Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Lifetime's Worth of Pay Stubs

I recently received the following email from PermaRec reader Jim Wooley, who grew up in Manitoba, Canada:

Both my parents have recently passed away (Mom in May 2014 and Dad last week). Mom was 85, Dad 88. Due to poor health, my Dad had been in a care home for the past two years. Mom was able to be on her own and lived in their condo until she passed last year.

Mom was always a bit of a hoarder but in the past few years she started giving things away to anyone who was interested. She gave me some really cool things, including a box full of old pay stubs. My Dad was a zinc and copper miner and worked for the same mining company from 1947 to 1985. They kept every single pay stub he earned during that time [see above], bunched together by year. According to the first pay stub, he earned 94.5 cents per hour.

Interesting. Much like cancelled checks and savings passbooks, which we examined last week, pay stubs are, for many people, a bygone relic from another age. Most of us are now paid via direct deposit, and even the corresponding stub is often delivered electronically.

Jim examined his father's stubs and found that the mining company used four distinct stub formats or designs during his father's 38 years with the company. Those designs are shown on the following four stubs, which are from (top to bottom) 1947, 1951, 1965, and 1970:

1947 1951 1965 1970

I love that the company was called the Hudson Bay Mining Mining and Smelting Co. There's something about the word "Smelting" that sounds very old-school industrial, no? The company still exists today, although its name is now far less satisfying: HudBay Minerals.

Other notes:

• The first two stubs are watermarked, while the latter two are not. Feels like a downgrade.

• Similarly, the shift from purple type to black type somehow makes the latter two stubs feel less "official" than the first two.

• I've always wondered why British- and Commonwealth-associated corporations use "Limited" instead of "Incorporated." Could anyone give me a decent explanation, in layman's terms?

Jim later followed up with a photo of his dad, taken on his last day at work. Everyone says mining is a rough job for tough people, and there's certainly nothing in this photo to refute that (click to enlarge):

Garnet Wooley

(Huge thanks to Jim Wooley for sharing these interesting artifacts, especially during such a difficult time for him and his family.)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Love Tokens From the River Thames

The two coins shown above were both found on the banks of the River Thames in England by a guy named Steve Brooker, who's made a hobby of scouring the river's banks for odd objects. Based on the notations that have been scratched into the coins, the one at the top was apparently cast into the river on Jan. 11, 1921, but we don't know by whom; the other one was tossed in by (or perhaps for) somebody named Benjamin Claridge, but we don't know when.

These coins are among the countless tokens that have been thrown into the Thames. Many were simple "make a wish" offerings, but others — most likely including the two shown above — were love tokens, as explained in this article about Brooker and his salvaged coins:

For centuries, smoothed coins were used as love tokens, with the initials of the sender engraved or embossed upon the surface. Sometimes these were pierced, which gave recipient the option to wear it around the neck. In Steve’s collection, the tokens range from heavy silver coins with initials professionally engraved to pennies worn smooth through hours of labour and engraved in stilted painstaking letters. In many examples shown here, the amount of effort expended in working these coins, smoothing, engraving or cutting them is truly extraordinary, which speaks of the longing of the makers.

They're highly evocative artifacts. I'll include a few more of them here, but you can see the full assortment, and read more about them, here.

(Big thanks to David Brown for letting me know about this one.)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pre-Electronic Banking Records

Click to enlarge

I recently received a package from my friend David Greenberger, an artist and musician who does, among other things, the great Duplex Planet project. Inside was his latest CD (recorded 20 years ago but newly released) and the cancelled check that's shown above.

At first I was confused by the check. Did David owe me money? Did I owe him money? Then I realized the check was from 1981, and that there was a note written on the back:

12 Feb 15

Paul —

Another new CD (recorded 20 years ago).

Best wishes,

So instead of writing a note on a piece of scratch paper or a Post-it, David had used an old cancelled check! I emailed David to ask him about this. Here's his response:

Glad you liked the check stationery. I was clearing out decades old envelopes of taxes dating back 30+ years and had this stash of checks from an old account (bank now gone, bought by some other bank, I think). Haven’t lived in Brookline since ’84.

If that’s one of the green checks with the little guy repairing a toaster or something in the upper-left corner, here’s how those came to be. One of my roommates back then, for my birthday, went to that bank, which was around the corner from our apartment, and ordered new checks for me with that little picture on it.

I love this. It's particularly interesting given that, for the most part, banks no longer return our cancelled checks to us — instead, we get small facsimiles of the checks along with our statements or, for those who've gone paperless, we access scans of the checks online. So future generations won't be able to repurpose their old checks as note paper, or to tell stories about how the little illustration on the check was a birthday present.

Cancelled checks aren't the only hard-copy aspects of banking that have been replaced by electronic recordkeeping. If you're older than, say, 40 or 45, you may recall bank passbooks, which provided a record of all the deposits, withdrawals, and interest payments on a savings account. This was before the days of ATMs — if you wanted cash, you had to go to the bank and present your passbook to the teller, who would put the passbook into some sort of special machine/printer thingie that would record the transaction on the passbook's pages in very official-looking type.

I recently went looking for old passbooks on Etsy and bought several of them from one seller, including this one, issued by a Massachusetts bank in the early 1980s (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

As you can see, the pages of this passbook were stamped "Cancelled." That's nice (I'm thinking this was probably before the days of self-inking stampers and that a bank employee therefore had to keep moving the rubber stamp back and forth between the passbook and an ink pad in a rapid-fire rat-a-tat-tat), but it's even better to find a cancelled passbook with those dot-matrix letters punched through it. Here's an example of that (click to enlarge):

Then there's this old passbook, which was punched with all sorts of numbers. Not sure what that was about, although I'm fairly certain it had to do with the cancellation process (click to enlarge):

The first two of these books were issued to a couple named Roger and Helen Motta; the third belonged to a woman named Florentine Agrella. I haven't yet done any research on these people to see if they're still alive — not even a simple Google search — because for now I'm enjoying the mystery surrounding these artifacts. As I've said before, sometimes the questions are more fun than the answers.

• • • • •

Update: Shortly after this post was published, I received an email from reader Doug Keklak, as follows:

Oh how this entry takes me back! I have worked my entire adult life in the banking industry. In the late ’90s, when I was getting started, things were in the midst of a change. We began to offer a free service known as "check safekeeping" — instead of returning all your cancelled checks each month, we'd make any copy available to you upon request, free of charge. In order to accommodate those "old-timers" who still wanted their checks returned, we still offered that, but at a monthly fee to offset the shipping cost to the bank. Of course this was prior to the post-9/11 world and Check 21 legislation, which really changed everything.

It was similar story for the passbook accounts, as they were being grandfathered at that time as well. While we still serviced existing passbook customers by entering their interest, deposits, and withdrawals, all new accounts were opened as "statement savings," not passbook savings. For these accounts, we'd simply give the customer a register, just like with their checking account, where they would be responsible on their own for entering withdrawals, deposits, and interest. They would also receive a statement to "balance," should they choose. This was a complete 180 from the days when the passbook was it and was treated pretty much like money by the customer.

Another topic, not mentioned on your post, is Certificates of Deposit or CDs. At one time, they were printed on official-looking certificate-style document paper (hence the name). Customers would often place them in their safe deposit boxes for security purposes. Again, as with the passbook, these were treated like money by customers and you could not redeem on maturity date without the certificate. These days, customers are given a paper receipt, but it's only for recordkeeping purposes. With proper ID, they can redeem any CD at the bank on the maturity date.

Very illuminating — thanks, Doug!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Student of the Week: Virginia Carucci

For all documents, click to enlarge

Our latest Manhattan Trade School enrollee is Virginia Carucci, a dressmaking student who took classes at the school from 1928 through 1930. As you can see above, she was part of a large Italian-American family (she had six siblings) that lived in the Bronx, where her father worked as a butcher.

Unfortunately, there's a sad note at the top: "Deceased 9-19-31." Virginia would have been only 19 at the time. We'll learn more about this later in her student record.

Before we get to that, let's take a look at Virginia's grades and teacher comments (as always, E = Excellent; G = Good; F = Fair; P = Poor):


As you can see, Virginia's grades were generally quite good. She made the Honor Roll several times but was occasionally called out for carelessness.

Next up is a document that I don't think I've ever shown before here on the blog: an application for admission to Manhattan Trade. For whatever reason, this card doesn't show up in most of the student records in my collection, but Virginia's was preserved in her file:


Next up is Virginia's employment record, showing the jobs to which she was referred by the school's job placement office:


There are a few interesting entries here. For Virginia's second job, for example, her "Reason for Leaving" is listed as "too short." Does this mean that the duration of the job was short, or that Virginia herself was too short to do the tasks required of her? If you scroll back up and look at the lower-left corner of the first card in her file, you can see that she was indeed short — 5'1". Hmmmm.

Virginia also left several jobs because she objected to "piece work" — in other words, being paid by the piece instead of by the week, which is a hard way to make any money for all but the very fastest workers. But in one instance, an employer (whose comment is listed in red) rebutted Virginia's claim: "Told her it was not piece work. She just did not want to stay."

Now we come to the final card in Virginia's file, with comments from the school's job placement staff:


Lots of interesting comments on this card. Here's a transcription of some of the more intriguing bits. As usual, I've spelled out a few abbreviated and omitted terms for the sake of clarity:

Oct. 14, 1930 [comment from Althea Kotter, the placement secretary]: Frail and pretty. Determined, but can't sell herself well. Will not take [any position] but dressmaking.

Nov. 5, 1930 [comment from Virginia, who at the time was working for a lingerie shop called Carol's]: I realize dressmaking is very slow, but after Christmas I would like to go back to dressmaking.

Nov. 11, 1930 [from Ms. Kotter to Virginia]: Wise to stay at Carol's for the present. Jobs are scarce. Besides, it's excellent to know negligee work.

Nov. 28, 1930 [from Virginia]: Forelady wanted to cut my salary from $14/week to $12/week. Didn't do any sewing, just laid the cloth for the cutter. Had to come in 14 mins. earlier every morning to open up the closets. And had to stay overtime, sometimes until 7.

Dec. 8, 1930 [from Ms. Kotter]: Dye from laces made her sick. Too much standing.

March 18, 1931 [from either Ms. Kotter or another school administrator]: Do not place. Much too particular, and her record does not warrant it.

March 20, 1931 [from Ms. Kotter]: Father came in. Very fine person. Father urged us to be lenient because of Virginia's peculiar disposition. Says she is afraid of things, particularly afraid of facing the world of business. Wants us to try to get her a dressmaking position regardless of salary.

May 7, 1931 [from Virginia]: No chance for advancement here. Could I get a position for the summer? [It's not clear what job this was, as Virginia's work record shows no entries after March 31, 1931. — PL]

May 7, 1931 [from Ms. Kotter]: Stay where you are until position ends. Will put you on the list for summer positions.

Sept. 21, 1931: Card from Josephine Radacinski, announcing death of Virginia on Sept. 15, 1931.

Sept. 21, 1931: Letter of condolence sent to father.

Sept. 29, 1931: Josephine Radacinski reported Virginia died of spinal meningitis.

And that's where it ends. Interestingly, there is now a vaccine to help prevent meningitis, which seems particularly relevant given the current controversy regarding childhood vaccinations. Had such a vaccine been available a century ago, Virginia might have lived into adulthood.

• • • • •

Update: Remember Tony Trapani, the 81-year-old Michigan man who found an old letter indicating that he had a son he'd never known about? There's a sad ending to that story: A DNA test has shown that his purported son is not his son after all. Both men are devastated but say they plan to treat each other as family anyway.

(My thanks to John Chapman for alerting me to this updated info.)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Seven-Alarm Fire Exposes Private Records

There was a huge fire in Brooklyn over the weekend. The building, which was located on the shore of the East River, was a storage facility for New York government files, including documents from the state court system, the city Administration for Children's Services, the city Health and Hospitals Corporation, legal and financial records, and more. Many of those documents, whipped by winter winds, were expelled from the building during the fire and are now littering the river, the shore, and the surrounding neighborhood. Examples include the medical photos and sonogram shown above.

This superb New York Times article provides a good overview of the types of documents that were strewn about:

[A] glance at a rocky jetty just south of the warehouse revealed a scattering of records stamped “confidential,” a health insurance form with a person’s Social Security number, a urinalysis report complete with a patient’s name, and copies of checks featuring bank account numbers.

“If you wanted to steal an identity, I’m sure if you looked at that piece of paper, you’d find a medical record,” said Sherry Hanson, 50, one of the many curious onlookers who clambered down the rocks at the edge of Bushwick Inlet Park to get a closer look at the heaps of paper on Sunday.

The city has dispatched a team of "disaster recovery contractors" to collect as many of the documents as possible. Here's a shot of one such contractor gathering those medical photos shown above (which, as you can see, are quite large):

Obviously, I don't want to encourage identity theft or privacy invasion. But there's something very enticing about all these records, many of which are similar to other documents we've examined here at Permanent Record. Decades from now, will people be finding some of this ephemera buried along the shore?

I'm clearly not the only one who gets a little tingle from such materials. Again, quoting from the Times article:

The current carried more papers to shore, luring people who paged through some documents, photographed others and kept more than a few as souvenirs.

“What if this was all diaries, instead of personal information? Love letters?” mused Loretta Rae, 38, who lives nearby. “If it was diaries,” she joked, “I’d definitely be down there reading it.”

You can read the entire Times article, which is accompanied by lots of additional photos, here.

• • • • •

Update: After I posted the link to this entry on Facebook, my friend David Brown quickly noted that the "medical photos" I referred to are actually shots from photographer Richard Avedon's book In the American West. You can see two of those photos on this page from the Richard Avedon Foundation's website.

It's not clear, at least to me, whether those are original prints, pages from the book, or what. If they're prints, they're highly valuable. It's also not clear why Avedon photos would have been stowed in a municipal storage facility. Hmmmmmm.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Student of the Week: Kate Abrescia

For all documents, click to enlarge

Today we're going to examine the student record of Kate Abrescia, who studied dressmaking at the Manhattan Trade School for Girls in the early 1930s. The most interesting entry on her main card, shown above, is at the top-left corner: "Do Not Place." We will soon find out why.

But before we get to that, let's look at Kate's grades and teacher comments, which were generally quite good. Note that she routinely made the Honor Roll, and that she received lots of positive commentary from her teachers (remember, E = Excellent; G = Good; F = Fair; P = Poor):

2 3

Additional approving commentary can be found on this next card, where Kate is lauded for "[carrying] out directions without constant supervision" and described in an array of glowing terms, including "completely honest":


But things apparently began to sour between Kate and school when she was sent out for job referrals. Here's here employment record:


The first problem involved a lingerie job in April of 1934 for a Miss Van Hasslacher. According to the "Reason for Leaving" column, Kate left the job because she "did not like the work," but a not in the next column indicates that she left without telling her employer that she was leaving. She apparently left another job because she was "not quick enough in fagotting" (a kind of decorative stitch technique) and left yet another because it was "out of the way and did not like working in an apartment."

Further problems are spelled out on this next card:


Here are some of the entries from this card (as usual, I've spelled out some abbreviated terms and filled in a few missing details for the sake of clarity):

April 27, 1934 [comment from employer upon Kate's departure from job]: Does beautiful work but is slow. I thought she would work out nicely. — Miss Van Hasslacher

Dec. 19, 1934: "Hemmed" and "hawed" about going to a job immediately. Wanted to know if she could go the following morning because she had to stay out home [because] mother was out.

April 2, 1935: Independent. Unreliable. Fussy. Uncooperative. AB [Althea Borden, the job placement secretary] refused further placement.

Jan. 10, 1935: Very sorry about her disagreeable attitude. Wouuld like to be placed.

Jan. 14, 1936: RP [apparently a school administrator] wrote that we cannot take the risk of letting you handle one of our jobs. Suggest you watch the New York American ads [this was one of New York City's many daily newspapers at the time] and register with the New York State Employment Service. Best wishes to you.

Wow. And that's how "Do Not Place" ended up at the top of Kate's file. In a few short years she went from teacher's pet to persona non grata and was basically told to fend for herself — in the midst of the Great Depression, no less. I suspect there may be more going on here that is spelled out in Kate's file, but her story nonetheless shows the high standards the school expected when it referred girls for employment.

That's all I have for Kate. If anyone knows what happened to her, please get in touch. Thanks.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Ghost of an Apartment’s Former Inhabitant

Click to enlarge

What you see above is a New York City landlord's ledger entry for a tenant named Vivian Grant, who lived in a Manhattan apartment building in 1960. The ledger was found by a woman named Joanne O’Connor, who now lives in that same building. A few years ago she became curious about the building's history, so she poked around in the basement and discovered the ledger, which indicated that Vivian Grant had once lived in Apartment 2F. That happens to be the same apartment where Ms. O'Connor now lives, so she decided to learn as much about Vivian Grant as she could.

As it turns out, there was a lot to learn. Vivian Grant had died in as the result of a botched illegal abortion, which was a major news story at the time. Here's how the Daily News covered it (click to enlarge):

The more Ms. O'Connor learned about her apartment's former occupant, the more obsessed with the story she became. She spent long hours poring over microfilm, examining court records, tracking down relatives, visiting Vivian's grave. She even named her cat Vivian Grant.

All of this, and a lot more, is described in this excellent article, which I can't recommend highly enough. Engagingly told and endearingly written, it's a great story. PermaRec's highest rating — don't miss.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Old Rifle Found in National Park

Click to enlarge

It's hard to see because it's so well camouflaged into the background, but it's there: an 1882 Winchester rifle. An archaeologist named Eva Jensen recently found it leaning against a juniper tree in Great Basin National Park in Nevada. It's not clear how it got there, how long it was there, or who it belonged to, although those questions are currently the subject of lots of speculation among historians and gun enthusiasts.

It's fun to think that the rifle could have been left there, propped against the tree, for over 100 years. But one article I read had a reader comment that said (I'm paraphrasing here), "If it had really been there that long, it wouldn't look like the tree; it would be part of the tree." Hmmmmm. In any case, the rifle is now being studied, although the odds of finding out how it got there seem pretty remote. Here's a short audio report on it from All Things Considered:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

An Old Letter With Life-Changing News

What if you had a son but didn't know it? And what if someone had tried to tell you about that son more than 50 years ago by mailing you a letter? And what if someone had intercepted that letter and kept it from you, and now you just found it?

That's the situation for a Michigan man named Tony Trapani. Trapani, who's now 81 years old, impregnated a woman in 1953. The woman didn't initially tell him about the child but eventually broke the news to him in a letter that she mailed in 1959, by which time Trapani was married to another woman. That woman, Trapani's wife, apparently saw the letter before he did, opened it, and then hid it in a file cabinet.

The wife died several years ago. Trapani recently found the letter while going through the file cabinet and was stunned to learn he had a son. And just for added poignancy, Trapani and his wife had always wanted children but had been unable to conceive.

Meanwhile, the person identified in the letter as Trapani's son, Samual Childress, who's now 61, grew up thinking that his father wanted nothing to do with him. His mother had told him about the letter she'd mailed and they both mistakenly assumed that Trapani had simply ignored it. Childress and Trapani have now met (they have literally two lifetimes' worth of stories to catch up on), and they're planning a DNA test just to make sure they truly are related.

We've done several stories here at Permanent Record regarding old letters or letters that were really slow in being delivered. This story is sort of a hybrid of those two categories. You can learn more here, and here's a video report from a Michigan TV station:

The big question here, at least for me, is why the wife saved the letter instead of just discarding it. My hunch: She initially thought to herself, "At some point later we'll deal with this, but I'm not ready for it yet." As weeks turned to months, months to years, she found herself painted into a corner — the longer she waited, the harder it became to reveal the truth to her husband. At some point she acknowledged to herself that she was never going to tell him, but she also couldn't bring herself to destroy the letter, which was a symbol of her sin and deceit, much like Poe's tell-tale beating heart. And she hoped her husband would stumble upon the letter after she was gone (as he eventually did), so that he could learn the truth without her having to tell him.

Or at least that's my take.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Student of the Week: Teresa Fantazzo

For all documents, click to enlarge

Today we're going to turn our attention to Teresa Fantazzo, a Manhattan Trade School dressmaking student who grew up in Astoria, Queens. Her main card, shown above has two noteworthy items. First, an entry near the bottom notes that she was overweight by 32 pounds. More intriguingly, her father's occupation is listed as "coal heaver," a term I wasn't familiar with, although it seems rather self-explanatory. Some quick Googling produced photos, historical accounts, and more.

Teresa's grade and teach comments were generally good (as always, E = Excellent; G = Good; F = Fair; P = Poor):


The comments at top right from Elsa Pohl are particularly strong: "Conscientious, absolutely dependable, and trustworthy, dignified. Former G.O. president." I believe this last comment refers to the school's General Organization, or student body.

Here's Teresa's employment record, showing an assortment of jobs she had over the course of two and a half years:


Note that her first three jobs were as a dress finisher ("fin."), which is in keeping with her chosen trade of dressmarking. But her remaining jobs were spent operating a Singer sewing machine ("Singer op"). Sewing machine skills were a separate course of study at the school, so it's surprising to me that Teresa moved from one trade to another.

The other noteworthy thing here involves Teresa's third job, for a woman named Amy Campbell. A comment in the far-right column reads, "Miss Campbell did not pay my last week's salary."

Further information on Teresa's missing wages can be found on this card:


The key entries read like so:

Oct. 14, 1931 [comment from job placement secretary, Althea Dreyer Kotter]: Talked with Miss Campbell about your salary check and she said it had been mailed. Evidently lost but she will mail duplicate. Let hear from you about this. — ADK

Nov. 11, 1931 [comment from Teresa]: Have not received any money from Miss Campbell.

Nov. 19, 1931 [comment from Mrs. Kotter]: Call Miss Campbell on the telephone and tell her you will take legal septs to get your money. Prefer to have you handle this yourself. Write me. — ADK

Oct. 25, 1931 [this date is almost certainly wrong and was probably supposed to be Nov. 25}: Miss Campbell paid the $16.

I feel conflicted about the school telling Teresa to handle the situation herself. On the one hand, it's good that they encouraged her to stick up for herself. On the other, this was a job that the school had arranged for Teresa, and she was only 17 years old when this all took place -- pretty young to be threatening employers with legal action. Couldn't the school have interceded on her behalf? In any event, it's good to see that the matter was resolved.

That's all I have for Teresa. If anyone knows more about her, please let me know. Thanks.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Student of the Week: Marian Fantacone

For all documents, click to enlarge

This week we're examining the record of Marian Fantacone, an Italian-American dressmaking student who lived in the Bronx and attended the Manhattan Trade School for Girls in the early 1930s. She was born in March of 1916, which means she's closing in on her 99th birthday if she's still alive. The spelling of her first name keeps switching back and forth between "Marian" and "Marion" in her file, but I'm going to go with Marian, because that's how it's listed on her primary card, which is shown above.

A note next to Marian's photo says, "Temporary aid because of unemployment in home." We'll learn more details about this shortly.

Marian's grades were generally solid, and her teachers' comments were, on the whole, positive (remember, E = Excellent; G = Good; F = Fair; P = Poor):


Next we have Marian's financial aid records, beginning with an assessment of her household, which shows that she was the second-oldest of two children and that her father and older brother -- a bricklayer's helper and a painter, respectively -- were both out of work (not surprising, given that this was in the midst of the Great Depression):


It was standard procedure for the school to make a visit to the home of any student for whom financial aid had been proposed. Here is a school employee's account of the visit to Marian's home:


The report, by a woman named Katherine E. Martin (a name that is not familiar to me from other students' files), reads as follows:

On Wednesday, November 12th, 1930, I visited the home of Marian Fantacone at 2414 Beaumont Ave., Bronx. Mr. Fantacone and his son, who is 19 years old, are out of work. The father has been idle for 2-1/2 months. The son has been doing some painting for the landlord but receives no money for the ob, because two months' rend is owing and the painting is for part payment on the rent, which is $38 per month.

No money is coming into the house. Food is scarce. The grandmother gives what food she can spare.

There are six children, ages 19, 15, 12, 8, 4, 2 years.

The mother is living. Family all in good health.

Their home is very poor and cheerless. They are not receiving any aid from any association.

Marian is in the 5th contract [this refers to the sequence of courses at Manhattan Trade — PL]. Her work is fair, deportment good, has never been absent or tardy.

Her teeth need attention, some to be extracted and cleaned.

Marian was ultimately approved to receive aid for "Carfare and lunches," although the amount of the financial assistance was not specified (that's unusual -- the school was usually meticulous about documenting this type of thing):


Here are some additional notes from Marian's student aid file. These are typed, so I won't bother transcribing them (you can click on the card to see a larger version of it):


The entry from Jan. 6, 1931, referring to a donation from a "Mr. Palmer," is interesting. I'm not sure who this was or what type of donation he made.

Like all the other Manhattan Trade students, Marian was referred for employment by the school's job placement office. Here's her work record, which shows that the school found jobs for her, primarily as a dress finisher ("fin."), for several years after her 1932 graduation:


If you look at the job that Marian held from Nov. 19-22, 1935, you can see that her weekly wages were originally listed as $18 and then changed to $15. That was apparently a point of contention, as we can see on this next card:


The key entries read like so:

Nov. 19, 1935 [comment from Marian]: Told I should get $18. What shall I do?

Nov. 20, 1935 [response from job placement secretary]: Better stay for the $15. It is too late in the season to count on getting more.

This exchange is characteristic of how such issues were typically handled. Whenever a student balked regarding pay levels or other work-related issues, the school almost always encouraged her to stick with the job, or to at least be patient.

That's all I have for Marian (or Marion, as the case may have been). If anyone knows more about her, please get in touch. Thanks.