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Time Card for Female Worker, 1911

Time card for 117 hours
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3029-78_B1_F5
 
Document Description
Time card dated June 26, 1911 showing hours worked for two weeks by Miss Jennie Hackemans or Hackemaus. She was employed in a fruit cannery. She worked 166 hours for the two weeks, earning $16.60. Accompanying information summarizes daily hours for first week and totals hours for the first week as 117.5 with the average wage at $0.10/hr.
 
Questions
The time card shows that Miss Jennie worked 117 hours in one week. Today people work only forty hours a week. Did she work more or fewer hours than we work today?
Why do you think women often came from  rural areas to work in factories? Why did they have to work so much? Where do you think their children were?
Do you think this woman was more or less productive working long days, as compared to working shorter days?
How do you feel when you are exhausted and you have to work? Do you often make mistakes?
 
Historical Challenges
Examine this time card. What do the numbers behind the black marks stand for? Using the black marks on the time card, figure out how many hours Miss Jennie worked each day during the first week. Compare your numbers to the numbers typed below the card. Are they the same? If not, try again until your hours match for each day. Then explain how the employer would total the hours Miss Jennie worked using this card. Finally, total the hours Miss Jennie worked each day during the second week.
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Average the number of hours Miss Jennie worked in one day. If you add two hours a day for eating and personal time, estimate how much sleep she got every night.
Science: How much sleep does a person your age need? How does lack of sleep affect the body?
English Language Arts: Write a letter to a Congressperson expressing your concerns about the current minimum wage.
 
Resources
Boling, Katherine. January 1905. Harcourt Children's Books, May 2004. ISBN: 0152051198
Paterson, Katherine. Lyddie. Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, September 1992. ISBN: 0140349812
Denenberg, Barry. So Far from Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (Dear America Series). Scholastic, Inc., September 1997. ISBN: 0590926675
 

Historical Context
Men, women, and children who toiled in the factories had a hard life. This time card belonged to a woman working in a fruit cannery. She worked 117.5 hours in that week and earned only ten cents an hour.
 
Essential Question
How does industrialization change a society?
 
Check for Understanding
Summarize the information in this document and evaluate the impact on the worker.