Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

Guide to the Stewardesses for Women's Rights Oral History Collection OH 012

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Unattributed NYU Libraries staff and David A. Olson

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 24, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Title: Stewardesses for Women's Rights Oral History Collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1985-1987
Abstract: In 1972, two Eastern Airlines flight attendants, Sandra Jarrell and Jan Fulsom, took Eastern to court on charges of discriminatory weight and grooming regulations. They decided to band together with other women to fight discrimination and sexism throughout the industry. They founded Stewardesses for Women's Rights in 1973. Great progress was made in the next few years toward better working conditions, equal treatment with male co-workers, and removing hazardous cargo from passenger flights. By 1976, many SFWR members had become involved in their airlines' respective unions, and the SFWR ended due to declining membership and lack of funding. The collection is comprised of two oral history interviews of former SFWR members taken by Sarah Rapport, the recording an event regarding SFWR, a recording of a SFWR commercial, a recording of a slideshow on labor rights for women flight attendants, and recording of an SFWR meeting.
Quantity: 1 Linear Feet in 1 compact disk box.
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: OH 012

Return to Top »


Historical/Biographical Note

In 1972, two Eastern Airlines flight attendants, Sandra Jarrell and Jan Fulsom, took Eastern to court on charges of discriminatory weight and grooming regulations. They decided to band together with other women and fight discrimination and sexism throughout the industry, and Stewardesses for Women's Rights was founded. In March of 1973, they organized their first national conference held in New York City, hosted by Gloria Steinem. In June 1973, the Stern Family Fund granted the SFWR $25,000, which enabled them to open a national office in Rockefeller Center, New York City. Great progress was made in the next few years toward better working conditions, equal treatment with male co-workers, and removing hazardous cargo from passenger flights. Through their involvement with SFWR, many flight attendants became interested and active in their own unions, and thus drifted away from involvement with SFWR. Due to declining membership and lack of funding, SFWR closed its doors in the spring of 1976.

Return to Top »


Scope and Content Note

The collection is comprised of two oral history interviews taken by Sarah Rapport, the recording an event regarding Stewardesses for Women's Rights, a recording of a SFWR commercial, a recording of a slideshow on labor rights for women flight attendants, and recording of an SFWR meeting.

Rapport's interviews are with Kathleen Heenan and Cindy Hounsell. She took them in 1985 while preparing her dissertation on the SFWR. The interviews include discussions of the fight for gender equality in the workplace, airline policies regarding appearance and personal lives, training, the nature of the work, and life as a flight attendant. Additional topics are the activities of the SFWR, the union's internal politics, and the role of feminism for SFWR members.

Arrangement

Access compact disks are arranged alphabetically. Master cassettes are arranged by an archivist-devised numbering scheme that appears to represent the order that the repository received the materials.

Return to Top »


Access Points

Subject Names

  • Fulsom, Jan
  • Jarrell, Sandra.

Subject Organizations

  • Stewardesses for Women's Rights

Subject Topics

  • Sex discrimination against women -- United States.
  • Sex discrimination in employment -- United States
  • Flight attendants -- United States.
  • Flight attendants -- United States -v Interviews
  • Airlines -x Employees -- United States.
  • Airlines -x Employees -x Labor unions -- United States.
  • Eastern Air Lines, inc -- Employees -v Interviews

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Because of the assembled nature of this collection, copyright status varies across the collection. Copyright is assumed to be held by the original creator of individual items in the collection; these items are expected to pass into the public domain 120 years after their creation. Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by creator name are maintained by New York University. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from repository. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Stewardesses for Women's Rights Oral History Collection; OH 012; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Related Archival Materials

Stewardesses for Women's Rights Collection (WAG 061)

Stewardesses for Women's Rights: A Silver Lining, a video by Mary Lennon, is available through the Avery Fisher Center at Bobst Library. (VCA 2623)

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Access to audiovisual materials in this collection is available through digitized access copies. Researchers may view an item's original container, but the media themselves are not available for playback because of preservation concerns. Materials that have already been digitized are noted in the collection's finding aid and can be requested in our reading room. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials donated by Sarah Rapport or collected by the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives from former Stewardesses for Women's Rights members, dates unknown. The accession numbers associated with this collection are 1987.019, 1987.020, and 1987.021.

Processing Information

In 2013, the majority of the collection was digitized, and a full finding aid was written. The first tape of the SFWR reunion and second tape of the Kathleen Heenan interview were not digitized at this time due to tape degradation.

Return to Top »


Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Cassette : 3 (Master cassette) Eve of Change
1973
Box: 1 Cd : 1 (Access cd)
Box: 1 Cassette : 1A-B (Master cassette) Kathleen Heenan
Nov 21, 1985
Box: 1 Cd : 2 (Access cd)
Box: 1 Cassette : 2 (Master cassette) Cindy Hounsell
Nov 25, 1985
Box: 1 Cd : 3-4 (Access cd)
Box: 1 Cd : 5 (Access cd) SFWR Commercial
Circa 1974-1975
Box: 1 Cassette : 6 (Master cassette)
Box: 1 Cassette : 7 (Master cassette) SFWR Organizational Meeting (Washington DC)
undated
Box: 1 Cd : 6 (Access cd)
Box: 1 Cassette : 4A-B (Master cassette) SFWR Reunion
Apr 22, 1987
Box: 1 Cd : 7 (Access cd)

Return to Top »