“Women at Work on Cooper Street,” curated by former MARCH program coordinator Lauren Cooper and public history graduate student McKenna Britton, is the newest exhibit on display at the MARCH house at Rutgers-Camden.
The project details the varied lives of women who lived along Cooper Street in Camden throughout the twentieth century and coincides with March as Women’s History Month.
The bulk of the research for “Women at Work” came from undergraduate and graduate research projects from the “Cities and Suburbs,” “History of Capitalism,” and “Readings in Women’s History” classes offered at Rutgers-Camden. McKenna Britton, responsible for the design, labeling, fact-checking, and display of the exhibit, modeled the exhibit panels after twentieth-century advertisement aesthetics.
The lives of women along Cooper Street varied greatly. Prominent figures featured in the exhibit include Lettie Allen Ward, a doctor who lived at 325 Cooper, now the location of MARCH; Charlotte French, who owned and operated her own mimeographing mail service; and Maggie Smith, a boarding house operator. Other occupations of women along Cooper Street included dress makers, factory workers, and teachers. Cooper Street women included many who were employed, unmarried, and independent, who financial independence, employment, and community.
“Women at Work on Cooper Street” will be on display at the MARCH house, 325 Cooper Street, through March and April.