July 28 History Café Recap: Changing Tides in Cambridge Industry

History Café - events

What did the industrial landscape of the city look like in the 19th and 20th centuries, and what sectors are prominent today? How have waves of migration—both domestic and international—shaped the demographic makeup of Cambridge’s industrial labor force? What struggles have workers faced in the city’s largest industries, and how have they organized and advocated for themselves? What roles have race and gender played in the dynamics of Cambridge industry?

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Self-Guided Tour: The Work of Revolution in Cambridge

Laundresses at a Revolutionary Army camp, circa 1780.

Introduction For many, the first image that comes to mind when thinking of Cambridge during the Revolutionary Era is that of General George Washington taking command of the Continental Army on Cambridge Common in July of 1775, under what would come to be known as the Washington Elm. Although we now know that this tale…

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‘Changing Tides in Cambridge Industry’ talk will examine wave of labor and immigration

New England Brick Co. workers circa 1910.

Since its beginnings as a colonial settlement, Cambridge has seen numerous shifts in its population, as waves of migrants arrived from various parts of the United States and around the world. As these new Cantabrigians arrived in the city needing work, many found jobs in the city’s industrial sector, most notably in the glass, brick, furniture, meatpacking and confectionary factories in Cambridge. Employment in many of these industries was dominated by different immigrant groups at different periods, with newer arrivals taking jobs in lower-paying, more physically demanding sectors. Eventually these ethnic groups would move up the socioeconomic ladder, finding employment in more lucrative and less strenuous industries while the next wave of newcomers replaced them. For many, similar work experience at home and the recommendation of friends, family or others of their same ethnicity led them to choose a particular industry. For others, their status as immigrants drastically limited the employment options open to them. Whether by choice or circumscription, the clustering of migrant groups in particular industries helped shape the labor landscape of Cambridge.

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June 23 History Café Recap: The Work of Revolution

History Café - events

How did unpaid labor enable the Revolutionary leaders of Cambridge to foment rebellion and to carry out the political and military duties of the War? Although much is known about George Washington’s residency in Cambridge in the early days of the Revolution, the reality is that it was the labor of women and people of…

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Feb 17 – I’m a Good Person! Isn’t That Enough?

Join us for a virtual presentation of “I’m a Good Person! Isn’t That Enough?” with Cantabrigian author and speaker Debby Irving. Using historical and media images, Debby Irving examined how she used her white-skewed belief system to interpret the world around her. Socialized on a narrow worldview, Debby explored how she spent decades silently reaffirming…

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Feb. 28 – 2022 Opening Conversation

9-to-5 No Longer: Cambridge Workers and the Gig EconomyJoin us as we begin our year of asking “Who Are Cambridge Workers?” with a look at the rise of the gig economy and its impact on Cantabrigians. We will be joined by Professor Terri Gerstein, Director of the State and Local Enforcement Project at the Harvard…

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March 1 – 2022 Annual Meeting

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will once again meet virtually to celebrate our successes of the past year and outline plans for 2022. Tuesday, March 112 Noon ETFree, registration required AGENDA Welcome + Report From The President – Amy Devin, PresidentTreasurer’s Report – Lauren Harder, TreasurerClerk’s Report – Doug Brown, ClerkVote on 2022…

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