Today is day 50 of my 100 Challenge! Half way there!! 💃🏻
I made a promise to myself that I would commit to this challenge to intentionally walk every day for 100 days. No set pace, no set distance, just intentionally walking! 🚶🏼♀️
I’ve not missed a day yet and I’m feeling pretty darn proud!! 💃🏻
Union Activism: "We are freeborn American Women"
"The Shoemaker's Strike in Lynn, Mass - Procession, the Midst of a Snow-Storm, of Eight Hundred Women Operatives..."
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, March 17, 1860 "As early as the 1830s, women stitchers publicly argued for fair compensation for their work. they also joined the 1860 shoemaker's strike in Lynn, MA, protesting low wages for piece-workers even as more and more women joined the ranks of full-time machine operators.
In 1868, New England stitchers organized the first national union of working women "the Daughters of St. Crispin, named after the patron saint of shoemakers. With the support of the all-male Knights of St. Crispin, the stitchers of Lynn went on strike in 1871 and successfully fought wage cuts for skilled workers. "We are freeborn American women," one stitcher wrote, "and when they attempt to tell us what to do we will rise in our might, and three thousand voices will tell them what we will do."
Industrialization and Mechanization
"Before mechanized factories, American women in the shoe trade were "outwokrers" who stitched shoe uppers for a few pennies per pair. Unlike their husbands and brother, they did not work in a shop and advance toward artisan mastery. Instead, they sewed in their homes whenever they could spare time from domestic tasks.
Leather-cutting machines were in wide use by the 1820s, and sewing machines were adapted for leatherwork in 1852. After the Civil War, steam power brought male and female machine operators together under one factory roof. Yet the gendered division of labor persisted: women continued to work primarily as stitchers or binders. Lasting and welting machines, introduced in the late 1800s, mimicked the most specialized shoemaking processes and were usually operated by men. Eastern Massachusetts became America's first mechanized shoe manufacturing center, with the city of Lynn alone produceing thousand of shoes per day.