Monday, December 8, 2014

A Hundred Years Ago in Hudson

These days we talk about the entrepreneurial spirit of Hudson and its creative economy, but a hundred years ago, things were quite different. This article, discovered this morning, appeared on the front page of the Hudson Evening Register on December 8, 1914--exactly one hundred years ago today.  

ALBANY, Dec. 8.--The city of Hudson in the 1913 ranked first among the cities of the State in the manufacture of cement and ninth in the manufacture of cotton and woolen hosiery and knit goods. These facts are contained in a statement issued by the State Labor Commissioner James M. Lynch, in connection with the forthcoming second edition of the Industrial directory which is published by the Labor department under the direction of the commissioner.
According to the directory figures, Hudson in 1913 had a total of forty-nine factories that gave employment to 2,854 persons. Of this number there were 2,720 who worked in the shops themselves and the remainder were engaged in office work or elsewhere than the shops. Of the shop force 2,112 were men, 588 were women and twenty were children between the ages of 14 and 16 years.
The number of factory employees to each 1,000 of population, according to the Industrial Directory, was 227. There were 358 male operatives to each 1,000 male population and 93 operatives to each 1,000 female population. In the State as a whole there were 184 male factory operatives to each 1,000 male population and 80 females to each 1,000 female population.
Using the number of persons employed as the standard of measurement, the Directory figures will show that the most important industry to the city was the manufacture of cement. This furnished employment to 1,135 persons. Cotton and woolen hosiery and knit goods held second place with 954 employees and machinery was third with 197.
Of the total of 2,720 shop workers, 111 were working less than 52 hours a week, 867 were working on a nine hour day schedule or its equivalent and 1,081 were working on a ten hour day schedule or its equivalent.
Hudson Portland Cement Plant and Quarries, 1905
Using the ratio of factory workers to total population provided in this article, it is possible to calculate that the population of Hudson in 1913 was about 12,575.

1 comment:

  1. FWIW, below are links to screenshots which I took of some commercial publication citing the the population of Hudson from 1870 through 1900 (estimate for 1900), which I found per a google search. Interestingly in 1899, the city clerk referenced was one WIlliam Hallenbeck. He's been in local politics for a very loooong time. :)