Your eyes will naturally go first to this Charleston telephone switchboard when you walk into this discovery room. Complete with switches, plugs and even old phone directories, it’s hard to miss. Working at the telephone switchboard was one of the first jobs available to women who were just entering the workforce. This room highlights the changing roles of women at home and at work. You can examine the evolving domestic roles of women in this room. Can you remember your grandmother – or perhaps your mother – using these kitchen tools? Can you imagine sitting under a hairdryer like this one?
During this era, everyday activities like making jams and jellies became businesses for women who wanted to make extra money. See the story of Callie Tsapsis of Weirton. She was West Virginia’s first female trial judge. This is also the time when cottage industries begin to take hold in West Virginia.
Video courtesy of West Virginia Public Broadcasting; Videographer/Editor: Janet Kunicki; Narrator: Beth Vorhees