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Florence Kelley and the Illinois Sweatshop Law

Document 6

State of Illinois
Office of Factory Inspector,
247 W. Polk St

Chicago,

Jan 9th 1894

Rand McNally and Co.
      Gentlemen;

      In view of the present depressed condition of manufactures, and the very large number of women consequently unemployed, it becomes doubly the duty of this office to call to the attention of employers the provisions of the law, touching the hours of work of women and girls in factories and workshops in the State.

      Sections Five and Six of the law . . . specify that the hours between which work is required of women and girls shall be posted in every room in which such help is employed, and limit those hours to eight per day. 

      While many employers of women and girls have given this law prompt obedience and loyal support, yet the complaint of female employees that they are required to work more than eight hours per day is so constant that it is needful to urge once more upon employers the duty of strict compliance with these sections, not only because obedience to the law is the duty of the citizen, but also to the end that overworked women and children may be relieved of excessive toil, and a portion, at least, of the unemployed may find work to do.

              Very truly yours,

                Florence Kelley

-- Florence Kelley to Rand McNally, & Co., January 1894

8. Why is Florence Kelley writing this letter to manufacturing companies?

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