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J. & E. Stevens Co., Cromwell, CT
Paint Shop Earnings
1874 & 1875

    These statistics were compiled from the original ledger used by the J. & E. Stevens Co. to record paint shop employee pay between January 18th 1874 and August 31st 1875. Data was from a total of 4,579 worker days as posted in the 13¼" x 4½" x ¾" ledger.
Between January of 1874 and August of 1875 the J. & E. Stevens Co. paint shop had an average of 8 employees working from Monday through Saturday. Average daily pay was 97¢ ($5.82 week). Paint shop payroll averaged $235 per month: December 1874 was $391, June of 1875 was $44. There was no payroll for paint shop workers between July 3rd and July 31st of 1874 and 1875. In 1875, there was no pay listed for paint shop workers from March 7th to March 21st.
     The payroll ledger lists the employee name, date, number of hours worked or number of items painted with the rate, occasionally a brief description, and total wages for each day. There are no details for specific banks or toys painted or if the piece work rate for what was shown as “Banks” was for a single bank part or a complete bank. Workers receiving hourly wages worked between 2 and 10 hours per day.
     Earnings per day were figured at either a rate of between 4½¢ and 10¢ per hour or piece work at a rate that resulted in a daily wage that was about the same as the hourly wage. Typical piece work rates are listed as 30¢ for painting 100 Cashiers, Monkeys at 30¢ per 100, Frogs at 30¢ per 100, Safes at 80¢ per 100, Stoves at 50¢ per 100, Bureaus at $1.40 per 100, Banks at 80¢ per 100 to $1.25 per 100, Bank Bottoms at 25¢ per 100, Pistols at 21¢ per 100, Frog Eyes at 2¢ per 100, Handles varnished at 6¢ per 100, Mirrors at 66¢ per 100, Stove Doors at 3¢ per 100, Sad Irons at 13¢ per 100, etc. A typical work month shows that in June of 1874 Ellen Batzner worked 24 days and received $21.14 for painting 10,504 items.

     Paint shop employees listed in the ledger include: Mary Bacon, Mrs. M. Baisden, Ellen Batzner, Mary Becker, Emma Becker, Mrs. Budde, Kate Bond, Josephine Brown, Mary Burns, Hattie Cannon, Nellie Cannon, Mary J. Cosgrove, Julia Craw, Annie Drayer, Rosa Eager, Kate Fitzpatrick, Mary Franklin, Annie Gleason, Kate Hayes, W. Mansfield, Eliza Murphy, Mary Murphy, Mary Myers, Lucinda Ralph, Mary Ralph, Lizzie Rose, Eliza Seiker, Mary Weidmire, and Kate Wilson.

Note: This ledger courtesy of M.B.C.A. member Frank Kidd

Ms. Kate Ralph painting cap pistol handles


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