Date Of Visit:
Location: Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
Monday–Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday: 11 am–5 pm
Closed: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Open: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Patriots’ Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.
1 Ticket = 5 Museums
Seniors (60+): $16.50
College Students: $16.50
Youth 3–17: $13
Children Under 3: Free
Springfield Residents (with valid ID): Free – youth included
Special exhibit fees may apply to all visitors.
Parking: Free parking is available in the main parking lot and an overflow lot is located across the street
- All buildings are accessible and equipped with accessible restrooms.
- Accessible parking is available.
- Mobility devices are allowed.
- A limited number of wheelchairs are available in the Welcome Center and the lobbies of the D’Amour Art Museum, Wood Museum of Springfield History and GWV Smith Art Museum.
- Due to ongoing construction, please ask our Welcome Center staff in advance for assistance in accessing the GWV Smith Art Museum.
- For other questions regarding accessibility, please contact our security office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-779-2156.
Dog Friendly: No
Website: Taking Care Of Business
Summary: A collection of memorabilia which showcase the women’s labor movement.
The Taking Care Of Business exhibit at the Springfield Museums in Springfield, MA, pays tribute to some of our unsung heroes. The exhibit shows how women have played an integral role in the work we do and how their roles have changed over time.
One of the first exhibits at the museum has a collection of Girl Scout ribbons, patches and literature.
The Girl Scouts patches, ribbons and other memorabilia are from a Connecticut Girl Scout the 1930s. One interesting thing about the Girl Scouts and their badges is how much they have changed over time. Badges were once earned for sewing and domestic skills. Now, Girl Scouts can earn badges in such areas as computer skills, robotics, entrepreneurship and outdoor activities. The magazine is from 1967.
Since the museum is located in Springfield, MA, many of the items have a tie to the area. These medical instruments and memorabilia from the school pictured below are from the Springfield Hospital School of Nursing.
The items included in the display are a 1920s microscope, Springfield School of Nursing class rings from 1931, 1946, 1949 and 1959. There are also bottled medicinal pills and alcohol, a cased thermometer, a nurse’s watch, cap and cap clips, a cased hypodermic needle, miniature balance scale for weighing medicines, ear irrigator, nursing school graduation pins dated 1895 and 1946, clamps, birthing scissors to cut umbilical cords, a Springfield Hospital School of Nursing handbook and a first aid guide.
The exhibit didn’t exclusively focus on the advancement of women in the workplace. The exhibit below displays the efforts of women during war time. From helping to recruit people for the war effort, rationing supplies and working at the USO, women contributed greatly to support the war effort and the troops who served and came back. In the display below there are rationing books, fundraising and recruitment literature and rationing stamps.
Styles have also changed over the years. The display below contains a variety of the headwear that women wore during the earlier part and middle part of the 1900s.
Speaking of style, the styles of the women who served their country have also changed over time. This uniform, a Pioneer Valley WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) uniform (circa 1944), was worn and gifted to the museum by Jean Fillion (Bates), Mailman Second Class U.S. Navy Reserve. The purse was a nice touch. At times, as I put this post together I had to keep reminding myself, “this was the 40s.”
This uniform is the Springfield School of Nursing Cadet Corps uniform (circa 1945-48).
Even before they were eligible to serve during wars, women have played a pivotal role in the military. One of the groups of women who were mentioned in the placard at the museum were “The Sisters Of The Holy Cross” who were aboard the Confederate steam ship the “USS Red Rover.” Women also served as Navy Yeomen during World War I.
As you exit the exhibit, there is a blackboard for visitors to write the name of a woman who they are inspired by. What name would you write on the board?
The “Taking Care Of Business” exhibit is scheduled to be on display until August 25 of this year.