Preparing food for a Gymanfa Ganu (singing festival), Peniel Church, Pickett, Wisconsin,1946.
Preparing food for a Gymanfa Ganu (singing festival), Peniel Church, Pickett, Wisconsin,1946.
Mary Jane Innes
Mary Jane Innes

The majority of industrial workers were men but women of course formed an important part of migrant communities. Often the men would travel ahead to a new country, to secure work and housing. They would then send for their wives and families to join them. The women had to support themselves and their children in the meantime and then make the long journey themselves. Women were very prominent in organizing community activities such as eisteddfodau, schooling and social reforms.

Some women did work in industry. In Wales women were widely employed in tinplate works. In 1895 the Monongahela Tin Plate works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania employed a Welsh immigrant called Hattie Williams to train women for what was seen in America as men's work. This led to protests on both sides of the Atlantic.

Women also played a part in other aspects of commercial life. In New Zealand, Mary Jane Innes (neé Lewis) of Llanvaches, Monmouthshire successfully ran her late husband's brewery business for many years.

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