Women at Work

This post is part of the Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Today’s prompt is: “Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.”

As far as I know, my father’s mother did not work after she married, but like most everyone else in her neighborhood she worked in the hosiery factories before then. My mother was a Registered Nurse and worked in a hospital before I was born and in a nursing home when I was in high school, and later in home health care.


It was my mother’s mother who I always thought of as a working woman. She did stay home with my mother for about a decade, but the rest of her pre-retirement adult life was spent working.

She worked at a book bindery and at least part of her time was spent packing boxes for shipping and she became an expert at that. If you needed items packed in a box wasting the least amount of space, she was the woman to ask. She could eyeball it and get it all in there on the first try.

I recently rediscovered this interesting piece of ephemera in my family documents:


It details all the pays scales and benefits negotiated for by her union. It even has raises built in with separate tables of pay for 1965, 1966 & 1967. This being the 1960’s there are different pay scales for men and women, even if they had the same job title, e.g. Male Helpers, Female Helpers, Journeymen, Journeywomen. Someday I plan to scan the whole booklet. It’s a fascinating look at the time period and industry.

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