Antiques Dealers Association of America

Women's Work at Gorham

Author: Spencer Gordon - Mark McHugh
Published: Wed, Apr 8th, 2020

The Gorham Manufacturing Company was a "progressive" employer of its era, not only known as a fair employer, but one where there were well-paying, skilled jobs for women as well as men. 

During the later 19th century, many forces were changing employment in the United States. One of those changes was the increasing role of urban factory employment. As the century closed, many women, as well as men, were leaving the rural economy for work in cities.   

Gorham employed women in several departments and took pride in their achievements, publishing a book Women's Work at The Gorham Manufacturing Company about 1892. In this book, one can find a description of many of the jobs women did. The language and some of the thinking is very much of the period. However, the number of jobs and the level of skill is remarkable for the time.

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