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Work: 19th Century

Women and work in the 19th century, as women's paid work opportunities began to expand.
  1. Lowell Mill Girls
  2. Women in the Workplace

Women and Unions: Lowell Mill Girls Organize
America's first working women's association to press for better working conditions and pay -- in other words, a union -- was organized in 1844, and Sarah Bagley was the first President.

Women and Unions: Late 19th Century Labor Organizing
Some highlights of American women's labor organizing in the late 19th century, brought to you by your Women's History Guide.

Baby Was Made 'Delegate No. 800'
Frances Willard on her 1880s meeting with Elizabeth Rodgers, Master Workman and head of the Knights of Labor large Chicago District No. 24.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place
From the curators of a Smithsonian exhibit on sweatshops. Many sweatshop workers were seamstresses and other women, though that's not the article's focus.

"I Will Kill Frick"
Emma Goldman on the attempt by Alexander Berkman to assassinate the chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company during the 1892 Homestead Strike.

Plight of Women's Work
Curriculum on women in the Industrial Revolution in England and Wales: includes testimony to Parliamentary commissions, illustrations, workforce chart.

Woman Working at a Sewing Machine
Photograph from around 1853 of a woman seated at a sewing machine. Photographer and woman are unindentified.

Women in America: Occupations
Travelers to America in 1820-1842 describe women's occupations, providing insight into the status and roles of women.

Women Miners in the English Coal Pits
An 1842 Parliamentary Paper describing women's work in the coal mines of Yorkshire. Includes testimony of two women miners.

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