The Tirocchi business archives contain many miscellaneous types of records. One is a slim volume labeled "Girls’ Address Book." The women (and girls) who worked for A. & L. Tirocchi were always called "girls"–the era being less sensitive than the present one to such terms. This little book recorded the names and addresses, and sometimes a phone number, for the shop’s employees.

Good payroll records are a necessity for any business. One of the fundamental types of record is the time book, with printed forms to record the hours worked by employees on a weekly basis. A. & L. Tirocchi did use these printed time books, probably purchased from an office supply store, but the bookkeeper generally only recorded the wage paid weekly, not the hours worked.

The books have a column for worker’s name, followed by seven columns for days of the week, followed by columns for total time worked, rate of pay, and amount. Usually only the first and last columns would be filled in for a particular week in the Tirocchi shop. Then, the payroll would be totaled at the bottom of the page.

Sometimes, the bookkeeper would make notations about a worker’s absence, such as "out all week" or "out one day." In rare cases, the daily columns would be checked, indicating just which days the employees worked. Sometimes, too, the bookkeeper would record expenses for the week, such as:

Roses, Mrs. Wall $5

Miss Bradford expenses $2

Boy for lawn $5

These time books would yield more information about the work patterns and wages of the workers if the forms had been completed. It seems from the evidence here, that the workers were paid a weekly wage, rather than an hourly wage. It is not clear whether or nor they were paid overtime wages, but it is known that when a rush was on, the workers put in long hours.

One thing the time books do help establish is the seasonal nature of the shop’s business. The fall and the spring were the busiest times, and the shop was generally closed all or much of the summer. The books also help document busy times through the number of workers employed in a given period.

Scholars use the time books as one piece of evidence only for analyzing the business of the shop. Only when looking at many of the books can they begin to see patterns emerge about the way workers were employed, promoted, and paid.

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   Sources and Methods
   The People
      Census Records
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      Social Directories
      Employee Records
      Investment Records
   The Business
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You can learn more about the workers and their pay in the STORY.