Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Women Workers of 1910

Dusty D is combing through the 1910 city directory, looking for women workers. There are a lot of astonishing examples of non-traditional women workers, given that women couldn't even vote in 1910. I'm about halfway through. Which of these women do you want to read more about?

Broudy, Jennie; machine operator, boards 101 Bell
Crossman, Myrtle; machine operator, boards 323 Miles
Disbrow, Barbara; forewoman, Scharf Label, Tag, & Box Co.; boards 216 Oakwood
Donahue, Nellie; machine operator; boards 208 Emmet
Fay, Katherine; machine operator; Scharf Co.; boards 28 Congress
Fruentner, Caroline; box maker, Scharf; boards 405 Maple
Fuller, Kate E, forelady, C. W. Powell Mnfg. Co. boards 701 Chicago
Gates, Helen L., printer, boards 117 Huron
Griffin, Mary J., Mrs., ("Mrs." usually signifies "widow" in the directories) carpet weaver, 621 Oak
Gunn Jessie, Mrs., forelady J. B. Colvan Co., res 209 Adams
Kaup, Minna; designer, C. W. Powell Mnfg. Co., rooms 523 Chicago.


Anasia said...

Barbara Disbrow and Mary Griffin.
How cool! Can't wait to read more.

TeacherPatti said...

The forelady/forewoman ladies sound interesting...that sounds like more of a supervisory position?
What I think is interesting is how back then the only real traditional jobs for women were teachers and nurses (and I guess "shopgirls" or clerks)...and now two of the best paying jobs in MI are teachers and nurses (so long as they are unionized, of course).

Dusty D said...

Anasia: Noted down your preference, thank you!

Dusty D said...

TeacherPatti: Yep, you are right, there are a lot of clerks and teachers in the 1910 directory. With no disrespect towards those women, I'm skipping over them to ferret out the machine operators, printers, and others who held nontraditional jobs.

Interesting point about teachers and nurses having some of the best-paying jobs...

TeacherPatti said...

I would rather hear about the nontraditional jobs, personally! :)

But, I wonder if there were any teachers dealing with similar issues that we deal with today...there was still violence in the home back then, incest, neglect, drunk/absent parents...I wonder if kids just didn't talk about it at school or what teachers did. There was no law re: reporting to CPS (was there even such a thing back then???) so I wonder how teachers dealt with it...??

Dusty D said...

TeacherP: Hmm, that's a really interesting question. Was there some sort of CPS back then...? I don't know. I usually think of social services as coming in with the New Deal.

Rather scary to think of a time when a child had no recourse whatsoever if anything bad were going on at home.

On the other hand I have the notion that communities used to be much tighter, with Old Mrs. Grindle knowing if you were getting into mischief and so on; I could be wrong.