Mrs. Florence Kelly[sic], having been sworn, testified as follows: Examined by Mr. Noonan: Q. Please state your name, occupation and place of residence? A. My name is Florence Kelly[sic]; I live at 335 South Halsted street, Chicago, and I am now an expert of the department of labor at Washington, but I was, last summer, special agent of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, appointed expressly for the purpose of investigating the sweating shops, and the home finishers for the sweating shops here in the city. Q. Will you please state your knowledge of the existence of the so called sweating shop evil, and what, if any, suggestions have you to offer for the remedy thereof? A. Well, while in that capacity, I made a room to room investigation, a canvass of the regions in which the sweating shops are most numerous. I visited between 900 and 1,000 shops and rooms, in which clothing was being made. I found employed Russians, Germans, Bohemians, Italians, Scandinavians, but when I looked over my record of people with whom I had spoken, or whose signatures I had got for the purpose of assuring myself of their nationality, I did not find one native American employed either in a shop or as a home finisher. I had nothing to do with the inside shops, only with the sweat shops. The first thing which I noticed in my investigation was the uniformity of filthy surroundings. The first afternoon that I entered upon the work, I came upon a home finisher at 98 Ewing street--it was the second Saturday afternoon in June. The woman had on her lap a baby, wrapped in Italian fashion, with a swelling in its neck, which the mother told me was a scarlet fever swelling; and spread upon the baby, and partly covering it, and coming in contact with its head, was a cloak, which this mother was sewing, which bore the tag "M.F. & Co." It was being finished for a sweater in the neighborhood. I have kept a record of cases of infectious diseases which I found, and they include seven cases of unmistakable infectious diseases, and those were all in finishers families. It is important to note that there is constantly a doubt expressed as to whether it is possible to limit the work of people at home in their own rooms, and not directly in a shop, and not employing persons who are not members of their own families. Now, I will give you a copy from my note book, which I took at the time; I will give you these seven cases. The first Saturday afternoon in June I found this scarlet fever case at 98 Ewing street. The mother was working alone, and employed no one else, in her own bedroom. At 65 Ewing street, the following week, I found a case, in a Sicilian family, where four children were just recovering from scarlet fever, and cloak making had been carried on continuously throughout the illness. On the second Sunday afternoon in July I found, at 145 Bunker street, a Bohemian customs' tailor, sewing a fine, customs cloak, not more than six feet from the bed; and on this bed his little boy lay dying of typhoid fever, and I ascertained that the child died of typhoid fever the following week. At 128 Ewing street I found a diphtheria notice posted, and the patient suffering on the ground floor, in a rear room, with cloaks being finished in the room in front, and knee pants in the room overhead. At 365 Jefferson street I found a case of measles, with women finishing cloaks in the same room with the patient. This was the case to which Dr. Alderson called my attention. At 136 Ewing street I found two children, Francisco and Mary Sergello, finishing knee pants in their mother's bedroom, while suffering from a most aggravated case of scabaies--the itch. This was so aggravated that they had been banished from the childrens' clubs, because it was dangerous for them to come in contact with other children and I saw them rubbing their faces and the scales falling on the clothing that they sewed. Q. What quality of clothing was that? A. Very poor clothing. At 11 Polk street, on the 15th of September, a child died of malignant diphtheria. The work of cloakmaking and knee pants finishing went on in the room with the patient, and in the adjacent rooms, and I myself saw bundles of knee pants carried out of an adjacent room to the sweaters' shop at 257 Polk street. I think that makes seven cases, and it is of importance to note that none of those cases of infectious diseases was in a sweater's shop, and each of them was in a family where the family alone worked without employing other help. I also observed in the manufacture of plush cloaks and of expensive fur-trimmed cloaks some of the filthiest places which I visited, and those cloaks are wholly incapable of disinfection by pressing, even if pressing were a disinfecting means, because fur cloaks are never pressed, that is fur-trimmed cloaks, and plush cloaks are never pressed; and throughout the time during which my inspection was made it was principally heavy winter cloaks that I found in process of manufacture among those home finishers. Now, as to the health of the employés, they suffer intensely. The people employed at the sweat shops suffer not only from coming in contact with the clothing which has been finished in the finishers' homes, and from working in ill-ventilated shops, frequently underground, but they also suffer from the excessive speed at which they are compelled to work foot-power machines, and this is true not only of young girls and growing boys, but also of men, in those shops in which any such men are employed. I can't swear that I found in any shop a man able to keep up the regular speed who was over 40 years old. When I inquired as to the age of the employés, I constantly found that the men who looked old and broken-down, and as though they might be well on towards sixty, were early in the thirties. One case which I have since found to be typical came to my attention of a young man about 33, named David Silverman. He had been operating a machine in the ordinary sweaters' shops since he was 14 years old, and was entirely incapacitated by exhaustion from further work. The physicians who examined him agreed in stating that he was suffering from premature old age, and at 33 he was superanuated and wholly dependent upon charity for supporting himself and his five children. I found a large number of cases in which the children were supporting fathers who ranged in age from 38 to 45 years, and were incapacitated purely by reason of having speeded the machine from fifteen to twenty years. The effect of the machine work on young girls and boys was very conspicuous. The effect of speeding machines was seen in the prevailing waxy color of the children's faces, both in the shops and in their homes. I constantly found young people between 15 and 20 who were temporarily disabled by exhaustion, consequent upon speeding their machines; they were weak from exhaustion. So that the poverty of the sweaters' victims results not only from the low wages which they actually receive while at work, but from the fact that the work wears them out so that their earnings are limited to a very few years of their life. Q. How about the wages paid in those places? A. I found that the wages for girls ranged from nothing to the highest that I found--I found one girl for one week in the height of the season to be working 15 hours a day for seven consecutive days at seam binding, which is the heaviest work in the trade, and is usually done by strong men, she earned $18. I found an able-bodied girl speeding a machine making knee pants for nothing, and she told me, and the man beside her corroborated her statement, that she had been working three weeks for nothing; and three men in the shop told me that they had earned their places by working six weeks for nothing. In the same shop, at the southwest corner of Jefferson and Taylor streets, on the fourth floor, over a saloon, I found three little girls, who were absolutely illiterate, sewing on buttons and finishing knee pants for nothing. They were said to be learning the trade. The lowness of the wages is further enhanced by the habit of the sweaters of running away, and paying none. A man who is going into the sweating business frequently rents a room for a week, hires his hands for a week, requires them to supply sewing machines, and gets a contract of work which will employ them about a week. At the end of the week he turns in the goods, gets the money and leaves the neighborhood. In one case, a week after seeing such a sweater in a shop in the 19th ward, I found the same sweater working in the same temporary manner in the neighborhood of Dickson street and Milwaukee avenue. I found dozens of cases in which sweaters had moved away and had paid none of the wages which they owed their employés. In one case I found a debt of $40 to a single family, on the part of a sweater who left in this way and went to Brooklyn. The municipal ordinances are partly incapable of enforcement, and partly unenforced by reason of the inadequacy of the staff, and there is no hope of any improvement in the activity of the board of health by reason of simple agitation of the subject, for agitation has been thoroughly tried during the past year, and the committee has seen the results of it. The only hope of an improvement in the condition of the people engaged in the manufacture of clothing in this city is in stringent legislation and the further organization of the victims of the clothing manufacturers. Those victims themselves, so far as they are organized at all, unanimously endorse the cloak makers' bill and urge its passage at the earliest possible date. And it is the judgment of the employes in the trade, whom I know very thoroughly by reason of my canvass amongst them, and it is most emphatically my own judgment, that any measure which does not prohibit the manufacture of clothing in any dwelling by any woman or child, will wholly fail of its object.