Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shoe Factory


Today's picture was taken in 1895, and shows a woman working in a shoe factory in Massachusetts. I wonder if like for women was harder in these factories or on the farm back then.

9 comments:

  1. That would be a toss up. If life was harder on the farm or in the factory?
    On the farm they would be working in the elements like cold and rain and wind, but things would not be the same thing every hour of every day.
    They had to get dressed up and looking nice every day in the factory, where as on the farm they cold let it slip[ some. But I think back in those days people, no matter what their job got dressed up and wore nice clothes everyday.
    So who knows, I for one could never live in a factory setting and do the same thing all day, every day. I need to be outside some every day with my work, or I would go nuts.

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  2. I love the little oil can on the back side (away from her) of her sewing machine

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  3. Thanks for the education on the Watchcoat from yesterday, Astrocrabpuff. Now I want one! I'll bet todays picture was from New Bedford or Stoughton, Mass. I grew up south of Boston, used to be HUGE shoe manufacturing towns. At one time New Bedford had the biggest shoe manufacturing factories in the world. Unfortunetly they are all gone. Gotta tell ya, I love shoe week !

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  4. I'd wager the factory job was much worse than the rural counterpart. Both were demanding but the factory wasn't the most healthy environment. An extreme example would be the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York City.
    For more on this...

    http://www.historybuff.com/
    library/refshirtwaist.html

    John

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  5. Despite the working conditions during the first Industrial Revolution, those were the days when we actually MADE THINGS in this country, instead of shipping all our work to China.

    I don't think manufacturing will ever return, and that really makes me sad.

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  6. At that time farming could be brutal. Sure, your out of the toxic factory breathing clean air, but its a cold killing frost air that just killed all the crops within fifty miles. Another year of hard labor and hunger. The nearest doctor is a half a day ride, so when the cow kicks you onto the pitch fork your in deep trouble.

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  7. What really drives it home that we're not manufacturing just about anything in the US anymore? When you look on the reverse of a Tony Lama or Justin western belt and it says "China". At least my old Benchmade says USA on it. Of course it could be cause it's a discontinued model. Sigh.

    John

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  8. I like paying less for my shoes but a cheaper price tag isn't the most important thing. I prefer to buy things made locally and try to support small businesses as much as possible although I know that we in North America (and much of the world) pay cheaper prices for goods made in places where the hourly wages are negligible.

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  9. I lived in Lynn and remember these factories quite well. In fact at one time I worked in a leather factory and 7 of the dozen or so women/girls I knew well worked in shoe factories. The work was hard by today's standards but considered decent work back then. Most girls could work fast enough to make the maximum $2.69 an hour. Minimum wage was $1.35. Overtime was sought after and and often my female friends would make more working a skiving machine then I did then I did loading 400 lb boxes of leather to be shipped to shoe factories. I can remember as a young child watching dirty laborers in leather factories up to their ankles in muck scraping fat and flesh off cow skins. The shoe factories and leather factories where everywhere and used large windows for lighting so you could walk by and see the whole process.

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