The Babblery
Illuminating Invisible Women with Historian Carolyn Zola

The stories we tell about ourselves have long focused on men’s experiences. The story of the United States is no exception: American women, especially working women, have not been included in our history the way that men have. Carolyn Zola is one of the budding historians working to rectify the invisibility of American women in the stories we tell.

But these women weren’t recorded in most of the documents that survive today. Many were not literate. If they wrote letters, they were not viewed as important enough to keep. Their diaries, if they had time to write them, were not preserved as a vital part of history.

These women are invisible.

In this episode, we discuss how one woman’s work in the 21st century is illuminating some of these invisible women. Through painstaking research, Carolyn is finding, naming, and honoring them. This episode not only features Carolyn’s work, but also performances of songs and texts from the time.

Images referenced in the conversation:

For larger images and information, click the image.

Strawberry Girl, Nicolino Calyo, 1799-1884

Second Street north from Market Street, William Birch, c. 1800
Apple Seller, Nicolino Calyo, c. 1840
Hot Corn Seller, Calyo, c. 1840
Advertisement for Louis L. Peck, Wagner & M’Guigan, lithographer, c. 1855

Sound recordings: