Double income with and without kids 1920s style

| No Comments

Well the first, nondraft 1880-1930 version for Square 618 is up at TruxtonCircle.org (ignore the word draft). If you want to play with the data, download it (2MB), and save it to your own computer, otherwise it is horribly slow.

One of the things I want to do once all the data is up is look at family life patterns, particularly the role of women. Now there were a lot of women who did not work outside of the home in the 20th century, but I found a number who did. I don't find a married African American woman working unusual, when looking at other squares. Married white women tended to not work outside the home, but for Sq 618, in 1900 no white wives had occupations; in 1910, 1 of 22 white wives worked; 1920, 9 out of 31 white wives; and in 1930, 4 of 25. The highest percent was 29% in 1920. For all races in 1920 it's about 33% of wives working in occupations. These are just wives of the head of the household, not married women whose husbands are mysteriously somewhere else or wives of lodgers/boarders.

Another thing, the occupations wives and other women (adult daughters, sisters, female lodgers) are varied from the laundress, seamstress and domestic jobs of 1880. I didn't know one could be an "Elevator Girl", which makes me wonder why couldn't people just operate elevators on their own? Alot of women were government clerks in the 1920s and 30s.

I do want to mention one 1920 family, the Grimes Family of 71 New York Ave NW. The father William worked as a clerk, and so did his wife Alice, and they had three children. The eldest daughter was 16 and the youngest was 10. They also had a 40 year old nephew, Dan Murphy, living with them, but he was working as a clerk too, so I don't know what they were doing for child care. Anyone want to take bets that it was the 16 year old in charge? 

I tend look at women and their jobs to check for errors. In 1930 Rose Lingebach, 39 years old, was not a carpenter-builder, as listed in the spreadsheet. She was the head saleslady of the department store where she worked. I'll correct that when the 1940 data comes later.

Leave a comment