"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.’"
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.
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.