Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Employments of Women

From: Penny, Virginia, The Employments of Women: A Cyclopaedia of Woman's Work, (Boston : Walker, Wise and Co. 1863) p. 236:

238. Thimbles. P. was kind enough to make an entire silver thimble, that I might see the process. The whole of the work could bo done by women, but no women in any country are employed at it, so far as he knows. I was told by one or two other thimble makers, that no women are ever employed in that branch of business. It is usual for a boy to serve an apprenticeship of four years. While doing some parts of the labor the workers sit, and while doing other parts they stand. The polishing is done on a lathe, and there is not enough of it to furnish work for a separate person, except in very large establishments, and even then it is so connected with the other processes that it could not be well divided. There are not so many thimbles sold now as formerly, because of the sewing machines that are used. There are not more than from eight to twelve thimble makers in the United States. There are none South or West of Philadelphia.

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