This engraving of "The Post-Mistress" comes from
Lady's Book, February 1850. It accompanies a fictional story
a postmistress who was dismissed from her job for reading mail and
gossiping about it. Many women were employed as Postmistresses in
America. Only unmarried women were eligible, and they were
the same process as a postmaster. It was considered a strenuous
a woman because she had to be on her feet all day, but it was
and women were compensated well.
These two illustrations are from an 1846 children's book called
Sights, for Little Folks.
|Many women and girls made
living by growing or buying fruits or flowers and selling them on
Fresh fruit and berries were popular in the summer; dry fruit and
the winter, especially with children. Flowers were often sold near
of entertainment, such as theaters and opera houses.
||Reporting was a fairly new occupational
for women in the mid nineteenth century. It was a hard job, and many
that women would not be able to handle it. But those who did were
This is a lithograph called "The Washington Reporter."
the image in the bottom right corner to view a close-up of women
in the composition room.
This image comes from a trade card called "View of one
Dickinson's Printing Office." It shows women running the
presses, but the card states that the office employed skillful
"workmen." The trade card is dated January 1842.
Truth, born ca. 1797, worked as a slave in New York under several
until about 1829, when she went into domestic service to support
and her family. She became very involved in her church and
to preach her beliefs. For many years she spoke at gatherings in
of women's suffrage and abolition, gaining quite a large following
reputation for being a very influential speaker. This image is a
visite ca. 1864. The text reads: "I Sell the Shadow to Support
Substance. SOJOURNER TRUTH."
|Harriet Beecher Stowe,
Connecticut in 1811, lived most of her life in New England, except
few years teaching at her sister's school in Cincinnati. Stowe began
career as a published author in 1843 with her collection of short
called The Mayflower. She is best known for her
novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. This engraving of Mrs. Stowe is
"Writing for 'Our Young Folks' An Original Portrait of Mrs.
Beecher Stowe At Home."
||This two-page spread from the April 18,
issue of Harper's Bazar shows various women's occupations of
period. The accompanying article describes the progress women had
the previous decades, listing many of the new employments available
Click to enlarge each individual image.