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photograph of uniformed motorette

Motorette Helen Murphy

Motorette Helen Murphy at the Snelling Station, Snelling and University Avenues, St. Paul, about 1945.

motorette newspaper advertisement

World War II motorette advertisement

A newspaper ad recruiting women to operate streetcars, 1944.

photograph of a group of uniformed streetcar conductresses

Duluth streetcar conductresses

The Duluth Street Railway hired twenty-one women as streetcar conductors (or "conductresses," as they termed them) in 1918. Some of them posed outside the streetcar barn at Twenty-sixth Avenue West and Superior Street for this photo taken June 21, 1918.

World War II motorettes

Three of the first motorettes report for work at Nicollet Station, Thirty-first Street and Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, 1943.

photograph of two female streetcar operators

Female streetcar operators

This photo taken about 1918 is the only known picture of women who ran streetcars in Minneapolis during World War I. The numbers on the hats indicate that the one on the left is a conductor (even number) and that the one on the right is a motorette (odd number). The numbers imply that the women were based at the North Side Station, Twenty-fourth Avenue North and Washington Avenue, Minneapolis.

Motorettes

Before World War II, operating streetcars was considered a man’s job. A 1916 Twin City Rapid Transit (TCRT) report shows sixty-eight female employees out of a workforce of 4,300, and those few were telephone operators and clerical office workers.

photograph of ruth myers

Ruth Myers

Portrait of Ruth Myers

Myers, Ruth A. (1926–2001)

Ruth A. Myers was known as the “grandmother of American Indian education in Minnesota.” A persistent voice for American Indian children and their families, Myers focused on education policy as well as learning opportunities for American Indian children. She also produced curriculum and resource materials that reflected American Indian history and culture for all Minnesota learners.

Bobbin lace pillow with bobbins and paper patterns

Bobbin lace making pillow and paper patterns. Wood base padded with natural fiber stuffing and coved with tan cotton fabric. Paper lace pattern pinned to pillow with metal pins with lace in progress. Ten wood bobbins hang from work, wound with linen thread.

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