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

When a new class of workers appeared in the big 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 as the nation industrialized. Jerome P. Bjelopera traces the shifting occupational structures and work choices that facilitated the emergence of a white collar workforce. His fascinating portrait reveals 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 challenged sexual norms.

A vivid look at an overlooked but recognizable workforce, City of Clerks reveals how the notion of "white collar" shifted over half a century.


"Jerome P. Bjelopera'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


Jerome P. Bjelopera is an analyst for the Congressional Research Service.

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