While touring ArtPrize, drop by the Grand Rapids Public Library downtown (111 Library St. NE) to see this beautifully designed and informative exhibit. Featuring the women who worked in the furniture industry during World War I, this new display is on the fourth floor in the Grand Rapids History & Special Collections department.
"Women Go To War" highlights the wartime furniture factory life of local women during the Great War. The multi-panel exhibit is replete with historic photographs, newspaper articles, labor statistics, and profiles of individual women.
Stop in to see how the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense harnessed the working power, as well as the social and civic relief aims, of more than 20,000 women through voluntary registration.
Learn what working life was like for the women who worked at the Sligh Furniture Company and Berkey & Gay--two of the most prominent furniture makers
employing women during the war--as they moved into roles traditionally held by their male counterparts.
This exhibit speaks to the contributions of women, including the city's immigrant populations, and the power of community during a tumultuous time.
This exhibit was possible with the support of the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation through a grant from the Furniture Manufacturers' Heritage Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
Not a current member of GGRWHC? Register or renew your membership and
help offset the expenses associated with annual research and programs. Your membership helps to set the record straight on the women who've made history here in our community.
GGRWHC Board Meetings
Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. in the Vanderveen Center for the Book at the Grand Rapids Public Library. If you have suggestions for programs, oral histories, or other items, please
email us or plan to attend a meeting.
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Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomonal women who've helped to shape West Michigan! If you aren't already a member of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider showing your support through annual membership. Visit our
web site for more information and the ability to register using Pay Pal online!
Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!