Monday, July 25, 2011

The Family Budget of an Italian Laborer in 1884

“Helped Mr. Holmes in their wheat (Mike and I) and we finished drawing the bundles.  Has been very windy today.”


EARNINGS: Of father $270.00

CONDITION: Family numbers 5 - parents and three children, all boys, aged one, three, and five. Live in one room, for which they pay $4 per month rent. A very dirty and unhealthy place, everything perfectly filthy. There are about fifteen other families living in the same house. They buy the cheapest kind of meat from the neighboring slaughterhouses and the children pick up fuel on the streets and rotten eatables from the commission houses. Children do not attend school. They are all ignorant in the full sense of the word. Father could not write his name.

Breakfast—Coffee and bread.
Supper—Coffee and bread.

Rent $48
Fuel $5
Meat and groceries $100
Clothing, boots and shoes, and dry goods $15
Sickness $5
Total $173

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