Again, from the NYTimes on 21 September 1907, John D. Rockefeller saved $198 by cutting the wages of eleven collegians working on his Forest Hill estate. The men worked on tending the garden and lawns, and kept the drives in shape. The layoffs of today, with the severance and other benefits, are far better.
The students, who earlier made $1.50 per day with an eight-hour shift, would now get $1.25 per day with ten-and-a-half hours of work. That's a massive 36% cut in hourly wages!
Oh, and before you pass a judgment on Mr. Rockefeller here, it's nice to know that he contributed more than 85 Million to the cause of education between 1897 and 1907. Link to the original story here.