Grace, Gert, and the Berkey & Gay Gals: Women, War and Work in 1910s Grand Rapids

  • Grand Rapids Public Library 111 Library Street Northeast Grand Rapids, MI, 49503 United States

Celebrate the working women of Grand Rapids 100 years ago. GRPL local history experts Julie Tabberer, Heather Edwards, and Drew Damron will highlight some of the city’s women employed outside their homes. The last decade of the heady Progressive Era opened doors both personal and professional for these 11,000 women, and the disruptions of wartime provided opportunities in a working world previously off limits. Learn about the women who worked at the Berkey & Gay furniture factory, an early woman cartoonist, and one of our first female elected officials. Discover the unique archival resources used in the research of these women—an employee-produced factory newsletter, census records, city directories, newspaper articles, and 20,000 extremely rare war registration cards surveying the skills of area women.