Jacob A. Riis (18491914). The Battle with the Slum. 1902.
one of the foulest sweaters tenements I had ever been in, and carried it to the headquarters of the union to show them what a mockery they were making of the mightiest engine that had come to their hand. I am glad to believe those days are over for good; and when we all believe it their fight will be won. When the union label deserves public confidence as a guarantee against such things, it will receive it. When I know that insisting on a union plumber for my pipes means that the job will be done right, the I will always send for a union plumber and have no other. That is the whole story, and on that day the label will be mightier than any law, because the latter will be merely the effort to express by statute the principle it embodies.
Stragglers there will always be, I suppose. It was only the other day I read in the report of the Consumers League in my own city that a benevolent institution, when found giving out clothing to be made in tenement houses that were not licensed, and taken to task for it, asked the agents of the League to show some way in which the law could be evaded; but it is just as well for that benevolent institution that name and address were wanting, or it might find its funds running short unaccountably. We are waking up. This very licensing of tenement workers is proof of it, though it gives one a cold chill to see thirty thousand licenses