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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/116

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ployers are invited to meet those of the working class who may wish to be present to discuss in an informal manner questions of common interest. Under the genial leadership of Mr. Janssen and the director, much of the restraint usual on such occasions is thrown aside and the employer and employee sit side by side, and each listens to the undreamed opinions and experiences of the other. At one of these meetings the question of a shorter work day was discussed from the standpoint of the employer, the laborer, and the humanitarian. The investigations of our own Bureau of Labor were quoted to show the benefits resulting from a shortening of the day of work, and it is more than likely that the outcome of the discussion will be an intention on the part of the manufacturer to curtail the hours of work just as soon as possible, while the laborers, in learning of obstacles of which they were ignorant, will await more patiently the action desired.

The classes or individual pupils contribute their services to the committee in charge of entertainments. This committee sees to it that three Sunday evenings of each month are provided for, either from the ranks of home talent or with the aid of outside artists. In the concerts some of the best performers of the land have gladly taken part, and the music of the greatest composers has been heard here. As in all other cases, there is a charge for admission—four cents for one and six cents for man and wife. A feature here in vogue might well be copied. In arranging the selections for a concert the effort is made to always include at least one popular piece, or a song of national, artistic, or patriotic interest; then on the programme the words of this song are printed. The audience may be asked to join in the chorus, but even if this is not practical the people can catch the air, and with the words before them in later days they can make melody in their homes. If we recall the class of people for whom these provisions are made, and keep in mind the limited avenues of enjoyment open to them, we will appreciate the boon of such a considerate act.

It might be tedious to enumerate the various classes here conducted, and give even in brief an outline of the methods, experiences, and results. Each lesson costs from two to four cents, and the pupils—many of whom have reached middle life—show a commendable zeal in prosecuting their studies. However, two topics deserve mention—the lessons in mending and in cooking. Since it is the poorer people who are to be benefited by the work of Our House, lessons in economy are needed, if not demanded, and the earlier opportunities for acquiring these lessons have been meager. The authorities have therefore wisely decided to so instruct the housewives of these people that their clothing may look well even if mended and