As the ravages of the First World War and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic receded into the past, a new spirit gripped New York City. Energy seemed to infuse every aspect of city life, from business to leisure and everything in between. For a decade, New Yorkers by and large lived, worked and partied with abandon. [Read more…] about New York City In the Roaring 20s: A Primer
Resources Available for New York’s Working Mothers
The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) is reminding New Yorkers there are a variety of resources available to help working mothers. NYSDOL found in the 2023 Gender Wage Gap Report that mothers face significant challenges in the workplace that contribute to the wage gap. The report also found the pivot to remote learning and pandemic-driven closures of childcare facilities elevated the severe impact of childcare access, which has long been a major problem for working women. [Read more…] about Resources Available for New York’s Working Mothers
Abandoned Stone Quarries of Schoharie County
Late in the 19th century, stone was king of building materials and much of the cut stone which helped transform New York into the Empire State came from Schoharie County. There were eight limestone quarries in the town of Cobleskill, with six in the village alone. The largest, located near Barnerville, employed 450 men to fulfill a huge contract with the city of New York, worth the equivalent of approximately $65 million today. [Read more…] about Abandoned Stone Quarries of Schoharie County
NY’s Paid Family Leave Helping Millions of Workers
Payments under New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program rose steadily between 2018 and 2021 as the amount of allowable time off and weekly cash benefits increased. Almost eight million workers were covered under PFL, with $872 million paid on approximately 156,000 claims in 2021, the latest year for which PFL data is available from the state Department of Financial Services, according to an analysis by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. [Read more…] about NY’s Paid Family Leave Helping Millions of Workers
Memorial Planned For Workers Who Died While Serving NYS
The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) marked Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28th by unveiling plans for a new, permanent memorial that will pay tribute to the State employees who passed away, including line of duty deaths, while serving New York State. The memorial site, which will feature a plaque, will be located near the reflecting pool in front of the Department’s office on the Harriman State Office Campus in Albany. [Read more…] about Memorial Planned For Workers Who Died While Serving NYS
Sam Patch: Early American Daredevil
On a chilly November day in 1829, a man dressed completely in white stood before a crowd on the precipice of the High Falls of the Genesee River in the middle of Rochester, New York. Many watching had traveled for days to view the spectacle. All eyes were riveted on one of the most famous men in America. [Read more…] about Sam Patch: Early American Daredevil
Plattsburgh’s Cigar Industry: 1860s-1940s
Plattsburgh, from the 1860s through to the Second World War, was a manufacturing center for the 5 cent cigar. The smell of a quality cigar could be detected walking down Margaret Street between Court and Broad Streets. What began with small businesses in the late 1860s, turned into a major cigar manufacturing industry for the City of Plattsburgh thanks to the Scheier, Mendelsohn, Levy, Merkel and Payette families, to name a few.
The handmade cigar industry in Plattsburgh employed dozens of workers and produced thousands of cigars. [Read more…] about Plattsburgh’s Cigar Industry: 1860s-1940s
Justus Schwab & East Village Radicalism
Today, the city of Frankfurt-am-Main is the largest financial hub in Continental Europe, home to the European Central Bank (ECB), the Deutsche Bundesbank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The same city was at one time the epicenter of a liberal uprising that swept the German states. The Frankfurt Parliament was convened in May 1848; its members were elected by direct (male) suffrage, representing the full political spectrum. In the end, the revolution of 1848 failed and was suppressed with excessive force and retribution. [Read more…] about Justus Schwab & East Village Radicalism
The Nature of Slavery: Environment & Plantation Labor
In the late 18th century, planters in the Caribbean and the American South insisted that only Black people could labor on plantations, arguing that Africans, unlike Europeans, had bodies particularly suited to cultivate crops in hot climates.
Katherine Johnston’s The Nature of Slavery (Oxford Univ. Press, 2022) disrupts this longstanding claim about biological racial difference. [Read more…] about The Nature of Slavery: Environment & Plantation Labor
Madam C. J. Walker: Black Hair Care Entrepreneur
The latest History Twins podcast is about Madam C. J. Walker (1867 – 1919), who made a fortune by developing and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair care products for Black women, especially through the business she founded, the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company.
The first child of her large family born free. Sarah Breedlove was a child near Delta, Louisiana where her parents die and she was orphaned by the age of seven. She moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, at the age of 10, working as a domestic servant. [Read more…] about Madam C. J. Walker: Black Hair Care Entrepreneur