Archive for Monday, July 29, 2013

100 years ago: Factory girls of Lawrence to have noontime break room

July 29, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 29, 1913:

  • "The rest room for the working girls of Lawrence is to be opened tomorrow noon in the Social Service Hall at the corner of Vermont and Pinckney [Sixth] streets. Invitations have been issued to the girls for whom the place is intended and it is believed that this will become a very popular meeting place for them at noon time. There are many girls employed in Lawrence who are unable to go to their homes for their lunches and who at present have no suitable place for resting at noon and enjoying their lunches which they bring with them. It is felt that this place will meet their needs.... Two rooms have been fitted up for the use of the girls and it is planned to make this as home-like a place for them as possible. All of the conveniences possible will be provided to make them comfortable and to give them a place where they can gather at noon and get the very most out of the hour of rest.... A large parlor furnished with couches, rockers, chairs, library and organ has been fitted up. On the second floor is a dining room with gas stove, table and cooking utensils. In the yard there are a number of fine shade trees and blue grass where swings and benches will be placed. Ice water will be provided, and everything will be done that can be done to make the place homelike and inviting."
  • "Either the street car steps must be lowered or the women must wear wider skirts. Scarcely a woman can board the street cars without showing her leg nearly to the knee. The women have complained and they will win. The lowering of the street car steps can be done on orders from Dayton but the skirts are determined in Paris."
  • "Charley Keeney, chronic disturber of the peace in Lawrence, is out of jail again. But this time Keeney did not take time to go through the usual formalities of serving his time and being released. He simply dislodged a couple of rocks on the north side of the city bastile and escaped at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon.... Keeney was fined $100 and costs and sentenced to thirty days in jail in police court yesterday for drunkenness and fighting. He had not been recaptured at 3:45 this afternoon."
  • "Rev. Conrad Bechtold, formerly pastor of the German Evangelical Church of Lawrence, has returned from a year's stay in Kalimbong, Bengal, India, where he worked as a missionary among the Bodas. This is Mr. Bechtold's third return from his work as a missionary in India. Mr. Bechtold is an unusual linguist. He took up the study of four languages at the same time, one of which, this language of the Bodas, was an unwritten one, with no literature whatever.... The Bodas are an aboriginal tribe and had no alphabet of their own, so Rev. Bechtold borrowed the characters of the Bengals, the nearest neighbors, and translated the gospels directly into this language, after which a native catechist rendered it into an idiomatic dialect.... Dr. Bechtold says the climate is very delightful at this special portion of India and he finds these sweltering Kansas days very hard to endure."


mom_of_three 4 years, 10 months ago

So strange to hear how women were catered to for their lunch breaks. But they started doing the same thing when women went to work during WWII. But they wanted them to be able to look like a woman when they left a factory, because women were supposed to look like women.
The places where those girls worked probably had breakrooms for the men, but in that time, women and men didn't socialize in the work place. Eatting lunch together would have been scandalous. About as scandalous as showing your knees to get on the streetcar!

Tyson Travis 4 years, 10 months ago

A two-story building at the intersection of Sixth and Vermont...couldn't have been the ice plant which used to be on the SE corner, could this possibly have been located in the former Vermont Street School which was close to the SW corner? See 1898 Lawrence history and old aerial photos in the Dary books. By the time a young lady working in the south part of the business district got to 6th and Vt and then returned to her workplace, she wouldn't have had much time to eat anything on a one-hour lunch break. Streetcar service must have been better back then.

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