Library Collections: Document: Full Text

First Annual Report Of The Massachusetts Commission For The Blind

Creator: n/a
Date: 1908
Publisher: Wright & Potter, Boston
Source: Mount Holyoke College Library


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.




To His Excellency the Governor and the Honorable Council.


GENTLEMEN: -- The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind begs leave to submit the following report, covering the period between July 6, 1900, and the end of the fiscal year, Nov. 30, 1907. The commission was established under chapter 385 of the Acts of 1900, the terms of which are set forth in XIII, Appendix A of this report. His Excellency Governor Guild, on July 6, 1900, appointed the persons named below to serve as members of the commission. The Executive Council a week later confirmed the appointments, as follows: --


Dr. Edward M. Hartwell of Boston, for five years.
Miss Helen Keller of Wrentham, for four years.
Miss Annette P. Rogers of Boston, for three years.
Dr. J. H. A. Matte of North Adams, for two years.
Mr. Robert L. Raymond of Milton, for one year.


At the expiration of his term Mr. Raymond declined reappointmeat, and Mr. James P. Munroe of Lexington was appointed to succeed him.


The commission organized at its first meeting, on July 18, 1906, by the choice of Dr. Hartwell as chairman and Mr. Raymond as secretary. Since its organization the meetings of the commission have usually numbered two a month.


At this point it seems well to indicate the course of events which led to the establishment of the commission, whose primary duty.


By chapter 13 of the Resolves of 1899 the State Board of Education was directed to inquire and report upon the feasibility of instructing the adult blind at their homes (see I., Appendix A), The Legislature of 1899 was led to take this action mainly through the appeal of the late J. Newton Breed of Somerville. Mr. Breed, who had become blind in the prime of life, was keenly alive to the pitiable condition of many of the adult blind in the State, who were rendered unhappy and dependent through lack of occupation. He strove assiduously to have means provided for them home instruction.


The sixty-fourth report of the State Board of Education contained a valuable report, prepared by the secretary of the Board, the late Frank A. Hill, on the "Feasibility of instructing the Adult Blind at their Homes." The report showed that the needs of the adult blind were both genuine and unprovided for, and declared that there was "a considerable proportion of the adult blind for whom home instruction is both feasible and desirable."


In accordance with recommendations of the report, the Legislature of 1900 appropriated $1,000, "to be expended by the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind for the instruction of the adult blind at their homes," on condition that the plans for such expenditure should be approved by the State Board of Education. It should be noted that the Alumnae Association of the Perkins Institution had undertaken in 1898 to provide home instruction for certain blind women, and had been granted the sum of $100 by the trustees of the Perkins Institution in aid of their undertaking.


In 1901 the General Court made a further appropriation of $3,000 for the instruction of the adult blind at their homes (see III., Appendix A); and in 1902, by chapter 297 of the Acts of that year (see IV., Appendix A), authorized the appropriation of $5,000 annually for the same purpose. Accordingly for several years four blind persons have been enabled to serve the State as home teachers of the blind, with laudable results. Their efforts have been chiefly devoted to teaching writing and the use of embossed type for reading, although some instruction in basketry, sewing, knitting, etc., has also been given.


In 1902 a group of noble women, connected with the Women's Educational and Industrial Union of Boston, became actively interested in the welfare of the adult blind. They enlisted the interest of various philanthropic and public-spirited people, who united with them in organizing the Massachusetts Association for promoting the Interests of the Adult Blind, and in attempting to induce the Legislature to establish some sort of an industrial home for the blind, similar to institutions already maintained or aided by the States of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. At the suggestion of Governor Bates their plans were modified, and the association devoted itself in the early months of 1903 to inducing the Legislature to authorize the appointment of a commission to investigate the condition of the adult blind within the Commonwealth, and report to the Legislature of 1904.


Accordingly, in August, 1903, His Excellency Governor Bates, in conformity with chapter 74, Resolves of 1903 (see VI., Appendix A), appointed a commission consisting of Dr. Edward M. Hartwell of Boston, chairman, Mr. A. H. Hardy of Boston and Miss Agnes Irwin of Cambridge. The commission prosecuted its inquiries by means of: (1) hearings and conferences with representative blind persons and their friends; (2) correspondence with the overseers of the poor in the several cities and towns of the Commonwealth; (3) personal canvass and visitation of the blind in various parts of the State; (4) visits to the principal educational and industrial institutions for the blind east of the Mississippi River; and (5) the study of reports and legislation bearing on the subject.


In its report, which was rendered Jan. 15, 1904, the commission recommended the establishment of a permanent State board, to consist of five persons, with authority: (1) to prepare and maintain a complete register of the adult blind in Massachusetts; (2) to establish a bureau of industrial aid, for the purpose of aiding the blind to find employment and for developing home industries among them; and (3) to establish one or more shop schools, designed to provide suitable instruction and work for the blind.


The Legislature of 1904 received the report, but did not see fit to act upon its recommendations. It did, however, by chapter 87, Resolves of 1904 (see VIII., Appendix A), authorize the appointment of a second commission, to prepare a register of the adult blind, and to investigate and report, on or before Jan. 15, 1905, on the advisability and feasibility of ameliorating the condition of the adult blind by industrial training or establishing of industrial schools, or by any other means. The commissioners of 1903 were constituted the new commission in September, 1904. Finding it impracticable to complete the work assigned them in the time at their disposal, the commission was continued by chapter 1, Resolves of 1905 (see XI., Appendix A), and given permission to make its report in January, 1906. The Legislature also empowered the Bureau of Statistics of Labor, which was charged to make a census of the State in 1905, to aid the commission in the preparation of its register of the blind, by furnishing it with the names and addresses of the blind recorded by the enumerators of the census.


The report of the commission was rendered on Jan. 15, 1906. It included a register of the blind, together with recommendations and a bill. The recommendations were as follows: --


1. The establishment of a permanent board for improving the condition of the blind. We believe that women and blind persons should be eligible for membership on such a board.
2. That the register and catalogues which we have prepared shall be placed in charge of said board, and that they shall be charged to maintain and perfect the same, to the end that the board may be enabled to serve as a bureau of investigation, information and advice.
3. That the Board shall serve as a bureau of industrial aid, to find new forms of employment for the blind, to aid them in finding work, and to develop home industries among the blind.
4. That the board shall be empowered to establish and manage a system of industrial schools and workshops, for the purpose of affording suitable blind persons instruction and work in the lines of industry best adapted to their needs. In accordance with these recommendations, we submit the appended bill.


The bill reported by the commission, with slight changes, was enacted as chapter 385, Acts of 1906, and approved by the Governor on May 11 of that year (see XIII., Appendix A).


Following its organization, in July, 1906, the commission proceeded: (1) to secure as office quarters rooms 609 and 610 in the Ford Building, at 15 Ashburton Place, Boston; and (2) to establish two departments for the conduct of its work. The department of registration and information was placed in charge of Miss Lucy Wright of Boston as superintendent, and the industrial department was placed in charge of Mr. Charles F. F. Campbell of Boston as superintendent. Mr. Charles W. Holmes was chosen deputy superintendent of the industrial department. All of these persons were specially qualified for work among and for the blind. Miss Wright, formerly secretary of the Associated Charities of Taunton, had acted as field agent of the Commission on the Adult Blind in 1904 and 1905, and as special agent of the bureau of Statistics of Labor in 1905; Mr. Campbell had served the Massachusetts Association for promoting the Interests of the Adult Blind as agent in arousing public interest in the adult blind and as director of its experiment station in trade instruction, 1903-06; and Mr. Holmes, a graduate of the Perkins Institution, a blind man, had for some years been a successful teacher at the head of a department in Eastern Township College of Music, Stanstead, Quebec, an institution for seeing persons.


On the expiration of its lease, in August, 1907, the commission, having found its office quarters inadequate, leased room 608 in addition to rooms 609 and 610 in the Ford Building for three years, at an annual rental of $1,200 for the three rooms. This lease, like all leases taken by the commission, e.g., for shops and salesroom, was duly approved by the Governor and Council.


Whether the number of the blind in Massachusetts is on the increase is a somewhat vexed question, owing to the variance between the published results of the federal and State censuses. The Commission on the Adult Blind published the following in its report: --


The Number of Blind in Massachusetts, by Specified Age Groups.


Absolute Numbers.
BY CENSUS OF0-19 Years20-59 Years60 Years or OverUnknownTotals 20 Years or Over80 Years or Over
19053549861,45752,802 (1) 2,443403
Relative Numbers, i.e., Per Cents
1895,13.71 40.97 45.17 0.15 100.00 86.29 10.04
1900, 36.87 21.74 41.17 0.22 100.00 63.13 13.38
1905, 12.83 35.19 52.00 0.18 100.00 87.19 14.38

(1) There is reason to believe that this number is too small by upwards of 450.


Inspection of the foregoing discloses an apparent decrease in the period 1895-1905 in the total number of the blind, and in each of the principal age groups. The fluctuations in the absolute and relative numbers from census to census and within the same classes are noteworthy, and suggest the probability that the three sets of figures are not strictly comparable . . . The number of blind persons to the million of population in Massachusetts, as determined by the United States census, was 893 in 1880, 738 in 1890 and 1,159 in 1900; and as determined by the State census, was 1,843 in 1885, 1,593 in 1895 and 933 in 1905. On the whole, it may be doubted that any very considerable diminution of the relative number of blind in the State has taken place since 1895.


Since the publication of the foregoing the preliminary figures given above for 1900 and 1905 have been replaced by final figures. The federal census ("The Blind and the Deaf, 1900," Washington, 1906) gives 2,217 as the total number of the blind in Massachusetts in 1900, instead of 3,252; and the State census gives 3,676 (Census of 1905, Bulletin 12, the blind) for 1905, instead of 2,802. Accordingly, the number of blind per million of population should be 790 for 1900 and 1,224 for 1905.


The returns of the enumeration of the federal census gave 101,123 as the number of blind persons in the United States in 1900. The revised figures of the federal census are 64,763 or 852 per million of population for the United States; and 2,217, or 790 per million, for Massachusetts, -- the elimination for correction amounting to 35.95 per cent. of the preliminary figures for the United States and 31.83 per cent. for Massachusetts. It is altogether probable that the revised figures of the federal census are too small, as the names of 19,884 persons returned as blind, but who failed to reply to the post cards of inquiry sent out by the Bureau of the Census, were eliminated from the revised figures.


According to the revised returns of the State census, the total number of blind for 1905, viz., 3,676, exceeded the preliminary figures by 874, or 31.19 per cent. This increase is partially accounted for by the fact that the Bureau of Statistics of Labor in revising the original returns took account of several hundred names contained in the 3,635 records compiled by the commission on the Adult Blind in 1904 and 1905. The 3,635 records were made up of 2,802 returned by the census enumerators and 833 records by the agents of the commission and of the Association for promoting the Interests of the Adult Blind.


The following statement discloses a wide variance between the proportional figures published by the federal census and the State census: --


Number of Blind per Million of Population in Massachusetts.


CENSUS OF --Federal Census.CENSUS OF -- State Census.


According to the federal census, the relative number of the blind in the State increased 7.05 per cent. in the period 1890-1900; while according to the State census, that number decreased 30.15 per cent. in the period 1895-1905.


Two facts should be noted in connection with these discrepancies: (1) the test of blindness used in the federal census differs from that used in the State census; and (2) the test has been modified in the case of each census. Thus, in the "Report on the Insane, Feeble-minded, Deaf and Dumb and Blind, in the United States at the Eleventh Census: 1890," it is noted that: --


This result as regards Massachusetts is due to the fact that in the State census the term "blind" included all who "cannot distinguish forms or colors distinctly," -- that is, not only the totally blind, but those with defective vision; while in the United States census only those were reported as "blind" who could not count accurately the number of fingers of another person held up before them at the distance of a foot.


In the instructions to enumerators of the twelfth census of the United States, 1900, the following occurs: --


Should it appear that the sight is so seriously impaired that it is impossible for the person to read a book, even with the aid of glasses, then you will note such person as "blind," even though, as a matter of fact, he or she may have some slight power of sight.


In taking the Massachusetts census of 1905, the definition provided for the guidance of the enumerators was as follows: --


This class includes persons who by the aid of glasses are yet unable to distinguish form or color, to count the fingers on the hand within one foot from the eye, or read writing or ordinary print. (Bulletin No. 12, The Blind.)


Manifestly, the attempt to draw conclusive inferences as to the precise amount of increase or decrease in the proportional number of the blind in the period 1890-1905 would be hazardous.


It is a popular mistake to suppose that only such persons as cannot perceive light are to be accounted blind. Every school and institution for the blind contains a considerable number of persons who are not totally blind. Thus Dr. C. F. Fraser, superintendent) of the Halifax School for the Blind in Nova Scotia, in the twenty-eighth report of that institution says: --


One cannot help being impressed with the popular belief that no one is blind who sees light, and with the idea that this is a school for the blind, and hence it is a school for those who cannot see light. Of the 106 pupils now in attendance at the institution, 25 are totally blind, while the remaining 81 have more or less vision, some being able to distinguish colors and move about with ease, while others can barely distinguish the rays of the noonday sun. So far as education is concerned, those boys and girls are all practically blind, that is, no one of them has sufficient sight to enable them to study in the public schools, and this is the only school in which any of them can be trained so as to become useful men and women.


The 3,983 blind returned by the Massachusetts census in 1895 were classified as follows, by degree of blindness and age: --


Under 21 Years of Age. 21 Years of Age and Over. Total. Per Cent.
Totally blind, 201 1,383 1,564 39.27
Semiblind, 375 2,044 2,419 80.73
Totals, 576 3,407 3,983 100.00


Similarly, the 2,217 blind reported by the federal census for Massachusetts for 1900 were classified as follows: --


Under 20 Years of Age20 Years of Age and OverUnknown AgeTotal Per Cent
Totally blind, 155 1,104 1 1,280 56.83
Partially blind, 148 806 3 957 43.17
Totals, 303 1,910 4 2,217 100.00


According to the federal census, there were 64,763 blind in the United States in 1900, classified as follows: --


Under 20 Years of Age20 Years of Age and OverUnknown AgeTotal Per Cent
Totally blind, 4,123 31,363 159 35,645 55.04
Partially blind4,185 24,802 131 29,118 44.96
Totals8,308 56,165 290 64,763 100.00


The foregoing statements disclose a fact which has come to be clearly recognized within the last half century; namely, that by far the greater proportion of the blind are adults. Thus, the 3,407 blind persons twenty-one years of age or over in 1805 equalled 85.53 per cent. of all the blind in the State; and similarly, the blind persons twenty years of age or over (1,910) equalled 90.22 per cent. of the total number of blind returned by the federal census of 1900. Again, of the 3,676 blind reported by the State census of 905, 3,174, or 86.34 per cent., were twenty-one years of age or over. They are subdivided as follows: (1) twenty-one to sixty years, 1,372, or 37.33 per cent. of the whole number of blind; (2) sixty-one to eighty years, 1,377, or 37.46; (3) eighty-one years or over, 416, or 11.31 per cent.; and age not given, 9, or .24 per cent. Speaking broadly, while 9.44 per cent. (357) of the whole number were children, 11.31 per cent. (416) were in their second childhood.


Of the total number of the blind reported by the federal census or 1900, 56,165, or 86.72 per cent., were twenty years of age or over. Furthermore, it is a fact, and a fact of capital importance, that most of the adult blind become blind when adults, and are thereby debarred from entering the schools for the blind, which, contrary to the general impression, are seldom willing to undertake either the literary or industrial education of any who are over twenty.


The first conclusive showing that the majority of the adult blind in Massachusetts became so after school age was made in 1905 by the Commission on the Adult Blind, from whose report the following tabular statement is compiled: --


The Blind in Massachusetts, 1905. -- Age Period when Blindness occurred.


PRESENT AGE.0-19.20-39.40-59.60 or OverNot stated.UnknownTotal.
0-19 Years354-----354
20-59 years, 410 283 260-33-986
60 or over, 71 106 34390631-1,457
Unknown, -----5 5
Totals, 8353896039066452,802
0-19 Years, 354-----354
20 or over,481389 60390664 -2,443
Unknown, ------5


Inspection of the foregoing discloses the fact that of the 2,802 blind, included in the preliminary returns of the State census of 1905, 2,443 were adults; of whom 1,808, or 77.69 per cent., became blind after reaching the age of twenty years, against 481, or 19.69 per cent., who became blind before reaching that age. According to the report on the blind in 1900, published by the federal census in 1906, there were 1,910 adult blind persons in the State in 1900, of whom 1,453, or 76.07 per cent., were reported to have become blind in adult life. In the same report the number of the adult blind in the United States is given as 56,165; and 41,044, or 73.77 per cent., are reported to have become blind after reaching the age of twenty, against 12,326, or 21.94 per cent., who became blind before reaching that age.


It is noteworthy that the larger part of the adult blind in this State may properly be characterized as "aged," inasmuch as 1,457, or 50.63 per cent., of the 2,443 adults included in the last tabular statement are found in the age group sixty years or over. Of that 1,457 it appears that 960, or 60.57 per cent., were at least sixty years old when they became blind. Experience shows that something can be done towards teaching some of the aged blind to read, and giving them occupation; but the blind who are from twenty to sixty years of age are they whose needs should be chiefly considered in seeking to provide industrial training and opportunity for the adult blind.


The register of the blind, which is kept at our office in the Ford Building, on Jan. 1, 1907, contained the records, set forth on cards, of 3,806 blind persons, -- an increase of 130 over 3,676, the number of the blind finally returned by the State census of 1905. As the basis for the register, this commission became possessed, soon after its organization, of about 3,837 cards, which had been prepared by the Commission on the Adult Blind in 1904 and 1905. The cards included: (1) 2,802 transcribed from the preliminary unpublished returns of the census enumerators; (2) the records of 433 cases especially investigated by the agents of the Commission on the Adult Blind and of the Association for promoting the Interests of the Adult Blind; and (3) 202 transcribed from the records of the home teachers of the blind. Necessarily the register is continually changing; the general result is that thus far additions exceed eliminations, although it is likely that the number registered includes some records of persons who have died or removed from the State. This will doubtless be remedied as time goes on, as we have in mind means of securing from local boards and officials, from hospitals and physicians more timely information of deaths among the blind and of the occurrence of new cases of blindness. We particularly hope for the co-operation of the school authorities (under whose auspices the annual school census is taken throughout the Commonwealth) in our attempt to complete our list of the blind children of school age. This is an important desideratum, as the education of a surprisingly large number of blind children is now unduly delayed through the apathy or ignorance of parents and the indifference of school officials. The following statement summarizes the changes in the register of the blind since the report of the Commission on the Adult Blind was made in January, 1905: --


Number of the blind in the State by preliminary returns 1905, 2,802
Additions and corrections to census list, 874
Additions and corrections made by this commission, July, 1906, to Jan. 1, 1907, 130
Changes, Jan. 1, 1907, to Dec. 1, 1907, deduct for deaths 86, removals 21, 107
Add new cases recorded, 208
Number registered Dec. 1, 1907, 3,907


It is not claimed that the register is altogether complete, but is unquestionably the fullest and most useful list yet made of the blind in Massachusetts. It embodies a large and constantly increasing amount of information, obtained through the personal investigation by our agents of individual cases. We have established friendly relations with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, various charitable organizations and the Perkins Institution, with the result that many new cases of blindness are prompt referred to us for advice and aid. By it we are enabled to turn at practical account the returns of the State census, which, prior to the passage of chapter 1, Resolves of 1905, could be used for statistical purposes only, as names and addresses were never divulged.


We have adopted an improved form of record card (see XVI., Appendix B). In addition to the register proper, in which the card are arranged alphabetically according to the names of the blind we have had a card index made, in which the names are arranged by cities and towns, so that information can be readily given to applicants who are entitled to receive it. The register has already proved its value as a means of guidance to the commission in its efforts to improve the condition of the blind, and as a source of information to friends of the blind, public officials and students of special problems relating to the causes and prevalence of blindness.


Statistical analysis of the register, as of Jan. 1, 1907, yields the following summary statement: --




I. Present Age.


PRESENT AGE. Number. Per Cent.
Under 20 years, 434 11.4
20-59 years, 1,401 36.8
60 years or over, 1,971 61.8
Totals, 3,806 100.0


II. Period when Blindness occurred.


PERIOD. Number. Per Cent.
Under 20 years, 1,094 28.8
0-1 year, 472 -
2-4 years, 176 -
5-19 years, 446 -
20-59 years, 1,387 36.4
20-39 years, 558 -
40-59 years, 829 -
60 years or over, 1,136 29.8
Not stated, 190 5.0
Totals, 3,8013 100.0


III. Cause of Blindness.


PRESENT AGE.CongenitalDiseaseAccidentAccident and DiseaseNot stated.Total.
Under 20 years, 112 186 47 2 87 34
20-39 years, 82 311 85 2 86 566
40-59 years, 32 491 142 8 162 835
60-79 years, 25 951 169 15 251 1,411
80 years or over, 643436579560
Totals257 2,373 479 32665 3,806


IV. Age Group 20-59 Years.


A. Period when Blindness occurred,


PRESENT AGE0-45-19Total.20-39.40-59.Total.Unknown.Aggregate.
20-39 years, 192 178 370 161 - 161 21552
40-59 years, 97 106 203 259 328 587 25815
Unknown,------ 34 34
Totals, 289 284 573 420 328 748 80 1,401


B. Present Condition.


PRESENT AGE. Of Independent Means.Incapacitated.Probably Helpable. Doubtful.Unknown.Total.
20-39 years, 125 48373 6 -552
40-59 years, 339 4440626-815
Unknown, ----3434
Totals, 464 92 779 32 34 1,401


C. Occupation before and since Blindness occurred.


KIND OF OCCUPATION.Before. Since.Change.
Agricultural, 28 27 -1
Commercial, 31 13 -18
Educational and professional, 88 48 -40
Employer, 17 39+22
Housewife, 139 (2) 163 (3) +24
Housework, 64 (4) 65 (5) +1
Mechanical. 205 115 -90
Musical. 7 42 +35
Unskilled. 170 62 -108
Peddler. 9 9 +20
Students. 133 72-61
No occupation. 476 692 +216
1,367 1,367-
Not stated. 34 34 -
Totals.1,4011,401, -

(2) All women.

(3) All women.

(4) All women.

(5) Includes one man.


In the summer and fall of 1907 we had a special investigation made concerning 253 persons, twenty years of age or under, whose names were found in the commission's register of the blind on June, 1907, The records of 167 blind persons belonging to the same age group, who were known to be enrolled at the Perkins Institution at that date, were excluded from the investigation, as the purpose of the investigation was to ascertain the needs of blind children outside of schools for the blind, with a view of having their needs provided for.


The inquiry was conducted under the direction of Miss Wright, by four temporary visitors, all women, who were selected because of their experience or special aptitude for the work in hand. A special form for noting the facts determined by the visitors was used (see XVII., Appendix B). Our thanks are due to Dr. W. E. Fernald, superintendent of the Massachusetts School for the Feeble-minded at Waltham, for helpful suggestions as to the form of inquiry. The field work, which involved more than 400 visits, anointed to the service of one person four months.


The investigations of the 253 cases taken from the register yielded the following results, summarily stated; --


Number totally blind, 129
Number partially blind, 42
Number not found, 11
Number dead, 15
Number removed from the State, 9
Number over twenty years old, 4
Number not blind, 39
Number unknown, 4
Total, 258


The most important result, of the investigation may be summarily stated as follows: --


I. Blind, 129.


A. Already cared for in public institutions (for defectives or dependents), 13
In Nursery for Blind Babies, 17
In private schools, 2
In workshop for the blind, 1
In good homes: --
Under school age, 4
Mentally defective, 18
Physically incapacitated, 2
B. Number reported to Perkins Institution 25
Number reported to Massachusetts School for Feeble minded, 9
Number reported to Massachusetts Hospital for Epileptics, 1
Number reported to Massachusetts Nursery for Blind Babies, 7
Number reported to State home teachers of blind, 4
Number reported to industrial department of Commission for the Blind, 4
C. Cases for further consideration: --
Mental condition to be determined, 2
Blindness possibly remediable or degree undetermined, 16
Investigations pending, 4


II. Partially Blind, 42.


Having seriously defective sight, and requiring further investigation or treatment, 42
Total, 171


By no means all of the 60 children reported to the institutions specified above have been admitted, but the suitableness of the eases has been acknowledged, and the children are being admitted as rapidly as vacancies occur and as parents can be induced to take action. Through our intervention, 7 of the 42 having defective sight have received medical care.


The discovery by our agents of 25 fit candidates for admission to the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind emphasizes the need, originally pointed out by the Commission on the Adult Blind, of more effective measures than have hitherto obtained for scouring the timely admission of the young blind into the special schools already provided for them by the State. We confidently expect to secure the co-operation of the State Board of Education and of local school officials in devising and carrying out such measures. Of the 25 persons reported to the Perkins Institution, 19 were born in Massachusetts and 16 were over ten years of age, and 6 of these were over fourteen years of age. Assuming that a beginning has now been made in the education of this group, it still remains that the beginning has been delayed, on the average, about four years, because of the neglect of parents and school authorities.


Of the 25 persons referred to, 20 were of foreign and 3 of native parentage, while the parentage of two others was "unknown" or not stated; in 13 cases the parents were Canadian French; the parents of the remaining 7 cases were reported as English, Scotch, Irish, German, Italian, Swedish and Portuguese respectively.


The Commission on the Adult Blind pointed out that the education of blind children was not compulsory in Massachusetts, as it was in some other States. The law relative to compulsory education, viz., section 1, chapter 44 of the Revised Laws, was amended in 1906 by chapter 383 of the Acts of that year (see XII., Appendix A). The essential part of the amendment reads: "No physical or mental condition which is capable of correction or which renders the child a fit subject for special instruction at public charge in institutions other than the public schools shall avail as a defense," etc., for failure of any child between seven and fourteen years of age to attend a public day school.


It may be remarked in passing that experience has shown, e.g., in Chicago and Milwaukee, that by well-directed effort much more can be accomplished towards teaching the blind and seeing together in public day schools than has usually been supposed.


The number of blind persons belonging in Massachusetts, of the age group 0-20 years inclusive, on Nov. 30, 1907, may be given as 357. That number is made up of 129 included in our register June 1, 167 who were then pupils at the Perkins Institution, and 61 whose names were added to the register between June 1 and Nov. 30, 1907. It may be noted here that the total number of blind at the Perkins Institution always includes a considerable number from other States. The 357 young blind may be classified by age periods as follows: --


AGE PERIOD Number Per Cent
0-4 years, 32 9.0
5-16 years, 230 64.5
17-20 years, 91 25.5
Unknown, 4 1.0
Totals, 357 100.0


Of the 129 specified above, 42, or 32.55 per cent. were found to be unsound mentally; that is, 40 were either mentally defective or backward, 1 was epileptic and 1 was insane. The proportion of mentally defective, using the term in its general sense, to the whole number of young blind, viz., 357, was 11.76 per cent. What proportion of the blind in the age groups twenty to fifty-nine and sixty or over are weak in mind or defective as respects one or other of the organs of special sense cannot be stated; indeed, it cannot be determined without the aid of experts in psychiatry and neurology. Of the 357 young blind, 193, or 54.06 per cent., became blind before reaching the age of one year. It does not appear how many of them owed their blindness to ophthalmia of the new-born (which is a preventable infectious disease), and one of the most prolific causes of blindness; but it is quite probable that a large proportion, say from one-third to one-half, were rendered blind by preventable causes.


We have had a leaflet printed for distribution among parents, which contains practical directions and advice derived from an expert in the care and training of blind children; but the limitation of infectious diseases can only be accomplished through the combined efforts of physicians and boards of health. Preventable blindness occurs most frequently among the vicious, the ignorant and the uncleanly classes. It is gratifying to note that the American Medical Association has recently appointed a special committee to consider preventable blindness and to recommend practicable measures of prevention.


Chapter 75, section 49, of the Revised Laws, as amended by chapter 251, Acts of 1905 (see X., Appendix A), now makes it the duty of nurses, relatives or other attendants, as well as physicians, to make prompt report to selectmen and boards of health in case any infant under their charge, within two weeks after its birth, should show the symptoms which characterize ophthalmia neonatorum.


Once it was organized and in possession of office quarters, the commission took up the industrial side of its work. We found only four agencies actively engaged in the attempt to improve the industrial condition of the blind. They were: (1) the work shop for adults, in South Boston, where, thanks to the co-operation of the Perkins Institution, a group of blind men ranging from 15 to 20 had made fair wages for many years in caning chairs and making and repairing mattresses; (2) the salesroom of the Perkins Institution, at Boylston Street, conducted for the convenience of patrons of the work shop at South Boston. The salesroom also rendered, substantial service to the Alumnae Association of the Perkins Institution, whose efforts to provide blind women with work in their homes has been already alluded to; (3) the experiment station for the trade training of the blind, maintained at Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, by the Massachusetts Association for promoting the Interests of the Adult Blind, for the purpose of testing the value of hand weaving as a remunerative occupation for blind women and men; and (4) the work shop for the blind at Pittsfield, started in 1905 by a local branch of the Massachusetts association. All but the work shop for adults at South Boston were still in the experimental stage, and in need of adequate financial support.


We soon decided to undertake the maintenance of the experiment station and the shop at Pittsfield. Accordingly, having concluded the necessary negotiations, based on full and explicit statements of their financial condition, the commission assumed their Maintenance and liabilities and took over their assets at a fair appraisal. The experiment station was taken over on Sept. 1, 1006, the amount paid for stock, plant, etc., being $3,164.04; and the Pittsfield shop was taken over as of Sept. 1, 1906, at a cost of $110.21.


During the past year both have been moved into larger and more convenient quarters, and both have been reorganized. On Dec. 13, 1906, we opened a salesroom for the benefit of our industries at 383 Boylston Street, Boston, in two rooms on the second floor leased from the Perkins Institution, whose salesrooms are located on the first floor of the same building.


In June, 1907, the commission became responsible for the conduct of the work (originally begun by the Alumnae Association of the Perkins Institution) of promoting home industry among blind women in various parts of State. This work consists in procuring orders for sewing, knitting, etc., furnishing and preparing materials to be finished, receiving consignments and remitting monthly the proceeds of sales. Through the salesroom we have also been enabled to aid certain blind men to market baskets, cabinet work and wire work. The taking over and enlargement of this branch of our work necessitated the lease of a third room, at 383 Boylston Street, from the Perkins Institution.


The experiment station of the Massachusetts association was started in the fall of 1904, for the general purpose of discovering and testing new forms of industry for the blind, and more particularly for determining what could be done to promote the industrial efficiency of blind women. The degrees of success achieved by the experiment station under the superintendence of Mr. Campbell in teaching blind women to weave artistic linens on hand looms, and the prospect of a fair market for the rugs produced by blind men on hand looms, led us to take over the experiment station for the purpose of continuing the experiment till a decisive conclusion as to its value could be reached. When taken over by the commission, the station occupied an old dwelling house at 678 Massachusetts Avenue, in the South of Boston, in which about 1,850 square feet of floor space was availed for the employment of 8 blind men and 8 blind women. The place was not only inadequate for the existing needs of the superintendent, foremen, designers, weavers and mop makers, but did not admit of alterations that might render it a suitable and convenient place for more extended operations and the employment of more blind operatives. After careful search, new quarters were secured on a three years' lease: (1) in a factory building at 686 Massachusetts Avenue, near Central Square, in Cambridge, for the men's shop; and (2) at 277 Harvard Street, corner of Inman Street, Cambridge, for the women's shop. The removal to Cambridge was effected in the spring of 1907, thereby affording us about 7,500 square feet of floor space suitable for our purpose.


It should be noted that most of the blind persons employed in the shops or in attendance on the classes in cobbling, basketry and broom making live in Boston or in its neighborhood, and utilize the street cars in coming and going from their work. For others, however, and more particularly apprentices and workers from outside the metropolitan district, boarding places have been secured in Cambridge. The problem of meeting the need; of homeless blind women employed in the shop is a serious and somewhat perplexing one; but we are likely to solve it. It should be said that Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, who live in Cambridge, at 277 Harvard Street, have been singularly zealous and successful in securing suitable boarding places for those who had best live within easy distance of their daily work, and in promoting their happiness and welfare.


An efficient seeing man was placed in charge of the Pittsfield shop as superintendent, and a competent blind man was made foreman and instructor in chair caning and the renovation of mattresses. In June, 1907, the old Pittsfield shop was given up, and new quarters, affording 1,420 square feet of floor space (an increase of 486 square feet), on the ground floor of a new building on Dunham Street were secured. We have utilized the Pittsfield shop chiefly for the instruction of blind men who were willing to learn to reseat chairs, or who needed further instruction and practice in that craft. Under Mr. Rowland's energetic management the business of the shops has been substantially increased, and the wisdom of the removal into more commodious and expensive quarters amply justified.


The commission has desired from the first to establish small shops in various cities of the State, as it believes that by well-directed effort, and at relatively small expense, remunerative work can be secured near their homes for small groups of blind men, such as are found to be in most of the larger cities of the State. The success of such shops will depend largely on securing competent foremen and capable workmen. To find and test such persons requires patient search and trial; but our agents have shown much skill and zeal in studying local needs and possibilities, and are rapidly increasing their personal acquaintance among the blind.


Profiting by the experience gained from reorganizing and extending the operations of the Pittsfield shop, we hope to establish other shops like it as fast as it shall appear feasible and wise to do so. As at present advised, we consider it desirable to stimulate local interest in the welfare of the local blind, and to aid the blind to gain the patronage of their neighbors and fellow townsmen, rather than to attempt to organize establishments in which relatively large numbers of the blind would be gathered together as factory hands among strangers. We shall do our best to promote home industries for the blind. It is not a very difficult matter to teach blind women to do hand weaving.


We shall test the question whether they can profitably operate hand looms in their homes. If they can, a notable addition will be made to the resources of blind women who are now struggling to eke out their slender means by doing plain sewing, knitting and crocheting for our salesrooms in Boston.


At the close of 1907 the total number of blind employees receiving wages in our shops was 27, besides 15 pupils and apprentices, most of whom were receiving aid towards their living expenses during their pupilage. We have paid the school fees, including board, in schools for the blind, of three young men who stood in especial need of the training which can be had at present only in a school for the blind. As these young men were all above twenty years of age, and therefore could not be admitted to the Perkins Institution at South Boston, 1 was sent to the Connecticut Institute and Industrial Home for the Blind at Hartford, and the other 2 to the Halifax School for the Blind in Nova Scotia.


The industries now conducted by the commission in Cambridge are rug, mop and broom making and cobbling (as a home industry) for the men, and art fabric weaving and telephone operating for the women; and in Pittsfield chair caning and mattress renovating for men.


Three-fourths of the upper floor of the men's shop, which is 70 by 50 feet in area, are devoted to rug making. In the Boston shop there were but three rug looms and no space for storage. In the new quarters there are nine single looms and one double width loom, upon which rugs up to 10 feet in width can be made. There is a large finishing and stock room also. The rugs are woven by hand, upon the principle of the old-time rag-carpet weaving. In the place of rags new materials are used, and a definite design with selected colors is worked out in each rug. The blind men are helped to arrange the figures accurately in the rugs by seeing persons. For special orders both designs and colors are made to harmonize with the furnishings in the house in which the rugs are to be used. The designs are made by seeing persons who have had special professional training.


In Boston it was practicable to give employment to only 2 blind rug makers. Since the transfer to Cambridge in April, 1907, 6 additional men have been taken into the shop, and others will be admitted as the business increases.


We make a specialty of the "Wundermop," which was invented by one of our workmen, and a patent secured upon it by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind. It is easy for blind men to make mops, and if raw material can be secured at advantageous prices, the industry ought to prove of value to the blind. Three men have been employed in the manufacture and 2 in the selling of mops, for which there is a growing demand.


How to secure remunerative employment for blind women is one of the most difficult problems confronting those endeavoring to aid the sightless. When hand weaving was undertaken by the Massachusetts Association, it was in the hope of enlarging the opportunities of blind women and elevating the standard of their workmanship. No attempt is made to compete with the product of power looms. Their work is somewhat akin to hand embroidery. As the women weave the cloth, they are able to work out the designs with a small amount of seeing supervision. Articles woven by the blind in our shops have been exhibited side by side with the best examples of similar arts and crafts products made by the seeing, and have been sold on their intrinsic merit. The women have shown marked ability not only in workmanship but also in creating designs. Eight of the 12 blind women weavers have originated motives of such merit that they could be utilized to advantage in salable articles.


The commission sent to the Jamestown Exposition a considerable exhibit of rugs and art fabrics in linen, which had been produced in the Cambridge shops. In two rooms of the Massachusetts exhibit the window hangings were woven to order in the women's shop from special designs.


The frontispiece of this report is introduced to give an idea of the skill attained by the blind weavers in the employ of the commission.


As was to be expected, the applications made to the commission for aid or information have been varied and numerous, and our meetings have been largely taken up in considering the needs and circumstances of individuals. Our study of the situation and the results of the investigations instituted through our agents, who, be it said, are to be highly commended for their assiduity, energy and intelligence in meeting the demands of an essentially novel situation, have raised some important and interesting questions. It is the part of wisdom, for the present, to admit the lack of adequate and decisive evidence for settling such questions as (1) What proportion of the unoccupied and necessitous blind are handicapped by other ailments and defects than loss of sight? (2) What are the reasons for the apparently high death-rate of the blind as a class? (3) To what extent is the dependent condition of so many of the blind attributable to preventable or remediable causes?


The following statements may serve to indicate the kinds of occupation in which we find the blind engaged, and the nature of the measures called for in attempting to improve their condition. These statements are based on notes made by the deputy superintendent of the industrial department, Mr. Holmes, whose time has been mostly devoted to dealing with male applicants and to devising measures for their relief.


Occupations of the Applicants.


Chair seaters: -- Academic or scholastic, 11
Cane seaters, 83 Teachers, 7
Pith seaters, 13 Total, 18
Rush seaters, 3
Splint seaters, 7 Mechanical pursuits: --
Total, 106 Cobblers, 5
Weavers, 8
Basket makers, 8
Commercial occupations:-- Box makers, 4
Agents or canvassers, 10 Broom makers, 12
Vendors, 16 Cabinet makers, 5
Merchants, 15 Hairpin makers, 2
Proprietors, 3 Hammer makers, 1
Total, 44 Match makers, 4
Mattress makers, 20
Mop makers, 4
Musical pursuits: -- Upholsterers, 8
Professional musicians, 16 Total, 81
Music teachers, 12 Engaged in homework, 7
Piano tuners, 33 Agriculture, 4
Total, 60 Engaged in unskilled work, 29


Character of Application.


AFPLICATION FOR -- Number of Applicants Number helped.
Information or advice, 43 39
School training, 3 3
Industrial training, 72 57
Loan of tools, machinery, etc., 26 22
Aid in increasing patronage, 49 19
Employment, 85 68
Aid to become agents or canvassers, 16 11
Aid in securing boarding places, 27 27


The following summary outlines what has been done for applicants from the opening of the office to the end of the fiscal year 1907:--


Aug. 1, 1906, to Nov. 30, 1906, 105
Dec. 1, 1906, to Nov. 30, 1907, 593
Total, -- 698
Total number benefited Aug. 1, 1906, to Nov. 30, 1907, 464
1. Through educational and industrial aid: i.e., training as apprentices in chair work, broom making, rug making, cobbling, etc.; or equipment for home work, kit for cobbling, stock for small stores, loan of Braille machines, sewing machines, etc.: --
Training at Cambridge or Pittsfield, 53
Equipment, 15
2. Through employment: --
(1) In Cambridge shops as mop makers, rug weavers, etc., 26
(2) In Pittsfield shop, choir work, etc., 7
(3) Factory positions, 4
(4) Other shops, 4
(5) Increased patronage, 7
(6) Mop agents, 7
3. Through salesroom (in addition to sales of manufactured goods from shops): --
(1) Women consignors already benefited, 76
(2) Men consignors already benefited, 8
4.(sic) Through special inquiry concerning those twenty years of age and under not in schools for the blind, 170
Other children dealt with, 7
5. Referred to State home teachers, 30
6. Homes, private permanent homes, 2
7. Indirectly helped through private persons and other societies in relief, vacations, symphony concert tickets, medical aid, important information, etc., 63
479 (6)

(6) This is not an absolute figure, as some individuals appear us benefited in more than one way.


A more detailed analysis of industrial aid given to individuals is as follows:--


Educational and Industrial Aid, Aug. 1, 1906, to Nov. 30, 1907.


Total amount appropriated by votes of the commission in individual cases (not including general expenses of cobbling classes, etc.), for both training and equipment, $3,894 96


ACTUALLY EXPENDED Training (Apprentices' and Pupils' Board.) Equipment (Stock and Equipment). Sundries.
Sept. 1, 1906, to Nov. 30, 1906, $284 80 $42 87 $3 60
Dec. 1, 1906, to Nov. 30, 1907, 1,734 55 577 39 29 59
$2,019 35 $620 26 $33 19
620 26
2,019 35
$2,672 80
Actual refunds towards training, $48 47
Actual refunds towards equipment, 18 00 66 47
$2,739 27


Statement regarding Blind Persons benefited by Educational and Industrial Aid, Aug. 1, 1906, to Nov. 30, 1907.


1. By necessary expenses during training: --
a. At Cambridge shops: --
Men: as mop makers, 1
as rug makers, 4
as broom makers, 4
Women: as hand weavers, 4
b. At Pittsfield shop:--
Men: as chair workers, 14
as mattress makers, 4
c. In special classes: --
As basket makers, 5
As cobblers, 10
d. Training elsewhere: --
Massage, 1
Broom making, 1
Piano repairing at piano factory, 1
Educational aid at other schools, 4
Under Robertson, 1
Phonograph, 1
Perkins Institution, 2
Telephone school, 1
2. In equipment (tools, stock, etc.): --
a. Kit for broom making, 1
b. Kit for cobbling, 6
c. Sewing machines, 2
d. Braille writers for home work, 3
e. Kit for coffee business, 2
f. Stock for small shop, 2
g. Stock for other commercial purposes, 1
h. Transportation to facilitate work, 1
i. Equipment for chicken raising, etc., 2
j. Printing of business announcements, 1
k. Materials for home work, reed, cane, etc., 3
l. Broom corn for broom shop, 1
Of these, 15 persons have received aid in more than one form, 15
Actual number of persons benefited, 68


Instances might be multiplied, but the following may suffice to indicate the sort of cases which have been aided through the efforts of the deputy superintendent: --


"A" is an excellent piano tuner, with a small clientage. A position has been secured for him in a piano factory, where he is giving good satisfaction. He was started at a wage considerably in excess of his average earnings, and was raised at the end of a short period.


"B" worked in a well-known shoe factory before losing his sight, a few years since, and the management have been persuaded to take him on again, giving him certain processes which all admit he can perform without sight.


"C" was a foreman in an upholsterer's establishment before blindness, and for him an opening has been secured in a first-class hotel, to take charge of its furniture and mattresses, which position, for reasons of his own, he has not yet accepted.


For "D" a position was obtained as helper in a lumber yard, where his duties were to assist in piling boards, loading teams, etc. This work he did successfully and to the satisfaction of his employer, till the mistaken sympathy offered by the other workmen became an element which had to be dealt with by the dismissal of our man.


"E" has been found a position with a large manufacturing concern, broad-minded enough to give us such an opportunity.


"F" is an illustration of our effort to develop home industry. He had learned the broom maker's trade in earlier years, and the commission has agreed to procure an outfit of tools and materials, which will be loaned to him as soon as certain stipulated conditions have been met by his friends.


"G" represents a different phase. His property was mortgaged, and ho feared foreclosure. Assistance was rendered in placing the mortgage in safe hands.


"H," a young man needing academic education, being beyond the ago limit at which he could be received by the Perkins Institution, was sent to school in an institution which has no such limit set.


Appreciating the tentative and experimental nature of the work with which it was charged, the commission felt that an adequate system of accounting was indispensable. Accordingly an expert accountant was employed to devise and install a set of books so classified and arranged as to enable us to determine promptly and accurately the cost and industrial value of the several branches of work we had undertaken, e.g., educational and industrial aid, classes in cobbling shoes, and the manufacture of art fabrics, rugs, mops and brooms. The system of accounts adopted works well in practice, and has been commended by the State Auditor, who has manifested much interest in our work, and whose helpful advice at every stage of our undertaking the .commission is glad to gratefully acknowledge.


Of the $20,000 appropriated by chapter 385, Acts of 1906, the sum of $1,909.42 was returned to the treasury of the Commonwealth.


The commission was granted two appropriations by chapter 174, Acts of 1907, viz.: $15,000 for the maintenance of industries, and $25,000 for general administration, industrial and educational aid, etc. (see XV., Appendix A). The appropriation of $15,000 was all expended; of the appropriation of $25,000, the sum of $3,523.80 was returned to the treasury of the Commonwealth.


By chapter 173, Acts of 1007, the act of 1000 was amended, and the commission was empowered: (1) to draw for working capital not more than $5,000 at one time; and (2) to use all moneys received from the sale of any products of its workshops for the purpose of carrying on its industries.


We subjoin a series of statements derived from our books of account, which may serve to indicate the extent and character of the financial operations of the commission for the two years under review, and the financial condition of the industrial department on Nov. 30, 1907.






Administration: --
Salaries and wages, $2,210 50
Travel, 440 81
Rent, 310 50
Incidentals, 209 00
$3,171 02
Furnishings and fixtures, 1,070 05
Registration and information: --
Salaries and wages, $91 03
Incidentals, 11 00
102 05
Industrial and educational aid: --
Apprentices and pupils, $284 80
Stock furnished, 42 87
Incidentals, 3 60
331 27
Experiment station: --
Salaries to seeing, $227 29
Wages to blind, 12 56
Rent, 49 99
Amounts carried forward, $369 84 $4,674 39


Amount brought forward, $369 84 $4,674 39
Light, heat and telephone 163 56
Travel, 21 20
Incidentals, 264 10
818 76
Furnishings and fixtures, 176 37
Purchase of plant of Massachusetts Association for Adult Blind, 3,164 04
Liabilities of Massachusetts Association for Adult Blind, 857 04
Salesroom: --
Incidentals, 90 50
Furnishings and fixtures, 957 58
Mop shop: --
Merchandise purchases, $1,781 97
Blind labor, 239 33
Seeing labor, 167 78
Commissions and royalties on sales, 255 41
General expense, 48 28
2,493 77
Mop plant account, 35 00
Mop department furnishings, 4 50
Rug shop: --
Merchandise purchases, $1,276 49
Blind labor, 215 02
Seeing labor, 286 75
General expense, 38 34
1,1816 00
Rug plant account, 459 23
Linen shop: --
Merchandise purchases, $297 15
Blind labor, 349 46
Seeing labor, 532 46
General expense, 40 15
1,219 22
Linen plant account, 652 57
Pittsfield shop: --
Merchandise purchases, $33 28
Blind labor, 75 00
Rent, 34 00
General expense, 8 50
150 78
Pittsfield plant account, 110 21
Janitors' supplies department: --
Merchandise purchases, $285 88
Commissions to blind, 48 63
334 51
Amount carried forward, $18,015 07


Amount brought forward, $18,015 67
Track broom department: --
Merchandise purchases, 610 60
Blind labor, 1 44
Sundries, 2 87
14 91
Total, $18,030 58
Appropriation for 1906, $20,000 00
Disbursements, 18,030 58
Turned back to Treasurer of Commonwealth, $1,969 42




Administration Department, -- General Offices.


Salaries (two seeing superintendents, one blind deputy superintendent, one-third of salary of another deputy superintendent, and salary of stenographer), $6,335 86
Rent and telephone, 1,222 55
Travelling expenses, 1,496 39
Incidentals (postage, supplies, express, sundries), 833 31
$9,888 11


Registration, and Information.


Salaries (clerical), $527 30
Travelling expenses, 91 78
Incidentals, 87 93
707 01
$10,595 12


Industrial and Educational Aid.


a. General (including cases and classes): --
Board and tuition paid for apprentices and pupils, $1,734 55
Stock and tools furnished to apprentices and pupils (helping them to establish themselves), 577 39
Incidental expenses (guiding, sundries, 29 59
Payment toward telephone training school at linen shop, 40 47
Merchandise and instruction for training in special home industries, 81 64
Amounts carried forward, $2,463 64 $10,595 12


Amounts carried forward, $2,463 64 $10,595 12
Cobbling class: --
Materials, $114 68
Instruction, 252 00
Rent (since Sept. 1, 1907), 36 00
General expenses, 4 10
Equipment, 129 42
536 20
Basketry class:--
Materials, $29 31
Instruction, 34 50
Sundries, 50
64 31
6 Braille writers, $78 30
Sewing machine, etc., 13 65
91 95
Reimbursement to janitors' supplies department for cost of operation, 312 76
Toward maintenance of salesroom, 1,111 71
$4,580 57
b. Broom shop: --
Raw material, $208 07
Rent, heat, etc., 53 37
Wages to blind, 186 98
Incidentals, 20 05
Equipment (machinery, etc.), 84 92
553 39
c. Home industries for women: --
Raw material and finished goods, $971 98
Paid to blind women, 175 00
Paid to seeing workers, 160 44
Rent for November, 45 00
Advertising, 49 25
Travelling expenses, 18 85
Incidentals (including repairs at sales-room), 111 63
Fitting up of salesroom, 193 06
1,725 16


Pittsfield School for Apprentices.


Merchandise purchases, $961 63
Paid to blind, 984 87
Salaries to seeing, 346 80
Amounts carried forward, $2,203 30 $17,454 24


Amounts brought forward, $2,203 30 $17,454 24
Rent, 327 74
Travelling expenses, 27 25
General expenses (including express, sundries, supplies, teaming, lighting shop, and repairs incident to moving), 569 22
Additions to plant, 112 76
3,320 27


Additions to General Furnishings and Office Equipment.


This amount covers the cost of an adding machine, special display frames for Jamestown, and a phonograph for the use of the blind deputy superintendent and typewritist at office, 642 10
$21,416 61
Less charges paid from appropriation for industries in the form of stock and supplies, 40 50
Total net charges $21,376 11
Appropriation for general expenses, $25,000 00
Net charges, 21,376 11
Turned back to Treasurer of Commonwealth, $3,623 89
Assets in the form of stock, equipment and accounts receivable amount to $4,000 67




Art fabric shop, $2,270 73
Rug shop, 784 56
Mop shop, 1,838 55
Janitors' supplies department, 91 68
Track broom department, 26 41
Salesroom, 1,292 96
General expense account, 2,294 00
Broom shop (as industrial department), 86 54
Gross cost of operation, 8,685 49
Interest on deposits at Beacon Trust Company, 8 55
Net cost of operation, $8,076 94
Depreciation of plants and furnishings, including experiment station, incident to moving, 1,108 02
9,784 96
Add difference between manufacturing and selling price of salesroom merchandise inventory, 1,140 46
Total net cost of maintenance, $10,925 42



Total merchandise cash purchases, 9,302 26
Received from other departments as purchases, 6 22
Total cash purchases for plants, 1,405 26
Total labor selling and manufacturing expense, 16,965 16
Total operating cost, $27,678 90
Total sales, $12,150 14
Inventories, Nov. 30, 1907, $8,522 34
Inventories, Nov. 30, 1906, 4,370 54
Add gain in inventories, 4,151 80
Plants, Nov. 30, 1907, $4,187 84
Plants, Nov. 30, 1906, 3,744 85
Add gain in plants, 442 99
16,744 93
$10,933 97
Less interest gained on deposits and credited to profit and loss account, 8 55
Net cost. $10,925 42


Analysis of Labor, Manufacturing and Selling Expenses.


Labor, blind, $4,235 01
Commissions to blind, 1,241 37
Royalties to blind (ten months), 185 67
Total paid to blind persons, $5,662 05
Salaries to seeing persons, 6,241 58
General expenses, 5,061 53
Total, $16,965 16






Cash, $541 99
Accounts receivable, 1,371 53
Special accounts receivable, 34 00
Merchandise on hand as per inventories: --
Art fabric shop, $1,300 88
Rug shop, 3,839 53
Mop shop, 1,027 34
Salesroom (at cost), 2,293 20
Amounts carried forward, $8,460 95 $1,947 52


Amounts brought forward, $8,460 95 $1,947 52
Track broom department, 42 49
Janitors' supplies department, 18 90
8,522 34
Plants: --
Art fabric, $1,492 74
Rug, 1,260 17
Mop, 347 88
Salesroom, 1,087 05
4,187 84
Total assets, $14,657 70




Accounts payable, $777 59
Special accounts payable, 23 37
800 96
Net assets Nov. 30, 1907, $13,856 74
Net assets Nov. 30, 1906, were as follows: --
Accounts receivable, $1,120 11
Merchandise as per inventories: --
Linen, $1,187 68
Mop, 1,349 63
Rug, 1,734 58
Janitors' supplies, 55 79
Track broom, 42 86
4,370 54
Plants and furnishings: --
Experiment station, $1,167 83
Linen shop, 755 82
Mop shop, 202 74
Rug shop, 660 48
Salesroom, 957 98
3,744 85
Total, $9,235 50
Capital invested in 1907.
Appropriation for industries, $15,000 00
Revenue of last year returned by Treasurer of Commonwealth, 590 46
15,590 46
Amount carried forward, $24,825 96


Amount brought forward, $24,825 96
Less mops sent to administration office 83 30
And less assets in the form of stock and furniture, which appear to credit of Pittsfield school for apprentices, but which were paid for from industries appropriation, 40 50
43 80
Not assets and capital, $24,782 16
Net assets Nov. 30, 1907, 13,856 74
Total net cost of maintenance (see summary), $10,925 42


In undertaking to occupy a comparatively new and untried field, much of our work has been of the preliminary sort. We have endeavored: (1) both to acquire and impart information concerning the agencies already existing in the State that may be availed of to promote the educational and industrial interests of the blind; (2) to establish close and friendly relations with such agencies, for the sake of co-operation, and particularly that we may be promptly notified of all new cases of blindness, especially when the afflicted person is an adult, under sixty and a wage-earner; (3) to discover and test new forms of employment in which the blind may be encouraged to engage; (4) to convince employers of seeing labor that blindness is not nearly so often a sufficient reason for refusing employment as is taken for granted; (5) to reorganize and strengthen the Cambridge and Pittsfield shops as centers of instruction and production; (6) to develop a wider and surer market for the products of our shops; (7) to organize and aid groups of blind workmen to secure occupation and wages in lines of industry that are already open to them, e.g., basket making, broom making, reseating chairs, repairing mattresses and tuning musical instruments, as well as to aid workmen who have made a beginning to increase their business; (8) to aid blind men and women engaged in home industries, however slight or simple, in improving the character of their wares and in finding purchasers for them; and (9) to disseminate information as to the most efficacious means of preventing blindness in infants and children.


We are aware that the profitable and economical cultivation of our field of endeavor demands a larger body of precise and intimate knowledge of the personal history, physical condition, mental characteristics and industrial capabilities of the blind who seek employment, advice and instruction. We shall put forth our best efforts to acquire and apply such knowledge, to the end that the needs of the most healthy, capable and industrious among the blind may be met, and in order that the funds entrusted to the commission by the State may not be wasted upon those who are below par in respect to capacity or character. The chief object of the commission is to aid the blind to help themselves, and to convince the public that the blind can help themselves.


Respectfully submitted,


Commission for the Blind.