Minimum Wages for Women in Early 20th Century Cambridge

By Sarah Huggins, Intern, Lesley UniversityMarch 2020 What image enters your mind when thinking about Cambridge? For many, it’s the Corinthian columns of our prestigious institutions of higher education. But less than a hundred years ago the city was a major industrial center:- a manufacturing mecca of brick buildings and smokestacks. The Boston Daily Globe boasted in 1927, “Factories, not … Read More

Our Year Asking “Who Are Cambridge Women?”

By Marieke Van Damme Read at the Opening Conversation and Annual Meeting on February 25, 2020 Hello everyone and welcome to the Cambridge Historical Society’s annual Opening Conversation. I’m Marieke Van Damme, executive director. Before we begin, I would like to say thank you to our friends at the Cambridge Public Library for hosting us tonight, and for CCTV for … Read More

Edith Lesley: Pioneering Educational Leader

By Jan Devereux This blog post is a result of our “How Have Women Shaped Cambridge?” call for submissions as we celebrate our 2020 theme, “Who Are Cambridge Women?” Edith Lesley (1872-1953) left a mark on Cambridge in founding, in 1909, the school that over the past 111 years has grown into Lesley University.  The daughter of a shoemaker, Edith … Read More

2020 Opening Conversation Recap

On February 25, we hosted our 2020 Opening Conversation: “Who Are Cambridge Women?” at the Cambridge Public Library. Eva Martin-Blythe, Executive Director of the Cambridge YWCA, was joined by the Society’s Doing History Curator, Diana Lempel, for a discussion of the history, mission, and legacy of the YWCA. This event marked the beginning of a year of programs exploring the … Read More

CANCELED — History Café 1: Wednesday, April 22

The Cambridge Historical Society regrets that this event has been canceled due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. History Café 1: How Have Women Cured Cambridge? Wednesday, April 22 In conjunction with the Cambridge Science Festival, our first History Café of the year will be a discussion of women in the city’s medical field. From tending to the sick at home, … Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Lois Lilley Howe Homes of Gray Gardens

By John Howe, volunteer, Spring 2020 Lois Lilley Howe (1864-1964), born and bred in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was one of the first women to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s architectural program, the organizer of the only all-woman architectural firm in Boston in the early twentieth century, and the first woman elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. … Read More

POSTPONED 2020 Spring Benefit

The Cambridge Historical Society is closely monitoring the recent outbreak of COVID-19. We continue to evaluate all measures in response to available information from the Cambridge Public Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any changes to our event schedule will be communicated via our website, email, and social media. If you have further questions about our response, please … Read More

An Intrepid Lady of Brattle Street: Sara Chapman Bull

By Ted Hansen Beginning in 1879, until her death in 1911, Sara Chapman Bull lived in Cambridge, first at “Elmwood” (the Oliver-Gerry-Lowell House), and from 1889 until her death at 186 Brattle Street. A number of facts about her should pique our interest: At age 20, she was married in a semi-secret ceremony in Norway to a 60-year-old renowned Norwegian … Read More

How Have Women Shaped Cambridge? A Call for Submissions

How Have Women Shaped Cambridge? A “Her-story” Drive Women’s stories are still largely overlooked in the broader historical narrative, and women continue to face obstacles to their full participation in civic life, economic equality, and even their physical health and safety. In light of these ongoing challenges, the Cambridge Historical Society has chosen to focus our 2020 programs on the … Read More

Recap of 9/25/19 Claiming Our Seats: A Kitchen Table Dialogue on Women’s Voting Rights

Cambridge Women Vote Logo

Thank you to all who joined us as we discussed the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, when women won the right to vote.  At this roundtable, we asked – which women? Dr. Jennifer Guglielmo, Rev. Irene Monroe, and Dr. Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson engaged us in a reflective dialogue about women’s rights across the 20th and 21st centuries, moderated by Andrea Asuaje. … Read More