The Condition of Women Workers Under the Present Industrial System. An Address by Ida M. Van Etten, at the National Convention of the American Federation of Labor held at Detroit, Mich., December 8th, 1890 (Richard T. Ely's copy)
by [WOMEN] VAN ETTEN, Ida M.
New York: American Federation of Labor / Samuel Gompers, 1891. First Edition. Desirable copy of an important document, one of the first serious attempts to secure safe working conditions and better hours for working women, speaking out especially against the so-called "Sweating System" of the underground garment industry. Van Etten (d. 1894), scion of one of the oldest New York families, was an influential writer and speaker on women's issues, serving as the secretary of the Working Women's Society of New York. Curiously, she died unhinged and penniless (in fact, $120 in arrrears) in her room at the Hotel Continental in Paris, where a contemporary newspaper account notes "...[her] room was found to contain nothing of any value. The most of her belongings consisted of papers and a stack of unsent letters appealing for help, some of them of not very recent date" (New York Times, Mar 8, 1894). This the copy of Progressive economist and journalist Richard T. Ely (1854-1943), with his ink ownership signature at head of front wrapper. Ely was the founder of the American Economic Association, and a noted author on labor issues. Of the current work, OCLC locates approximately 8 physical locations, all with Washington, D.C. imprints; there appear to be no institutionally catalogued examples of the New York printing, nor can we establish priority. Octavo. Staple-bound pamphlet; printed paper wrappers; 16pp. Faint vertical crease; front cover lightly foxed and soiled, with wax-pencil ownership initial at upper margin near bound edge, else a Very Good, well-preserved copy. Ownership signature in ink of R[obert] T. Ely to front cover. At base of cover: "Copyright by Samuel Gompers, 1891." (Inventory #: 29973)
The history, literature, and art of American social movements, including Civil Rights, Feminism, Labor History, Radical Politics, and Counterculture.
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