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What type of work did your female ancestor do? But for many women and girls, some sort of outside work was not an option—it was a financial necessity. So how did your female ancestor find employment? Prior to the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, those classified advertisements were very specific.
Help Wanted-Female advertisements were not just employers looking for any qualified woman to apply for their job offerings. These were in some cases very specific about what type of female employee they wanted. For example, while these Help Wanted from New York include jobs like cooking and cleaning—they also contain that request women of a certain religion or ethnic background.
While an obvious of discrimination to us, these employment requirements were a common practice in the nineteenth century. In cases of families looking for household help, they may have added such requirements to their in hopes of finding someone that mirrored their own familial background, or spoke their language. No doubt, such requirements were sometimes added to Help Wanted due to stereotypical beliefs that a certain ethnic or racial group produced better housekeepers and cooks, or were less likely to steal.
Help Wanted advertisements were not just segregated according to gender but also, in some cases, age or race. One of the reasons I love classified advertisements is that they provide some social history information that can assist in learning more about the Help wanted ladies and era of your ancestor.
The ad above reflects how American jobs have changed over time, and provides a look at what types of employment women and girls could expect to engage in. To understand this advertisement you need to know a little bit about late nineteenth century fashion history. Women during this time period were sporting hats decorated with bird feathers and entire stuffed birds. These practices resulted in the killing of large s of birds in the name of fashion.
In another Help Wanted example, fromwe find an advertisement looking for girls to work in a cigar factory. Other jobs found in making cigars are also listed, including rollers, bunchmakers and packers. This was a good tactic especially if the woman had and needed a live-in situation, was older, or did not speak English. Did your female ancestor have a job?
She just might have—and by reading the classifieds in the local newspaper of her hometown and era, you may get a sense for what types of employment were available to her. Do you know what your early female ancestors did for a living? Please share the positions the women in your family occupied with us in the comments. My Mom worked as a sales clerk in a department store in the late s, then was a housewife until when she worked as the information person at a local mall.
My Aunt did ing work for a manufacturing company. She did the Help wanted ladies work as a man at the desk next to her for lower pay. She was told he got paid more because he had a wife and children to support she was single. When the government required equal pay, her salary was almost doubled to equal the man next to her.
Laura, those are important stories to record in your genealogy. Thank you for sharing your family history! Save my name,and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. By Gena Philibert-Ortega September 24, Photo: secretary at typewriter, Source: Miami University Libraries.
Early Newspaper Classifieds So how did your female ancestor find employment? Photo: weavers at work, c. Help Wanted-Female Help Wanted-Female advertisements were not just employers looking for any qualified woman to apply for their job offerings. Enter Last Name For example, while these Help Wanted from New York include jobs like cooking and cleaning—they also contain that request women of a certain religion or ethnic background.
Source: George Eastman House Collection. Social History in the Classifieds One of the reasons I love classified advertisements is that they provide some social history information that can assist in learning more about the place and era of your ancestor.
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