Scriven's Report on Child Labour in the pottery industry
Testimony of the Workers

 

 


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Testimony of the Workers

[ Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE, Eldon Pl. Stoke
[ Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE, Trentham Rd
[ COPELAND AND GARRATTS ]
[ DANIEL AND SONS ]


EVIDENCE TAKEN IN THE STAFFORDSHIRE POTTERIES By SAMUEL SCRIVEN, Esq.

Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE, Eldon Place. Stoke

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
PRESS ROOM. Degree of heat by Fahren. 98, open air 42.
No. 1. Benjamin Taylor,  aged 12

I have worked in the press-room 2 years; I come at half past 6 in the morning, and leave at 6 at night. I have half an hour for breakfast, 1 hour for dinner. 

I make cockspurs to place ware upon when it is baked; have one brother working in same room. I get 4s. a-week; don't know what brother gets, he is older; got a mother, but no father: father has been dead 10 years; he was a presser; working here; he died of consumption; he was 49, when he died, I give my money to my mother; get nothing for myself; never work over-hours. 

I go to Sunday-school down to Methody's; can read, can write, can cipher a little; can tell how much 5 time 7 is, 21; 4 times 9 is 30 (sic); my health is pretty good; can eat, drink, and sleep pretty well. I find it very hot in the work-room, and very cold when I go out. 

It make no difference in clothing, summer or winter; believe there are no boys or girls in the works who do night-work. I get meat for dinner three or four times a-week; other days milk and tatoes. Sometimes open the windows, but can't stand the draught.

December 4th, 1840.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
HOT-HOUSE and THROWING ROOM. Temp. 94 Fahren., open air 42.
No. 2: Thomas Kay,  aged 46
I have worked for Mr. Minton 18 years next Christmas. Slip-making in the fore part of my service, that is making the clay for use; I now look to the ware in the hot-house; besides that I beat the clay in the adjoining room; beating clay is tremendous hard work; I stand near the open door to do that; the hottest work is in the hot-house; don't keep a thermometer there; heat rises from 90 to 120; 'tis not so hot now by a deal as in the morning; we cool it now for the ware.

I am paid by the quantity of work done; my average wages are about 15s. per week. I have a wife and 7 children; only one is a potter. I come to work at 6 in the morning, sometimes at 5; it depends upon what goods are in heat; leave at 3, 4, 5, and 6; and afterwards do a little job-work for another master, and earn 4s. or 3s. a-week.

Don't find the great change of heat affect my health; it sometimes affects others; very few live to any age in such an employment, 'tis the hardest business of potting. 

I live at Harford Bridge; do not go home to dinner; I take my dinner in the throwing- house; get bread and cheese, no ale; but get some meat at home at night; can't read or write.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
TURNING ROOM. Ther. 60, open air 44.
No. 3. Lydia Dale,   aged 20
I have been employed 6 years this Martlemas; can neither read or write; attended a Sunday-school a little, not long, at Stoke, Methodist Connexion; can do needlework and knitting; not married. Always worked in this room as a treader or lathe-turner; come at 6, leave at 6; the work agrees with me; have got good health and a good colour; get about 7s. or 8s. per week, but the amount depends upon my industry, as we are paid by the piece; and, as I help the turner, I get 4d. to every 1s. he gets; we sometimes together turn 40 dozen; such as egg-cups which are shed as 12s, tea-cups are shed as 36's, basins 24's, and so on.

I am showed half an hour for breakfast, 1 hour for dinner, out of the 12 hours. 

I live 4 miles from the works; eat my dinner at the works; have father, mother, and brothers, but none are potters. Like the work pretty well.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
HANDLERS' ROOM. Ther. 62.
No. 4: Herbert Bell, (looks very pale and phthisical),  aged 12
I have worked in this room 4 years as handle-presser; I come at 6, and leave at 6 in the evening; I live about a mile off; I do not go home to breakfast; I go home to dinner; am allowed half an hour for breakfast and 1 hour for dinner; 

I work in the same room with my father; father gets so much a week piece-making; does not know what father earns; all I get goes to him and mother; have a mother and sister, one works at the china-works.

I get no holidays; remember, now, that I get about five weeks in the year: a week at Martilmas, 2 weeks in August, and 1 at Whitsuntide; all the other boys get the same and a day at Christmas. I get meat at home, and have clothes enough; I get a strapping sometimes; think I deserve it; father is good to me; have got a cough, have had it 3 or 4 years; feel it more in winter; 

I do not think the jumping on the moulds hurts me; feel no pain from it; I do not like it; I want to go into another room; I like potting; would rather be a potter than a tailor or shoemaker; 

I never do night-work. Master and overseer are very good to me; they never beat me.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
HANDLERS' ROOM. Ther. 62.
No. 5. - Joseph Bevington,  very pale and phthisical,  aged 10
I have been at work 12 months in the handle-room; father works there; I get 2s. a week, father takes it to me; I got 3 brothers and sisters; I come at 7 in the morning and leave at 6 in the evening; I never work over-time. 

I get holidays at Michaelmas, Easter and Martilmas - about 4 or 5 weeks altogether. Can read; can't write; have been to Jentvale [Trentvale] Sunday school and a day school at Oakhill. 

Handle-making is very hard work: it never hurts my stomach or chest. I've got a cough and hoarseness. Father straps me sometimes, when I'm a bad boy, but he's good to me generally. I get beef and bacon, and tato's for dinner every day. 

I live at Oakhill, and sometimes go home to dinner; sometimes get it at the works. Get some play at dinner-hour in the yard with the rest of the boys, and at breakfast-time; leave work at 4 o'clock Saturdays, and go to Sunday-school, now, at Jentvale.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
HANDLERS' ROOM.  Ther. 62, open air 44.
No. 6.-Herbert Ailsely,   aged 10
I live at Oakhill with my step-father, about mile off. Haven't been here more than a month or two. Can't read, can't write. Went to school on Mondays at Jentvale. Never went to a day-school. 

Get 2s. a week wages, and give it to mother. 

I have got 9 brothers and sisters altogether; all of them are potters ; I am the youngest. I work at handle-making; don't think it hurts me, Two boys in my room are bad; they got coughs (Joseph Bevington and Herbert Bell) 

Master is very good to us all; we get holidays; don't know when. I stay at the works to dinner, and get bacon and tato's every day.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
OVEN. Ther. 96, open air 42.
No. 7. George Burton,   aged 9
I work in the oven as stoker, and carry coal to the fires; begin work at 6 o'clock and leave at 5; I do not attend at night; the oven-man, Henry Reach, does that from 9 o'clock at night to 5 in the morning: he then goes home, and comes again at 9, and remains all day till 5 again. He's the fireman ; there are 6 as takes it in their turn, so that one man only sits up two nights a-week. His father does the same work as him. 

I don't know how much wages : I get, a-week; all goes to father; he sometimes gives me a penny, sometimes twopence. 

I can t read, can't write. I went to a Sunday school; don't go now; there is no school belonging to the works. I am in good health; I have a good appetite; I get bread and cheese for dinner, sometimes tatoes and bacon; never get ale. 

I feel the cold on coming out of the oven; 'tis very hot there; I get very thirsty there. This is all the clothes I got; I have no change at home for Sunday. 

Overseer is kind to me, so is master. I never get a strapping, except from father sometimes.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
PRINTING ROOM. Ther. 68, open air 40.
No. 8.   aged 12 next March
I have been in the printing-room 3 years; can't read very well; can't write; I go to Sunday school at the Ranters; I went to a day-school before I came to work; 

I cut papers for ware; I do nothing else; I come at 6; leave at 6; 

I live at Upper Stoke; mother brings my breakfast; I go home to dinner; I never do work after 6 o'clock ; I go to no school after I leave work; stop at home; get to bed at 10; mother works at transfering; 

I get half a-crown a-week for cutting; always give it to mother; mother finds me in clothes and eating; I got enough clothes, three frocks, and good shoes ; 

I get beef and tatoes every day, and sometimes bacon; have holidays at Martilmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, and one day at Christmas;

 I like work; should not have been a cutter if mother could have got me another place; I like cockspur making best; I am healthy.

A dirty, low, and unhealthy room, with printing-press and hot plate at each end, and washing-tubs in centre; about 17 people work here.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
PRINTING ROOM. Ther. 68, open air 40.
No. 9. Ann Smith,   aged 46
I am a transferer; have been engaged at this work and cutting for 30 years; I have worked at different potteries; have been here 10 years; was never married can read; can't write; 

can form an opinion about bringing children into the works early; 'tis a very bad plan; their coming depend upon the circumstances of parents; parents can't live without their help; thinks reading and writing a good thing for children, and approves of schools; thinks those who go to school turn out best. If I had half-a-dozen children, and could maintain myself and them by my own work, I would keep them at school; 

I am paid by piece-work, and think my wages average about 8s. 6d. per week; I am not always in full work, because our masters have not always work for me: there are a great many in the parish out of employ, a some hundreds; I don't know how they live.

 

EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
PAINTING ROOM, Temp. 62, air 42.
No. 11. Hannah Barker,   aged 40
I am a widow, and managing the children in this room; have been employed in the painting department more than 30 years; have been employed by Messrs. Minton and Boyle 3 years. 

I come to work at 7, and leave at 6. I work with other women over-times; always work by the day, and when we work over time get extra pay: 10s. 6d per week is our pay, but for working over time 12s. 

The children do not work over time; have about 16 girls in this room, 9 of them are under 13 years of age; all of them are healthy now, but I have buried many out of this room; the smell of the turpentine and paint, and the closeness of the room, often occasions illness: it has never affected me; I began as early as most. 

Some of the girls can write, about 6 of them; all of them can read, all of them attend the Sunday schools. They are very clean, and moderately well conducted. All of them do not go home to breakfast, the half hour allowed would not enable them to do so, as they live at some distance. Most of them go to dinner. We have holidays, about a month altogether in the year:

I think they live pretty well, and have what is sufficient for children: from my experience I think that the children who work are better off than those who do not, it must add a little more to the common stock; the children under my care are better conducted than others in the same works because I watch over them with the eye of a mother, and teach them their work. 

In other rooms girls are mixed up indiscriminately with the boys and men, and I think get bad habits; some are very good, but others you cannot subdue; we are very fortunate in these works, and seldom have bad characters here. Our masters would not permit it, they are nice gentlemen, and are very good to them. 

Mr. Boyle goes round the works every day; there are not many of such superior characters as they are. 

I have 6 rooms under my charge in all containing 70 women and children of all ages; their duties are the same, all paint, and my observations as taken down apply to them. There is also a man who superintends some kind of the work, who with 2 gilders are the only 3 that are in this department; all are married men, and of correct characters. 

You will hear disastrous tales elsewhere, for I have witnessed myself a good deal of it in my time; 

some families have only 5s. or 6s. a-week to support more than as many persons. I hope this may be the worst place you visit, but I fear it will not, as this is now the most prosperous part of the potteries. I know of one family living near me of 8, the man gets 6s. per week; the woman came into me last Saturday, and I asked her how she lived: she said that with the 6s. she bought a stone and a quarter of flour and a peck of potatoes; this lasted, till Thursday night, then with 1s. she earned by washing she bought a brown loaf for 6d. and another peck of potatoes, which would do again till Saturday. Don't know how she paid her rent; in Hanley there is plenty such.

An intelligent woman, and appears to manage her department well. The rooms are clean, but want ventilation


December 5th

 
EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
No. 13. John Talbot,   aged 24
I have been at work in this department 2 years; have 9 persons working with me male and female. 

My business is to dip the ware as it comes from the printers and biscuit warehouse; the process does not take a moment, but my hands and arms are always wet with the solution or mixture; I do not know what this mixture is composed of exactly; it is chiefly lead; they tell us there is no arsenic, but we have our own thoughts about that; it destroys our health. We are obliged to be very careful by keeping ourselves clean and out of the dust. We have no washing- rooms, but bring the water in a small vessel from a pump in the yard. 

There are a boys employed with me; their ages are from 13 up to 17. We come at 7 o'clock is the morning and leave at four, on account of its being bad stuff to work in; we work the effects off with opening medicine frequently, or it would soon all be over with us. 

We get better pay here than in any other department of the bank; it is considered of greater risk. I get 27s per week ; the boys 3s. 6d. and 4s. Everything that is made in the factory goes through our hands. I have often observed the effects on persons working with me during my 2 years; it affects women more than men: they have not died, but have been very ill, and have never returned to it again; their places have been filled up by others. Some constitutions that are strong can stand it some time; it has never made me ill. 

I live at Lane End, about 3 or 4 miles off and can't afford time to go home to my dinner; I always take it here, as you see me, upon the work-bench; we have no rooms where we can meet altogether to dine in; I should much better like it if we had, and places wash in. 

I am married, and have 2 children.

In these rooms there are 3 stoves and 4 dipping-troughs, and 7 stock-tubs, all containing fluid.

 
EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
Ther. 100, open air 42
No. 14: William Hell,   aged 13
I have worked for Messrs. Minton and Boyle 2 years-first at the other bank, where I ran moulds, then came here and worked in the dipping-house for better than 12 mouths; I received there 1s. 6d. per week; was never ill from that work, but some of the boys were, and one of the dippers; 

I left that to work in the oven, where I am now, and get 2s. per week; I come about 6 in the morning, and leave about 3, because we have then nothing else to do. 

I I find it pretty hot in the oven; we bake the ware there after it is printed. I feel the cold very much when I leave work and go home. 

Samuel Jones is the man that works with me; he is very good to me, never scolds or straps me; I give my money to my mother; my father is a plumber, and gets often drunk, and my mother is often in great distress; she has 10 of us to support; 4 do no work; they are too young; can't read; can't write; don't go to a Sunday-school ; never went to day-school; don't know the reason why, except that mother's so poor and haven't got no clothes. 

I am very happy in my work, but don't get enough to eat and drink; I get mostly dry tatoes and salt; I have had no dinner to-day; never get meat; never get bread. 

Father works at Burslem, but seldom brings home any money for mother.

 
EARTHENWARE FACTORY, Eldon Place, Stoke; 
Proprietors Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE.
Temp. in stove 90, open air 42.
No. 15.-George Bragg,   aged 17
I have worked for Messrs. Minton and Boyle 3 years, making saggers, that is a rough sort of ware in which we fire all the lighter sort; the work is very heavy, perhaps the hardest branch on the premises; we get at it about 6 in the morning, and leave at 6; have an hour allowed for dinner and half an hour for breakfast. 

I live at Stoke-lane, but always get dinner here in the next room, which is the stove-room, where we dry the saggers. 

I have been to Sunday-schools and British day-schools, but have forgotten all about reading and writing; left school about 12 or 13, but never attended regular, as I was often called away to mind cows. 

Three men work in this department with me, and one boy. I work by the score, and earn about 10s. per week. 

Like my occupation very well so far; have no promotion into other departments, but must stick to this all my life.

The building is extensive, and situate in a healthy place at the entrance of the town; it is well drained, and has privies for the separate use of males and females. The rooms, with few exceptions, are small and want the means of ventilation; the girls' rooms are unnecessarily hot; this, however, depends in a great measure upon themselves, they keep too much fire.


 

Messrs. MINTON and BOYLE, Trentham Road

 
CHINA FACTORY, Trentham Road, Messrs, MINTON and BOYLE
Ther. 70, open air 42.
No. 32: Obadiah Clark,   aged 57
I reckon I've been a potter 40 years; as a gilder and ground-layer have worked with Messrs Minton and Boyle 15 years last Martilmas. 

Have a wife and 7 children; 4 are potters. 

We have 4 men ground-layers ; no boys. The stuff we use is turpentine and oil, with mineral colours for grounding. We dust on the colour finely powdered with cotton wool; the particles fly about a good deal; it is a very unhealthy occupation; it nearly kills me sometimes it affects my stomach; I was ill all last week. 

I come at 7, and leave at dark, about 4 or 5; never work over hours; we have not work enough for that, else we should get about 21s. per week average.

 
CHINA FACTORY, Trentham Road, Messrs, MINTON and BOYLE
MODELLING ROOM. Ther 62.
No. 33. Edward Key,   aged 44
I have been a potter 33 years; 14 years in this firm; always employed as a modeller; have only one room for this purpose, and 2 men including self working in it; no children. 

My duty is to make the models to pattern, from drawings, sometimes from taste; they go from me to the mould-makers up stairs. 

Think the nature of my employ healthy; work piecework, and earn about 30s., more or less.

 
CHINA FACTORY, Trentham Road, Messrs, MINTON and BOYLE
ORNAMENTAL FLOWER ROOM. Ther. 60, open air 42.
No. 34: John Colly,   aged 11
I have been at work 2 years. live at Stoke-lane; I have got a mother, brother, and sister; they working the potteries; I get 2s. a-week. 

Can't read can't write; have been to national Sunday-school at Newcastle; I went to Mr. Minton's private infant-school in Stoke-lane, but got turned out for being naughty: went then to a day-school. 

I make leaves for the flowers; I come at half past 6 or 7; go away at 6. Mr. Buckley, the cashier, pays me wages; I take it home to my mother. 

I go to the other bank to dinner; my mother is there; I get beef and tatoes every day. 

Four people work in this room with me; no other boys.

 
CHINA FACTORY, Trentham Road, Messrs, MINTON and BOYLE
No. 35: William Griffiths, the Overlooker,   aged 54
I have been engaged in the management of this firm for 17 years. My duty is to take on and turn off all employed as potters. 

These works do not come under the Factories' Regulation Bill, nor do I believe any other of the same kind in this neighbourhood. There are factories at Newcastle where I live that do come under legislative restriction, namely, Mr. William Henshall's silk factory. Have never heard of any complaint by master factor or work-people who have come under restrictive laws as to any partiality shown between, the two descriptions of work, ours and theirs. The only complaints that I have heard is from the people, who still continue to work from 6 to, 8 for the day. 

I cannot tell the number of people we have working here altogether, because the painters I have nothing to do with, but there are about 160 men, women, and children, as potters, then there is the engine-men, bone-boilers, lenters, and slip-makers, which I have not reckoned. 

The youngest boy on the works I should think is about eleven. This information does not apply to the earthenware factory, but is confined to the china factory. 

Some of the children are engaged by the men in their department, as the handlers, plate-makers, saucer-makers; their wages are determined by the men, who have so much per score, finding their own boy; thinks that this mode of hiring advantageous to the children, as they are hired by the consent of the parents, who have the right to take them away if they like. 

It is the practice here sometimes to lend money to the people if in distress, and deduct the amount by installments from the parents themselves or wages of the children. Master has often lost money by this when meeting with unprincipled men.

The children are not encouraged that I know of by rewards of any kind; neither is their labour enforced by punishment; we have had boys unruly, and have complained to parents, who prefer giving them up to us to do with as we think proper; but we have never inflicted corporal punishment. The children when they leave work go where they like; those who prefer learning go to the night-schools; others beat the street if they like. I think, as compared with other kinds of work, the children of potters, being potters are far better off, particularly the painters;

I do not think that there is a more respectable set of mechanics in England. They are great politicians; for it is the common practice when the newspapers arrive for one amongst them to seat himself in the middle of the room and read aloud for 20 minutes; he is then relieved by another, and returns to his work; if it happens that in the turn the person cannot read, his place is taken by another, and he works for him.

Generally the potters are not the healthiest in appearance; they are pale faced, and subject to colds and shortness of breath, from the exposure to heat and cold, and the dust in their rooms of work. The materials in use are bone, stone, flint, ball-clay, pearlash, soda, borax, glass, lead, and mercury.

The works are well drained by sewers throughout the bank which empty themselves in the Trent 400 yards off. We have separate privies for males and females, at a distance from each other; we are particular in this respect, and a man going into that of the females would be in danger of losing his situation.

We have no school-room upon the premises; we have no time to teach; there are schools enough in the town if they choose to go. 

We have no wash-house as a general house, but each man has his own basin if he likes to use it; there is a pump in the yard; but the nature of the work do not require them to be particular in this respect, with the exception of the dipper, - he does require it unless he chooses to run the risk of destroying himself.

The machinery consists of an engine of 26 or 28 horse-power, doing the work of 34 or 35 horses; there are two men who attend to it in the day, and one of them in the night; they are always going except when they are stopped for oiling; no children are employed at it under any circumstances.

I do not know that I have anything more to say to you, but am open to any inquiries you shall think proper to make.

 
CHINA FACTORY, Trentham Road, Messrs, MINTON and BOYLE
BLUE PRINTING ROOM, or Transfering Room. Ther. 72, open air 40.
No. 36. Elizabeth Lee,   aged 25
I have been a cutter and transferer 10 years; all this time with Messrs. Minton and Boyle. 

We receive the ware from the gloss-house, and, after we have imprinted it, it then goes to the ovens to be fixed. There are 4 rooms of this kind altogether, and about 18 persons working in the whole. In 2 rooms we have 6 women and 2 girls, and 3 men as printers.

We find it very laborious work, not very healthy; it affects the stomach by the pressure, and by the smells. The oils are strong and disagreeable. Never knew any ill effects to result from pressure on the breast: it hurt me in the beginning, but it does not now. 

I work by the piece, and receive about 8s. upon the average. I can read and write.

 
CHINA FACTORY, Trentham Road, Messrs, MINTON and BOYLE
MOULDING ROOM. Ther. 64, open air 40.
No. 37. - George Bentley,  aged 34
I have been a potter 22 years; with this firm 12 years. 

There are 4 rooms in this department, and 2 men; no children. We receive our models from the room below, and pass them on to the pressers. This occupation is easy and healthy. I worked for Mr. Wedgewood before this. Thinks the system carried on here, and there, better than at most factories; their plans are better, and we are better looked after. 

I get 27s. per week, day-work; the modeller gets piece-work.

 
CHINA FACTORY, Trentham Road, Messrs, MINTON and BOYLE
BURNISHING ROOM. Ther. 59, open air 40.
No. 38 - Eliza Griffiths,   aged 26
I have been employed in this department 14 years; part of the time with Mr. Daniel (6 years). 

Have 2 rooms devoted to burnishing; there are 36 girls, all in their teens; the youngest nearly 14. There are 8 apprentices amongst them; all work by the piece, except myself, and earn upon the average 9s. I get 9s. per week, and work from 7 to 6; have half an hour for breakfast and one hour for dinner. If we work over-time we get half an hour for tea, working till 9. Most of the girls get their dinners here: we have grates in each room to cook it I think they are very comfortable and happy. From my experience I believe that the girls are better conducted and are better off than most other description of girls; the greatest part read and write. 

We have means of ventilating the rooms, and do not find them inconveniently warm. We get the ware from the kiln, and after it has gone through our hands, it is finished. 

I do not think the nature of the work at all unhealthy; I have had no examples of it.

The building, situated on spacious and open ground fronting the canal, is of large dimensions, substantially and well built; every room throughout is well ventilated, lofty, clean, and extremely commodious. The system and order equally good, people all seem happy and contented, the girls; room having the appearance of a study in a well regulated school. The utmost order is observed, much respect being shown to the superintendents of each department.


COPELAND AND GARRATTS

Messrs. COPELAND AND GARRATTS, Stoke-upon-Trent.
Scouring Room
No. 46 - Richard Herley,   aged 24
I am the clerk in this department (Scouring Room); have but one room, which is used only for drying the ware. I have been in the works 5 years, in this room 3 months; have the management of the men and settle their wages; they are paid by the piece, I am paid by the week. My duty is to examine and place the ware.

They come at 6 and remain till 9, Mondays to Saturdays excepted, when they come at 6 and stay till 6; they go home to their dinners.

The room is damp from the steam of the ware, but should not say the employment was either unhealthy or laborious. We have one boy in the room between 9 and 10 years old; he carries the broken ware out, sweeps the room, looks after the fire, and cleans the engine turning-house: the machinery is distant from the engine; he has nothing to do with the machinery, the men attend to that.

 
Messrs. COPELAND AND GARRATTS, Stoke-upon-Trent.
No. 48 - Thomas Howell,    aged 50
I am foreman of this department; have been a potter 38 years; in the turning way 25 years; all the lathes are turned by machinery; we have the means of stopping the whole of the lathes and throwing tables at a moment's notice, but we must run into the cellar to do it; sometimes accidents do occur, but they are rare; 

we have 10 turners; no boys except one to sweep the room and do little odd jobs; they are all paid piece-work; I am paid by the week; we have no such thing as truck-work; they all get hard cash. They come at 7, leave at 6; if many orders in hand they stay till 9, when they get extra pay.

In some kinds of heavy work we prefer the steam, as possessing the greater power; in the lighter work I think hand-power best, as the movements are soon answered. There is nothing peculiarly pernicious in the nature of the work: the temperature is sometimes high and detrimental, and the confinement is bad; but, on the whole, I do not think it unhealthy. 

The ware is sent from hence to the Greenhouse or handlers-room.


DANIEL AND SONS

Messrs. DANIEL AND SONS, China Factory, Stoke.
ENAMELING ROOM. Ther. 60; open air 32.
No. 60. Sarah Simpson,   aged 41
I have been a painter more than 30 years; 12 years in this firm; only five women work here in a general way; there are more now on account of having an order to complete; our usual hour of work is from seven to six; we have worked for this reason till 12 o'clock every night but one this week (five nights), but it is very rare that we have occasion to do so ; we work by the day, and are paid for over hours. No children work with us.

We are allowed two hours out for meals. I have three boys, too young for work; the eldest is a boy 10 years; he goes to day-school at Mr. Robey's; as the mother of a family I prefer giving them all the education I can. I think children are indeed taken too early to work; the effect depends upon what they are put to; running moulds, and dipping, and oven-work I have seen often very injurious to them so young; it also operates upon their moral characters. 

It depends a good deal upon the disposition of girls how they turn out. I don't think the painters are the worst; there are no bad habits among them; the treaders and others are more exposed to evil examples, but they don't go very young there; I wouldn't like a daughter of mine to be there.

I think our work is healthy upon the whole, but at first we feel it.

 

Messrs. DANIEL AND SONS, China Factory, Stoke.
GROUND LAYING ROOM. Ther. 58 ; Open air, 32.
No. 61. Henry Hulme,   aged 47
I have been in this department 33 years; in this firm 17 years, or thereabouts. Have only one room for the purpose. I have one son working with me, 18 years old.

The nature of our work is very pernicious; the mixing the colours and laying them on in their finely powdered state; they are all mineral; they affect our lungs; a vast many complain of it.

There are six in the same room, two women and four men; the women wash off. It requires about the same temperature to dry that we have now (60).

I have two daughters with Mr. Minton, painters and burnishers. As the father of a family, I am very well satisfied with the system and management observed there. There are a great many schools in the parish well conducted and well attended. As compared with other children, I think that potters are superior, with some exceptions of course.

My average earnings I cannot exactly say what it is, as we often play, but in work I get 5s. per day. 

Is there any system of management or employment in the factories of which the children or work-people complain?-Answer. Yes: that of locking out if we happen to arrive at the gates a little later than usual; I have never been locked out myself, but see others constantly for 20 minutes, or more, sometimes in the wet after perhaps hard walking or running.

 
Messrs. DANIEL AND SONS, China Factory, Stoke.
DIPPING HOUSE. Ther. 56 ; open air, 32.
No. 62. James Watson,   aged 42
I have been a dipper a dozen years in this firm; come at eight, leave at four; sometimes at five or six. I am a fireman too, and work in the gloss-oven; I then sit up one night a week; as a dipper and firer I make 4s. 8d. per day.

The nature of my employment has affected my health formerly, but it has not these two years; it is always reckoned very injurious. Three men work with me and one boy; he is 12 years of age last July, and is my son; no women.

There is a small portion of lead in the dipping, but it is worse elsewhere; don't think the change of heat in the ovens affects me much.

 
Messrs. DANIEL AND SONS, China Factory, Stoke.
SCOURING ROOM. Thermometer, 66; Open Air, 32.
No. 63. Fanny Wood,   aged 33
I have been a scourer seven years; always with Mr. Daniel; have two rooms opening into each other; one man and three women are employed here, and no children; we get our ware from the biscuit-oven, and have to scour it; it then goes to the dipping-house. T

he work does not agree with us very well, because it is so dusty it makes one short of breath; every one that works in this place suffers more or less with coughs, and we are all stuffed up; we have known a great many deaths from it; we come at seven, leave at six; are paid by the oven; that is like being paid by the piece, and average 8s. per week. 

William Benley, who stands by me, has been 17 years in the place, and he knows five women who have died from it, and numbers that have been obliged to leave it; he now says he couldn't enumerate the number, there have been so many. 

My son is just begun work; my husband is a potter, and in the engine-house; can't write.

 

 


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