1880-1920 The Golden Age of Racine

This is a project I’ve been thinking of for quite a while, and it’s been reinforced every time I read books about Racine History. I think this is one of the quotes that got me started:

Mayor Secor gave generously to both Racine hospitals and to the Taylor Home. He had an annual “thirteenth pay day” for his workers, when they received an extra month’s salary. He boasted that 95 per cent of his employes owned their own homes.

Racine, The Belle City, page 113

  • Vitrified paving brick first tried in 1893 on a single block at the foot of Main Street
  • Hotel Racine, the first one
  • The depression of 1920-21 … Racine: Growth and Change in a Wisconsin County, page 317

I’m not totally convinced of the date range.

Are there any biographies of the people who made the factories that provided so many jobs?

Argument that unions raised the wages:

  • “During the 1930s the average weekly wage of the Racine worker was generally the second or third highest in the state, and an unusually high percentage of workers owned their own homes.” Racine: Growth and Change in a Wisconsin County, page 367,

Use the book Invention City: The Sesquicentennial History of Racine, Wisconsin

Invention City

Invention City

1902 Business and Professional directory here: http://www.vindustries.com/racinehistory/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Young_Co_s_Business_and_Professional_Dir.pdf

5 thoughts on “1880-1920 The Golden Age of Racine

  1. I am a huge fan about Racine history. If you could keep me informed about this I would be very greatful. Thank You. I collect Racine items and my heritage goes deep when it comes to Racine. If you are looking for some help it has always a dream of mine to write a book about the history of Racine.

  2. I grew up on 1546 College Ave Racine, Wi. around 1962-1969
    when the house burned down. It was an apartment house and we lived on the whole third floor. I am trying to find pictures of the place before the fire, and during the fire. That place was really haunted. I know a Judge lived there and there was a fire on the third floor where they had parties. And I know it was some kind of a hospital at one time. thanks Linda

  3. I just purchased a milk or cream pitcher (silverplate) which is stamped “Racine S. P. Co. 1880 Triple Plate”. When I asked what the price was, I also said “It looks like it has been in a fire”…. (I bought it in Brevard County, Florida two weeks ago) When I returned home (I was out of town when I bought it) I discovered that Racine Wisconsin had a terrible fire in 1882, which ended the chapter of “Racine Silver Plate Company” and it became Rockford Silverplate Company, when it moved to Illinois…. Is it possible this pitcher was rescued from the fire? It has blistering and the spout rim is curled back on itself, definitely melted…. I cannot find the name of this pattern (it features two bands around neck and base (just above the four feet, and those bands have flowers and pheasants in relief)… Thanks! Mary

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