Saturday, August 11, 2012

26 Stenographers

Did you know in the 1930s census 775,140 women were listed as stenographers? That made it the third largest occupation for women. First was domestic service, second teachers. By the 1940 the census shows the number was up to 1,000,580 women, with another 68,300 looking for positions as stenographers. For that decade, first place occupation was still domestic service, second manufacturing and stenographers third again.  That is an awful lot of women! But in that era there was only a small percent of occupations that were considered"proper" for women.
This picture I found in a antique shop years ago. I just love all the faces! It is so fun to imagine what it would be like to work in a stenographers pool in the 1930s. My sister and I use to make up stories about them. Do you see Dorthy peeking out from behind everyone? And Miss Glamour on the left in the first row, is she on her way to Hollywood? And doesn't the lady just behind the first row look like she could be a Scottish Nanny? So many different styles of hair and dress too!

12 comments:

  1. Very interesting but as much as I love that era in decorating and nostalgia I wouldn't have wanted to be a woman back then...it was hard enough in my generation!

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    1. I know! I think it would have been a bit stifling, we would have been the rebels!! Lol!

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  3. That is a really neat photo! All of the ladies look so lovely and professional. I wish people still dressed that way. : )

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    1. I know! I would adore wearing hats everyday!!

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  4. Love that photo! I'm sure they all knew Lord Peter Wimsey. :-)

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    1. Of course! ;) Maybe they are the officce staff from "Murder Must Advertise"!

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  5. I love your story about how you would make up stories with your sister. Sounds just what my sister and I would do. :)
    Love the photo!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I do the same thing with old photographs and would probably be so surprised about people if I knew their real stories!
    You are so right that there weren't many choices for women in the workforce back then. Both my aunts were school teachers by age 16 but quit when they married, because women were to make homes for the family first and work outside the home only if necessary. I'm glad women have more choices today.

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    1. Oh I am very sure they would be surprised by our stories! We tended to be a bit dramatic. Lol!

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  7. These ladies just have class! I always assumed they were sweet wonderful secretaries, but thinking along the lines of Lord Peter, at least one of them must have a mystery....

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