Happy Equal Pay Day?

Vintage schoolbook illustrations

On Equal Pay Day We Learn About Uneven Division. Vintage Schoolbook Illustrations

While learning how to count in elementary school …we also learned who counted.

“Instructions in arithmetic were geared” the school books informed the reader, “to help the pupil appreciate the ways in which numbers function in the activities of daily life” and the authors of these mid-century elementary schoolbooks hoped “to give pupils real life problems to solve, problems they would encounter in real life.”

Uneven Division

The real problem was the discrepancies between the sexes just didn’t add up.

While Bobby earned $1 for a days work, poor Betsy earned only 77 cents.

Learning to Count

vintage schoolbook illustrations

Vintage School Book Illustration “Arithmetic We Need” 1955

Today is officially Equal Pay Day

The idea of a gender based wage gap today seems as antiquated as these vintage arithmetic school book illustrations.

April 12 is the day that the average woman’s wages finally catch up to the average mans earning from the year before. Women have to work 3 extra months into 2016 before wages were as much as men’s were at the close of 2015.

More or Less

vintage schoolbooks illustrations

Vintage Schoolbook Illustrations “Study Arithmetic” 1947

Hard to imagine women today still get paid less for the same job men.

Lets Compare

vintage schoolbook illustration

Vintage Schoolbook Illustration “Learning Numbers” 1952

On average women today still earn just 77 cents for every dollar that men earn- a mere 17 cents on the dollar increase since the Equal Pay Act was enacted over 50 years ago in 1963.

vintage schoolbook illustrations

Vintage schoolbook Illustration

The figures are more dismal for women of color. An African-American woman is paid 64 cents and Latinas only 54 cents as compared to white men.

Changing Numbers Around

vintage schoolbook illustration

Vintage Schoolbook Illustration “Arithmetic We Need” 1955

Despite the figures, the GOP continue to downplay and debate the idea of an income inequality. In fact not one Republican presidential candidate supports ensuring workplace pay protection.


Making Equal Parts

Vintage schoolbook illustrations

Vintage Schoolbook Illustration “Study Arithmetic” 1947

The simple truth is, these images are surely dated, but no more so than the fact that a gender wage gap still exists in 2016.

Vintage schoolbook illustration

Vintage Schoolbook Illustration “Arithmetic We Need” 1955

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



  1. There is absolutely no logical reason for this inequality, now or then, and think most people recognize that, even if they won’t admit it. What really gets me though is that female Republican lawmakers are no better than their male counterparts in wanting to maintain the status quo. It makes no sense.


  2. It sounds like this would be perfect training for girls. Then they can grow up and become lawyers and run for Congress because they want to correct injustice and pass the Equal Rights Amendment.


  3. Sorry I didn’t meant that as comedy. I meant it for real.


  4. Excuse me Sally while I play a Devil’s Advocate of sorts here and a specific “Supporter” of a specific political party… AND a specific gender-type… Curtains please! 😉

    “What is this whinning about wages!? NON-SENSE! Equal pay equals SOCIALISM!!! If you want more money go start YOUR OWN business! This country was built on individual freedoms and Capitalism! Gender equality equals destruction of God’s design and heirarchy! NON-SENSE!!!” (bows as curtains close)

    And now back to reality…

    I kid you not Sally, I hear this sort of rhetoric way too often in Texas. I get SO nauseated and ashamed when I hear it, seems I’m sick and sad weekly. 😦

    Another great post about archaic economic systems! ❤ 🙂


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