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PUBLISHED BY

U.S. THE PRESIDENT'S HOMES COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D. C.

1908

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S. W. Woodward
T. C. Parsons
Geo. W. Cook

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The Commission.

Committee on Building of Model Houses
GEO. M. STERNBERG, Chairman
Whitefield McKinlay
John B. Sleman, Jr.
Miss Mabel T. Boardman

James B. Reynolds
Wm. F. Downey
Whitefield McKinlay

Geo. M. Sternberg

Executive Committee

GEO. M. STERNBERG, Chairman

Frederick L. Siddons
S. W. Woodward
Miss Mabel T. Boardman

Committee on Improvement of Existing Houses and Elimination of

Unsanitary and Alley Houses
WM. H. BALDWIN, Chairman

James Bronson Reynolds
S. W. Woodward
T. C. Parsons
Emmett L. Adams
P. J. Brennan
Wm. F. Downey

James B. Reynolds,
Mrs. Thomas T. Gaff
F. L. Siddons

Social Betterment Committee
GEO. M. KOBER, Chairman

F. L. Siddons
Emmett L. Adams
Wm. F. Downey

Committee on Building Regulations
FREDERICK L. SIDDONS, Chairman
Wm. H. Baldwin

Finance Committee

S. W. WOODWARD, Chairman

Emmett L. Adams
Mrs. Thomas T. Gaff
Miss Mabel T. Boardman

John B. Sleman, Jr.
P. J. Brennan

Miss Mabel T. Boardman

H. C. MACATEE, Assistant Secretary
GUSTAVUS A. WEBER, Statistician

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Report of the Comittee on Social Betterment.

INTRODUCTION.

The Committee on Social Betterment has realized throughout its work that the question of health is intimately connected with the physical, social and moral welfare of all persons whose only income is the product of their daily labor. Health is the chief asset of the working man, and no greater calamity can befall him than when his earning capacity is impaired, or arrested, by reason of sickness or disability. It means in many instances the utter financial ruin of the family and is doubtless one of the most potent causes of poverty and distress.

Many of the diseases are incident to occupations and environment, and industrial efficiency and earning power can be promoted by appropriate safeguards and adequate protection of the men, women and children engaged in gainful occupations.

It has been the aim of the Committee to emphasize, therefore, the causes and prevention of industrial diseases and also of some of the principal preventable diseases, like tuberculosis, pneumonia, typhoid fever, sexual diseases, etc.

The Committee has also studied the standards of living in 1,217 families; of these 476, or 39 per cent, had a family income of $500 or less per annum; 159, or 13 per cent, had an income of from $500 to $600; 153, or 121⁄2 per cent, from $600 to $700; 153, or 121⁄2 per cent, from $700 to $800; 89, or 7 per cent, from $800 to $900; 93, or 8 per cent, from $900 to $1,000; and 94, or 8 per cent, had an annual income of over $1,000.

The results of these fairly accurate returns concerning income and expenditures and general standards of living are set forth in a special report by Mr. G. A. Weber, of the Bureau of Labor, who was appointed Statistician to supervise the work. The data with reference to the expenditures for rent, food, liquor, tobacco, sickness and death, including expenditures for patent medicines; number of working hours, wageearners' lunches, insurance, installment purchases, usury, etc., are of interest and importance.

In addition to presenting such topics as "How to keep well and capacitated for work," the Committee in its efforts to improve the homes and better the lives of the industrial classes, believes that special atten

tion should be given to the question "How to live well and cheaply," and for this purpose invoked the aid of Dr. C. F. Langworthy, Expert in Nutrition of the United States Department of Agriculture, who cheerfully consented to prepare a special article on "Good food at reasonable cost." Miss E. W. Cross of the department of domestic science of the McKinley Manual Training School has worked out dietaries and menus for families with an income of $1.50 a day.

Believing that a survey of the causes which lead up to low standards of living would not be complete without reference to the Alcohol question, the tobacco and drug habits, the great nostrum evil, and the usury evil, special studies have been made of these subjects and the results with suitable recommendations will be found in our report. Miss Mabel T. Boardman has prepared an excellent article on recreation and inexpensive amusements; Mr. James Bronson Reynolds has prepared the article on the business relations of wage-earners, and Mr. Wm. F. Downey has written the article "How to Benefit the Poor in the Slums." The thanks of the Committee are also due to Dr. Paul B. Johnson, Professor H. W. Wiley, Dr. Lyman F. Kebler, of the Bureau of Chemistry, for valuable material, and to General Sternberg for a careful revision of the manuscript.

Respectfully submitted,

WASHINGTON, D. C.
December 1, 1908.

GEO. M. KOBER,
Chairman Committee on Social Betterment.

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