Final Project Story

In this visualization I decided to research the differences in the payment of pensions for people that had the same injuries but started receiving pensions at different time. From this visualization I organized the data into years and injuries and then went from there. My original question for this visualization was to find the differences in amounts of pay for each individual. As you would guess many of the payments are equal, however I had also thought about how there would be differences in pay, and I was right about that as well. When you look at this data the person who created it did not include how severe certain injuries were, like there are labels for various gunshot wounds but the severity is not specified. This was the basis of my question. Why was there discrepancies? If there wasn’t a reason for there to be a difference in classification why is there different pay? The amounts also fluctuated by time of issuance. It wasn’t like there was a correlation going up or down the numbers were just random, again, a reason to include the severity of the injury that each person had received. This could’ve all been cleared up by a couple extra words on the sheet.

There are some very different stories that come from this chart as well. Like the many people who are affected by gunshot wounds, presumably from the Civil War. This shows the variety of injury that come from having such a bloody war. There appears to be a a gunshot would for every appendage possible. I suppose that there is the possibility that the injury happen during some incident outside of the war but I think it’s reasonable to say that the most of injuries occurred as a result of the war. When you look at some of the other ailments You see some injuries like an axe to a particular appendage and see that they only see that they receive like $4 a month. That number is very surprising to me,even in those days where four dollars was a nice amount to have for some income but I feel like that wouldn’t be enough to support someone who was severely hobbled by an injury. There were some cases like a dependent mother who might have multiple kids and use that as their only income and the pension was eight dollars Again that seems incredibly low. The pension for women, especially in those times would most likely be the only opportunity for women to make money so this seems low in the sense that these women could have multiple kids. Conversely, there were a couple people who were blind who received $70, this was interesting to me because that seems like it would be a reasonable amount for people who probably don’t have a lot of expenses.

Overall I feel like that given these circumstances, in my opinion people could’ve been paid more, but I don’t know what a good salary per month was for the time, so this could’ve been fair.

One thought on “Final Project Story

  • April 18, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Great questions re: what kind of monthly income would support someone. This: might be helpful; nationally, a skilled male worker made around $80/month and an unskilled male worker made around $40/month, which was intended to support a family at a decent middle to lower middle class standard. $4-24 as your sole income would be very hard to get by on! In general, 19th century pensions weren’t meant to be the sole source of income.

    Re: dependent mother–the category “mother” means someone has children, while “dependent mother” means that the person has an older parent who lives with them (same for dependent father–it means an adult child has their parent living with them). You’ll also want to group variations like “dep mother” “dependent moth” and “dependent mother” together, likewise the many spellings of widow and others.

    Grouping your categories may also help figure out your question regarding the seeming randomness of the amounts–you have some guesses now, so make your groups based on the trends you’re seeing. If it seems to be by area of the body, you might want to group all left arm injuries together, all right arm injuries, etc etc. If it seems to be by type of injury, then you might want to group all gun shot wounds, all amputations, all paralysis, etc etc together.

    We may not be able to get at the why for a lot of what you’re asking–that may need to be put into your further research section, because we just don’t know from the data in front of us why a gun shot wound might have been seen as less important than blindness (for example). But you are off to a good start with figuring out correlations–for example, from what we know of 19th century work, someone who was entirely blind might not have been able to work in many types of jobs at the time, while someone with a gun shot wound might have been able to, just not as painlessly as before the gun shot wound.

    Your packed bubble sheet is onto something really interesting–you might want to try sizing your bubbles by Number of Records and coloring by the average monthly rate to see if there’s a difference between towns with many pensioners and the amount they received (sort of similar to what you have in sheet 4 right now, but shown in a different way that might be interesting).

    Your box and whisker plot is going to be more clear once you have fewer categories with more things in them–box and whisker works by showing you the median of the category, and the spread within the category. So if you have just one or two items in a category, it’s not going to show much.

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