Underwear in 1912


Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Most nurses were women. And some doctors too. My great grandmother worked as an army nurse in the 1890s and volunteered to serve again throughout the 1914-18 Great War. She found time to raise seven children too.

PS: Kyrila and Mon, looks like there's a new player in the game! My age has now advanced to 100 plus.
 

Aly Jones

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Nov 22, 2008
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Women Doctors? I thought doctor was a mans profession,i learnt something new!
It seems wowmen had more guts back then compare to us today!I don't think i can go though war then having 7 babies or i probelry can't hack having just one.
Are you 100 years old?
 

Aly Jones

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Nov 22, 2008
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Hi there.Thanks for that information, much appercaited.
Iv'e got one question-It says this lady was married but in those days,women were not aloud to work if married,maybe it was only her husband was a doctor.
Or does that law only exsist in England and not America?If so it's great to know there was women docs out there in those days.

Bob-nothing wrong with that age,mature people are the best to talk too.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Women doctors, oh dear. Well, it depends where you live. Most doctors in the former USSR are women, and so it is a lower-paid profession, despite the training required. Generally speaking, if a profession is dominated by men, it is highly paid. If it's dominated by women, it is not. People might think I'm just a feminist grouch here, but all I'd say is just check it out.

Nurses in the UK have traditionally been female. But over the last 3 decades men have moved into the profession - and I have nothing against that in principle. Except that they have taken charge. And I still wouldn't have anything against that, except for the fact that nurses don't actually nurse these days - too busy doing courses, in-putting repetitive data to computers, filling in forms which tick political boxes. Doctors don't get you better, they just diagnose (which nurses can anyway) and prescribe and operate, which is a good thing. But nurses get you better, and out of the hospital. Or should be able to.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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It's not true that married women could not work. Traditionally the middle and upper class married women did not work--let's face it--upper class women only worked at charities as volunteers to appease their ambitions. Middle class women might have held prestigious employment as nurses and teachers, clerks, secretaries or such as that, which would not damage their reputations and were held to very high standards of morality.

Lower class women worked in factories, as servants, and other menial jobs whether they were married or not. It's true that jobs were fewer for women than men, and a man would certainly be hired before a woman would--it being a man's world back then.

Society expected the man to be the breadwinner and the woman to stay home and keep house and children in order, however for many, this was not practical. Particularly in America, women struggled to be financially secure from their own labor. Even if their husbands were gainfully employed, women would find some way to make extra money, whether by selling produce from their gardens, eggs from their chickens, handiwork from their sewing/knitting/crocheting--you get the picture? We even have an expression for money earned on the side--we call it "egg money."

Southern women in America particularly learned to "fend for themselves" during and after the Civil War because they had learned true hardship and starvation. The film, COLD MOUNTAIN, accurately depicts pretty much what my great-great grandparents endured in Kentucky. Women had to figure out how to make money and get food without their menfolk--or else they and their children would starve. They did not abandon these newly developed skills when the war ended and their men came home--if they came home at all.

I think I'm resourceful because of my ancestors' passing down the gumption to be resourceful from one generation to the next. And because of their pluck, my parents and grandparents survived the Great Depression, and I have no doubt I will survive this Depression.
 

Kyrila Scully

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I should add that during the Victorian and Edwardian "Industrial" era, many children from impoverished areas were employed in dangerous factories. In 1834, a woman named Harriet Martineau investigated the Waltham Mills and wrote about what she saw there. Little girls were earning a dollar a week working at machines. Older girls received two to three dollars a week. The author was led to believe that these girls helped their families with their earnings--paying off mortgages or sending brothers to college--not the reality of their lives. These children and teenagers were not only subject to injury and death on the job, they were also subjected to more sinister designs by their employers and managers. This is the seamier side of the age we all fondly admire.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Alyson, there never was any law that prevented married women from working. But hospital nurses worked long hours and often were required to live virtually on the premises, which ruled out any family life. The same applied to maids and other domestic servants (male or female) who were required to 'live in' as members of their employer's household and so were almost always unmarried.
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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Actually, Alyson has a half-truth about married women not being allowed to work.

In South Australia, until about 1970, when a female teacher married she was required to resign from her job. She was usually reinstated but with a break in her service record. I think this probably happened in other occupations, such as nursing.

If this could happen in the very liberal state of SA things might have been rather dire elsewhere.
 
May 27, 2007
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My Great Grandmother kept her teaching job while getting married. Because of the Great War and the shortage of Male teachers. But by 1918 the men were coming back including her husband. Plus she was going to be a mother. Grandma came just in time for tea on a cold February afternoon in 1919 and stayed for 17 years.
 

Aly Jones

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Nov 22, 2008
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Hi Ladies and Gents,Wo i was not expectitng al of this info,it's blowing my mine.so many input!
Thanks for clearing things up for me.
You know ill be back with more questions lol.
 

Aly Jones

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Nov 22, 2008
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Dave. What you mention i heard from my mum.My mum's mum had to quit work when she got married,they said it was the law to quit work?
Maybe it was only in Australia that had that law and not in America and England?
 
Dec 29, 2006
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There is nothing in common law (as I understand it) that has ever said that married women could not work but, as others have pointed out, there may be restrictions under certain contracts of employment, particularly in occupations such as nursing.
 

Chad Goodwin

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Aug 2, 2006
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ladies_undies_copy1.jpg


ladies underwear winter fall 1911-1912
 

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