Los Angeles Times
October 18, 1947

HALT! — These four young women are members of the first pistol-trained feminine class at the Police Academy and were graduated yesterday. From left, Alice Houghton, wearing the new policewomen’s uniform; Florence L. Reid, Darlene E. Wright and Edna L. Antonich. The last three demonstrated their skill as expert markswomen.

Los Angeles Times

October 18, 1947

HALT! — These four young women are members of the first pistol-trained feminine class at the Police Academy and were graduated yesterday. From left, Alice Houghton, wearing the new policewomen’s uniform; Florence L. Reid, Darlene E. Wright and Edna L. Antonich. The last three demonstrated their skill as expert markswomen.

"Kate Alterman chose the fiery race to the roof. She pulled her coat up around her face and moved towards the blaze. As she hurried, stumbling, across the room, she saw people catching fire around her. She looked down to find her pocketbook was burning in her hands. Passing the examining tables, Alterman grabbed a few unburned garments and tried to cover her head. The flames were closing around the doorway, and someone grabbed Alterman’s dress to hold her back. ‘I kicked her with my foot and I don’t know what became of her.’"

lespapillonsfurieux:

25 March 1949 Soviet Union organised mass deportation of 90,000 Baltic nationals to Siberia.
Today, we light 22 000 candles to honor and remember those innocent people.
It affected every family here in Estonia including mine.

Called Operation Priboi, as many as 72% of the deportees are believed to have been women and children.  The goal was to crush the opponents of Soviet occupation and lessen resistance to collectivist farming by deporting entire families who were involved in resistance activities, relatives of those previously deported, and affluent farm families.  Few of those deported to Siberia were ever able to return home.

lespapillonsfurieux:

25 March 1949 Soviet Union organised mass deportation of 90,000 Baltic nationals to Siberia.

Today, we light 22 000 candles to honor and remember those innocent people.

It affected every family here in Estonia including mine.

Called Operation Priboi, as many as 72% of the deportees are believed to have been women and children.  The goal was to crush the opponents of Soviet occupation and lessen resistance to collectivist farming by deporting entire families who were involved in resistance activities, relatives of those previously deported, and affluent farm families.  Few of those deported to Siberia were ever able to return home.

As I mentioned earlier, today is the 101st anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.  I’m also recommending Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle.  
Until September 11, 2001, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was the worst workplace disaster in the history of New York City.  Almost 150 women died in a matter of minutes while crowds outside watched.  Teenage girls threw themselves out of windows knowing they were too high up for the nets to catch them because they didn’t want to burn to death.  
It was a pivotal moment for the labor movement.   Dozens of safety regulations were adopted in New York City and other industrial hubs following the disaster.  
Several comments on my earlier post noted that the building now belongs to NYU, but NYU students also played a role in helping workers escape the fire.  NYU law students were able to help some of the lucky few who made it to the roof cross over into safety.
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America is one of the non-fiction books I recommend to people who don’t generally like non-fiction.  After the stage is set describing the conditions of the factory and the situation of the factory workers, the book is pretty fast paced, describing how split second decisions led to life and death outcomes.  It isn’t as in depth a look at organized labor as it could be, but Triangle: The Fire That Changed America is compelling reading, particularly if you’re interested in the labor movement, the history of New York City, or Jewish and Italian immigration.

As I mentioned earlier, today is the 101st anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.  I’m also recommending Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David Von Drehle.  

Until September 11, 2001, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was the worst workplace disaster in the history of New York City.  Almost 150 women died in a matter of minutes while crowds outside watched.  Teenage girls threw themselves out of windows knowing they were too high up for the nets to catch them because they didn’t want to burn to death.  

It was a pivotal moment for the labor movement.   Dozens of safety regulations were adopted in New York City and other industrial hubs following the disaster.  

Several comments on my earlier post noted that the building now belongs to NYU, but NYU students also played a role in helping workers escape the fire.  NYU law students were able to help some of the lucky few who made it to the roof cross over into safety.

Triangle: The Fire That Changed America is one of the non-fiction books I recommend to people who don’t generally like non-fiction.  After the stage is set describing the conditions of the factory and the situation of the factory workers, the book is pretty fast paced, describing how split second decisions led to life and death outcomes.  It isn’t as in depth a look at organized labor as it could be, but Triangle: The Fire That Changed America is compelling reading, particularly if you’re interested in the labor movement, the history of New York City, or Jewish and Italian immigration.

Demonstration of protest and mourning for Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, April 1911.
Today is the 101st anniversary of the fire.  

Demonstration of protest and mourning for Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, April 1911.

Today is the 101st anniversary of the fire.  

Miss V. Allen conducting a demonstration class of practical nursing at the Princess Margaret Hospital School for Nursing, Dar es Salaam. The dummy patient is “Miss Chess.”

Miss V. Allen conducting a demonstration class of practical nursing at the Princess Margaret Hospital School for Nursing, Dar es Salaam. The dummy patient is “Miss Chess.”

A Correction and a Comment

I got a message on Facebook correcting the caption for this photo which I’ve updated on my post.  I based my caption of the Library of Congress, which seems to have double captioned it, writing both Eleanor Hill and Helena Hill Weed when their probably should have been a “daughter of” in there.  

Names can get a bit confusing from olden times when it was seemingly more common to go by a middle name.Another suffragette, Jessie Stubbs, is sometimes listed as Betty McKaye.  I remember thinking Elsie and Helena Hill might have been the same person for awhile until I realized they were sisters.  Mama Hill was involved in suffrage as well, which added to the confusion.  

Another message asked me about including countries, I general do if it is non-US.  I have so many US photos that it seems kind of redundant to write US so I tag by state if known.  The US has put so many historical photos online thanks to the Library of Congress, the (US) National Archives and the Presidential Libraries that even a lot of the non-US photos come from these sources.  And you can look for photos by country (or state) on my sidebar.

If you want to follow on Facebook, here’s the Cool Chicks from History page.

Flemish milkwoman, Antwerp.

Flemish milkwoman, Antwerp.

Equal Pay

This photo of an equal pay demonstration has been getting a lot of comments about how we still don’t get equal pay, but that is true and it isn’t.  

Until the UK’s Equal Pay Act of 1970, it was legal to lower pay directly based on sex, including government employees.  The equivalent US law is the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

To put that in context, salaries of public school teachers tend to be non-negotiable.  If you’re a new teacher, you get X.  In five years, you’ll get X+Y.  If you get a masters, you can add Z to your salary.  Prior to Equal Pay legislation there were female teacher salaries that were lower than male teacher salaries as a matter of policy.  Issues like lower salaries for traditionally feminine jobs, discrimination in salary negotiations, and Lilly Ledbetter type situations are still problems, but it is a different situation than it was in 1954.

Those women in 1954 got what they were fighting for.  It didn’t fix the problem entirely, but change tends to come in small steps over decades.  I’m not suggesting that the problem is solved, but every person* reading this in a country with a fair pay act directly benefited from the actions of women in the 1950s and 1960s to end sex based salaries.  

*If you’re a guy and your mother ever worked (which she probably did, even if it was before you were born), you benefited from her increased economic resources. Gender parity helps everyone because every man is some woman’s son.

Equal Pay demonstration, 1954.

Equal Pay demonstration, 1954.

ourpresidents:

Washington D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival has begun.  Here’s Lady Bird Johnson planting a tree by the Tidal Basin during the 1965 Festival.  Washington D.C., 04/06/1965

I’m curious about the (presumably) Japanese woman behind Lady Bird. Was she a performer for the festival?  The wife of the ambassador?   
Update: Thanks to willowispschopsticks and Wikipedia, the Japanese woman is Ryuji Takeuchi, wife of the Japanese ambassador.

ourpresidents:

Washington D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival has begun.  Here’s Lady Bird Johnson planting a tree by the Tidal Basin during the 1965 Festival.  Washington D.C., 04/06/1965

I’m curious about the (presumably) Japanese woman behind Lady Bird. Was she a performer for the festival?  The wife of the ambassador?   

Update: Thanks to willowispschopsticks and Wikipedia, the Japanese woman is Ryuji Takeuchi, wife of the Japanese ambassador.


Bill and Hillary Clinton, 1975.

Bill and Hillary Clinton, 1975.

(via amyohconnor)

thruflowheater:

April 1943. Clinton, Iowa. “Mrs. Marcella Hart, mother of three, employed as a wiper at the roundhouse. Chicago & North Western R.R.” 
4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information.

thruflowheater:

April 1943. Clinton, Iowa. “Mrs. Marcella Hart, mother of three, employed as a wiper at the roundhouse. Chicago & North Western R.R.”

4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information.

usnatarchives:

Just 12 days until the release of the 1940 census!

It’s also Women’s History Month. Many women were employed by the Census Bureau, working in the office or in the field. These photographs from the National Archives document their work.

In processing the 1940 Census, operators transferred information appearing on the schedules filled out by enumerators to punch cards. This permitted processing of census returns by sorting machines.

Unit Wiring Boards for Tabulating Machines, Highly Trained Experts Prepared the Charts and Instructions for Wiring the Boards for Each Job, these Girls Did the Actual Wiring, No Small Job in Itself, 1940–1941

Alphabetic Accounting Machine Equipped with Gang Summary Punch, IBM, Census Used 12 Machines of this Type, 1940–1941

Enumeration, One Day was Devoted to the Enumeration of Trailer Camps and Other Places Inhabited by Transients, 1940-1941

Population and Housing Editors, Negro Section, 1940–1941

Geographers Division, a Planimeter, 1940–1941

Occupational Coding, Peak Employment on this Operation was 806, there are 25,000 Occupational Designations and 10,000 Industry Designations Classified in 541 Occupational Groups for Census Purposes, 1940–1941

Occupational Coder, Average Daily Production of a Trained Clerk was 1,886 Lines, and the Highest Record was 6,000 Lines, 1940–1941

Review Section in Machine Tabulation Division, All Work is Checked before Transfer to Subject Divisions, 1940–1941 

Autographed photos of World War I nurses from Ethel Anderson’s scrapbook (via NYPL)