Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.)

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The Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Massachusetts), a non-profit social and educational agency, was founded in 1877 by Dr. Harriet Clisby, and incorporated in 1880, "to increase fellowship among women and to promote the best practical methods for securing their educational, industrial and social advancement." In order to accomplish this mission, the organization was arranged in committees or departments which throughout its history provided education and job placement services for women, social services for the needy, social programs for members, and operated a number of retail shops. These departments continued to evolve as different needs arose. In its early years, the organization gave practical help and provided training programs to and for women, teaching them how to produce marketable goods and selling their products at the Union's Handwork Shop, one of its early retail shops. Among the social services offered were legal aid for needy women (especially domestics); lunches for schools in the city of Boston; and training and placement for women, the adult blind, and other handicapped.

An early Committee on Hygiene, which provided health education and free medical treatment to women, later became the Committee on Sanitary and Industrial Conditions (investigating conditions of work in shops and industry) and still later, the Research Department. The early Employment Bureau, which began by investigating fraudulent advertisements offering lucrative work to women at home and by providing job placement services to both professional women and domestics, split into the Emergency Employment Bureau (offering placement services for cooks, laundresses, housekeepers, etc., who could only accept day work), and the Appointment Bureau (offering career counseling and placement services in business and the professions). The Emergency Appointment Bureau was reorganized as Homemaker Services, which offered household services to the chronically ill and to those with medical emergencies, and the new Career Services continued in the same vein as the Appointment Bureau. The Union's retail shops, which in the early years consisted of a tea room, lunch room, food shop, and handwork shop, expanded over time to include a children's book shop, stationery shop, needlework shop, children's shop, printing shop, magazine shop, and gift shop, among others. Profits from the Union shops were used to maintain social service and other programs until they closed in 2004.

More recent programs offered by the Social Services Department included Companions Unlimited, a volunteer program to help the elderly and handicapped of all ages; Mini Mart, a member food co-op for the elderly and handicapped offered as part of Companions Unlimited; Parent Aides, a mentoring service for young single mothers; Horizons Transitional Housing Program, a temporary housing program for battered and homeless women and their children; Family Day Care; and the department's nursing home guide, whose title has varied over the years. Other departments included Homemaker Services, Career Services, and Member Services, which offered a daytime lecture series, classes, tours and special events, and the After Five program, providing lectures on issues of current interest for young men and women. Rockport Lodge, a vacation home for low- to moderate-income women, and the Women's Rest Tour Association, now known as the Traveler's Information Exchange (a network collecting information about travel for women), were associated with the Union, as was the Industrial Credit Union, which was started by a group of Union women in 1910. The Union was supported by membership dues, donations and gifts, grants, and in part by its shops. In 2002, the Union changed its name to the Women's Union, and in 2004 sold its buildings, dedicating the income from their sales to future programs. In July 2006 the Union merged with Crittenton to become the Crittenton Women's Union, dedicated to transforming "the course of low-income women's lives so that they can attain economic independence and create better futures for themselves and their families."

From the guide to the Additional records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.), 1877-2004, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers, 1900-1965 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Bureau of Vocational Information. Records, 1908-1932 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Historical Dimensions of Women's Culture (1983 : Boston College). Conference papers, 1983. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Additional records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.), 1877-2004 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Audiotape collection of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.) [sound recording]. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Horn Book, Inc. The Horn Book Magazine and Horn Book, Inc. Records, 1899-1993, 1916-1993. Simmons College, Beatley Library
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers of Molly Dewson, 1893-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Noyes family. Papers II, 1789-1957, bulk: 1836-1920. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice, 1820-1905. Papers, 1870-1904 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Baldwin, William Henry. Papers, 1852-1909. Andover-Harvard Theological Library
creatorOf Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.). Records, 1877-1980 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records of The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, 1942-2011 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 2, part c. Correspondence (N-W), 1910-1915. [microform] Cornell University Library
creatorOf Audiotape collection of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.), 1986-2000 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Arnold, Sarah Louise, 1859-1943. Sarah Louise Arnold Papers, 1894-1954 1894-1904. Simmons College, Beatley Library
referencedIn White, Eva W. (Eva Whiting), 1885-1974. Papers, 1885-1974 (bulk: 1909-1974) Simmons College, Beatley Library
referencedIn Bosworth, Louise Marion, 1881-1982. Papers, 1890-1946 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.). Additional records, 1877-1977 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Additional records, 1877-1974 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Additional records, 1877-1977 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Pickard-Whittier papers, 1815-1915. Houghton Library
creatorOf Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.). Additional records, 1877-1974 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Bureau of Vocational Information (New York, N.Y.). Records, 1908-1932 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Robert Manning papers, 1938-1993. Houghton Library
referencedIn Papers, 1919-1993 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Horn book magazine and Horn Book, Inc. records, 1899-1986 (bulk 1916-1967). Simmons College, Beatley Library
referencedIn Prince Program in Retailing. Essay, 1979. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.). [Public service announcement] [videorecording] / Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn New York House and School of Industry. Vocational Training Project. Records, 1950-1961 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers, 1893-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Records, 1894-1955 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.). Additional records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.), 1877-2004 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Abby Morton Diaz Papers MS 48., 1879-1900 Sophia Smith Collection
creatorOf Videotape and motion picture collection of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.), 1979-2001 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Commons, John R. (John Rogers), 1862-1945. John R. Commons papers, 1832-2005 (bulk 1894-1938). Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Rockport Lodge (Rockport, Mass.). Records of Rockport Lodge (Rockport, Mass.), 1906-2007 (inclusive), 1952-1995 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records, 1950-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn White, Eva Whiting, 1880-1974. Papers, 1900-1965 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1890-1946 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Arnold, Sarah Louise, 1859-1943. Papers, 1894-1954 (bulk 1898-1904). Simmons College, Beatley Library
referencedIn Diaz, Abby Morton, 1821-1904. Papers 1879-1900. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Gerson, Tove Gertrud Mueller, 1903-1998. Papers, 1919-1993 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Records of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, 1942-2003 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Women's Educational and Industrial Union. Women's Educational and Industrial Union records, 1896-1968. New York State Historical Documents (Albany, N.Y.)
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith A. B. Kennon. person
associatedWith American Association for Labor Legislation. corporateBody
associatedWith Arnold, Sarah Louise, 1859-1943. person
associatedWith Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. corporateBody
associatedWith Back Bay Association corporateBody
associatedWith Baldwin, William Henry, 1826-1909 person
associatedWith Bean, Ruth L person
associatedWith Bean, Ruth L. person
associatedWith Bonfilio, Claire corporateBody
associatedWith Bosworth, Louise Marion, 1881-1982 person
associatedWith Brewer, Marcia person
associatedWith Bureau of Occupations. corporateBody
associatedWith Bureau of Vocational Information corporateBody
associatedWith Bureau of Vocational Information (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Carrasquillo, Migdalia person
associatedWith Central Employment Bureau corporateBody
associatedWith Chicago Collegiate Bureau of Occupation. corporateBody
associatedWith Child, Julia, 1912-2004 person
correspondedWith Christine Ayars person
associatedWith Clisby, Harriet person
associatedWith Clisby, Harriet, 1831-193? person
associatedWith Clisby, Harriet, 1831-1931. person
associatedWith Committee on Ethics corporateBody
associatedWith Commons, John R. (John Rogers), 1862-1945. person
associatedWith Crawford, Louise Lavell person
associatedWith Denver Collegiate Bureau of Occupation corporateBody
associatedWith Dewson, Mary (Molly) Williams, 1874-1962 person
associatedWith Diaz, Abby Morton, 1821-1904 person
associatedWith Domestic Reform League. corporateBody
associatedWith Donham, S. Agnes 1871- person
correspondedWith Dora Bascom Smith person
associatedWith Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937. person
correspondedWith Federation of Women's Exchanges corporateBody
associatedWith Gerson, Tove Gertrud Mueller, 1903-1998. person
associatedWith Golden Swan Needlework Guild corporateBody
associatedWith Guion, Janie person
associatedWith Hale, Robert D. person
associatedWith Harriet O'Brien person
associatedWith Harris, Catherine person
associatedWith Historical Dimensions of Women's Culture (1983 : Boston College) corporateBody
associatedWith Horn Book, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Institute for Coordinations of Women's Interests. corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson, Jacqueline person
associatedWith Kehew, Mary Morton, 1859-1918. person
associatedWith Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice, 1820-1905. person
associatedWith Los Angeles Collegiate Bureau of Occupation corporateBody
correspondedWith Manning, Robert, 1919- person
associatedWith Mary C. Jackson person
associatedWith Massachusetts Committee for Old Age Security. corporateBody
associatedWith National Committee of Bureaus of Occupations corporateBody
associatedWith National Council on the Aging corporateBody
associatedWith New England Kitchen corporateBody
associatedWith New York House and School of Industry. Vocational Training Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Noyes family. family
associatedWith Orlacchio, Margaret person
associatedWith Pasadena Vocational Bureau corporateBody
associatedWith Philadelphia Bureau of Occupation corporateBody
associatedWith Prince, Lucinda Wyman, ? -1935 person
associatedWith Prince Program in Retailing. corporateBody
associatedWith Rockport Lodge (Rockport, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Rose, Laurie person
associatedWith School of Housekeeping. corporateBody
associatedWith Shalom, Beverly person
associatedWith Shut-in Society corporateBody
associatedWith Simmons College corporateBody
associatedWith Simmons College (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith State Federation of Women's Clubs corporateBody
associatedWith The Boston Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Tove Gertrud (Müller) Gerson, 1903- person
correspondedWith Washington Cathedral corporateBody
associatedWith Washington, Jeanne L. person
associatedWith W.E.I.U.- Appointment bureau corporateBody
associatedWith White, Dorothy person
associatedWith White, Eva W. person
associatedWith White, Eva (Whiting) person
associatedWith White, Eva Whiting, 1880-1974. person
associatedWith White, Eva Whiting, 1885-1974. person
correspondedWith Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892 person
associatedWith Wider Opportunities for Women corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.). Appointment Bureau. corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Industrial Council - Trade Union Leagues. corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Occupational Bureau corporateBody
associatedWith Worth of Paris corporateBody
associatedWith Y.W.C.A. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Boston
Boston (Mass.)
Massachusetts
Boston (Mass.)
Boston (Mass.)
Massachusetts
Boston
Massachusetts
Massachusetts--Boston
Massachusetts--Boston
Massachusetts--Boston
Boston (Mass.)
Subject
Occupational training
Teenage mothers--Counseling of
Prostitution
Women's shelters
Older blind people--Services for
Women's employment
Nursing homes
Needlework
Credit unions
Women--Services for
Stores, Retail
Home economics
Education
Work environment
Human services
Home economics--Study and teaching
Vocational education
Labor inspection
Public welfare
Day care centers
Women household employees
Social service
Aged, Blind--Services for
Sales personnel--Training of
Employment--Massachusetts
Women immigrants
Household employees
Factories--Inspection
Charities
School lunchrooms, cafeterias, etc
Consignment sales shops
Older people--Dwellings
Vocational guidance
Vocational guidance for women
Women--Vocational guidance
Trade shops
Employment agencies
Older people--Services for
Women--Employment
School children--food
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1877

Active 2006

Americans

English

Information

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