Women railroad employees

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Mildred Bradley is a retired worker at the South Louisville Shops. She was among a large group of women hired by the L&N Railroad during World War II. Main topics: Early life and jobs before employment with L&N; early working years at the L&N (good description of cleaning diesels and working with brick masons); postwar years; unionization and the importance for women; 1955 strike observations and experiences; limitations on women workers who continued to work at the South Louisville shops; background on International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers; special tools and aspects of Mildred Bradley's work; work experiences of father, Jess Davis; reflections on race relations in Kentucky and on the L&N Railroad. Wrap-up: comments on work including examples of how she dug the pits under the diesels and other heavy machines, and more explanation concerning union activities and records; reflections on what might have been if times had been different and compliments paid to Ms. Bradley.
Early life and jobs before joining the L&N Railroad. Secretary for general claims agent then general claims attorney. L&N in 1945: still a man's world. Ms. Hanley replaced a man. Explanation of claims department hierarchy and types of general claims work. Percentages of accidents and types of accidents. Description of several executives in the general claims division of the law department. Other divisions include commerce and general law (mortgages, deeds, and release agreements). Approximately 16 attorneys in 1945 and 14 in 1980; 15 outside District Attorneys and four staff plus local attorneys and medical staff consisting of 16 district surgeons and surgeons of present. Secretary for HW Willen, general claims attorney, about 1953 on. Tilford is the president being discussed. About 1960 Ms. Hanley began working for Milton H. Smith, II. Commerce department handles abandonment problems: L&N must get permission from ICC for closure of any tracks, branches, etc. Recollections of JJ Donohue, Mary Barnett (secretary), HW Willen, WJ Creclius, and Jim M. Terry. Hostess responsibilities: board of directors luncheon, retirement party for JE Tilford and later for WL Grubbs and CS Sanderson. Wrote the correspondent's column for the law department for 20 yrs. There was a very involved system to record keeping. Medical section very valuable because of the payments of bills. Participation by L&N in various projects: Dessie Scott Children's Home, Matilda Fund for L&N families, Once-a-year Solicitation plan, L&N Cooperative Club. Explanation of the 10th floor prestige: legal department on west end and executive department on east end. Working for Milton H. Smith, son of Sidney Smith, VP and grandson of Milton Hannibal Smith, president of L&N 1884-1886 and 1891-1921. Moving considerations to Jacksonville, Florida: tax, insurance and accounting. No plans at present to move the law department. Opportunities open to young people now that were closed 30 years ago. Organizations Hanley is actively involved with, women's movement into industry.
Mrs. Janes is a housewife living in the Louisville area who was among hundreds of women employed by the L&N Railroad during World War II. Main topics: Family connections with the L&N Railroad; work at the L&N local freight office; work situation for women during World War II; Mrs. Janes' father's work experiences including a connection with black Louisville artist Bert Hurley; L&N connections with South Louisville neighborhoods; train trips over the years.
Annie Ruth Laird is retired from the South Louisville Shops and is one of hundreds of women hired by the L&N to work during World War II. Main topics: introduction to Laird's work years at the South Louisville Shops; description of the atmosphere and work activities at the shops; important years of change for minority employees: 1950-1960; daily living conditions such as clothing requirements and lunch facilities; comments on the changes during the 1970s; wrap-up thoughts on working for the L&N Railroad.
17 years old when employed by L&N. Recollections on the East Louisville Yards during the 1920s. Ms. Larkin worked as a stenographer for 11 years and then as a rate clerk. Descriptions of the clerical shifts, veterinarian, mechanical personnel, and local industry as it related to L&N (example: Ballard & Ballard Mill and the Bourbon Stock Yards). Competing railroads for local business. Explanation of L&N procedure for cutback and reassignment of personnel (roll-out). How this procedure moved Larkin to the Accounting Department at 9th and Broadway. During this time there were several consolidations of service measures instigated by the L&N (1931). General Office in 1931 and how the consolidation of services affected station agents. Explanation of accounting terms and procedures as they relate to the L&N Railroad. Additional descriptions of the main office building at 9th and Broadway. Elliot Fisher Group described along with various topics: large amounts of scrap metal sent to Japan; hiring of women during both wars; central accounting bureau and procedures. Computerization of the accounting department and loss of personnel, union activities, station accounts, and physical arrangement of the divisions of the accounting department. Changes that took place prior to move to the Jacksonville headquarters of the Seaboard Coast Lines Industries. This transfer was completed in June 1980.
Experiences prior to employment by L&N, early years, work at Ballard & Ballard. Events leading to employment with L&N. Education at Louisville Girl's High School and in Cincinnati, Ohio. Description of the L&N in 1917, one of two women in building -- tells of how it was a man's world, talks about engineering language and record keeping. Sketches of various personalities in the Engineering Department: William Howard Courtenay, chief engineer; Allen Snellen, supervisor of bridges & buildings; LR Muhs, assistant bridge engineer and Charles K. Bruce. Description of the first L&N building and the addition at 9th & Broadway. Anecdotes on bridge construction experiences. Generosity of L&N employees for various causes. Washout on the Short Line and Liebknecht's actions in Courtenay's absence. Rotation of engineers throughout the L&N system and upward movement into the Executive Department. Diamond Jubilee of L&N (1925), founding of the L&N Magazine, Thomas E. Owen was editor. The presidency of Wible O. Mapother. This discussion covers the earliest L&N publication Lively Lines, the L&N Magazine and the present publication Family Lines. Ms. Liebknecht's section was titled "Half-Fare" and "Of Feminine Interest." Effect of the Depression economy on the L&N. Hoover Days (four-day week) instituted so that all could work. No layoffs remembered at the L&N office in Louisville. World War II effort, participation of L&N in the War Bond effort and Liebknecht's recognition for her part. Dessie Scott Children's Home, Little Kentucky: relationship with L&N began in 1947. 1950s: 100th Anniversary of the L&N. Celebration was attended by hundreds including ALM Wiggins, then chairman of the board of directors of the L&N. Description of working conditions and increase in women employees from World War II years on. Telephone had displaced many persons. No inequities, particularly telegrapher in salary due to sex of employee. The importance of changes in technology during Liebknecht's working years. Liebknecht's work with the L&N Cooperative Club. 1960's and 1967: Great changes brought about by computerization and automation. Loss of personal touch. Growth of the engineering Department from approximately 70 to 140 during the years covered by the interview. Still not large number of women engineers. Civil engineer changes with age. Liebknecht's activities in poetry and writing. Articles in 1964 L&N Magazine and March 1971 Diana Awards. Louisville General Office Building personnel. Remarks about EC Fields a mistake (see enclosed clipping).
Rebecca Smith is a retired South Louisville shops employee. She was among a large group of women hired by the L&N Railroad during World War II. Main topics: early life and jobs before employment with the L&N; work experiences in Shop 13; work experiences in Shop 14; importance of the union (International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers) for women workers; reflections on race relations at the South Louisville shops; condition of the rail cars cleaned by Smith; limitation of facilities for women employees; limitation experienced by women employees that made transition to the skilled crafts difficult; work experiences at Strawberry Yard (good description of all phases of work done by women); additional work experiences after returning to the South Louisville shops; wrap up and personal items about Ms. Smith's life.