Get a job: How 4 million women earn money (1899)

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Classroom with students and teacher, Washington DC (1890s)
How 4,000,000 women earn their bread

Four million women in the United States earn their own bread. They have invaded all occupations, and one-third of all persons engaged in professional services are women.

1. Feminine teachers and professors number over one-quarter of a million, exclusive of teachers of music, who are 34,519 strong, and 10,000 artists and teachers of art.

2. There are 1,143 women clergymen.

3. Journalists number 888, with 2,725 authors and literary persons.

4. Of chemists, assayers and metallurgists, there are two score, lacking one [39].

Woman looking through sextant on board the expedition vessel, George W Elder, during Harriman expedition to Alaska (1899)

5. Lawyers who are not men are 208.

6. Feminine detectives are 279 in number.

7. Nineteen women brave the dangers of wilds and forests as trappers and guides.

8. Only two women have been discovered who are veterinary surgeons.

9. In Texas, a woman has the contract for carrying the mail from Kiffe to Seirnal Hall.

10. Georgia has a woman mail-carrier. She travels a forty-mile route tri-weekly. This young woman also manages a farm.

11. The chamber of commerce of Cincinnati has the best restaurant in town. It is run by three Scotch women, and they clear about $15,000 yearly, although their annual rental is $5,000.

12. In New Orleans, one of the finest orchestras is composed entirely of women.

13. In Astoria, Long Island, many of the largest hothouses are managed by women.

14. In New York, a blacksmith’s shop is managed by three young women.

15. All the salted almonds sold by one of New York’s largest groceries are prepared by a woman, who is conducting a profitable business thereby.

16. A fact foundry — or an agency for supplying facts upon any subject at a short notice — is the industry of two Chicago damsels.

17. Packing trunks is a St Louis woman’s industry.

18. The most flourishing conservatory and rose garden in Elmira, NY, is owned and managed by a woman.

19. At the Young Women’s Christian Association, Philadelphia, two young women are in charge of the elevators.

20. Women writ-servers are employed with great success.

21. Buffalo boasts a woman contractor, who is also a quarry owner. She is the only feminine member of the building exchange.

22. A Jersey City woman makes her living by painting signs.

23. A Louisiana woman supports herself by raising mint plants.

24. The woman manager of a California insurance company is credited with the largest salary paid to any woman — $10,000 a year.

25. As agents for selling lawbooks, women occupy almost the entire field.

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A shoe factory lining stitcher at work in Lynn, Massachusetts (1895)

26. A pretty French-Canadian girl is making her bread by cobbling shoes at Lewiston, Me.

27. The most successful ranch-owner in Kansas is a woman, not over 35 years of age. There is a proverb to the effect that in Kansas there is no interest, no profession, no trade and no deal without a woman in it.

28. In Boston are two large advertising agencies, the members of both firms being women, and all their employees women.

29. In a New England factory, women are employed as piano-makers.

30. As switchmen, women are employed by several western railroads.

31. Upholstering is a trade women are learning.

32. Writing love letters at so much per letter is one way of earning a livelihood.

33. Consulting fashion expert is a St Louis woman’s occupation.

34. One of the largest flower importing establishments in New York is managed by a woman.

35. The largest typewriting business in the world is in New York, and conducted by two sisters.

36. An entire block of houses in New York was wallpapered by a young woman, who takes the contract for such orders from large builders.

37. One young woman in Gotham is employed as a prescription clerk in a drug store.

38. About 300 girls are employed in the harness trade in New York.

Distributing work at a shoe factory in Lynn, Massachusetts (1895)

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