Ella Wentworth

From Ohio History Central

Ella Wentworth, a resident of Cincinnati, was a woman far ahead of her times. Wentworth began editing The Literary Journal in the city in 1853. It was not common during the antebellum era for women to own their own businesses, but Wentworth went even further in her challenges to women's traditional status. All of her employees were also women. In addition, Wentworth started a school to train women to use printing presses in 1854. Not only did she employ women, but Wentworth also treated her workers very well. She encouraged their education by providing a library and a piano for their use. Many factory workers had to work extremely long hours of up to twelve or more hours each day, but Wentworth's employees had an eight-hour workday. The women received wages of a dollar a day, which was a very high wage during this era.

Wentworth had an important influence on both the women's workforce and the printing trade in Cincinnati. By 1860, almost five percent of the city's working women were part of the printing trade.

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