The Census - 4
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April 3, 1940
I will write a much shorter, less detailed letter today, telling you about the rest of yesterday and what happened today.
I called back in on Mrs. Beach, first thing today, and her husband had told her that it was fine to leave his salary as given, and that he did have supplementary income. So at least I was able to complete my sheet for yesterday before I started on today's bunch.
The most expensive house yesterday, $5500, was owned by someone quite famous, Lewis T Orlady, the proprietor of the Lady's Ready to Wear store that I use most frequently. Also he is involved in politics and has just in the last week been nominated by the Republicans to stand for Governor in the next election. So I will tell you a little bit about my meeting with his wife Charlotte. Their family consisted of twin sons, aged 10 and a daughter, aged 13, and get this, they also have a 20 year old MAID. Charlotte was quite helpful and friendly about most of the questions, but she refused to say how much the maid earned. Her husband was the highest earner of the day – with an income of
$3000. We were told the average income is $680 a year.
Some of the other people's jobs with their salaries are as follows: School teacher, $630, Operator of beer parlor, $1000, Conductor on the Railway, $2445.
I forgot to mention in the breakdown of the questions, that two people on each page are asked supplementary questions. These relate to what language was spoken at home when they were children, and one for women over 14 only, whether married more than once, the age of first marriage, and number of children from all marriages.
My first special was a young girl, so her answers were No to everything. The second one said that German was spoken at home when she was a child. She had been married only once, at age 23, and had two children. Although she described herself as married, she was the head of the family and
there were no men living there, so my guess is that she is separated, but not divorced.
I didn't have anyone listed as divorced, or of any ethnic group other than white. And I had no one saying they were unemployed because they were unfit for work.
But today was a slightly shorter list, and I only did 12 families, but I did manage to finish by 6 p.m., unlike yesterday when I was still working at 8 p.m. I learned how to speed up was to ask several related questions at once.
My first to be born outside of the United States is 70 year old Fred Renkert from Germany, although both he and his wife were down as naturalized citizens. He works as a janitor in an office building for a salary of £1100. It was his daughter Ilvina, aged 21, who stays at home to do housework, who gave the answers to the questions, although her mother was there, but the mother's English was quite broken. They also had someone living in the basement of their house, which was considered a
completely separate family unit, as they have their own cooking facilities, and she was a Canadian-English. She works as an auditor for the railway and has one of the highest salaries of any on this page, $4500. I have noticed that the Railway is consistently the best employer in terms of cash paid.
The most expensive house, $8000, belongs to Julius Johnson, auditor for the railway. His annual salary is also highest on the day, at $4550, although the agent for an oil company is paid well on $3250.
All for now,
Love from Nan
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The schoolteacher seems to be
The schoolteacher seems to be paid very badly compared to a railway conductor! This is when Europe has just started the Second World War, isn't it? I guess these figures are taken from an actual census? Rhiannon
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