Silk Stockings and Socialism

Philadelphia's Radical Hosiery Workers from the Jazz Age to the New Deal

294 pages

English language

Published Jan. 19, 2017 by University of North Carolina Press.


View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (2 reviews)

The 1920s Jazz Age is remembered for flappers and speakeasies, not for the success of a declining labor movement. A more complex story was unfolding among the young women and men in the hosiery mills of Kensington, the working-class heart of Philadelphia. Their product was silk stockings, the iconic fashion item of the flapper culture then sweeping America and the world. Although the young people who flooded into this booming industry were avid participants in Jazz Age culture, they also embraced a surprising, rights-based labor movement, headed by the socialist-led American Federation of Full-Fashioned Hosiery Workers (AFFFHW).

In this first history of this remarkable union, Sharon McConnell-Sidorick reveals how activists ingeniously fused youth culture and radical politics to build a subculture that included dances and parties as well as picket lines and sit-down strikes, while forging a vision for social change. In documenting AFFFHW members and the Kensington community, McConnell-Sidorick …

1 edition

Labour history I rarely ever heard.

4 stars

Labour history is not commonly taught in most places, and the history of unions with high populations of women in the 1920s/30s are often excluded (with exception to their traditionally male leadership). This book was quite interesting in showing a lot of what I didn't know and also connecting it to what I did know through my own previous research.

avatar for Fuxino

rated it

4 stars


  • Hosiery and hosiery industry
  • Pennsylvania, history
  • Strikes and lockouts