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present tendency is to small or medium-sized ones that are easily portable and comfortably handled. The population schedule of the United States in 1880 was 21 inches long and 15 5/8 inches wide, having spaces for 50 names and particulars.
The Massachusetts state census population schedules in 1875 were on the “family basis”—that is, one family to a schedule. They measured 8 1/2 by 14 inches and had spaces for 12 names and particulars. In case of very large families two or more schedules were fastened together to preserve the family unity.
The Massachusetts population schedules for the Census of 1885 were 11 inches long and 4 inches wide, printed on heavy paper, each card forming a personal or individual schedule. Its advantages are many. The enumerator's load is decreased, he is deprived of the look of a book agent, he can write with greater comfort and rapidity, mistakes are more easily corrected, additions or subtractions more easily made, and a party may be allowed to see his own schedule without disclosing facts relating to other people. Besides these advantages a marked sex distinction is made by printing the schedules for males in blue and those for females in red ink. But the greatest advantage of all is found in the tabulation, as is fully explained hereinafter in the Chapter devoted to that subject.
The space left for the answer should be as large as possible. Few people write a small hand distinctly and room should be given to write in a complete reply in a "good round hand." Instructions should be given as to what course to pursue when the answer is likely to require more space than that allowed in the schedule.
The subject of the preparation of schedules has been treated in a general way only in this Chapter. In order to avoid duplications in print of the same material it has been deemed best to postpone the detail consideration of the inquiries to Chapter V., which is devoted to the “Examination of Returns." There, the inquiries, the special instructions, and suggestions as to the proper manner of framing inquiries are brought together so the student can study them contemporaneously. While this plan detracts from the fullness of the present chapter it enables us to show practically what answers are obtained to certain inquiries, and to indicate the best course to follow to avoid errors and omissions in future work.
THE COLLECTION OF INFORMATION.
The blanks, forms, or schedules having been prepared, the next work in order is the collection of the information. This may be done in various ways. The schedule may be one calling for information that can be supplied by city or town officials, or court officers, from their records. The schedules are accordingly mailed, as circulars (postage one cent for each two ounces), to the city or town clerks, assessors, clerks of courts, etc., as the case may be, and a return envelope, addressed and post-paid (letter postage at two cents per ounce, the circular will be filled in), enclosed.
A plan that will save half the cost of envelopes is the following: Have a return label printed on gummed paper, addressed and properly stamped (postage). Enclose this with the blank; when
After answering the Inquiries in the Annual Statistics Schedule, please put it in the same envelope in which it was sent to you, seal the same, affix this stamped addressed label to the outside of the envelope, and mail at once.
Bureau of Statistics of Labor,
20 Beacon St., 1886
a schedule is filled, the party seals the only envelope sent, sticks the label on the outside, and it is ready for the mail.
The schedules may also be sent to well-informed parties in any profession or kind of business, to employers (in manufactures, trade, etc.), or to their employés. They may also be placed in the hands of special agents, although agents or experts often work with the aid of note books only, having no regular form of blank on which to record the information obtained.
Schedules may also be handled by census enumerators; in fact more information is collected by them than by all other means.
Statistical information is often drawn from printed reports or manuscript records without the aid of agents or enumerators. Many valuable statistical tables are evolved from a comparison and correlation of material already in print. This manner of obtaining or arranging statistical matter in new forms is done principally by writers for newspapers, magazines, reviews, and authors of monographs on certain subjects, who use material already collected, but do not undertake, as a rule, original investigations.
Censuses always require the services of the census enumerator. Government statistical reports are almost always made up from the reports of consuls, other officials, and often from well-informed persons having semi-official relations with the government. Correspondence is relied upon largely by what may be called private statisticians, and is used by all statisticians for the correction of errors and the supplying of omitted information. The United States Census officers can send and receive all communications free of postage which renders it a valuable and inexpensive (as regards the Census) means of collecting information. Of course the transportation of this great mass of material must be paid for in the end, and reduces the earnings of the post office department just so much. The various labor bureaus in the United States rely upon correspondence, printed and manuscript material, and special agents. The United States Bureau of Labor relies almost wholly upon special agents, the Commissioner having seen the superior value of their work in the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor of which he is also the chief officer. Perhaps no better presentation can be given of the comparative use of the various ways of securing statistical information than by showing the sources of statistical information used in the Massachusetts reports on statistics of labor from 1873 to 1887-fourteen years.
Out of 62 subjects considered by the bureau since 1874, containing statistical material, in the case of only 10 investigations was a resort made to the use of blanks; in 21 cases the information was obtained by special agents, in 12 cases the information was drawn from the Massachusetts Census of 1875, in 3 from the United States Census of 1880, in 2 from the Massachusetts Census of 1885, in 8 from manuscript and printed material, and by means of correspondence, and in the remaining 6 from material supplied by outside parties, or on record in other state offices.
The subjects, concerning which information was obtained by the use of blanks sent by mail, were as follows: 1874. Education and employment of young persons and chil
Testimony of workingmen.
Convict labor in the United States. 1886. Art in industry.
The blank used to obtain information concerning the education of young persons and children was sent simply to town officers. That relative to professional men was sent to clergymen. The savings bank blank was so arranged as to find the occupations of depositors for a period of three months only. The blank for statistics of drunkenness and liquor selling was sent to town and city clerks. Some 6000 blanks were sent to secure the testimony of workingmen in 1879, but the plan was an acknowledged failure, as there were so few returns. A small blank was used for the statistics of convict labor in 1879 and 1880, but the principal information was only obtained after some 300 letters were written in the office. The statistics, as regards the unemployed in Massachusetts, were obtained from city and town officers. Those as regards the social life of workingmen were obtained from officers of organizations, city and town clerks, etc. In the case of “Art in Industry,” blanks were sent to a number of firms engaged in the manufacture of what are known as “art goods."
For the purposes of statistical work, the bureau relied but very little upon the use of mail blanks, and the returns were not as a rule satisfactory in results.
The other sources from which material was secured are shown in the following statements, the arrangement being chronologically under the respective methods :
1874. Sanitary condition of working people in their homes
and employment. Condition of textile fabric manufactories in Massa
chusetts. Comparative table, showing cost of groceries, provisions,
articles of clothing and dry goods, 1861 and 1873. 1875. Condition of workingmen's families.
female health. 1877. Co-operation in Massachusetts. 1878. Comparative condition of manufactures and labor, 1875
and 1877 1879. Wages and prices—1860, 1872, and 1878. 1880. Divorces in Massachusetts—1860 to 1878.
Strikes in Massachusetts. 1881. Influence of intemperance upon crime.
Uniform hours of labor. 1882. Wages, prices and profits-1860, 1872, 1878 and 1881.
Fall River, Lowell, and Lawrence.
Canadian French in New England. 1884. Comparative wages—1883–Massachusetts and Great
Working girls of Boston. 1885. Sunday labor. 1886. Profit sharing.
Food consumption-quantities, costs, and nutrients of