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Transcript of a grocery and meat account of a group of 8 Bulgarians, July 22 to October 22, 1907 (bread bought elsewhere)-Continued.
PURCHASES OF CLOTHING, SHOES, AND SMALL ARTICLES.
The following accounts, which have been copied from the books of alien merchants selling on credit, will serve to supplement the detailed showing as to purchases of food. The individuals whose accounts are given bought exclusively from the merchants furnishing the information. They give an exhibit of the average individual's expenditures for clothing and other articles than food. The accounts are, with one exception, taken from periods during the year 1907, in a time of prosperity and steady work, preceding the present depression, and have been selected according to the leading races in the community. They are not submitted as an accurate statement of cost of living, but are considered representative of the kind and quantity of articles purchased by the representatives of the different
DETAILED EXPENDITURES FOR CLOTHING AND OTHER ARTICLES.
Account No. 1.-Bulgarian (from Mace- | Account No. 2.-Roumanian-Continued. donia).
July 3, 1907:
December 15, 1907:
DETAILED EXPENDITURES FOR CLOTHING AND OTHER ARTICLES-Continued.
Account No. 6.-Bulgarian (from Mace- | Account No. 6.-Bulgarian (from Mace
The rent paid by the individual immigrant is, of course, small, because of the large number of persons who occupy a cottage or room and divide the rent among them. The average alien endeavors not to let his expenditure for rent go above $1, and the landlord, on the other hand, seems to have departed from the usual method of fixing rents at a point where it will yield a fair return on the amount invested in the house and land by placing the rental charge on the conditions that exist-the occupancy of a room or cottage by a large number of persons who divide the rent among them.
The resultant income is out of proportion to the investment, and excessive. By way of illustration, the cottages in Hungary Hollow may be considered. These cottages usually have three rooms, although some scattered here and there have four rooms. In each of these cottages twelve to sixteen men live, paying a rent from $14 to $16 per month. Multiplying these amounts by twelve to get the annual rents, they are found to be $168 and $192, respectively. These rentals are the equivalent of an investment of $2,800 and $3,200. The original cost of the cottages, it is claimed, was $1,500, although this seems to be an excessive estimate. On this basis, however, the landlords are receiving from 11 to 13 per cent gross. As the houses are badly in need of repair, practically the only deduction to be made is for taxes and insurance. The cottages are very similar to, but not so good as, those for which the southern cotton mill operatives pay a rent of $3 to $3.50 per month.
As far as the rooming houses are concerned, which are conducted by the mercantile establishments, and in which such a large proportion of the population lives, the rents are from $5 to $8 per room. Taking an average rental per room of $5, which is a very low estimate, a mercantile house having 50 rooms to rent would receive $250 in rentals per month, or $3,000 annually. This amount represents the annual interest payment on $50,000 at 6 per cent. In practice a parallel case exists to substantiate this supposition. A mercantile house in the community has 50 rooms for rent, from which it receives more than an average of $5 per room per month. Its building cost
$30,000. The lower floor is occupied by a saloon and two large stores. The rental from its rooms above the first floor; therefore, pays over 10 per cent on the money invested in the entire building, or, in other words, the income from the tenants pays more than the ordinary rate of return on the cost of the building, and leaves free of rent the saloon and store rooms, which are the most valuable part of the building for rental purposes.
From these illustrations, it seems clear that although the recent immigrant's per capita outgo for rent is small because he lives in a crowded condition, yet the rent he pays by groups or families is excessive, and yields an unusually large rate of return to his landlord.
COST AND MANNER OF LIVING OF REPRESENTATIVE FAMILIES AND GROUPS OF MEN.
The following summarized facts will give a more detailed conception of the cost, manner, and standard of living, of the alien population of the community, classified according to races. The different methods, as well as the cost of living are brought out clearly in this way.
GROUP 1.-BULGARIAN (HUNGARY HOLLOW).
This group consists of sixteen men of Bulgarian race, living in a small frame one-story cottage, valued originally at about $1,500. The rooms are 10 by 12, 8 by 6, and 8 by 5 feet. The furniture consists of 5 double and 2 single beds, a stove worth about $3.50, a couple of tables and benches made out of some packing boxes, and a few plain chairs. The total value would be about $50. There is no separate kitchen or dining-room, and the cooking is done in the largest bedroom. The men live 4 to each room. The rent of the house is $16. Their living, exclusive of the rent, costs them on an average about $8 each per month. They do their own cooking and housekeeping, taking turns in doing it. They buy their coal and wood and pick up some along the railroad tracks. All the men are unskilled laborers and receive from $1.50 to $1.60 per day in the steel works. Twelve of the 16 are married, with wives abroad, and the majority are going back to Bulgaria. One speaks English. None have taken any steps toward naturalization.
GROUP 2.-BULGARIAN (HUNGARY HOLLOW).
This is a group of 16 Bulgarians living in a small cottage of 3 rooms. The rooms are the usual size, 1 large one about 10 by 12 feet, and 2 small ones about 5 by 8 and 6 by 8 feet. The cottage has a small unfenced yard. The rent is $14, and the men spend between $7 and $8 each per month for food. The furniture consists of 8 cots and iron beds, small stove, several chairs and homemade. tables and benches, lamp, lantern, and simple cooking utensils. The total value is about $60. None of the rooms are carpeted. The house was in a condition of squalor, and very crowded, 5 to 6 men to a room. The men have been in the United States only seven months, and have had no work since their arrival. They had about $20 or $30 each when they came, but have now spent all their money and are supported by a local mercantile house. None speak English.
Fourteen of the 16 are married and have wives and families in Bulgaria. The majority state that they intend, if possible, to stay in the United States. They take turns cooking and housekeeping, and do their own washing.
GROUP 3.-BULGARIAN (HUNGARY HOLLOW).
This is a group of seventeen Bulgarians living in a one-story cottage of 4 rooms. Two of the rooms are about 8 by 10 feet and two are smaller. The cottage has a small yard with dilapidated fence, and the rooms are very crowded and dirty. The rent is $12 per month. The cost of living is from $7 to $8 per month in addition to rent. The men take turns cooking and housekeeping. They have been in the United States eight months. All of them are unskilled and have had little work since their arrival. Fifteen of the seventeen are married and have families in Bulgaria. None speak English. The furniture consists of seventeen cots, small stove and cooking utensils, and kerosene lamps. The total value is about $60. There is no separate dining room or kitchen. These men had $15 to $30 each when they arrived in the community. All this has been spent, and they are supported by occasional work and credit at mercantile houses.
GROUP 4.-ALBANIAN (HUNGARY HOLLOW).
This group of fourteen men from Albania, the only group of this race encountered, lives in a small one-story frame cottage of five rooms-four bedrooms and a small kitchen. They pay $14 per month rent, which includes a large lot (about 50 by 50 feet) which they have converted into a garden and have under cultivation. Their food costs them about $8 to $9 per month per man. The garden at the time of the investigation was just beginning to yield and they expected to procure all their vegetables from it. The furniture consists of iron beds and cots, two small stoves and one large one, worth together $15, a couple of lamps, a home-made table, and cooking utensils. There are photographs and lithographs on the walls. The total value of the furniture is about $150. The men live four to each room. The rooms in this cottage are larger than the average, and two of the bedrooms have two windows each. The men are cleanly in their housekeeping. They have been in the United States seven or eight months, but none speak English except a 14-year-old boy. All are unskilled and have had little work. The boy, who came to this country alone "to earn money," has worked in the steel works at $1.35 per day. Four of the men are married and have families in Albania, to which country they expect to return.
Group 5.—ARMENIAN FAMILY (CITY PROPER).
This group, of man, wife, and sister-in-law, lives in a three-room frame cottage of one story. The man is naturalized and runs an Armenian coffee house in Hungary Hollow. His wife is an American woman. They pay $12.50 per month rent, and their food costs them about $10 per week. They value their furniture at $150.