June 27, 2006

Oxygen debt? At work?

More "great" quotes from the 1930s.

Women have obviously a great need for rest pauses during the work spell so that the oxygen debt will not accumulate and decrease their productivity. Special provision needs to be made for a comfortable restroom for women workers, a room fitted with couches and chairs in which they can really relax. Merely providing a rest period is not adequate, and by far the majority of provisions that are made are as unattractive as they are essential. A matron or nurse in the restroom in larger places is a wise investment. Women shoppers, too, need provision for comfortable places where they can rest for a few minutes to overcome growing fatigue and get back into a comfortable humor. That is why escalators make money for a store. In assigning women to work, and in their supervision, it must be remembered that, comparatively speaking, women are born anemic.
More Upholstery
Woman’s body is soft and attractively curved because as a species she has more fat to upholster her muscles and bones ...

Laird, Donald A. "Women Are Weaker." Factory Management and Maintenance, June 1937, 61.

I have read more material from before World War II on where and why to place chairs in department stores than may be advisable for a young man, but I don't recall seeing this argument made so explicitly that women were weaker. In the retailing literature it's all about giving people a chance to be comfortable and to linger and shop more. Moreover, some of the chairs were for those poor husbands who had to accompany their wives to the store.

Posted by eroberts at June 27, 2006 8:21 AM