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Railroad Work Gang, 1917;


Workers for the San Pedro, Los Angeles, & Salt Lake Railroad, 1917.
The woman on the left is Lottie Hinks Corkish, great-grandmother of Alicia Smalley, current resident of Carson City. Ms Smalley writes that Ms Corkish worked for the railroad from 1917 to 1921, leaving during a railroad strike.
(Editor's Note: Good for Her !!)

She was a widow with four children to raise, two daughters still alive(Sept., 1997) ages 92 and 95.

Ms Smalley reports, "A few months ago, I was discussing the picture with my great-aunts. They told me, as adolescents, they baby-sat the children of the women in the picture, while they cleaned out the railroad cars, the repair shop, shoveled coal, and `...were paid men's wages.'
They also were paid to build fires in the school in the mornings to warm classrooms during the winter.

(Editor's Note: The First World War ended in 1918, and the men came back to the railroad jobs they left.)

Lottie Corkish worked for the railroad longer than the other women and for a time was the only woman working in the rail yard. Less than five feet tall, an executive from the Union Pacific saw her shoveling coal and asked if there wasn't some other job for her, after which she was given inside, less physical duties.
She was never again able to match the income she lost from her railroad employment."

(Editor's Note: That is what the labor union movement did for working people in the first half of this century. The second half has resulted in a lessening of the labor unions' worker coverage, and everyone working has suffered a decline in their standard of living, as a result.)




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