ERIC Number: ED260963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Perfect in Her Place. Women at Work in Industrial America.
Warner, Deborah J.
The economic role of American women is traced from colonial times through the 19th century. In colonial America women shared the economic responsibilities of family livelihood with their husbands and were engaged primarily in the production of food and clothing. Early 19th century America saw a redefinition of the social and economic spheres of men and women. For white Americans, a sentimentalizing of the home led to a decrease in women's economic activity while black women continued to play a major role in agricultural production. The necessity of competing with foreign manufacturers led to the demand for cheap factory labor, which in turn led to the employment of women in the latter half of the 19th century. This factory work typically provided a limited range of jobs under poor working conditions. Like manufacturing, commerce and the entertainment industry also gave employment to women in the late 1800's, while the beginning of the era of science at the end of the 1800's led to female employment in data processing. Throughout the 1800's, several occupations were considered properly female, including health care and teaching. (LP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Note: This publication was prepared in conjunction with an exhibit at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Lithograph reproductions may not reproduce clearly.