Employee Workplace Rules on April 5, 1872

Wow. How far we’ve come in setting and tolerating workplace rules. Zachary Geiger, owner of the Mount Cory Carriage and Wagon Works in 1872, wouldn’t win Boss Of The Year Award in 2012.

But to the business owners of that day, these rules made sense, and offer a glimpse into what employees endured who needed a job (6 days per week, 13 hours per day) to support their families.

Mount Cory Carriage and Wagon Works
Workplace rules for employees on April 5, 1872

(1)
Office employees will daily sweep the floors; dust the furniture, shelves, and showcases.

(2)
Each day fill lamps, clean chimneys, and trim wicks. Wash the windows once a week.

(3)
Each clerk will bring a scuttle of coal and a bucket of water for the day’s business.

(4)
This office will open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM daily, except for the Sabbath on which day it will remain closed. Each employee is expected to spend the Sabbath by attending Church and contributing liberally to the cause of the Lord.

(5)
Men employees will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes, or two evenings in the week if they regularly go to Church.

(6)
After an employee has spent 13 hours of labor in the office, he should spend time reading the Bible or other good books while contemplating the glories and building up of the Kingdom.

(7)
Every employee should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years, so that he will not become a burden on the charity of his betters.

(8)
Any employee who smokes Spanish cigars, uses liquir in any form, gets shaved in a barber shop, or frequents pool and public halls will give me good reason to suspect his worth, intentions, integrity, and honesty.

(9)
The employee who has performed his labors faithfully and without fault for a period of five years in my service, and has been thrifty and attentive to his religious duties, and is looked on by his fellowmen as a substantial and law abiding citizen, will be given an increase of 5 cents per day, providing a just return in profits from the business permits it.

BE WORTHY OF YOUR HIRE!

Zachary U. Geiger, Proprietor

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One comment on “Employee Workplace Rules on April 5, 1872
  1. chrisham says:

    Simply Amazing, when Church, Bible and God had such in important place in the workplace. Sadly that’s history and a thing to be scoffed at. Why then should we complain of such a disparity in Work Ethics of 1872 and 2012. Great article and much to ponder on…

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