100 Years Ago…

The Jenkins Institute, the YMCA’s vocational school, opened its doors to women for the first time in its history.

The school would begin training women in industrial vocations, to replace men who had been called away to the war.

“There is an urgent call from the railroads for trained telegraph operators, a branch of railroad service which women are entering more and more,” said the YMCA’s general secretary. “Since the Jenkins Institute has one of the strongest telegraphy schools in the country, we decided to admit women as a patriotic service.”

The instructor would be Mrs. M. Best, who had worked as a train dispatcher for 17 years in Kansas City.

Women would also be trained in the institute’s “gas engine school.”

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