Thursday, April 28, 2011

Textile Research 1910.



Well, I've finished the outline of Flo in the City, the one with the plot involving garment workers. And it works. I just need to keep on working on it and hope that I have a few creative brainstorms. I used to have them on command, but, alas, my brain is old.


I had the major brainstorm to revisit the 1911 Census, to see what garment workers in Magog did. I know from another source, that the plant produced print materials for Dominion Textile.


Well, sure enough, there are many many people working at the the plant, and most are Tisserands.. weavers.


The most common other job says "journalier d'oc" occasional worker. Oddly, everyone has put 60 hours work a week down. (That must have come down from the company, to do so. Otherwise it makes no sense.)


The pay lines are all messed up, for the workers. One amount superimposed over another. Anyway 218 a year over 400 a year. Makes no sense either. Were they deliberately made obscure, because they all are!


I found one 12 year old working there (admitting to working there) and a 14 year old, which was legal, I think.


In 1909 Dominion Textile's union went on strike and asked that child labour not be used, so.. there you go.


It's hard to read, as the enumerator scribbled, and I've only looked at a few pages, but "carder" is another job...or cardeuse.


Useful and I'll look at the other pages. 1000 people worked for that place at one time back then.


I also found out that the Milliner in Richmond was Vitaline Goyette, 27, whose father was also a merchant. She calls herself a modiste de chapeaux. No income entered for her.


There are also a number of dressmakers in Richmond. One woman, Esther Proulx, 25 ish, calls herself a couturier de robes and she made 108 dollars in 1910. Whoopie Do.


Well, lots of fodder for my story. It seems that's why the Nicholsons could afford to hire a seamstress, on occasion. These poor women made next to nothing. But then again, Edith Nicholson made only 250 a year teaching at Westmount Methodiste Missionary School.