Working Conditions

  • Protective Clothing

    Apron.edited The protective clothing worn by glass workers was designed to protect the body from burns, punctures, and cuts. The glass workers at the PPG plant in Mount Vernon wore denim safety sleeves that protected from heat and were reinforced with grommets, to provide ventilation and prevent glass puncture. The sleeves were held in place by alligator clips on the chest that attached both sides of the sleeves together.

  • Working Conditions

    You would have needed great connections to work in a glass factory in the early 20th century. Often and sometimes only through family ties, could you get a job in such a place.

    Glassworkers were paid well for the time, with men receiving 18 cents/hour, and women receiving 11 (CMoG). Women were usually utilized as detail/defect inspectors of finished pieces, while men actually worked on the floor. Though there is an obvious wage gap, in this context, the work was not “equal work.”The most common age range for younger workers was 14–17 (CMoG). Young boys were often needed, even though the legislation was in place to prevent them from working. These children were sometimes taken from orphanages and exploited as sources of income for their families or for cheap work. (utoledo)