All Kinds of Workers~Occupations, 1890

For a significant number of pages the census lists occupations, the number of people who practice them and how many are male or female. In my summary the percentage of female workers is indicated immediately after the total number of workers in the occupation. If no percentage of females is shown, then either no women were identified in that particular occupation or the percentage of women was below two percent. I have divided them into various general categories using modern divisions. However, the job titles are those used in the census. The following list is not all-inclusive nor exhaustive but rather a representative sample to provide a portrait of life and work in late-nineteenth century America. We see an America becoming more urban and more industrial; yet over 8.25 million people work in agriculture. We see women making some gains in where they can work; yet many occupations, particularly the skilled ones and the professions remain mostly closed to them, the notable exception being in elementary and secondary education where women perform in large numbers.

conestoga-wagon-edit

Agriculture & Related Providers:

Farmers & Planters (5,281,557 ~ 4.2% women); Agricultural laborers (3,004,061 ~ 14.8% women); Gardeners, Florists, Nurserymen & Vine Growers (72,601 ~ 3.3%); Fishermen and Oyster men (60,162); Dairymen & Dairywomen (17,895 ~ 10.0% women); Hunters, Trappers, Guides & Scouts (2,534)

Arts & Entertainment:

Musicians & Music Teachers (62,155 ~ 55.5% women); Artists & Art Teachers (22,496 ~ 48.0% women); Photographers (20,040 ~ 11.0% women); Theatrical Managers & Showmen (18,055 ~ 3.5% women); Actors (9,723 ~ 40.2% women); Authors (6,714 ~ 40.3% women)

Building Trades:

Carpenters & Joiners (611,482); Painters & Glaziers (219,912); Masons [brick & stone] (158,918); Sawmill Employees (133,037); Builders & Contractors (45,988); Paper Hangers (12,869); Roofers & Slaters (7,043)

Clerical:

Clerks & Copyists (557,358 ~ 11.5% women); Stenographers & Typewriters (33,418 ~ 63.7% women)

Peddler

Clothing:

Dressmakers (289,164 ~ 99.7% women); Boot & Shoe Makers (213,544 ~ 15.8% women); Tailors & Tailoresses (185,400 ~ 34.4% women); Milliners (60,482 ~ 99.3% women); Hosiery & Knitting Mill Operatives (29,555 ~ 70.5% women); Hat & Cap Makers (24,013 ~ 27.9% women); Shirt & Collar Makers (21,107 ~ 75.4% women); Sewing Machine Operators (7,120 ~ 84.5% women); Corset Makers (6,533 ~ 89.2% women); Glove Makers (6,416 ~ 57.8% women); Apprentice Dressmakers (4,340 ~ 100% women); Umbrella & Parasol Makers (3,403 ~ 55.8% women); Apprentice Tailors & Tailoresses (2,625 ~ 26.9% women); Button Makers (2,601 ~ 61.1% women); Apprentice Milliners (1,204 ~ 100% women)

Commerce:

Agents [claim, commission, real estate, insurance, etc.] (174,582 ~ 2.8% women); Hucksters & Peddlers (59,083 ~ 4.4% women); Messengers & Office Boys (51,355 ~ 5.6% women); Wholesale Merchants of Imports (27,443); Packers & Shippers (24,046 ~ 27.0% women); Weighers, Gaugers & Measurers (8,860); Wholesale Merchants of Wines & Liquors (3,643)

Communication:

Printers, Lithographers & Pressmen (86,893 ~ 6.5% women); Telegraph & Telephone Operators (52,214 ~ 16.3% women); Bookbinders (23,858 ~ 48.7% women); Journalists (21,849 ~ 4.0% women); Telegraph & Telephone Linemen (11,134 ~ 6.0% women); Publishers [books, newspapers, maps, etc] (6,284); Newspaper Carriers (5,288)

Domestic Service:

Servants (1,454,791 ~ 83.6% women); Launderers & Laundresses (248,462 ~ 87.2%); Housekeepers & Stewards (92,036 ~ 93.5% women); Janitors (21,556 ~ 13.0% women); Sextons (4,982)

744px-Classroom_-_Jacob_A__Riis

Education:

Teachers (341,952 ~ 71.7% women); College Professors (5,392 ~ 12.8% women)

Finance:

Bookkeepers & Accountants (159,374 ~ 17.4% women); Bank & Insurance Officials (39,900); Bankers (30,008)

Food Production:

Butchers (105,456); Bakers (60,197 ~ 3.6% women); Millers (52,841); Confectioners (23,251 ~ 24.6% women); Brewers & Maltsters (20,362); Butter & Cheese Makers (11,211 ~ 3.6% women); Bottlers, Mineral & Soda Water Makers (7,230); Meat & Fruit Packers & Canners (5,830 ~ 24.2% women); Distillers (3,314)

Hospitality & Food Services:

Saloon Keepers (71,385 ~ 3.0% women); Bartenders (55,806); Hostlers (54,036); Boarding & Lodging-house Keepers (44,340 ~ 73.4% women); Hotel Keepers (44,076 ~ 11.8% women); Livery Stable Keepers (26,757); Restaurant Keepers (19,283 ~ 12.5% women)

harness_maker

Heavy Industry:

Coal Miners (208,545); Machinists (177,090); Cotton-mill Operatives (173,142 ~ 53.7% women); Iron & Steel Workers (144,921); Miners [not otherwise specified] (141,047); Mill & Factory Operatives [not otherwise specified] (93,596 ~ 44.8% women); Tinners (55,488); Quarrymen (37,656); Silk-mill Operatives (34,855 ~ 59.1% women); Paper-mill Operatives (27,817 ~ 32.0% women); Steam Boiler Makers (21,839); Oil Well Employees (9,147); Rope & Cordage Makers (8,001 ~ 38.7% women); Nail & Tack Makers (4,583 ~ 10.4% women)

women factory workers

factory workers

 

Light Industry:

Tobacco & Cigar Factory Operatives (111,625 ~ 25.0% women); Broom & Brush Makers (10,115 ~ 10.9% women); Basket Makers (5,225 ~ 13.6% women); Straw Workers (3,660 ~ 66.7% women); Candle & Soap Makers (3,450 ~ 11.6% women); Artificial Flower Makers (3,046 ~ 83.3% women)

Medicine:

Physicians & Surgeons (104,805 ~ 4.3% women); Nurses & Mid-wives (47,586 ~ 86.9% women); Dentists (17,498); Veterinary Surgeons (6,494)

wheelwrightshop

Personal Services:

Seamstresses (150,044 ~ 93.3% women); Barbers & Hairdressers (84,982 ~ 3.3% women); Upholsterers (25,666 ~ 6.6% women); Clock & Watch Makers (25,252 ~ 18.2% women); Engravers (8,320 ~ 3.6% women)

Professional Services:

Lawyers (89,630); Clergy (88,203); Engineers [civil, mechanical, electrical, mining] (43,230) Undertakers (9,891); Draftsmen & Designers (9,391 ~ 8.6% women); Architects (8,070); Chemists (4,503); Professional Services [not otherwise specified] (1,569 ~ 30.5% women)

Public Service:

Government officials (79,664 ~ 6.2% women); Watchmen, Policemen & Detectives (74,350) Soldiers, Sailors & Marines (27,919)

Retail Trades:

Merchants [not specified] (440,262 ~ 3.6% women); Salesmen & Saleswomen (264,394 ~ 22.1% women); Retail Merchants– Groceries (114,997 ~ 5.9% women); Retail Merchants– Drugs & Chemicals (46,375); Retail Merchants– Dry Goods (42,527 ~ 4.9% women); Retail Merchants– Wines & Liquors (10,078)

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Skilled Trades:

Blacksmiths (205,387); Wood Workers [not otherwise specified] (67,360 ~ 5.5% women); Coopers (47,486); Harness & Saddle Makers (43,480); Cabinet Makers (35,915); Carriage & Wagon Makers (34,538); Glass Workers (34,282 ~ 4.9% women); Carpet Makers (22,302 ~ 47.9% women); Potters (14,928 ~ 13.3% women); Wheelwrights (12,855); Gunsmiths (9,158); Lace Makers (5,250 ~ 84.6% women); Sail, Awning & Tent Makers (3,257 ~ 7.7% women)

Transportation:

Steam Railroad Employees [not otherwise specified] (382,750); Draymen & Teamsters (308,490); Street-railway Employees (87,484); Locomotive Engineers & Firemen (79,463); Sailors (55,899); Ship & Boat Builders (22,951); Boatmen & Canal-men (16,716)

Unskilled Labor:

General laborers (1,913,373 ~ 2.8% women); Porters & Helpers (24,356)

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