Want to find a husband? These were the best jobs to get in the 1950s

1950s secretary and boss

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Secretary’s job considered the best spot to find a husband (1952)

The Gallup Poll

Suppose you were a young woman anxious to find a husband, get married and settle down. What would be the best sort of job or occupation for you to take in order to meet eligible men and find a good husband?

Secretary in an office with a typewriter in 1952

When interviewers for the institute put that question to both men and women in a Maine-to-California survey, here is what they found:

#1) Working in an office as secretary or stenographer is rated tops as a way to snare a husband.

#2) Being a nurse ranks next. You meet rich patients, and there are so many handsome young interns.

#3) The third best way to a man’s heart is by being a waitress, in the opinion of the public. (Provided, of course, the restaurant permits its employees to have dates with customers.)

Secretary office phone 1960 - How to find a husband

Survey says…

With the arrival of spring, the traditional season of match-making, the institute took time out from its surveys on politics to ask a nationwide cross-section:

“What kind of job or occupation do you think offers a young woman the best chances of finding a husband?”

Here is the vote:

  • Office job (secretary, stenographer, clerk, receptionist): 32%
  • Nurse: 14%
  • Waitress: 7%
  • Airline stewardess: 5%
  • Selling in department stores, men’s clothing stores: 5%
  • Factory work: 4%
  • Armed forces: Wacs, Waves, Wafs, Marines, etc: 4%
  • Teaching: 3%
  • Show business: 3%
  • Other occupations: 12%
  • No opinion: 14%

The table adds to more than 100 percent because some persons named more than one occupation.

1950s secretary and boss - find a husband

How to snare a male: Dating & marriage advice from 1950

Other ways to find a husband

Some people said, “Never mind a job — just go to church and be a good old-fashioned girl; that’s what the men like.”

Others said the best way for girl to find a husband is to learn to be a really outstanding cook.

The survey found comparatively little difference of opinion between men and women about the best occupation for encountering Cupid, except that women gave nursing a higher vote than men did.

To find a husband, the five top choices of the women were:

  1. Office work
  2. Nursing
  3. Waitress
  4. Airline stewardess
  5. Armed Forces

The men ranked the top five this way:

  1. Office work
  2. Nursing
  3. Waitress
  4. Sales work
  5. Factory work
Should women propose marriage?

In an earlier leap year survey reported by the institute, it was found that the great majority of women turn a cold shoulder on the idea of girls proposing matrimony, even though the legendary right to “pop the question” is theirs.

The deal with dating: Romance matters, but money talks (1952)

Out of every 100 women questioned, 58 said women should not do the proposing, while 34 said they should, and 8 were undecided.

With men, it’s a different story. They like it.

Out of every 100 males, 49 said it’s a fine idea to have women propose, while 33 were against it and, 13 wouldn’t commit themselves.

Busy modern secretary in 1957

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. If only that were true nowadays. Seems like most bosses marry other bosses and ignore us secretaries lol.

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