WELFARE WORK. During the World War great impetus was given to welfare work in the United States as well as in other countries. The term, while of wide application, has in prac tice been applied in the main to the efforts made by employers to improve the working and living conditions of those in their employ. It has resulted in a great deal of attention being given to matters touching on the health of the working people, such as food and housing, as well as to the environment amid which their work is performed. The methods adopted to improve conditions have included rearrangements and im provements of lighting and heating and atmospheric conditions, and the shorten ing of the working day. To these have been added the establishment of facil ities for recreation and refreshment, as well as lavatories and rest rooms. Where a large view has been taken of the gations of the employer, and in com munities which are small enough, an effort has been made to provide enter tainment and occupation even outside of the hours of work. Club houses have been established, teams for various sports have been made up, playgrounds have been provided, recreational groups have been formed with facilities in chosen lines, there has been attention given to the housing of the workers, to nursing and medical attention, the pro motion of gardening, premiums to stimu late rivalry in the care of the home and its environs, the institution of flower gardens, and numerous other activities warranted by local conditions and the desires of the working people themselves.
It was seen in the course of the war what opportunities in this line had been opened by the great powers with which the administration had been intrusted, and a great deal of work in that direc tion was done in the industries under the control of the Government. The housing problem received marked atten tion, and emergency hospitals were established and visiting nurse work de veloped. Statistics compiled by the Gov ernment showed that among private in dustrial establishments over one-third were active in social betterment work among the families of the workers. Playgrounds, visiting nurses, domestic science classes, systems of charitable re lief and the like were in vogue in con nection with many of these establish ments. The work in the United States was only a reflex of similar work done in various countries of Europe, and de veloped under the influences of the war. In Germany welfare work has been de veloped on lines so remarkable that the factory portion of a town in a German city is often the most beautiful part of it. Welfare work in connection with large industrial establishments has also been greatly developed in Great Britain, and there, as in other countries, new activities in that direction were opened up by the great expansion in certain lines of industry during the war.