Presentation Explores Famous Harvey Girls
Come listen to Dr. Michaeline Chance-Reay on Friday, November 9th at 3PM as she discusses the history of the Harvey Girls. Dr. Chance-Reay teaches women’s studies and education at Kansas State University. Her current research focuses on the Harvey Girls and historic sites on the K-State campus, especially those related to women.
The Harvey House chain of restaurants got its start in Topeka when Fred Harvey opened a café for people traveling the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. Preferring the term “Harvey Girl” to waitress, he recruited single women to work at his restaurants that gradually sprang up all the way to California and Texas. This presentation explores the job duties and working conditions of Harvey Girls from 1876 to the early 1950s.
“Women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who wanted jobs or careers outside of the home had few choices,” said Chance-Reay. “But the Harvey Company offered unique opportunities. It was demanding work but it provided a decent salary in a protected environment, in addition to travel and adventure.”
All ages are invited to attend this free program. Contact the library for more information. The program is made possible by Humanities Kansas.