AN APPRENTICE may be either a boy or a girl, usually not younger, if a lad, than fourteen years of age. No child can be apprenticed for a term extending beyond his twenty-first birthday.

The usual motive for apprenticing children is that they may be thoroughly taught some honorable trade or calling, becoming perfectly familiar with which, they may always be able to earn a livelihood and acquire wealth.

The methods of apprenticing children and for protecting their rights and interests are generally provided for in the laws of the several States. These methods differ but little, however, in any of the States.

No minor can alone bind himself or herself to learn any trade or calling. The parents, guardians, or overseers of the poor must give their consent, and the child must be willing to be bound.

Any act or habit of the master that may be injurious to the morals or intellect of the apprentice is a sufficient cause for the proper authorities to dissolve the contract of apprenticeship. No apprentice, for instance, can be compelled to work on Sundays, except in a case of absolute necessity.

Should the master die before the expiration of the apprenticeship, unless the contract includes the master's "executors and administrators," the apprentice is free to seek a new master.

The following forms will serve to indicate what is particularly expected of parents, children and masters.

Binding An Apprentice - A General Form

This Agreement, made this twenty-second day of November, A. D. 1882, between Parker Ellis, the father, and Allen Ellis, his son, aged fourteen years, both of Pittsburgh, in Allegheny county, and State of Pennsylvania, of the one part, and Marcus Moran, blacksmith, of the same place, of the other part, witnesseth:

That the said Allen Ellis, with the consent of his father, Parker Ellis, does by these presents bind himself out as an apprentice to the said Marcus Moran, to be taught and exercise and employ himself in the trade of a blacksmith, in which the said Marcus Moran is now engaged, and to live with and serve as an apprentice until the expiration of six years, ten months and four days from the date hereof. That during said time said Allen Ellis shall and will, to his best and utmost ability, skill and knowledge, intelligently and faithfully serve, and be just and true to his said master, keep his secrets and counsel, and everywhere, and at all times, shall obey his lawful commands. That he shall do and attempt no hurt to his said master, in person, goods, estate, or otherwise, nor willingly suffer injury to the same to be done by others, but forthwith give his said master notice when he shall have any knowledge of such injury done or about to be done. That he shall not convert to his own use or waste his said master's goods or money, nor suffer the same to be done by others. That he will not lend his master's goods or effects to any person or persons whomsoever, nor allow any one else to do so without his master's consent That he will not buy or sell any merchandise of his own or of others, during his term of apprenticeship, without his master's permission. That he shall not play with cards or dice, nor take part in any unlawful games of skill or chance, whereby his master shall suffer loss or damage. That he shall not loiter about or in play-houses, theaters, saloons, or other disreputable resorts, nor visit them, except the business of his master shall require him to do so. That he shall not, at any time, willfully absent himself from his master's premises or service without leave. That in all things he will behave as a faithful apprentice ought to do throughout his term of service.

And the said Marcus Moran, in consideration of these premises and the sum of Twenty Dollars, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, does hereby promise, covenant and agree: That he will comfortably clothe and provide for the said Allen Ellis, his apprentice, and in sickness and in health supply him with sufficient and suitable food, lodging and medicine; and will instruct and teach his said apprentice, either by himself or others, whatever may be learned of the trade and mystery of blacksmithing during his said term of service. That he shall cause his said apprentice to be taught to read and write, and the elementary and compound rules of arithmetic and the rule of three. That he will, when the said term of apprenticeship shall legally expire, give the said Allen Ellis, over and above the clothing he shall then possess, the following articles of apparel (name them here particularly), of quality, fit, and suitable for his condition in life.

And for the true performance of all and singular the covenants and agreements aforesaid, the said parties bind themselves each to the other firmly by these presents.

In witness whereof the parties aforesaid have hereunto interchangeably set their hands the day and year first above written.

(Apprentice) ALLEN ELLIS, (Master; MARCUS MORAN,

Witnesses \ SARAH ELLIS, (Parent) PARKER ELLIS.

Joseph Moran.

Consent Of A Parent, Indorsed On Indentures Of Apprenticeship

I do hereby consent to, and approve of, the binding of my son, William Blair, as in the within indenture mentioned. Dated the twenty-second day of November, A. D. 1882.


Certificate Of A Justice As To Death Of The Father Of An Apprentice

I, Matthew Marr, a justice of the peace within and for the county of Cook and State of Illinois, residing in the town of Lake, in said county, do hereby certify that Thomas Blair, the father of the infant named in the within indenture, is dead (or has abandoned, and neglects to provide for, his family). Dated this twenty-second day of November, A. D. 1882.

MATTHEW MARR, Justice of the Peace.