Introduction The Chocolate The Village The People Resouces




Seasonal Work
Jobs and Pay
Early view of men inside one of the molding rooms in the Baker's mill complex.

As production increased, different jobs required different skills, and there was a clear division between men’s and women’s responsibilities. Only men worked in the roasting and grinding rooms, and men were most often in key leadership roles or overseeing chocolate production. There were also more non-production related positions for men, such as teamsters, clerks, watchmen, mechanics, engineers, machinists, and the heavy work of packing and shipping.

Early view of women in one of the wrapping rooms in the Baker's mill complex.

Most of the women’s jobs involved speed and dexterity. Picking and sorting through cocoa beans prior to roasting required not only a keen eye but also small hands. Quick fingers were also helpful in the wrapping rooms where women worked wrapping and packaging the different chocolate brands. There were few forewomen, and those who did rise to the position were usually long-time employees. Women also held jobs in the sewing department, some in shipping, and later women worked as clerks, stenographers, on-site nurses and with chemists in the quality control departments.

As with variations in work, pay differed significantly between men and women. In 1868 for a standard six-day work week, at ten hours per day, men typically earned $2.00 per day while women earned an average of $0.83. Wages changed depending on time with the company, skills, jobs performed, and overtime. Pay gradually increased over the years and by 1918 the average daily wage for men was $3.00 and women, $1.75. Men, more often than women, received regular pay increases, and there were more opportunities for men to move from one department to another. Regardless of gender, many Baker’s employees stayed with the company throughout their working lives.