Women in American Guilds and Trades Bibliography


Query From: Candice Brashears Mockchap5@aol.com 14 Sept 1998

I would appreciate any suggestions H-Women readers may have regarding good sources for information on American women in the trades through the 19th century. The trades I am interested include, but are not limited to:

Building/Architectural - framing, glazing, carpentry, design, plumbing, roofing...
Interior crafts/trades - decorative painting, lighting, plastering, millwork, flooring...
Furnishings - furniture, gold/copper/silversmithing, gilding, pottery... Metalworkers - cast/wrought iron-fencing & grillwork... Stoneworkers - gravestone carvers, terracotta, architectural facades...

I think you get the picture. I am also interested in women and the trade guilds. Although guilds were already a dying breed in Europe and they didn't catch on well in America it seems, it would be interesting to know if there were guilds that accepted women (when & where) or if women had their own organization to network with. This is the same for apprenticeships as well.

Some time ago, I read an interesting list of Jobs for Women, written by a woman in 1868 (?) (I will locate the title if anyone is interested). It was quite delightfully annotated and the author attempted to list all and any jobs she knew a woman actually held - even if only one. I have yet to begin a compilation or analysis, however intend to hit the usual printed bio's. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Responses:

Baron, Ava _Work Engendered: Toward a New History of American Labor_

(Cornell, 1991).

Borris, Eileen C. _Art and Labor: Ruskin, Morris, and the

Craftsman Ideal in America_(Temple, 1986)

Other Suggestion:

Women appear in the official record [of New Amsterdam] in a baking daily schedule drawn up in 1685. The timetable can be found in Herbert L. Osgood, Ed. _Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, 1675-1776_(New York, 1905), 1:176.