Launderer, 1900

"I'm originally from Virginia; I'm a widow now--raising a boy and a girl; they're nearly grown but don't work so I'm supporting the whole family. There are plenty of people in Kalamazoo that need washing and ironing done, especially a lot of the single men working in the factories."

-Harriet Booth, Black woman, age 51

Photo captions: Unidentified laundress, circa 1890 (unknown collection); women working in the Lexington Laundry, Richmond, Virginia, 1899. Note the machinery in use by this time. (Library of Congress collection).

To find more historic photographs and artifacts related to African American history in Kalamazoo, visit KVM's searchable collections database.

A Job for Everyone
  1. Grocer, 1890s
  2. Dressmaker, 1890s
  3. Seamstress, 1890s
  4. Laborer, 1890s
  5. Carriage Builder, 1890s
  6. Cigar Roller, 1890s
  7. Launderer, 1900
  8. Corset Company Forelady, 1900
  9. Card Sorter, 1900
  10. Paper Mill, 1900
  11. Carriage Painter, 1900
  12. Foundry Worker, 1900
  13. Type Setter, 1910s
  14. Teacher, 1910s
  15. Elevator Operator, 1910s
  16. Metal Caster, 1910s
  17. Barber, 1910s
  18. Stationery Packer, 1910s
  19. Seamstress, 1910s
  20. Family Cook, 1920s
  21. Errand Girl, 1920s
  22. Janitor, 1920s
  23. Paper Beaterman, 1920s
  24. Hotel Bell Boy, 1920s