Corset Company Forelady, 1900

"I've been working at the corset company for five years now; corsets are big business for Kalamazoo. I started out sewing; now I'm the forelady. I work six days a week and make $12 each week. It's mostly women and girls that work here, except for the supervisors; they're all men. The women work plenty hard and earn their pay by how many corset pieces they complete each day." 

-Eva Barker, white female, age 32

Photo captions: Interiors of Kalamazoo Corset Company, circa 1900 (Kalamazoo Public Library collection); advertisement for the "Specialite Corset," 1901.

To find more historic photographs and artifacts related to the Kalamazoo Corset Company, visit KVM's searchable collections database. The KPL website offers additional information on what was once Kalamazoo's largest employer. 

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