Sunday, September 11, 2011

Manhattan Trade School for Girls - 1911

Country: USA
Language: English
Filming Locations: Manhattan Trade School for Girls - 209-213 East 23rd Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Stars: Millie Spiro, Rose Pasquale and Miriam Levy
This is a non-fiction film about the Manhattan Trade School for Girls. In 1911, few women got education beyond primary school (especially in the big cities that were full of immigrants). Because of this, women were very limited in their employment options and received very low wages. The idea of this one year trade school was to help these young ladies get a leg up on a variety of trades. Oddly, much of what you see in the film does not seem that related to job skills--such as physical education classes. However, important skills such as cooking, sewing, how to dress for work, home economics, etc. are all being shown in the film.
Overall, it's all very dry. However, it's also a wonderful piece of our history--giving us insight into women shortly after the turn of the twentieth century--especially since there is a myth that women only started going to work during WWII.
For more information about the school and its expansion in 1915, try the following web site:

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