Out on the Job

The Women's Power, Women's Vote exhibit logo showing that text with a check mark acting as a V in the word vote. Links to the home page of the online exhibit.

Women had been entering the workforce since the industrialization of the late 19th century. Positions considered suitable for women at the time included secretaries, nurses, teachers and domestic help. White middle class women and those of Hispanic culture were expected to give up a salaried job at the time of marriage. However, African American women often continued working after marriage and became one of the largest contingents of waged workers in Texas cities.

Opponents of women’s suffrage argued that women were not as invested in elections as men because they did not fight in battle. During the first World War, which began abroad in 1914 and the United States entered in 1917, women fundraised for the war effort and eventually took on jobs to support the men who left to fight overseas and the families who remained. The war was a key turning point in the fight for the right to vote, as women proved themselves to be essential to American wartime initiatives and capable of performing in new roles. This expanded understanding of women’s capacity grew even more during World War II in the 1940s as women continued their efforts at equality in the workplace.

Exhibit Items

A photograph of women standing on the steps of Huston-Tillotson College. State Educational Secretaries outside Huston-Tillotson College, February 1962. People’s Business College collection, Image 1971/156-34

A note with a combination of blue text and cursive writing on yellow paper indentifying Mrs. E.M. Gilbert on a photograph as being in the front row and marked with a x. State Educational Secretaries outside Huston-Tillotson College, February 1962. People’s Business College collection, Image 1971/156-34State Educational Secretaries outside Huston-Tillotson College, February 1962. People’s Business College collection, Image 1971/156-34.

This photograph includes Mrs. E. M. Gilbert, who was the founder and director of the People’s Business College (PBC) in Austin. Established in 1947, the PBC was an integrated, coed school focused on teaching skills in business administration. The school provided opportunities for women to enter the business world. Click or tap on thumbnails for larger image.


 

A photograph of a black shorthand machine and three spools of ribbon sized paper. Shorthand machine, 1880-1890. Artifacts collection, ATF0028, Artifact Box 0095Shorthand machine, 1880-1890. Artifacts collection, ATF0028, Artifact Box 0095.

Stenographers relied on this type of machine for shorthand, which is a method of writing that replaces words with symbols and abbreviations in order to increase notetaking speed. Stenography served a common career choice for women, as they were needed in courts and offices.

Click or tap on thumbnail for larger image.

 


 

A postcard with cursive handwriting and a "Received Dec. 12 1942 Executive Dept." stamp. Postcard from Miss Fayrene Dickerson to Gov. Stevenson, December 10, 1942. General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131

Back of a postcard with cursive writing in blue ink on yellow paper.  Postcard from Miss Fayrene Dickerson to Gov. Stevenson, December 10, 1942. General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131Postcard from Miss Fayrene Dickerson to Gov. Stevenson, December 10, 1942. General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131.

Miss Dickerson’s postcard is representative of the correspondence Gov. Coke Stevenson received regarding the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, or WAAC. Many young women were interested in joining the WAAC to serve their country during World War II. Click or tap on thumbnails for larger images.



 

Cover of the pamphlet showing a black ink drawing of a woman in a WAAC uniform.  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131 Second cover of the pamphlet with text " This is a Woman's War as Well as a Man's War. Every Woman Must do her Part."  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131 A printed form with the text " Report of Preliminary Physical Examination."   Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131Page 1, black ink on yellow paper of  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131Page 2, black ink on yellow paper of  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131

Page 3, black ink on yellow paper of  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131 Page 4, black ink on yellow paper of  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131 Page 5, black ink on yellow paper, of  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131Page 6, black ink on yellow paper of  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131Page 7, black ink on yellow paper of  Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men". General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131

Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps informational pamphlet, May 13, 1942. “Women Can Serve Their Country As Well As Men." Cover A, Cover B, Physical Exam Form, Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6 and Page 7General files, Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson records, Box 4-14/131.

The governor’s office sent this booklet to correspondents interested in joining the WAAC. The publication includes information on the Officer’s Training School, selection criteria, pay and benefits. The pamphlet includes a form for physicians to fill out reporting the preliminary physical condition of each recruit. Click or tap on thumbnails and links for larger images.

 

Black and white photograph of Mrs. Alice Hudson and Miss Heddy Pustejousky of the Harris Co. League, September 1963. Texas League of Vocational Nurses records, Image 2016/145-1Back of the photograph showing cursive handwriting with blue ink and yellowing background of Black and white photograph of Mrs. Alice Hudson and Miss Heddy Pustejousky of the Harris Co. League, September 1963. Texas League of Vocational Nurses records, Image 2016/145-1

Mrs. Alice Hudson and Miss Heddy Pustejovsky of the Harris Co. League, September 1963. Texas League of Vocational Nurses records, Image 2016/145-1.

The Texas League of Vocational Nurses was a professional organization with chapters across the state. Created in 1952, its purpose was to promote the continuing education of vocational nurses.

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Cover showing a black ink drawing of woman in a nurse uniform - Manual of Public Health Nursing, 2nd edition, 1965. Training files and manuals, Josephine T. Lamb collection, Box 2-22/767

The Foreward page of Manual of Public Health Nursing, 2nd edition, 1965. Training files and manuals, Josephine T. Lamb collection, Box 2-22/767The table of contents beginning page of Manual of Public Health Nursing, 2nd edition, 1965. Training files and manuals, Josephine T. Lamb collection, Box 2-22/767The table of contents ending page of Manual of Public Health Nursing, 2nd edition, 1965. Training files and manuals, Josephine T. Lamb collection, Box 2-22/767

Manual of Public Health Nursing, 2nd edition, 1965. Cover, Foreward, Table of Contents Beginning and Table of Contents End. Training files and manuals, Josephine T. Lamb collection, Box 2-22/767.

Nursing has historically been a profession dominated by women. Josephine T. Lamb was the chief of psychiatric nursing for the Texas Board for State Hospitals and Special Schools through the 1950s and 1960s. As part of her job, she created manuals like this one to train public health nurses on all aspects of their duties, including administrative procedures and training opportunities. Click or tap on thumbnails and links for larger images.

 

Photograph of a opened book with the text "Chapter 89" hand written on the top of the right side. House Bill 140, 36th Legislature, Regular Session, 1919. Texas Secretary of State legislative bills and resolutions filed (General and special laws), Box 2-13/64

Photograph of a opened book with the text "Chapter 90" hand written on the top of the right side. House Bill 140, 36th Legislature, Regular Session, 1919. Texas Secretary of State legislative bills and resolutions filed (General and special laws), Box 2-13/64House Bill 140, 36th Legislature, Regular Session, 1919. Texas Secretary of State legislative bills and resolutions filed (General and special laws), Box 2-13/64.

Click or tap on thumbnails for larger images.

 

 

 

Photograph of a woman standing next to a rock pllar wearing a long skirt, white shirt with black tie and a large hat. Mrs. E.M. Barrett in her concrete block work yard, Austin, Texas, undated. William Deming Hornaday photograph collection, Image 1975/070-5448

Mrs. E.M. Barrett in her concrete block work yard, Austin, Texas, undated. William Deming Hornaday photograph collection, Image 1975/070-5448.

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Page last modified: June 17, 2019