Sunday, December 4, 2016

Signs of the times from the New York Times (the times being 1916)

On today's 100 Years Ago Today Subreddit we learn a couple of interesting things.

 Horse drawn fire engine, New York City, 1916

One is that the head of New York City's fire department was proposing to convert the last horse drawn engine companies to automobiles.  Most already had been in NYC, but 700 fire horses remained with an average age of 13, apparently.

End of an era.

Secondly we learn that a study at Columbia University had found that it was perfectly possible to work your way through university.  Interesting to see that concern then, when many fewer attended it and they tended to be from classes with means as a rule.  Clearly the times were truly changing.

 Columbia library, 1915.

The study listed various jobs finding that shoveling snow lead the pack but posing as an "art model" came in second, although only one woman opted for that job.  Of various occupations listed, one curiously labelled one was "companion", which was a role performed by one female student.  Quite a few women worked as stenographer and typists which, although we hardly think of it that way now, were jobs that were actually new to women.

Female typist, 1917.  In this case the typist is 15 years old.

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