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Pretty girls at work

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A female typist related the following in an interview for the press in 1885: “The modern typewriter has done more for female wage-workers than all legislation could do. It is essentially female employment to operate a typewriter, because girls are nimbler, neater and steadier at it than men. The only exception to this rule is the profession of the law, many lawyers preferring male typewriters, who can sit up of a night and finish a brief if required to get out a set of papers. Girls are too delicate for that sort of labor, though they are faster and more systematic workers than men.”

She commented that most professions open to women paid between $8 and $12 per week, but typing offered as much as $15 per week for especially nimble fingers.

From the Brown & Holland Shorthand News, August 1885 —

Indexed at Women and the typewriter at Type-Writer.org.

© 2019, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • ivanonthekeys September 10, 2019, 4:09 pm

    I do like your looks back into history. I for one, back in the day, took typing classes at night, rather to skip sixth period in high school than anything more. I noticed that I was one of the only two boys in the class of about forty. Even back then, the sexist view persisted. Only a bit later, when I got the decent paying positions in offices, I was often the only male among women who got those decent positions, and it wasn’t because I know what the job was about. I could hit those keys as fast as the girls.

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