A Celebration of Women Writers

"Industrial Women." by Mrs. Electa Wood Bullock (1834-1911).
Publication: Eagle, Mary Kavanaugh Oldham, ed. The Congress of Women: Held in the Woman's Building, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, U. S. A., 1893. Chicago, Ill: Monarch Book Company, 1894. pp. 510-511.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 510] 

INDUSTRIAL WOMEN.

By MRS. ELECTA BULLOCK.

MRS. ELECTA BULLOCK.
Not the least among the things that the nineteenth century has developed is a comparative appreciation of the industrial women of society, and the results of their quiet, earnest and effectual efforts. We view the marvelous industrial institutions of the civilized world as they exist today with wonder, and when we pause for a few moments to trace the history of their gradual development back to their infancy, we invariably find that their creation, nourishment and first strength was the loving and patient work of the industrial mothers of the land. While we point with justifiable pride to the proud position the manufactories occupy today, we do know that they are the outgrowth of the hand-card, the old and revered spinning-wheel, and the family hand-loom, the knitting and sewing needles.

I well remember that at the age of ten years I commenced to spin the yarn to make my own dresses. My father was obliged to shorten the legs of the spinning-wheel so I would be able to reach the spindle. Four ten-knotted skeins was considered a full day's work. There were forty threads in each knot, and when we would reel we would have to count one, two, three, four, five, until we had our forty threads, then we would tie it in order to separate the knot. But we were made very happy one day by my father bringing in a clock reel, which done away with the old system of counting. When I would get very tired of walking back and forth at the wheel all day my mother would say: "Dear child, sit down and rest you; there is your knitting-work; you must not be idle. You must always remember what I have taught you, that industry is the source of wealth." I have mentioned these habits of industry in former times more especially for the young ladies who may be present. Girls in those days, between the ages of ten and twenty years, were found at the spinning-wheel, while the girls of today are to be found in our colleges and universities, where they have the privilege of learning not only of the arts and sciences, but of the various industrial pursuits of life. Go through the educational, commercial and manufacturing centers of this land of ours, we see the handiwork of woman standing side by side with the proudest achievements of man; and upon all the stupendous monuments of the century's advancement will be found the refining touch and gilded finish of woman's work, inspiring society to higher and nobler efforts and still grander achievements.

The governmental statistics showing the percentage of female labor employed in the various industries of the land, if but understood by all our people, would cause the progress element of society to bow in reverence to her achievements and the part she is daily playing in the advancement of all that is good and great.

We affirm that with woman's influence withdrawn from governmental affairs, [Page 511]  anarchy would prevail; withdraw her labor from the manufacturing establishments of the land and its wheels would become stilled; dispense with her in our schools and the grand educational systems of today would degenerate to the darkness of the long past; banish her from the arts and they would lose their very divinity; take her from the industrial walks and avocations of life and confine her exclusively to the narrow sphere of house-wife and maid-servant, and the wheels of progress would turn backward and the retrogression of society would be the inevitable result. On the contrary, support her in her proud position of wife and mother, sustain her in every advance movement, and the women of America will lead society onward and upward, from civilization to civilization, through endless stages of progress.


[Page 510] 

Mrs. Electa Bullock was born in Huron County, Ohio. Her parents were Gideon Murphy and Hannah Daley Wood Murphy. She has traveled over the United States in the interest of the woman's suffrage and relief societies which she represents. In 1891 she was a delegate from Utah to the International Convention in Washington, D. C. She is a member of the Latter Day Saints, or so-called "Mormon" Church. She was in charge of the Woman's Department of the Utah Building in the World's Columbian Exposition, which position she filled acceptably. She now resides at Provo City, Utah County, Utah.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

This chapter has been put on-line as part of the BUILD-A-BOOK Initiative at the
Celebration of Women Writers.
Initial text entry and proof-reading of this chapter were the work of volunteer
Mary Mark Ockerbloom.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom