First Female Railroad Worker : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I am searching for information on my G-grandmother and I was told by my father that my G-grandmother was the first female employed by any railroad. She was said to have been hired by the Atlantic Coastline Railroad. Her married name was Alice Taylor. This is all the information I have at the moment and was wondering how I would find out the history of the railroad when it comes to that aspect so that I may possibly find out more information about my g-grandmother.

Thank you.

-- Jessica Taylor (, December 25, 2000


While your great-grandmother may have been a pioneer railroader, it is doubtful (though not entirely impossible) that she was the first. Women have been employed by the railroads in this country almost since the first flanged wheels started rolling. Now, their roles on the railroad have changed. (Except for the WWII era, engineers and conductors jobs are just beginning to be opened up to females.) Your question can best be answered by Shirley Burman who is probably the ultimate authority on women and railroading and who has established a foundation on that subject. You can reached her at Shirley is a commercial photographer who specializes in railroads and has coauthored a book entitled "She's Been Working On The Railroad". Ms. Burman is always looking for leads to further document the role of women in what is presumed to ahve been an mostly-male industry. What she's discovered may surprise you and a lot of others. I hope this helps you.

-- Doug Riddell (, December 31, 2000.

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