Sweet Home Chicago: Chocolate and Confectionery Production and Technology in the Windy City
This Women's Bureau bulletin surveys the hours, wages, and working conditions among female workers in two cities in America. Published in 1923, women were relatively new to the workforce. As candymaking was considered women's work, rapidly growing factories became a place for women to find employment. Earning on average $14.65 a week, women found jobs dipping chocolates and packing candy. Some would also open their own businesses.
One such example of a woman who started a candy business is Mrs. Arora Snyder (nee Hanson). Ora Synder was the mother of several children and in 1909, to make ends meet, she started a small candy making operation with little capital. By 1935 Mrs. Snyder's Home Made Candies had ten locations throughout Chicago. Fortune Magazine featured her in a special section about pioneering women in business. In 1931, she was the first woman elected as President of the Associated Retail Confectioners of the United States. Ora died in 1948 with a chain of sixteen bustling confectionery stores that were later sold to Fannie May Candies.
Weekly Earnings and Rates Chart
From: Women in the Candy Industry in Chicago and St. Louis, Bulletin (United States. Women's Bureau) no. 25. U.S Dept. of Labor, 1923, pg.9. Regenstein HD6093.A55 no.25