Josephine Clara Goldmark (1877–1950)
A researcher, author, and legal expert, Josephine Goldmark contributed substantially to the movements to reform the working conditions of workers. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Bryn Mawr College, Goldmark became the chairman of the committee on labor laws for the National Consumers League (NCL) and subsequently publications secretary of the league. In 1907, she and Florence Kelley, head of the NCL, persuaded her brother-in-law, Louis Brandeis, to defend Oregon's maximum hour law for women in Muller v. Oregon. She assisted Brandeis in the research and writing of the "Brandeis Brief," Women in Industry.
Due to her reputation for being an NCL expert on labor conditions, Goldmark served on many non-NCL labor investigations and, in 1911, she served on the committee investigating the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire in New York City. In 1912, the Russell Sage Foundation published one of her most important works, Fatigue and Efficiency, in which she demonstrated that excessive working hours not only hurt workers physically, but also impaired their productivity.
In 1919, she was named Secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation's Committee for the Study of Nursing Education. As its principal investigator, she examined over 70 nursing schools over the next four years. Her resulting report, Nursing and Nursing Education in the United States (1923), prompted significant reforms in nursing education.
Goldmark was the assistant director of social research for the Russell Sage Foundation, and the executive secretary of the Committee on Women in Industry during the First World War. As manager of the Women's Service Section of the US Railroad Administration (1918–1920), she investigated the working conditions of women and children nationwide. Goldmark also served as an expert in the research department at American Telephone and Telegraph on women's employment and health problems (1919–1939), and was vice-chair of the New York City Child Labor Commission. She died in White Plains, New York, in 1950.
Browse Materials Digitized for Women Working
- Publications by and about Josephine Clara Goldmark.