The early 1900s saw a country shifting from an agricultural to an industrial economy. People were moving from rural farmlands to urban cities for work. Two world wars created a huge demand for ships, vehicles, weapons, and many other industrial products, so factory work was plentiful

Like women and minority groups, deaf people found wartime jobs in large numbers. This concentration of deaf people in cities provided the opportunity to build social clubs, church groups, sports organizations, and alliances that would foster community life.

Three factory workers

Gallaudet University Archives, Benjamin M. Schowe, Sr. Collection