Women have been central to the history of Pennsylvania since the Civil War, helping to industrialize the state, working for reform in the areas of slavery and child labor and joining together in cross-class coalitions to achieve their goals, according to Marion Roydhouse, dean of the School of Liberal Arts.
Roydhouse spoke about the contributions of Pennsylvania’s women – both urban and rural and across all class divides – to faculty and staff members at a colloquium Monday afternoon in the Paul J. Gutman Library.
“Pennsylvania really had some amazing things happening,” Roydhouse said. “Women were part of labor history and Pennsylvania’s long history of reform.”
As detailed in her book, Women of Industry and Labor: Shaping the History of Pennsylvania 1865 to 1940 from the Civil War to the Second World War, Roydhouse spoke about some of the women who made important contributions to the history of Pennsylvania, even though they may not have made the traditional history books.
A remarkable story of women who worked in industry and who fought for reform, Roydhouse’s book illustrates the strong resolve of women in Pennsylvania cities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of these women worked in factories, walked picket lines and fought for the right to vote throughout Pennsylvania during the years between the Civil War and World War II.
Roydhouse’s book is available in the Paul G. Gutman Library. To order a copy of Women of Industry and Reform, contact the Pennsylvania Historical Association at http://www.pa-history.org/pastudyseries.htm.