Family Cook, 1920s

"I was livin' in Alabama with my husband and daughter but they died in the flu epidemic of 1918, so I came up here to Kalamazoo to be near my sister and her family. Got a job cookin' for the Penniman family. Mr. Penniman owns a big factory on Pitcher Street making machines. I have a nice room in his house over on Stuart Avenue. I make 85 cents a day which is a good wage for me.This week I am buyin' a new hat to wear to church."        

-Lulu Adams, Black woman, age 34

Photo captions: An example of a 1920s kitchen in an upper-class home (unidentified collection); unidentified women, cica 1920s (postcard unknow collection). House built in 1886, located in the Stuart neighborhood of Kalamazoo.  

To find more historic photographs and artifacts related African American women or historic houses 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