Cover for BJELOPERA: City of Clerks: Office and Sales Workers in Philadelphia, 1870-1920. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

City of Clerks

Office and Sales Workers in Philadelphia, 1870-1920

A new class of workers in the city

Below the middle class managers and professionals yet above the skilled blue-collar workers, sales and office workers occupied an intermediate position in urban America's social structure during the age of smokestacks. Bjelopera traces the shifting occupational structures and work choices that facilitated the emergence of a white-collar workforce. He paints a fascinating picture of the lives led by Philadelphia's male and female clerks, both inside and outside the workplace, as they formed their own clubs, affirmed their "whiteness," and even challenged sexual norms. By mapping the relationship between these workers' self-expectations and the shifting demands of their employers, City of Clerks reveals how the notion of "white collar" shifted over half a century.


"This is a commendable effort that shines a spotlight on a feature of industrial modernization that has been neglected for too long."--EH.NET "Jerome P. Bjelopers's study of Philadelphia clerks in the fifty years surrounding the beginning of the twentieth century is an excellent and important addition to this growing body of literature that casts the methodological net of 'new' labor history across a more diverse spectrum of work experiences and workers."--Labor History

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