The eight hour day



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Introduction: The movement in the direction of a shorter working day has been going on for many years, particularly in the English speaking countries. The day has been successively changed from fourteen to twelve hours and again to ten and in some cases even to nine and still the agitation goes on for a still further reduction to the eight hour limit. Not so much, in the later case, because longer hours are injurious to health, nor because shorter hours make higher wages; but from the want of additional opportunities for self cultivation and the enjoyment of life. In this age of the world’s progress, when machinery is so plentiful, transportation so cheap and rapid the productiveness of any country turns largely on the vigor and intelligence of its working class, and these qualities can only be obtained when the laborers have sufficient leisure for recreation and self culture. Society should not compel its mentors to simply live to work but should allow them the privilege of working to live. But simply considering men as machines it will be found good policy to keep up their intelligence and spirits of labor, and as I have said above this is best done by giving them opportunity for rest and study.


Citation: Cheadle, Frank E. The eight hour day. Senior thesis, Kansas State Agricultural College, 1897.
Morse Department of Special Collections


Machinery, Industrial Age, Work day, Employees