|People & Life Ways|
|Riches, Ranching & Railroads|
Women have been working on the railroad since the 1850s, first as telegraphers, like Evans, and as depot operators. There weren't many women working for the railroad, but the types of jobs they did expanded. The U.S. Census for 1900 listed women working in several types of railroad jobs: fireman, engineers, and boilermakers.
The job description didn't always indicate exactly the type of work a woman was doing for the railroad. One woman working at the Sparks roundhouse during World War II drove the huge locomotives onto the turntable each evening, but officially her job was listed as a pipefitter.
Both world wars affected
women working on the railroad, as they did with so many other types of
jobs. Men went off to fight in the wars, and women were needed to
fill the labor gaps. Women worked in factories, making ammunition
and airplanes; but many of them also helped keep the railroads running.
1: Humboldt County Museum
2: Nevada Historical Society