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Ladies Newspaper Archive: May 18, 1872 - Page 1

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Publication: Ladies

Location: London, Middlesex

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   Ladies (Newspaper) - May 18, 1872, London, Middlesex                                No. 8.-Vol. I. [With a Beautifully Coloured Design for a Point-Lacel Doyley and an Eight Page Illustrated Supplement J SATURDAY, MAY i8th, 1872. Registered for Transmission Abroad. J Price Sixpence. (By Post, Sixpence Halfpenny. SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING THE EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN. THE experience of too many testifies of the trials and sufferings of gentlewomen, proving how uncertain and perishable riches are. Instances c^lbfe muitipued of unlooked for reverses, of the failure of the most well-founded hopes, of the breaking down of the best established fortunes, and the painful facts and cruel sufferings entailed, should awaken every intelligent woman in every sphere to a sense of the importance of special training for girls, with a view of fitting them For the vicissitudes of fortune. This cannot be too much insisted upon, because it is thoroughly known that the position of many women of the middle classes is extremely painful. When, as often happens, they are unexpectedly thrown upon their own resources, they are forced to wear out their days in a miserable dependence, or to seek such poor employment as their unskilled hands and untrained abilities can command. It is to aid and encourage mothers and daughters who have the industry and courage . to fit themselves for some useful and remunerative work that the society has been established for Promoting the Employment ot Women. It is one of the most important organisations arising out of and connected with the Social Science Association. The thirteenth annual report has iust been issued, and a perusal of its pages will prove that the society is really a valuable one. Whether a girl or a young woman of superior position of necessity seeks employments or whether a lady of good means, and good intentions desires to. aid her less fortunate sisters in bettering their positions, the society furnishes to both a favourable opportunity. Thirteen years of experience have resulted in the accumulation of much practical knowledge. If a respectable girl needs advice in obtaining employment she can apply to no better place. Experience proves that competent people, to whatever branch of industry they may have turned their attention, seldom remain long unemployed; but those.who have had no- special training, and have not the opportunity of obtaining it, are exposed to every privation, to cold, hunger, and gnawing anxiety. Catching at any straw thrown in their way, they are ready to pay their last sovereign to learn some fancybusiness, which the alluring advertisement defines as " profitable home employment" for 'ladies, -the veriest snare and delusion ever laid for the unwary. ..' ' A case came under bur notice "lately of a widow and daughter who answered an advertisement for hands to colour, photographs. A photograph was given to be coloured as a sample.  When it was taken in it was pronounced perfectly satisfactory,' and. a price was mentioned which promised to afford quite a competence; but it was;urged that none but the best colours would stand, and as a guarantee to themselves the firm required all whom they employed to purchase a box of their colours, in which alone they could have implicit confidence.   The mother and her daughter, anxious to, proceed without a moment's delay with what appeared so good a thing, were induced to pay a half-a-guinea for the box of colours, and were promised more colouring orders on the morrow.   The morrow came, but an excuse was made.  Eventually one or two more subjects were given out, but when they were returned, equal to the first one* dissatisfaction was expressed.   Two or three more efforts were made with a like effect, and at last the firm, putting on a bold face, declared such work would not do, and refused to take back the colours on the ground that they had been used.  Farther investigation proved that the box of colours would have been dear at half-a-crown, and the widow and daughter awoke to the painful consciousness thai they had been swindled.  Of course legal redress was not sought, as it seldom is in such cases, though they are occurring in some form or other by hundreds daily. ,   It is to protect the inexperienced against similar swindles that the society is .to; some extent designed, and there is nothing for fifty-nine, had had neither training nor practical experience, and nineteen were only able to undertake casual work. The other ninety-two had been trained to their work, or had acquired useful experience for themselves. It may be well to remark here that the great obstacle to the improvement of girls and women in the direction of profitable pursuits is their disinclination to persevere in anything. . Hundreds of smart girls think they can do "lots of things," and so they, can,; but they are too often unwilling to keep"to one thing usefully. Steady application to any task for an hour is considered in too mamr^l^".^-:-"-- "        .... - -       ...... which it is more useful. A register entirely free of charge is kept at the office. Every applicant whose name is entered on the register is required to bring two letters of recommendation from householders, who answer for her thorough respectability and willingness to work. There can scarcely be a well disposed young person who will have difficulty in finding the two requisite householders. There can scarcely be a householder who, in course of the ensuing,year, will not meet with a desirable opportunity for doing a service so cheaply,' and should the introduction prove valuable, there is the strongest motive for following it with a _   _        ________ _________......_ , w*��,�w �. ^ liberal subscription. many circles " a horrid bore," and it is understood to be lady-like The number of registered applicants during the year has been and becon^g toactjipon^ that^jionsideration in reference-to almost 415.   Of these, fifty-nine were girls under twenty, desiring to   everything.   This failing is the ruin of thousands of men, whose lack of success seems mysterious-who somehow contrive to drift from the cosy drawing-room into the bleak and homeless street. People wonder how it is that such men, though well-known to be what is called clever, never get on. Girls, who of all things make a merit of doing nothing when necessity does not compel them, if they should suffer a reverse of fortune, are the precise counterparts of those men. This society is calculated to bring girls of all classes face to face with these reflections. Whether necessity may ever compel it or not, it is the deep interest of every girl to accustom herself to specific self-imposed duties, so that she may learn to govern her own " abilities. Girls whose necessities or inclinations in-, tluce them to seek profitable employment : cannot fail to derive advantages from communicating with the "secretary. The only fault of the society seems to have been that it has been conducted too quietly, and that consequently so few even know of its existence. It possesses both the machinery and the means for great expansion, so that a girl need not fear she will, in applying, be. one of a forlorn crowd similar to those who congregate in the dingy dens of so:called "agents, whose business it is to speculate upon misfortune. The society has been successful not only in connection with the more ordinary industries of women'(excepting ;menial servants), but, also, in. opening,up- new industries in which girls arid wbmenmay be suitably employed. ' Engagements have been obtained during, the; past year- for secretaries, governesses, schoolmistresses, clerks, matrons, saleswomen; and one printer. Employment lias also; been procured in'photograph colouring, illuminating* enumerating for the London School Board, writing, and copying, music copying, reading aloud; needlework, sick nursing;, housekeeping, book-keeping, hair-dressing, jewel-case making, stationery, and vellum sewing, lace cleaning, telegraphy, and flower-making. Special attention is directed to engraving I upon glass, just introduced, as peculiarly adapted for the employment of women and girls.   Those who have good cut glass and would like to have it engraved, would assist the society by placing it in their hands for engraving.   The owner will have the double satisfaction of encouraging a commendable industry and of, possessing beauttful glass, of which specimens may be seen oh application, at a moderate cost.   Girls or women who are desirous of acquiring this, art rnay receive instructions under, the. auspices, of the society; those who are already proficient may probably procure good orders. The routine business of the society for the past year has included 2514 visits of applicants. The letters written and received amounted to 3608. The activity of the lady secretary may be somewhat judged of from the fact that she paid loo visits of inquiry during the year. We have taken special notice of this society as one -well worthy of it. Those who have help-money, or orders to give, should make a note of it. Those especially who have seen afar off how advantageous it would be to earn a little money, may take heart and apply with confidence for that advice and practical assistance which is so needful to make a start. Judging from the reports of -the past, there is reason to conclude that the givers, from the Queen with her 10/. iotf.'down to the humbler 5-r., as well as the receivers, derive mutual satisfaction. 81.  Bridesmaid's Bonnet, (seepage i^q). (Model from Madame Caroline, 41, Sloa'ne Street, Knightsbridge, S.W.) make their first start in life; thirtyreight.of them have either received training, or are now being; instructed in various branches of industry. Of the rest, -186 'were between the - ages of twenty and thirty-five, of whom{> eighty-six have received systematic training, or have held positions in which they have acquired valuable experience, and eighty-nine are seeking situations for the first time, having never hitherto been out of the circle of their homes; the remaining eleven were ladies whose health was much impaired, and who, from various causes, were unable to undertake regular "work, though their testimonials vouched for their high personal respectability. Of the 170 who were more than thirty-five years of age, several were past fifty, sad instances of painful reverses of fortune, to which even those who begin life" with the brightest prospects are unfortunately liable.  Even at that advanced age,   

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