Not very forward of them

Those guys at Strutwear, circa 1940, weren’t above playing on the old woman-driver stereotype:

Strutwear hosiery ad

“Dainty lace tops,” they said, “combine with an inside out leg and foot, seams are nicely tucked in where they belong.” This results, we are told, in “that dull sheer look you admire.”

Five years before, things weren’t dull at all at Strutwear. The workers struck for 32 weeks, with incidents such as this:

The Hennepin County Farmer-Labor Women’s Club protested that the welfare board “ha[d] made an organized effort to force single girls who are on relief to accept jobs as domestics in homes at starvation wages, resulting in forcing these girls to accept employment at substandard wages and possibly forcing them into prostitution.” While the women were “heartily in favor of seeing that these girls are employed,” they condemned the board for forcing women back to work. The board yielded to public outcry and those pushed off the relief roles once again became eligible.

After Strutwear melted away into gossamer history, their building at 1010 South 7th Street in Minneapolis was repurposed as the headquarters of Marquette National Bank, which was later absorbed into US Bancorp.

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