V-"City Slave Girls" - Nell Nelson - Chicago Daily Times

V-"City Slave Girls" - Nell Nelson - Chicago Daily Times

While Among Chicago's Weak Serfs The Times Lady Reporter Finds Mr. Goss' "Good Jew"

by: Nell Nelson | publication date: August 3, 1888 | Publication: Chicago Times | pages: 1-2

Two Weeks ago, Ref. Mr. Goss Preached a sermon relative to the morals and progress of the working woman. Among other things he referred to a "good Jew" who having the comfort of the hundred odd girls in his cloak factory at heart, "provided every day for 1 cent a substantial lunch."  I sent the reverend gnetlemen a note, inclosing a stamp for the address of the "Good Jew" and in reply came the name of H. Zimmerman, 255 Monroe street.  On went poverty's respectable rags, and off I posted for shop-work and a penny spread. The elevator carried me to the top of the building, where every week thousands of jackets, sacques, circulars, dolmans, and cloaks are turned out to supply the country trade of the northwest.  Here in a crowded room, with low ceiling and dingy walls, poorly ventilated and insufficiently lighted, sit between eighty and 150 young girls surrounded from Monday morning until Saturday noon by the ceaseless clatter of the sewing machines in an atmosphere so thick that it can be cut with a knife. 

The fifth installment of Nell Nelson's undercover reports from Chicago's factories, documenting the working conditions of woman and girl laborers.

public domain