International Typographical Union This was a press trading union in the ancient stages of Print development. Early 1800s and 1900s characterized a dominant popularity of this trading union. During its existence, the trade union entailed pure exclusion of the female gender in the press industry (Burr, 49). Therefore, it was a male dominated industry. This union complied with the social perspectives towards the female gender. The female gender was associated with inferiority. In this case, this trading union conformed to the existent social perspective. The press trading union excluded the women, and it advocated for male chauvinism (Burr, 48).
This is a major icon in the technological development of the press industry. In 1885, Otto Mergenthaler invented a linotype that brought much efficiency in print production (Burr, 55). Through this invention, machine typesetting became a major preference in print productions. Compositors of this era capitalized on this inventory in their document processing. The linotype entailed a keyboard that resembled that one of the type writer. This invention was ideal for newspaper and book production. Therefore, the Mergenthaler’s invention was not for commercial document processing (Burr, 56). It purely suited composition and production of newspapers and text books.
It entailed an era of stiff competition amongst the dominant publishers in the USA. Bill Barnes and McCann were the dominant compositors of the day (Rumble, 87). They would therefore engage in stiff competitions in their composition of print productions. These competitions would always qualify McCann as the victor. Therefore, he would manifest swift skills over his opponent Bill Barnes (Rumble, 88). The swifts were most popular after the invention of the linotype by Mergenthaler.
This entailed coverage of the technical inventions during the early years of the nineteenth century. During this era, major developments were made in the field of science, and the print industry attained observable benefits (Rumble, 96). For instance, the invention of the linotype machine facilitated efficient print productions in this era. The technical inventions initiated the workshop culture even in the print industry.
Roles of women in the printing industry during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Women underwent severe discrimination during this era. The emergence and gradual development of the print industry manifested harsh experiences that faced women. The entire print industry advocated for men’s chauvinism (Burr, 53). This was evident in the structure and principles of the trade unions established during this era. Male dominance was observable in the trade unions, and they spearheaded policies that could only favor them. For instance, International Typographical Union was dominated by men in its leadership. In this case, the men entirely excluded women from the membership of the trade union (Burr, 48). Despite of the major discrimination and unfavorable circumstances, the women played a significant role in the print industry.
Gender roles were extended from the domestic life to the workplace. In this case, women and men had separate roles in their places of work (Burr, 53). In the print industry, gender roles were evident in the different activities executed by the sexes independently. Men would take the major supervisory and managerial roles. Women would therefor take subordinate roles such as clerical and casual work. Evidently, there was intense discrimination in the allocation of roles within the workplace. Women lived under unfavorable situations due to the discrimination in roles. They majorly ventured in the basic processes of print production. For instance, women only undertook basic roles of binding (Burr, 56). They were not allowed into the tertiary levels of the binding process. Therefore, they diligently perfected the basic stages for an outstanding completion. Women had a role of basic perfection in the print industry.
As denoted previously, women were subject to intense discrimination in the allocation of roles in the workplace. They took the subordinate roles in the printing industry. Men took the prestigious positions over women (Burr, 54). There was a dominant stereotype that reinforced the incapability and inferiority of the female gender. The society perceived the women as submissive and weak. The disparity in roles oversaw skewedness in the system of remuneration (Burr, 55). Women received much lower pay than men. This is because they were considered as minors and weak beings before the men. Women played a major role in initiating a persistent quest for equality. After technological inventions such as the linotype, women manifested outstanding capability in print production. Some of them would perform even better than men. Margaret spearheaded the quest for workplace gender equality in this era (Burr, 55). Therefore, women played a major role of initiating the quest for gender equality in the workplace.
Burr, Christina. “Defending the Art preservative: Class and Gender relations in the Printing Trade Unions, 1850-1914.” Athabasca University Press. 1993.
Rumble, Walker. “From the shop floor to the show: Joseph W McCann, typesetting races, and expressive work in 19th Century America.” Journal of Popular Culture. 1998.