Women and Girls

Women and Girls in the Iron Industry

Many people, especially students, ask us about the role that women and girls played in the iron industry.  When a school group visits us, we’re about 99% sure that the question will come up.  Usually, students want to know what role they played at Beckley Furnace.

The simple answer is “Well, they did not make iron” but it’s a big topic; certainly bigger than that answer; maybe a huge topic; and the answer isn’t easy.

We’re going to be exploring the topic over several posts, so please stay tuned if this is a question that is meaningful to you.  If you ever think about the part gender plays in society today, then the answer to this question is probably going to be of interest to you.

One thought on “Women and Girls

  • August 13, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Should be an interesting series of posts on women and girls in the iron industry! I’m guessing you will decide it was a combination of some of the iron work requiring serious upper body strength, but even more so the cultural constraints on women at the time (long dresses, what was considered suitable and not, acceptable roles versus unacceptable). But I’m interested in seeing where it plays out in these posts!


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