Women in war work, 1914-1918
Contrary to the popular belief that women in factories are doing men's work, are the facts which are brought to light as the conditions of work when the factory system was established in the United States of America. It is incontestible that when the factory system was first established women were urged to go into factories. Men were engaged in agriculture and the "Friends of Industry" replied to those citizens who declared that manufactures would ruin agriculture that "not one fourth of the employees in manufacture were able-bodied men fit for famring." Economic gains were at first used as an arguement. Gallatin in 1831 "concluded that the surplus product obtained by the employment of owmen in a single cotton mill of 200 employees was $14,000 annually." Another writer in the "Boston Centinel" said "that machinery enables women and children who are unable to cultivate the earth to make us indepdent of foreign supplies." This entrance of women into factories was not a hardhsip because women had done much of the hard work of spinning and weaving in the homes, and later the famer's daughter had worked in the "manufcatures."
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