Print Page | Close Window

1876 Chinese impact report

Printed From: denimbro
Category: Denimbro
Forum Name: Denim/workwear research
Forum Description: historical
URL: http://www.denimbro.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4246
Printed Date: 19 Nov 2019 at 12:43pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.10 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: 1876 Chinese impact report
Posted By: Sansome
Subject: 1876 Chinese impact report
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2019 at 9:04am
I’ve always thought this would provoke some interesting conversation- a chance for our UK bros to shine.
I’m thinking you can pluck out the gems and post a few pages at a time.
Who ever is up to this task- you have my word- I will have it out in the mail, by Wednesday of next week



Replies:
Posted By: Maynard Fried-San
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2019 at 9:33am
...and use up the last of the remaining (probably recently freed-up) storage by doing so?! 

Plus, after spending all that time uploading it, what's to stop a rogue mod from deleting it afterwards? LOL


-------------
Helixing my inner beanie


Posted By: Sansome
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2019 at 9:56am
Originally posted by Maynard Fried-San Maynard Fried-San wrote:

...and use up the last of the remaining (probably recently freed-up) storage by doing so?! 

Plus, after spending all that time uploading it, what's to stop a rogue mod from deleting it afterwards? LOL


Safeguards are put in place


Posted By: Iron Horse
Date Posted: 07 Nov 2019 at 11:45pm
Were Levi's or other makers using Chinese labor at that time?

I'm reading the report now, had never heard of it, though I knew of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and general Yellow Peril ideas. One of my Big Yank ads from the 1920s was cut from a magazine and on the back there's an op-ed arguing against Chinese and Japanese immigration to the US, for example.

Photos bring up some interesting clothing, interiors, architecture, of course:










-------------
https://www.instagram.com/ritestuff_bryan/" rel="nofollow - IG: ritestuff_bryan


Posted By: Sansome
Date Posted: 08 Nov 2019 at 6:44am
In the 1870’s -80’s, Levi and most of their competition was using Chinese labor.

Thanks for posting the photos


Posted By: attackwithstones
Date Posted: 08 Nov 2019 at 12:01pm
Hence the sketchy pocket bag stamps featuring the words “white labor”

-------------
Sell me your Mister Freedom stuff. :)


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 1:46am
You need some Europeans to discuss American racist legislation?

Ok, I’m game, but throw me a bone, how many employees did Levi’s have in the late 19th century?


-------------
I don't swim. I can swim. I just don't have much cause to do so in the normal run of things.


Posted By: Sansome
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 10:08am
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

You need some Europeans to discuss American racist legislation?

Ok, I’m game, but throw me a bone, how many employees did Levi’s have in the late 19th century?



I knew you were game and that’s one of the reasons why, I’m determined to get it posted.
Let’s see- Levi set up a small, 30 white women factory in SF in the early 70’s. This seems to be some kind of cover, 30 women can’t possibly make 500,000 jackets and waist overall per year.
This is where the investigation comes in ( but its not in this report) A man in this report, was assigned the task of finding out, what companies were using Chinese labor, and that’s when the truth about Levi came out.
Levi has 30 non Chinese ( the small white women factory) and 180 Chinese, this is who most likely, is making those big number of trousers.

This report goes into detail, how the Chinese labor system worked.
Levi didn’t have to my knowledge, 180 Chinese working in some factory, this was contracted out.

One of the many gripes back then, is that a Chinese man could survive on 7 cents a day,
A white man needed between $1:50-2.00 a day to sustain himself.

This report has so many interesting aspects, and wide ranging testimony

One thing they make clear- this is a Christian white mans country, those aren’t my words

It’s in the report.


Posted By: Foxy
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 12:13pm
Here’s a scholarly overview/background of the US apparel industry - I hope the pages are in order...





















































Posted By: Sansome
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 12:37pm
Maybe it’s me- when I zoom in on the text, it’s fuzzy and hard to read.
Looks like some real useful information, it would seem, that you might need to take pictures of the pages
In better light?

Thanks for posting


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 12:50pm
And yet the company themselves say

“When Levi Strauss & Co. began manufacturing the world’s first blue jeans, the company’s celebrated copper riveted clothing was such a hit that demand for female operators to sew the garments exploded. They needed sewing machine operators, which they advertised for in local newspaper the San Francisco Chronicle:

Wanted—Fifty First-Class Female sewing machine operators, who can bring their own machines with them; either Singer’s No. 2 or Grover & Baker’s No. 1, for sewing heavy work. Steady and remunerative employment, at 415 Market Street, upstairs. — July 19, 1873.

Noted one 1898 flyer, “Our goods are turned out in our own factory where we employ over 700 girls.”


-------------
I don't swim. I can swim. I just don't have much cause to do so in the normal run of things.


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 12:54pm
There’s very little mention of Chinese labour - and in any event Chinese U.S. population at that time amounted to around 100k which was nearly entirely male

Something doesn’t stack up

-------------
I don't swim. I can swim. I just don't have much cause to do so in the normal run of things.


Posted By: Foxy
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 1:26pm
Originally posted by Sansome Sansome wrote:

Maybe it’s me- when I zoom in on the text, it’s fuzzy and hard to read.
Looks like some real useful information, it would seem, that you might need to take pictures of the pages
In better light?

Thanks for posting


Not sure why the pics are further compressed and displayed that small - please go to original folder. They are towards the end. The sequence of the pages got mixed up during uploading, just check the page numbers.

http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/KPFoxy/library/Books%20and%20Magazines" rel="nofollow - http://s1176.photobucket.com/user/KPFoxy/library/Books%20and%20Magazines


Posted By: Sansome
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 1:47pm
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

There’s very little mention of Chinese labour - and in any event Chinese U.S. population at that time amounted to around 100k which was nearly entirely male

Something doesn’t stack up


It’s one of the problems you run into, when company people, write a book about company history
More often than not, it’s spun in favor of the company.


Posted By: Foxy
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 2:22pm
I used to work for a German menswear manufacturer originating in manufacturing uniforms and a not so pleasant chapter of forced labor in the company’s history - they didn’t like to talk about it...


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 2:37pm
Fairly reliable data says, at that time, the Chinese female population was around 7% of the total Chinese population - that’s only 7000 women/girls in the whole of the U.S. (albeit the majority were centred in California or New York)

I have serious doubts that many industries used large percentages of female Chinese labour.


-------------
I don't swim. I can swim. I just don't have much cause to do so in the normal run of things.


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 2:49pm
Also I don’t know where your 30 women and half a million garments annually comes from (I agree it’s not possible)

But if the 700 girls were true, working around a 60h week (typical for the time) then you have a 42000h week which is easily 20000 garments - more than 1 million/year


-------------
I don't swim. I can swim. I just don't have much cause to do so in the normal run of things.


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 3:00pm
What is it you want to achieve from this thread? To somehow prove Levi’s (especially) and other businesses used ‘slave’ labour?

I don’t think there’s an awful lot more to say about this unless the discussion is about the entire American economy of shady business practice, racial persecution and corruption throughout government ... then you’d need to identify a decade and a century starting from today and choosing literally anytime right back to when Americans were British (or German, Swedish, Russian et al)

... and for that you’ll need a bigger internet 


-------------
I don't swim. I can swim. I just don't have much cause to do so in the normal run of things.


Posted By: Sansome
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 9:38pm
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

Fairly reliable data says, at that time, the Chinese female population was around 7% of the total Chinese population - that’s only 7000 women/girls in the whole of the U.S. (albeit the majority were centred in California or New York)

I have serious doubts that many industries used large percentages of female Chinese labour.


Your doubts, at least in San Francisco, would be confirmed in this report.
If this report is anything to go by. (And I think it is) The Chinese women/girls were property.

When I can tear myself away, from a 10 girl birthday/ sleepover, I’ll answer your other 2 posts
I was pleasantly surprised when the girls sang happy birthday, in both English and French


Posted By: Sansome
Date Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 11:21pm
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

Also I don’t know where your 30 women and half a million garments annually comes from (I agree it’s not possible)

But if the 700 girls were true, working around a 60h week (typical for the time) then you have a 42000h week which is easily 20000 garments - more than 1 million/year


The 700 women at the Fremont street factory is true, but that was in the late 1890’s.
When the factory first started up, sometime in 1887, it was something like 400 women
The figures I gave, came from a 1877 report, this is where the 180 Chinese figure came from.
I’m sure we have the Number of people working at the New York factory ( but I don’t have those numbers in front of me)


Posted By: Sansome
Date Posted: 10 Nov 2019 at 1:20am
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

What is it you want to achieve from this thread? To somehow prove Levi’s (especially) and other businesses used ‘slave’ labour?

I don’t think there’s an awful lot more to say about this unless the discussion is about the entire American economy of shady business practice, racial persecution and corruption throughout government ... then you’d need to identify a decade and a century starting from today and choosing literally anytime right back to when Americans were British (or German, Swedish, Russian et al)

... and for that you’ll need a bigger internet 


I never intended to rehash old news, as you already know, we talked about this years ago.
It’s early days, and answering a few questions questions about Chinese labor and Levi. ( why not)
Seems harmless.

What do I want to achieve? Nothing much

I see this as a clash, of night and day cultures ( what’s not interesting about that)

I’m not looking to change the world with this thread.

I think you and many others, might enjoy it.


Posted By: Foxy
Date Posted: 10 Nov 2019 at 5:26am
It might be worth to check which of the early garment worker unions were active in this area as their efforts & history is often well documented.
By 1890 there were already a few unions established.


Posted By: Foxy
Date Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 5:12am
Given the status of Chinese Coolies in the US around that time, it would be surprising if Chinese seamstresses were regarded as anything but property...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolie" rel="nofollow - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolie


Posted By: Foxy
Date Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 5:32am
“... in 1854 that the Chinese were not allowed to testify as witnesses before the court in California against white citizens, including those accused of murder.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Chinese_Americans" rel="nofollow - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Chinese_Americans

I would also take into consideration that this impact report may be linked to efforts in anti-Chinese propaganda around that time.


Posted By: Foxy
Date Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 5:43am
Same source:

“...
A notable incident occurred in 1870, when 75 young men from China were hired to replace striking shoe workers in North Adams, Massachusetts.[62] Nevertheless, these young men had no idea that they had been brought from San Francisco by the superintendent of the shoe factory to act as strikebreakers at their destination. This incident provided the trade unions with propaganda, later repeatedly cited, calling for the immediate and total exclusion of the Chinese. This particular controversy slackened somewhat as attention focused on the economic crises in 1875 when the majority of cigar and boots manufacturing companies went under. Mainly, just the textile industry still employed Chinese workers in large numbers.
...”

No words about female Chinese workers, though.


Posted By: Duke
Date Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 11:14am
Originally posted by Sansome Sansome wrote:

Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

What is it you want to achieve from this thread? To somehow prove Levi’s (especially) and other businesses used ‘slave’ labour?

I don’t think there’s an awful lot more to say about this unless the discussion is about the entire American economy of shady business practice, racial persecution and corruption throughout government ... then you’d need to identify a decade and a century starting from today and choosing literally anytime right back to when Americans were British (or German, Swedish, Russian et al)

... and for that you’ll need a bigger internet 


I never intended to rehash old news, as you already know, we talked about this years ago.
It’s early days, and answering a few questions questions about Chinese labor and Levi. ( why not)
Seems harmless.

What do I want to achieve? Nothing much

I see this as a clash, of night and day cultures ( what’s not interesting about that)

I’m not looking to change the world with this thread.

I think you and many others, might enjoy it.
I’m not challenging your discussion, I was interested to know why this couldn’t continue on the original discussions (which I appreciate weren’t specifically about Chinese labour)

There’s no doubt Levi’s, and many other businesses, used Chinese labour - let’s not take the obvious in mining and railroad. 

I think what’s important to recognise here is context.

Around the time of the ‘immigration legislation’ there were around 100k Chinese in the U.S. - and as I noted around 7000 of those were female. The total number of employed women was approaching 5 million - i.e. Chinese women represented about 0.15% of that labour force. 

What these reports and legislation actually did was describe the overwhelming attitude of 19th century Americans towards the Chinese people. This was a response to public demands to halt the potential of cheapening labour conflated with testimonies of ‘dignitaries’ who helpfully noted the poor immigrants to be, variously, “not to be of the class of people we would like to have in our country”, “... very immoral, mean, mendacious, dishonest, thieving people”, or would “think no more of taking an oath than eating rice”.

The point here is that any potential ‘impact’ was summarily dealt with before it became the imagined problem - and whatever Levi’s did in employing some Chinese, it looks like they were thoroughly effective in cleansing that situation in a very short time, as did nearly every other business.



-------------
I don't swim. I can swim. I just don't have much cause to do so in the normal run of things.



Print Page | Close Window

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10 - http://www.webwizforums.com
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd. - https://www.webwiz.net