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bidden hours of night would be unhealthful. If the inhibition of the section
in question had been framed to prevent the ten hours of work from being
performed at night or to prolong them beyond nine o'clock in the evening,
it might more readily be appreciated that the health of women was the matter
of legislative concern. That is not the effect nor the sense of the provision
of the section with which, alone, we are dealing. It was not the case upon
which this defendant was convicted. If this enactment is to be sustained, then
an adult woman, although a citizen, and entitled, as such, to all the rights of
citizenship, under our laws, may not be employed nor contract to work in
any factory for any period of time, no matter how short, if it is within the
prohibited hours, — and this, too, without any regard to the healthfulness of
the employment. It is clear, as it seems to me, that this legislation cannot,
and should not, be upheld as a proper exercise of the police power." It
would seem, therefore, that this case cannot be relied upon legitimately to
sustain the position that a statute limiting the hours in which women may
work in mechanical establishments or factories or laundries to ten hours in
any one day would be unconstitutional.

The statute considered in Ritchie z*s. People is entitled "An act to regu-
late the manufacture of clothing, wearing apparel, and other articles in this
Gtate, and to provide for the appointment of state inspectors to enforce the
same, and to make an appropriation therefor." (Laws of 1893, p. 99.) The

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section of the act which is material to the consideration of the question now
in hand, and which was held unconstitutional, was section 5, and reads as
follows: "No female shall be employed in any factory or workshop more
than eight hours in any one day or forty-eight hours in any one week."
It will be seen from a comparison of the act of 1893 with the act of 1909 that
they differ in two particulars: First, as was observed in the Williams case,
there is nothing in the title of the act of 1893, or in the act itself, which
indicates or suggests that the act was passed for the purpose of promoting
the health of women, except as might be inferred from the provisions of
section 5, that it might be conducive to the health of women to prohibit them
from working more than eight hours in any one day, while the act of 1909
expressly provides in its title that the limitation upon the number of hours
which women shall be required or permitted to work in mechanical estab-
lishments or factories or laundries is passed with the view "to safeguard the
health of such employees/' This difference between the acts may not be so
material but that if this were the only difference it might be difficult to dif-
ferentiate the Ritchie case satisfactorily from the case at bar. The second
proposition upon which the cases differ is this: The act of 1893 provides
for an eight-hour day while the act of 1909 provides for a ten-hour day in
which women shall be permitted to work in mechanical establishments or
factories or laundries. Can it be said if the limitation upon the number of
hours which women were permitted to work in the designated callings in the
act of 1893 had been fixed at ten hours instead of eight hours the court would
have held the act unconstitutional as an unreasonable exercise of the police
power of the state or that the act would have been held obnoxious to the
constitution as special or class legislation? We do not think it can be so
said, as there is throughout the opinion a veiled suggestion which indicates
that it was the opinion of the court that the limitation of the right to work
longer than eight hours was an unreasonable limitation upon the right to
contract, while the right to contract for a longer day, at least under some
circumstances, might be a valid limitation upon the right of contract. To
emphasize this view we here set out certain excerpts from that opinion. On
page 113 the court say: "Inasmuch as sex is no bar, under the constitution
and the law, to the endowment of woman with the fundamental and inalien-
able rights of liberty and property, which include the right to make her own
contracts, the mere fact of sex will not justify the legislature in putting forth
the police power of the state for the purpose of limiting her exercise of
those rights, unless the courts are able to see that there is some fair, just
and reasonable connection between such limitation and the public health,
safety or welfare proposed to be secured by it." And again, on page 114:
"There is no reasonable ground — at least none which has been made manifest
to us in the arguments of counsel — for fixing upon eight hours in one day
as the limit within which woman can work without injury to her physique,
and beyond which, if she work, injury will necessarily follow. But the police
power of the state can only be permitted to limit or abridge such a funda-
mental right as the right to make contracts, when the exercise of such power
is necessary to promote the health, comfort, welfare or safety of society or

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National Consumers' League 41

the public." And again, on page 115: "Tiedeman, in his work on Limita-
tions of Police Power, says: *In so far as the employment of a certain
class in a particular occupation may threaten or inflict damage upon the public
or third persons, there can be no doubt as to the constitutionality of any
statute which prohibits their prosecution of that trade.' " And again, on page
117, quoting from In re Jacobs, 98 N. Y. 98: "When a health law is chal-
lenged in the courts as unconstitutional on the ground that it arbitrarily inter-
feres with personal liberty and private property without due process of law,
the courts must be able to see that it has at least in fact some relation to the
public health, that the public health is the end actually aimed at, and that it
is appropriate and adapted to that end." And the court, on page 113, also
quote without dissent the following paragraph from Cooley on G^nstitutional
Limitations, that ''some employments . . . may be admissible for males
and improper for females, and regulations recognizing the impropriety and
forbidding women engaging in them would be open to no reasonable objec-
tion." We therefore repeat what we have once said, that it is not at all
clear that the court, in rendering the opinion in the Ritchie case, where an
eight-hour day was held to be unconstitutional, was of the opinion a statute
fixing a ten-hour day in which women might work would be unconstitutional.

In the Oregon case the statute which was approved by the Supreme
Court of Oregon, and afterwards by the Supreme Court of the United States,
fixed the time which women should be permitted to work in any one day at
ten hours. The Massachusetts statute approved in Commonwealth vs. Hamil-
ton Manf. Co. supra, limited the number of hours which women should be
permitted to work in any one day to ten hours. The Nebraska statute passed
upon in the Wenham case also limited the number of hours which women
should be permitted to work in one day to ten hours, and the Washington
statute passed upon in the Buchanan case limiting the number of hours which
women should be permitted to work in any one day to ten hours, and the
same number of hours was fixed by the New York statute referred to in
People vs, Williams, supra.

We think the general consensus of opinion, not only in this country but
in the civilized countries of Europe, is, that a working day of not more
than ten hours for women is justified for the following reasons: (i) The
physical organization of woman; (2) her maternal functions; (3) the rearing
and education of children; (4) the maintenance of the home; and these con-
ditions are so far matters of general knowledge that the courts will take
judicial cognizance of their existence. (Muller vs. Oregon, supra.) We are
of the opinion that a statute prohibiting women from working in a mechanical
establishment or factory or laundry more than ten hours in any one day is
not an arbitrary or unreasonable limitation upon the right of women to con-
tract. Surrounded as women are by the changing conditions of society and
the evolution of employment which environs them, we agree fully with what
is said by the Supreme Court of Washington in the Buchanan case: "Law
is, or ought to be, a progressive science. While the principles of justice are
immutable, changing conditions of society and the evolution of employment

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make a change in the application of principles absolutely necessary to an
intelligent administration of government. In the early history of the law,
when employments were few and simple, the relative conditions of the
citizen and the state were different, and many employments and uses which
were then considered inalienable rights have since, from the very necessity
of changed conditions, been subjected to legislative control, restriction and
restraint. This all flows from the old announcement made by Blackstone,
that "when man enters into society, as a compensation for the protection which
society gives to him, he must yield up some of his natural rights, and as the
responsibilities of the government increase and a greater degree of pro-
tection is afforded to the citizen, the recompense is the yielding of more indi-
vidual rights. . . . The changing conditions of society have made an
imperative call upon the state for the exercise of these additional powers, and
the welfare of society demands that the state should assume these powers,
and it is the duty of the court to sustain them whenever it is found that they
are based upon the idea of the promotion and protection of society."

The appellees have raised other objections to the constitutionality of the
act of 1909 limiting the number of hours which women shall have the right
to work in mechanical establishments or factories or laundries to ten hours in
any one day. While these objections have not been overlooked, we deem
them of too slight importance to justify their discussion in this opinion.

We are of the opinion the act of 1909 is constitutional in all of its par-
ticulars and as an entirety.

The decree of the Circuit Court will be reversed.

Decree reversed.

Mr. Justice Vickers dissenting.

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By the Chairman, Mr. Francis McLean.

The year has been one of adjustments so far as the work of this Com-
mittee is concerned. The decision made at Geneva in 1908 in connection
with a report made by this Committee, which meant the temporary shelving
at least of any proposition looking to an international label, has taken this
most pressing question out of the bounds of the activities of this Committee..
During the time of its existence this was the one ever burning issue which
was continally being pushed by our foreign colleagues.

As yet, no other problem of as high an importance has come to us.
Upon the propaganda and educational side further adjustment has been
required by reason of the American Association for Labor Legislation getting
actively to work. For a long time, it was seriously questioned whether it-
was necessary for any agency like your Committee to continue the attempt
to gather comparative information. It was finally decided, subject to further
change, that we should see if our sphere of usefulness did not lie in the very
detailed examination of administrative methods, working intensively. It was
then decided that we should endeavor to find some other avenues of dis-
criminating criticism than those employed so far. Despite the remarkable
services, which have been rendered by Professor Brunhes and others, the
number of trained observers in other countries who will give freely of their
time has not increased and our investigations have been practically cut off.
In this extremity we approached certain officials in connection with a proposi-
tion to suggest the utilization of the United States consular service through
the instrumentality of their field reports. So far, no hopeful development
can be recorded in this direction. Negotiations are now on foot with the
Department of Labor, which are awaiting an opportunity on my part to give
enough time to the preparation of a somewhat specializing, yet brief schedule,
dealing strictly with certain features of administrative detail in the conti-
nental and other countries.

The Movement.

We propose during the coming year to make a complete record of the
different lines of activity, which have been successfully carried out by all of
the Continental leagues, and the present condition and prospects of each one
of the leagues, together with their plans for the future. The slave-grown
cocoa incident illustrates the vastly different kinds of work which have
been undertaken by our sister societies. Taking the returns of such an
inquiry and adding to them the sum total of our successful American
experience, will give us a document of a concrete character, which will
be of service in spreading the movement. For in this connection the


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44 The Annds of the Atnerican Academy

Committee cannot report that leagues have been newly organized ih oUier
than the countries already interested, during the last year. I am firnuy con-
vinced also that we do not clearly enough recognize often (and by '*we** I
mean to refer to the local leagues) the avenues of possible activity which are
open to us if we only get out of the rut of assuming that only that thing can
be undertaken which has been undertaken before.

Therefore, the Committee believes that it has adjusted itself both with
reference to the American field and the continental field, in connection with
the creation of the American Association for Labor Legislation and the
Geneva decision with which it heartily accords, and hopes to record m fruitful
year during the next twelve months.

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By the Chairman, Miss Josephine Goldmark.

The investigation of the budgets of working women and girls living away
from home, made by Miss Ainslie for the National Consumers' League, has
been accepted for publication in "McClure's Magazine,'' and will appear at
an early date. Six selected stories were published by the "Ladies' Home
Journal" in November, 1909.

There have also been obtained and distributed the following reprints:

From "Hampton's Magazine," December, 1909, "Women's Demand for
Humane Treatment of Women Workers in Shop and Factory," by Rheta
Childe Dorr.

From the "Catholic World," July, 1909, "A Legal Minimum Wage," by
Rev. John A. Ryan, of St. Paul Seminary.

From the "Survey," January, 1910, "Roving Children."

From the "American Magazine," February, 1910, "Man's Inhumanity to
Woman," by Ida M. Tarbell.

Beside the reprint of Father Ryan's article in the "Catholic World," on
Minimum Wage Boards, another from the "Quarterly Journal of Economics,
May, 1910, contains the text of the British Trade Boards Act, with an intro-
duction by Mr. Arthur Holcombe, a member of the Economics Department of
Harvard University, and of the Committee on Minimum Wage Boards of the
National Consumers' League.

There is now in preparation a book on Child Laborers in New York
City, edited by the General Secretary, which will contain the results of investi-
gations made under her guidance by Miss Margaret W. Browne, Miss Mary
Flexner, both of Bryn Mawr College; Miss Mary Van Kleeck, Smith Col-
lege, and Mrs. Barnwell, of Barnard College.

Of these, all were Fellows of the College Settlements Association except
Miss Flexner, who was a resident at the Henry Street Settlement. There
will be added a chapter by Miss Odencrantz.


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By the Chairman, Rev. James T. Bixby.

Since the last annual meeting, I have sent out some thirty letters, asking
permission to enter names on our list of men and women in the United
States whose helpful spirit makes them willing to address the public in
behalf of our work when called upon with due notice and when other engage-
ments do not prevent.

Of these, nine most kindly consent and promise their aid and testimony.
Dr. Richard H. Nelson, Bishop Coadjutor of Albany, writes: "I can assure
you of my deep interest in the work of the National Consumers' League
and of my readiness to speak in its behalf whenever I can."

Rabbi Emil G. Hirsh, of Chicago, writes: "Whatever you may ask of
me in the way of addresses on pulpit and platform presentation of the League's
aims I shall be most happy to give."

Dr. F. W. Hamilton, President of Tufts College, Massachusetts, is willing
to have his name entered in our list and would be glad to help us on public
occasions in the neighborhood of Boston.

Dr. George B. Foster, Professor in the University of Chicago, expresses
"the hope that we will command him in any way that he may be of service
in the great work of the Consumers* League."

Dr. David Philipson, President of the Central Conference of American
Rabbis, "will be glad to do anything he can to further the splendid work of the
League," and, as far as his engagements permit, he says, "I will gladly place
myself at the service of your noble cause."

Dr. Henry H. Stebbins, of the Presbyterian denomination, of Rochester,
says: "Count me every time to think and pray and plan and speak for a
League that is so imperative in its claims and that has so many phases
bearing on social betterment as yours."

Others who have promised to aid us with their voice in pulpit or on the
platform are Rev. Dr. Algernon Crapsey, of Rochester; Dr. J. Addison Jones,
of the Reformed Church, Albany, N. Y., and Dr. Paul M. Strayer, of the
Presbyterian Church, Rochester, N. Y.


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By the Chairman, Miss Alice Lakey.

The slaughter-house and meat inspection bills prepared for the Committee,
chiefly through the valuable assistance of Mr. James Bronson Reynolds, now
Assistant District Attorney of New York, have been printed. Four thousand
documents relating to the subject were issued. The leatlet entitled 'The
Need of State Meat Inspection Laws" was reprinted at the suggestion of the
bulletin of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, that it be sent out
as a "missionary tract." This is the address prepared by the chairman
and read by Mrs. Kelley at the Denver meeting of the Association of
State and National Food Officials, August 2:j, 1909. A special fund amounting
to about $130.00 to pay for printing and distribution has been raised and
placed in the hands of the Treasurer of the Committee, Mr. John Martin.

The proposed model bills are being introduced into the Legislatures of
New York and New Jersey.* They are also being considered by other

The chief work done by the chairman has been in a campaign directed
against the decision as to "what is whiskey?" While the question of whiskey
as whiskey does not concern this Committee (the chairman believing that
every member of the human race would be better off if its manufacture were
stopped), the question of labels on whiskey does concern us, as the enforce-
ment of the Pure Food law will be materially affected by any decision on the
labeling of whiskey, contrary to the spirit of the law.

After President Taffs inauguration, the rectifiers were given permission
to have the question reopened, "what is whiskey?" this question having
been setted before Mr. Roosevelt left the White House by what is known as
the Roosevelt-Bonaparte- Wiley decision.

Solicitor-General Bowers handed down his opinion on May 24, 1909;
while correct in ruling that neutral spirits was not whiskey, other features of
the opinion meant disaster to the law. A campaign of opposition was carried
on. Your chairman secured the co-operation of Mrs. Amidon, Chairman Food
Sanitation Committee, General Federation of Women's Clubs. About one
hundred and fifty letters were sent out by your chairman enclosing a state-
ment citing objections to the Bowers opinion and asking that telegrams or
letters be sent to President Taft urging him not to sign the opinion. Among
the telegrams sent was one from Dr. Charles A. L. Read. Chairman of the
Legislative Committee, American Medical Association. It read, **Official con-
firmation of the Bowers finding on whiskey would be disastrous in its moral,
physical and commercial consequences."

The President did not sign the Bowers opinion, but, on December 27,
1909. issued his own opinion. This is the severest blow ever aimed at the
Pure Food kw. By its terms neutral spirits is recognized as a like substance

* Bill paused in New Jersey


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48 The Annals of the American Academy

to whiskey. Following President Taft's opinion, Food Inspection Decision
113 has been Issued, permitting alcohol to be colored with burnt sugar and
labeled "whiskey," thus completely overturning the Pure Food law. In Sec.
8, paragraph I. an article is adulterated, "If it be an imitation of or offered for
sale under the distinctive name of another article."

The new ruling also permits a mixture of neutral spirits and straight
whiskey to be labeled "blend" contrary to the Food law which states. Sec. 8,
paragraph II — "The term blend as used herein shall be construed to mean a
mixture of like substances."

Commissioner Barnard, in a letter to the chairman, February 21, 19 10,
writes : "If it should be seriously considered by the courts, the principle long
ago adopted in establishing standards, that the name of a genuine article
could not be given to an imitation, would go by the board and every manu-
facturer of imitation or adulterated food could put his wares upon the
market almost without restriction. I think that under the Indiana law, we
could establish the fact that the "government" whiskey is not whiskey if cases
were carried to the Supreme Court"

Your Committee has adopted and published in the "Journal of Commerce"
and elsewhere a resolution against the use of benzoate of soda in foods.

The Committee has issued a sanitary score card to be used for scoring
all places where food is sold, also the Pure Food Don'ts, copies of which can
be had on application.

Mr. Edward Hatch. Chairman of the Special Fly Fighting Committee of
the American Civic Association, asks for letters from members of the League
interested in fighting the fly peril. He writes, "Whatever we can do jointly
for the introduction of the leaflets and other similar and popular literature
concerning the fly, into the public schools of this and other cities, will be, I
am convinced, the most important work at present to be accomplished in
behalf of the fly campaign." Mr. Hatch has arranged for the printing of films
showing the life history of the fly, how it carries disease by infecting the food
supply. These can be used in moving picture shows and are convincing. He
invites correspondence on this subject from League members. Mr. Edward
Hatch, care Lord & Taylor. New York, N. Y.

Letters from H. H. Langdon or Harris have been received by members of
the League. The "Journal of Commerce" of New York has unmasked this
man. He is the agent of the Pacific Borax Company, hence his eagerness to
extol the virtues of the use of chemical preservatives in foods.

An educational traveling exhibit of misbranded or adulterated foods is
now being prepared. Contributions have been received from Dr. Wiley;
others will come from State Food officials. This exhibit will be added to
Miss Kendairs exhibit of the Consumers* League.

The question of slave-grown cocoa having been brought to the attention
of the League by Mr. Burtt. the Executive Committee of the National Con-
sumers' League voted (October 15. 1909) to recommend the various branches
of the League to do all in their power to put an end to a system of slavery
which is a crime against the international conscience, by refusing to consume
such product In reply to a letter askinjr what firms used slave-grown cocoa,

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National Consumers^ League 49

Mrs. Burtt replied, on February 16, 1909, that they were not in a position to
give certain information as to what firms use this cocoa, but would give a list
of those who do not use it.

Mrs. B. C. Gudden, Chairman of the Pure Food Committee of the Wis-
consin Consumers' League, reports the passing of the resolution on labeling

Online LibraryNational American Woman Suffrage Association Coll American Academy of Political and Social ScienceAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science → online text (page 56 of 85)