Working women

American women by the numbers, 1907:

508 machinists

185 blacksmiths

46 carriage and hack drivers

45 engineers and "firemen"

37 "brakemen"

10 "baggagemen"

7 conductors

2 "motormen"

2 telephone/telegraph "linemen"

0 soldiers, sailors, Marines, streetcar drivers, firefighters

Leading profession for women: servant (nearly one-fourth of all employed women), followed by farm labor.   



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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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1 Response to Working women

  1. Richard H says:

    “The most remarkable achievements of the American women in the year 1907…
    “one woman in every five is a bread-winner [working for money, I think, not head of household]
    “domestic service still remains the most important by far of feminine occupations. Of the 4,883,630 women in the continental United States reported as engaged in gainful occupations, 1,124,283, or almost one-fourth of the whole number, were returned as servants. The next most important occupation for women is farm labor. The number of women reported as following this occupation is 465,405 or almost half a million. Seventy-nine per cent of these were negresses [as printed in original article], and 60 per cent of the whole number were members of the farmers’ families, wives, daughters, helping on the home farms.[A truly interesting statistic, a lot of African-American farm families]
    “Three-fifths of all the women breadwinners were found in the six occupations, employing more than 300,000 women each, the aggregate being 2,882,779. [It appears that part of the article is missing as occupations three through six are skipped]
    “The seventh occupation group in numerical importance was the textile mill operatives. Next came the housekeepers and stewardesses. These housekeepers are working for wages, and not keeping houses in their homes for themselves. To these occupations add those of the saleswomen, comprising 142,265 women, the seamstresses, comprising 138,724, and the list includes the ten leading occupations for women, and accounts for 73.3 per cent of the total number of women who are bread-winners. Of these ten occupations, five, the domestic servant, dressmaker, laundress,[these last two went missing] housekeeper, and seamstress, are what might be termed distinctly feminine pursuits…
    “According to the latest report of the National Commission of Education, out of the 27,921 boys and 47,555 girls who were graduated in 1904 from the public high schools of the United States,[nearly twice as many girls as boys graduated from high school in the United States in 1904?] 13,054 girls and only 12,747 boys were preparing to enter college.” [for the boys, to professional, managerial, and business careers. But for the girls? Remember this is at BEGINNING of the twentieth century. Girls wouldn’t be able to vote for another generation. What happened?]


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