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Reclaiming history: women in the telegraph industry

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1 Author(s)
Jepsen, T.C. ; Fujitsu Network Commun., Raleigh, NC, USA

In the mid-nineteenth century, women entered a challenging, competitive technological field: the telegraph industry. They competed directly with men, demanding, and occasionally getting, equal pay; they moved into both management and senior technical positions. Women telegraphers comprised a subculture of technically educated workers whose skills, mobility, and independence set them apart from their contemporaries. The story of women telegraph operators has remained untold, partly because the story of the telegraph itself has been forgotten, and partly because these women were so far ahead of their time. The paper provides an analysis of the role that women played in the telegraph industry, how they defined themselves as technical professionals, and how their work related to that of women in modern technical fields

Published in:

Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 1 )