Many women, especially newly arrived Italian and Jewish immigrants, worked in garment factories or at home making artificial flowers.
Polish women immigrants often took jobs in meatpacking and canning plants in the Midwest.
Irish and African American women continued to work as servants. African American women in the South were forced into the worst jobs in tobacco factories.
For all these women the hours were long, at least sixty to seventy hours a week and often more. The pay was low, often less than was needed for the basics of rent and food. And the conditions were appalling.
In an 1887 report to a national labor union, Leonora Barry described one factory in which children as young as four worked with their mothers at sewing garments for the rich.