Men in the Workplace
To familiarize students with the life of the working man in mid-ninteenth
fodder, stop cock, putty, waste cock, hose bibb, street washer,
What was the working life of the ordinary Clevelander like during
the middle of the 19th century ?
- Note: Zalman Fitch was a mid-nineteenth century Cleveland
banker and financier. Fitch kept meticulous records of the transactions
of his daily life. These papers give us a good picture of the
life of the average craftsman in Cleveland in the middle of the
nineteenth century. Fitch's records include bills and statements
for work completed as well as guarantees offered by individuals
who repaired Fitch's property. We can gain much knowledge about
what types of jobs people performed, what items were bought and
sold, and what the cost of those items were. We also gain an excellent
picture of the labor cost for the performance of various jobs.
- Have students examine Handouts 1, 2, 3, 4 selected examples
of work done for Fitch from his records and complete Handout #
6. the accompanying worksheet.
- Have students examine Handout 5. a standard labor agreement
for the period. Individuals who performed jobs as well as the
person seeking to have the work done, signed contracts. Lawyers
cost money, however, so several editions of legal advice books
were published, which gave examples of contracts and other legal
documents. Students will write a labor agreement of their own,
using home chores or employment as an example.