to finish the chains Women never use this "dolly."