“July 22, 1824, GLOVE SEWERS WANTED. WANTED immediately, 12 or 20 Glove and Mitten Sewers. Also, a Girl to help do house work. Apply at 258 Broadway.” (1)

This quote is from a labor wanted ad as well. This ad is from the early 1800 which was the period when women were just starting to work outside the home. This was from a company looking for glove and mitten sewers and a girl to do housework. Sewing was a task that women were expected to know how to do because it was their role in the household to do any tailoring that needed to be done. When women worked at these jobs they were paid less than men because it was believed that they did not need the money as much as men did. These women were mostly younger and it was seen as “okay” to work while you were waiting to find a man and get married. However, if a woman decided to work past her early 20’s it was seen as shameful because she was not married yet and did not have any children.


(1) Weel 6 documents, 2


6 Comments Add yours

  1. How important was it for these girls to work in the factory for the economy? How did it contribute to the rest of society? Maybe answering these questions would help tie it into your overall theme.


  2. You’ve done a great job of exploring an important theme over time. What makes you interested in these advertisements? More specifically, why are these useful windows into women’s experiences in the past?


  3. mlucas426 says:

    You could try and look up what the wage gap between men and women was then and compare it to now. This could strengthen your theme by showing how that has fluctuated over the past few centuries. You said it was shameful to work past early 20s but what do you mean? Like would the women just be teased about it or would she be ostracized by her community for it?


  4. embartra says:

    You might engage with the idea of this labor as “unskilled,” As you mention, these women were being sought because they had specific skills (like the Heinz girls!) but unlike your ad for a woman with good household management, the labor of these women is being reframed as unskilled and paid accordingly.


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