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In the foregoing statement the total number of persons in each racial group is the product of the number of families by the average number of individuals per family.
The population statistics for the borough, according to the Twelfth Census, and the estimated figures in 1908 are as follows:
The following table shows approximately the distribution by races and family groups of the estimated population of the community in 1908:
Table 58.- Distribution of the estimated population of the community in 1908, by race
and family groups.
Mining accidents—[Text Tables 59 and 60.]
In the annual reports of the Pennsylvania department of mines attention is occasionally called to the greater frequency of accidents among the non-English-speaking employees. Thus the report for
* During the year 1904 the number of English-speaking miners (including Americans, English, Welsh, Scotch, Irish, and Germans) killed was 88; other nationalities, 145. During 1905 the number of English-speaking miners killed was 98; other nationalities, 210.
The same report also says that the reports of the mine inspectors conclusively show that "more than half of the fatalities (58 per cent) are due to negligence, carelessness, recklessness, and ignorance on the part of the victims.” Connecting the two statements, the immediate assumption is that these qualities are more characteristic of the immigrant miner than they are of the native. If so, then which of the foreign races show these weaknesses in the highest degree?
The annual reports of the department of mines do not give sufficient data for the answering of this question. While showing the nationalities of both the killed and injured for many years, they shed no light upon the distribution among the races of the total colliery employeesa knowledge of which would be necessary before any comparisons on this point could be made.
The largest of the 187 operators in the anthracite field is accustomed to take an annual census of its employees by nationalities. In the following table the census taken by this company for 1907 is paralleled with a compilation of the accidents in its collieries during the years of 1906 and 1907, as given in the state mine inspectors' reports.
Table 59.- Number and per cent of accidents among employees of a coal mining company
during the year 1907, by race.
TABLE 59.-Number and per cent of accidents among employees of a coal mining company
during the year 1907, by race-Continued.
In the above tabulation accidents of both the fatal and nonfatal classes were included, as it was considered that the final character of the injury was in itself an accident without much bearing upon its cause, and the combination of both classes enabled comparison upon a wider basis.
A number of accidents slightly less than 500 might be considered a very slender basis of comparison. And indeed it would be if the element of chance in mining accidents were actually as great as it appears to be at first sight. As a matter of fact there are few hazardous occupations where good judgment, habitual caution, and skill more certainly minimize danger, and recklessness and bad thinking more certainly invite it, than in the mining of coal.
There are, of course, many accidents which no degree of carefulness will prevent, but, according to the department of mines, 48 per cent of the mining casualties are due to the stupidity or carelessness of the victims themselves and 10 per cent are due to the carelessness of persons other than the victims.
Before undertaking an examination of the racial differences possibly revealed in the foregoing table, it may be well to notice how the various classes and races compare in respect to inside and outside positions.
The following table shows the number and per cent of inside employees of the same mining company:
TABLE 60.--Number and per cent of inside employees, by race or class.
From the table immediately preceding it is seen that only about one-half of the English-speaking employees work inside, while the majority of both the Lithuanians and the Poles work in the same region of danger. Slightly over half of the Italians are found below the surface, while a small majority of the Slovaks and Ruthenians are found on the surface.
Reverting to the first of the two preceding tables, it is noticed that the most striking variations between the percentage of total employees and the percentage of total accidents are found in the cases of the Americans, the Irish, and the Poles. Most of the American excess of accident percentage is due undoubtedly to the inclusion by the mine inspectors of other English-speaking victims under the head of Americans. In the census taken by the company the nationality is obtained from the report of the individual himself, while for the accident report the state mine inspector generally has to get the nationality from others, usually friends of the victim or his boss. This accounts for the low accident percentage of the Irish.
While probably the same source of error accounts for some of the Polish accident percentage excess, nevertheless the Lithuanian and Polish figures, after making due allowance for error in both cases, is still so great that it gives ground for the inference that here a real race difference is exposed. When it is remembered in how many other instances in this report tables have shown a superiority of the Lithuanians over the Poles, the conclusion gathers strength that the former show greater skill and carefulness in their work.
Both races work mainly inside the mines, the number of Lithuanians being somewhat larger, and both have large representations in the corps of employees of the company under consideration. In the case of the other races the differences are hardly large enough to warrant any comparisons. The significance of the tables, as a whole, gains weight from the fact that, working under the same corporation, all of the races are governed by a uniform policy and a uniform discipline.