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increase in the volume of German immigration. This immigration was largest in the years from 1880 to 1884. It decreased in the years that followed and in 1898, ceased altogether. Its cessation was due, no doubt, to the immigration to the community of numbers of unskilled laborers of other races. In 1909 there were in the city about 5,000 persons of German stock, of whom about 2,200 were males and about 2,800 were females.
The first permanent resident of Swedish race reached the community in 1865, and it was not until some ten years later that a second arrived. From 1875 on, Swedish immigrants came to the city in small numbers, and the Swedish immigration reached its highest point by 1880. Since 1890 very few Swedes have immigrated. In 1909 the Swedish population was about 950. While immigrants from the north of Italy, came to the community in 1855 and 1872, Italian immigration did not begin upon a considerable scale until about 1885. The great majority of all the Italians who came to the community have been natives of southern Italy. From 1887 to
. 1905 South Italian immigration was small but constant. Since 1905 it has practically ceased. The South Italian population of the community in 1909 was about 1,200. Polish immigration to the community began in 1880, when the first Poles settled in the city. In 1882 there were only four families in the city, but during the following year 100 more persons of Polish birth arrived. From 1884 to 1895 Polish immigrants came in at the rate of about 100 a year, and in the following ten years at least 500 more were added to the po ulation. The next three years saw a falling off in Polish immigration. In 1909 the Polish population was estimated at 2,000. The arrival of a Hebrew tailor in 1872 marks the beginning of Hebrew immigration to the community. In 1880 there were 10 Hebrew families in Meriden, and in the following year the first Jewish religious society was formed. A house of worship was built in 1891. From 1886 on the immigration was slow, but there were, in 1898, 50 families in the community. The next year saw an increase of 25 families. In the past ten years only 12 families have been added to the population. There were, in 1909, 175 families of 450 people. Most of these people were Russian Hebrews.
Besides the races dealt with above, other races from southern and central Europe have contributed something to the foreign-born population of the community. The Lithuanians number about 100, the Greeks 50, the Armenians and Syrians 25, the Slovaks 30, the Slovenians 12, and the Chinese about 11. So far as can be determined, these races, with a possible exception of Lithuanians, have come to the city within the last ten years.
Plant No. 1 was established in 1835. The company owning this plant is engaged in the manufacture of plated silverware, and the working force as first constituted consisted of Americans, English, Irish, and a few Scotch. Up to 1850 the immigrant labor of the factory was drawn from the three last-mentioned races. From 1850 to 1860 some Germans and French Canadians were given employment, and a few Welsh and Swedes also entered the industry. Until 1880 the working force was made up of the races above enumerated In 1880 a few Italians, Poles, Slovaks, Russians, and Magyars were employed, and since that time these races have furnished by far the
largest number of immigrant employees in the factory. At the present time no English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, Swedes, or Germans are coming into the industry, and all'immigrant labor is secured from among the races of southern and eastern Europe.
REASONS FOR THE IMMIGRATION OF THE SEVERAL RACES.
The immigration of the English-speaking races to Meriden was due to industrial causes. The Irish came to Meriden because they could secure work on the farms and later in the factories, and the English of Birmingham and Sheffield were induced to come there to work in the silverware and cutlery industries, and they came equipped with their trades. Similar inducements were offered to the Scotch and Welsh, who went into the cutlery industry and to a less extent into the silverware industry.
With very few exceptions the French Canadians came to the city in order to secure work in the plated silverware industry. The large German population is probably due to the demand for skilled workers in the silverware and other industries. High-grade workers were required in the different occupations, and as the majority of the German immigrants had learned a trade before coming to the United States, they found ready employment upon arrival. The Swedes came to the community by chance, but the first arrivals communicated with friends in the old country, and in this way the population was increased. Like the Swedes, the Italian immigrants had no particular reason for coming to Meriden, and their number was augmented through correspondence with friends and relatives. With the Polish immigrants, the possibility of obtaining work was the chief reason for coming to the community. The first comers drew their friends, families, and relatives after them.
The Hebrew immigrants came to the community for the purpose of trade, and in some cases in order to secure employment in the factories.
The Lithuanians, Slovaks, and Slovenians have taken up their residence in Meriden on account of the work to be had in the gun shops and foundry; the Greeks and Syrians to enter the candy and bootblacking and cobbling trades; and the Chinese to carry on the laundry business.
PERIOD OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES OF FOREIGN-BORN
EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS OF THEIR HOUSEHOLDS.
The character of recent and past immigration to the community is also indicated by the two following tables, the first of which shows, by sex and race, the per cent of foreign-born employees in the United States each specified number of years:
TABLE 101.—Per cent of foreign-born employees in the United States each specified number
of years, by sex and race.
(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) [By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. No deduction is made for time spent abroad. This table includes only races with 80 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.]
Of the 424 foreign-born employees of this industry for whom information was obtained, 20 per cent have been in the United States less than five, 18.2 per cent from five to nine, 5.9 per cent from ten to fourteen, and 16.7 per cent from fifteen to nineteen years, while 39.2 per cent have been in the United States twenty years or over. In each period of residence group, except that in which the males have been in the United States twenty years or over, the proportion of males is slightly below the proportion shown in the total for all employees, while the proportion of females in each period of residence group, except that in which they have been in the United States twenty years or over, is somewhat larger than the proportion shown for all employees. In the period of residence group of twenty years or over, it will be noted that the proportion of males is slightly above, while the proportion of females is considerably below, the proportion shown in the total for both males and females. Considering the males, it will be noted that as between the Germans and Poles a much larger proportion of the latter than the former have been in the United States less than five and from five to nine years, a considerably smaller proportion from fifteen to nineteen years, and a very much smaller proportion twenty years or over, while only a slightly larger proportion of the latter than the former have been in this country from ten to fourteen years.
As regards the German and Polish females, the latter show a very much larger proportion with a residence of less than five, a considerably larger proportion from five to nine, a much smaller proportion from fifteen to nineteen, and a considerably smaller proportion from ten to fourteen years and twenty years or over than do the former.
In the table next presented the percentage of foreign-born persons in the households studied who had been in the United States each specified number of years is shown according to race of individual.
Table 102.—Per cent of foreign-born persons in the United States each specified number
of years, by race of individual.
(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.) [By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. No deduction is
made for time spent abroad. This table includes only races with 20 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.)
The above table shows that among the foreign-born persons in this locality for whom information was secured a considerably larger proportion of the Poles and South Italians than of the individuals of any other race have been in the United States under five years. The Poles and South Italians have the largest and the Germans the smallest proportion of individuals who have been in the United States under ten years and under twenty years, respectively.
48296o- -VOL 17-11-10
RACIAL CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES AT THE PRESENT TIME.
The racial composition of the present operating force in the community is exhibited in the following table, which shows, by sex, the number and percentage of employees of each race for whom information was secured:
Table 103.—Employees for whom information was secured, by sex and general nativity
Native-born of native father, White.
2 27 7 3
5 34 9 4
.0 2.8 1.2 21.7
.3 4. 5 1.2 .5 .5
.3 18. 2
.3 .2 1.8
8 .4 .0 .8 6.7 2.4
4 4 .8 8
00 OOO OOONOAHOON
.6 4.0 1.0
.9 .2 1.4
8 2 12
In this industry information was secured for 858 employees, of which number 49.4 per cent are foreign-born, 32.3 per cent nativeborn of foreign father, and 18.3 per cent native whites born of native father. Of the males, the foreign-born constitute a considerably larger proportion than do the native whites born of foreign father and native-born of native father combined, while of the females the native-born of foreign father constitute a considerably larger proportion than do the native whites born of native father and the foreignborn combined, the proportion of foreign-born females being considerably in excess of the proportion native whites born of native father.
It will be noted that among the foreign-born males, with the exception of the Germans with 21.7 per cent, the Poles with 18.2, and the Irish with 4.5 per cent, the various races each constitute less than 3 per cent, while among the native-born of foreign father, with the