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Russell Sage Foundation

In 1907 Margaret Olivia Sage created the Russell Sage Foundation in honor of her deceased, railroad-executive husband. It is a non-profit organization for “the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States.” It has supported and continues to support studies related to this objective.

The Springfield Survey

In 1914 the Russell Sage Foundation undertook a study of a wide range of conditions in Springfield, Illinois with the aid of may local volunteers. Local groups also helped initiate the study.

A pioneering sociological community survey was the Pittsburgh Survey of 1907-1908. The Archives of Safety and Health previously reported on this survey. The Springfield, IL survey was somewhat similar to the Pittsburgh Survey, but was modeled for a much smaller community.

The 1910 census found Springfield with a population of 51,678. Of those, 42,269 were 10 years old or older. There were 20,759 males and 21,510 females. 82 percent of males and 24 percent of females 10 years old or older had gainful employment, 43 percent between the two genders.

Read the complete story in the January 2021 Issue of the Archives.

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