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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

67—Child's Boots

67—Child's Boots.

Rate paid.—10d. per dozen.

Remarks (66-67).—The woman who made these shoes is twenty-nine years of age and has four children, the eldest seven. She has one room; rent, 3s. 6d. a week. Two of her children sleep with a married brother, and she receives 4s. a week from the parish. She gets the uppers ready made from the shop, and fits and stitches them to the soles, also putting in the inside soles. Until lately she got 1s. per dozen for the boots, but now they have again been reduced and she gets 10d. per dozen. The shoes have been reduced from 10d. per dozen to 8d., the size of the shoes making no difference to the pay, though sometimes she has shoes to make for quite big children of five or six years, of age. The soles are made of some composite, and are often so hard that it is almost impossible to get the needle through. Working from about 6 in the morning till late at night, stopping to look after the children when they come from school, she can earn between 9s. and 10s. a week; but she seldom has the work as it is more or less slack all the winter. She has to find paste, needles, and thread, which amount to 1s. 6d. a week of her earnings. Her chest has become bad through holding the shoes when she puts them into shape. All her relations are in this trade, and her mother page 20 said when she first began she could earn 3s. or 4s. a day, and if her husband got out of work she could make enough to keep them all comfortably. For shoes she formerly got 1s. 5d., 1s. 6d., and 2s. per dozen—price now 8d., 9d., and 10d.; and the boots were always above 1s. 4d. per dozen and everything found.