HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (Jul. 24)
Overwhelmed with a sudden flood of orders for cloaks, the agro-industrial project for 200 New York garment workers’ families built by the Government today approached its opening date, August 2, with a serious housing problem on its hands.
Original plans for manning the Jersey Homesteads community with 35 workers had to be scrapped when department stores in New York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia sent in orders for women’s sports and dress coats to be manufactured in the cooperatively-run factory.
With eight houses completed, 27 needing finishing touches and 105 in various stages of construction, it was decided to house the workers as best as possible in finished and unfinished houses and some in near by private homes.
One reason for the rush of orders given was that many buying establishments had Jewish executives who were greatly interested in this project for freeing needle trade workers from city slums and placing them in a communal village where they can combine agricultural with industrial work.
It was confidently predicted that the unexpected orders would make possible amortization of Government loans in far less than the scheduled thirty years. The homesteaders’ farm is flourishing, with apples being packed, tomatoes being harvested, 1,000 bushels of wheat already sold and a promising potato crop in the ground.
The opening will be celebrated with a lemonade party. Then, the belts and wheels of the factory will begin to roll, with 92 workers operating sewing and pressing machines.