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ham district-Industrial history-Obstacles and inducements to immiHouseholds studied-Members of households for whom detailed informasecured-Employees for whom information was secured-[Text Tables and General Tables 375 to 377].


s known as the Birmingham district includes the counties on, Walker, and Bibb in the State of Alabama. The discluded in the Cahaba district, according to the geologic on, so named because it is in the basin drained by the iver. It is by far, taking into consideration the coal and ining and the iron and steel production, the most important and steel center of the South. Alabama as a State ranks e production of coal, and 90 per cent of the total coal output ate is from the territory included in the Birmingham dise district includes the city of Birmingham, the smaller Ensley and Bessemer, and numerous towns and villages. as recently been annexed to Birmingham, together with her nearby towns and communities, so that the city proper a large part of the closely settled section of the district. most part the surrounding towns and villages are commuich are growing up around coal and ore mines and the con and steel plants. With the exception of the original Birmingham, they are purely industrial settlements, and -growing tendency to develop into a large industrial comith the business and shopping center in old Birmingham Industrial sections wherever the plants and mines may be

ief industrial community is Ensley, where the largest steel e located, as well as several other smaller plants. Near re several groups of coal mines on what is known as the n, and mining communities are situated at short intervals. Birmingham proper is Pratt City, where coal mines and ns are operated, and a few miles farther is Thomas, where naces are situated. North of these places are various coalommunities. South of Birmingham and toward Bessemer e of mountains dotted with iron-ore mining settlements, the ing operated by the iron and steel companies of the district. es are also found farther south, with settlements and small


Republic, Cardiff, Pratt City, Wylam, Brookside, isburg. There are numerous other communities employees living near the openings along the lin veins, making the whole district a fairly well-set


The industrial history of the Birmingham dis city of Birmingham, dates from about 1870. laid off in 1871, although the movement to de other mineral resources of the section began as e building of two railroads for this development however, until after the civil war, and it was no community of considerable size existed. Even in of only 3,086 was credited to Birmingham, althoug around the mines existed. By 1890 Birminghan contained more than 26,000 people, and the 190 population of nearly 40,000, with over 12,000 neighboring towns of Bessemer, Ensley, Pratt Brookside, in addition to which there were a large villages.

Practically no coal was mined in Alabama prio The same may be said of ore mining and iron 1870, however, several mines were started, an 250,000 short tons were mined in the Birmingh was rapidly increased to 3,000,000 tons in 1890 and tons in 1902. Iron-ore properties also began to b appreciable extent between 1870 and 1880. In 18 long tons were mined in this district, 1,250,000 in 3,000,000 tons in 1902. Charcoal furnaces had be small scale even prior to the civil war, but it was n the first coke furnace was started. This was follo naces in 1880 and in 1882. Open-hearth furnac operation in 1888. In 1898 a large steel plant v Ensley and put into operation, establishing the dis tant steel center in the South. Other furnaces wer years later. Rolling mills and blast furnaces wer at Bessemer, and within the last decade a number facturing special iron and steel products, such as pip and similar products, have been started in the dist the number of plants of all kinds has increased to a re and the total output of iron and steel products in probably show in the last decade an increase of ov

As now constituted, the city proper is situated wel the Birmingham district. Within its limits are prac furnaces and the mills, with the exception of those miles away, and immediately north of the city is a ri which extend on either side, east and west. South of greater number of the ore mines of the district, and the circle thus rudely suggested are extensive limesto It will be seen from the brief summary above that development has taken place since 1890, and especi That this fact does possess an important significance

-ant in the industries of the Birmingham district may be ollows:

he rather gradual development of the district as a mining enter did not create a demand for labor which was strong necessitate the importation or the immigration of foreign

The surrounding country in the State, and possibly in ing States, possessed a sufficient surplus of labor supply nough additional employees to come to Birmingham to slowly growing demand. Thus, up until about 1894, the oyed in the district was composed almost entirely of native negroes. A very few English, Welsh, and Scotch drifted orthern mining and steel centers. As a matter of fact, no nand upon the general labor market of the nation at large until about 1905, when in a period of unusual activity ed until 1908, it was found that the usual number of native whites and negroes in Alabama and the adjoining States was not sufficient to supply the rapidly growing It was discovered also that other industries in the South orth were depleting the southern labor supply.

The demand for immigrant labor made itself evident Following occasions:

ing the coal-miners' strike of 1904.

ing the coal-miners' strike of 1908.

ing the periods of unusual industrial activity, 1905 to 1907, until the present time.

t two periods will be seen to be unusual, or rather periods ated by the normal development of the district, but the last unquestionably the results of natural conditions. The ployers of labor in the district state that under normal con-the present stage of the industrial development of the The ordinary labor supply which may be relied upon conaffords about 50 per cent of the total necessary to operate and mines at their full capacity. The smaller employers, her hand, assert that so far as they are concerned the supply labor is sufficient. The truth of the situation appears to be is what may be termed a "residual" supply of native labor 1 distributed all over the district. This residual or basic sufficient for the needs of the smaller operator or the small steel producer. The operation of these mines, a large of which produce for the retail trade alone and the special steel producers, is not subject to great increases or reduchey employ from 25 to 100 and 150 men each, and are not by fluctuations in the supply of labor. The larger plants operators, as well as the newer ones, who have expanded rapidly and have constituted the chief growth of the are most affected. They are dissatisfied with the situation. llowing reasons:

"residual" labor supply is unsatisfactory. In the first e number of native whites who can be drawn upon to furnish l labor as the demand grows is very small. Secondly, they

ditiona Thor como from


and tractability, are too irregular and shiftless i depended upon without a considerable admixt At the time when the demand for labor is the h and premiums are offered in wages to secure ac negro is willing only to make a living wage and sufficient number of days in the week to earn that a some of the employers assert that the younger ge is deteriorating physically, and is less capable the older generation which came from the pla it is asserted that a migration of negroes is tak South into the North and West, thus decreasing t to the industries of the Birmingham district.

2. The employers claim that as the result of the for more labor, and of the decreasing supply of la tributary to the Birmingham district, they are seri in periods of normal activity. This attitude ha not only in statements made by them in the cours tion, but also in conferences on the question of sec into the district from other States and countries. cap has existed, they state, in three ways: (a) operators are forced to increase the wages of em premiums, as was done during the prosperous peri thus to increase the expenses of production in com localities in the United States; (b) they are in c being tied up by strikes, without an available s draw upon; and (c) they are at a disadvantage a other localities by reason of the inefficiency of th which is available.

Because of the labor situation, which is an outgro trial expansion of the district, a change in the labor s taken place to the following extent:

(1) English, Irish, Scotch, and Welsh miners a to some extent skilled, have come into the district of as shown by statistics in another section of this rep

(2) The larger employers have brought in Italia donians, Slovaks, Bulgarians, and representatives European races during the past ten years for use as in the steel plants and the mines.

(3) The net gain to the labor supply by the comi grants has been the settling of the Scotch, Irish, We and to a small extent of Slovaks, Greeks, and Italia gain may be added those who have come of their ow friends and relatives preceded them to this locality to the total number of employees, however, the numb is insignificant, and they have really done very littl the question of a settled labor supply. The immig already come do not show a tendency to stay, an experienced in securing enough of them to form lar which would serve to draw others of the various rac munities has so far been well-nigh insurmountable. fore, a survey of the industrial history of the dis present situation down to a statement which may follows: The rapid industrial expansion of Birming

and steel center has far outgrown the labor supply

d newer operators of mines and plants, immigration of some ust be brought about in order to allow the Birmingham o retain what natural advantages it possesses in the producon and steel and other products.


an economic standpoint, and aside from other consideration point of view of the immigrant, the greatest inducement immigrants is the demand for labor on the part of the d larger coal, iron, and steel industries in the district. This from the standpoint of the employer, as shown in a precedon of this report. As compared with iron and steel centers ections of the United States, the climate in the Birmingham resents a second inducement. On account of the lack of I conditions and probably superior housing, a third inducests over other centers.

les may be summarized in the following manner:

e lack of established community life among the various races, ly in the case of southern and eastern European races. e long distance from the chief ports of immigration.

judice against the immigrant on the part of negroes and ites. There seems to be a natural prejudice against Italxpressed in the term "dagoes," and against other southern immigrants, as expressed in the term "hunkies," which has entuated on the part of native employees on account of the migrants of this class as strike breakers. The same natural appears in the attitude of the employers, who, with few exadopt a contemptuous attitude toward immigrants from Europe and regard them as desirable only from the standthe lack of an alternative as a solution of the problem of rcity. Employers, too, other things being considered equal, ed that they prefer negroes to immigrants of this class, bey are better patrons of the commissaries, and in this manically receive lower wages.

ghtly lower wages offered in the Birmingham district as by occupations with other coal and steel centers of the

stacles appear to have outweighed the inducements in the amigrants who have been brought into the Birmingham om New York as they landed or from communities in other ve been brought in only by special inducements, such as sportation, during the periods of the greatest demand. e not settled to any considerable extent, except in the case of h, English, Irish, and Welsh, who came of their own accord , and except a community of Slovaks who have settled members of this race were present in numbers large enough ish a community. Finally, the greatest obstacle to immito this section should be noted as the general tendency on of immigrants, for whatever purpose, to go elsewhere in the -tates. The flow of immigration has not been toward the

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