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Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Working for the Railroad: Women

 
 
Working for the Railroad: Women Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, June 29, 2019
1. Working for the Railroad: Women Marker
Inscription.  Prior to World War I, a small percentage of women worked for railroad companies as maids, car cleaners, and telegraph operators. The B&O hired its first women as car cleaners in 1855. As men left to fight overseas in the world wars however, the nation's railroads called upon the service of female labor. Usually young and single, women filled many positions including track workers, yard workers, machinists, station agents, train operators, telephone operators, statisticians, lawyers, yard police, clerks, designers and engineers. The number of female laborers decreased as men returned from the war, but many nevertheless continued their employment as "white collar" workers in the offices and as stewardesses.

[Image captions:]
Women laborers during World War I featured in the Baltimore & Ohio Employee's Magazine in May 1917.

Female shop workers, circa 1943.

African-American female car cleaners, circa 1943.

African-American women were hired by railroad companies as maids, car cleaners, laundresses, and porterettes. In 1926 the Pullman Palace Car Manufacturing Company hired 200
Working for the Railroad: Women Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, June 29, 2019
2. Working for the Railroad: Women Marker
maids for long distance trains. Maids were expected to provide manicures, hairdressing, child care, cleaning, and any other services necessary to female passengers. On the west coast, Pullman also hired Chinese women as maids.

Reflecting on attitudes towards women as caretakers, stewardesses were responsible for the safety, comfort and pleasure of passengers and their children. The B&O's first train hostesses were hired in the 1890s to serve special guests. After World War II, railroads increased the number of stewardesses on trains.

 
Erected by The North American Railway Foundation.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) marker series.
 
Location. 39° 17.125′ N, 76° 37.991′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from West Pratt Street east of South Schroeder Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 916 West Pratt Street, Baltimore MD 21223, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Main Line Electrification of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) 1895 (a few steps from this marker); B&O Railroad Museum (a few steps from this marker); CSX Corporation (a few steps from this marker); B&O No. 908
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(within shouting distance of this marker); First Commercial Railroad Right-of-Way in America (within shouting distance of this marker); Luther G. Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Carroll (within shouting distance of this marker); Working for the Railroad: African Americans (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Categories. African AmericansAsian AmericansRailroads & StreetcarsWomen
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on June 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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