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Women's Contributions to the Plumbing Industry

Learn About Women in Plumbing for Women’s History Month

International Women's Day is this month, as is Women’s History Month. Though it is a male-dominated field, women have still contributed to the plumbing industry. This article will discuss women in the industry today and pioneers of the past generations to celebrate women in plumbing history.

Women in the Plumbing Industry Today

plumberPlumbing has long been a male-dominated trade, but women have always been involved, and in today’s market, the number of women in the industry is growing. According to Zippia, only 3.5% of all plumbers are women, and 96.5% are men. 

However, with more woman-owned and operated plumbing companies becoming prominent and women like Adrienne Bennett, the first African American woman to earn the title of a master plumber in the United States, leading the way, there has been no better time for women in plumbing.

The Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Master Plumbers

The lady's auxiliary committee for the National Association of Master Plumbers was a committee started by men to give the wives of plumbers a social gathering point during the convention for the association. They planned outings for the ladies, such as balloon rides and car trips. 

However, when the wives took over the organization several years later, the auxiliary committee became something else entirely. They went from being a social club to lobbying the government to improve sanitation laws that were in place. A few of the things they did include:

  • Business Support:  The wives of plumbers often acted as receptionists, schedulers, and accountants for their husbands’ businesses. 
  • Sanitation Activism: They pursued government action for proper sanitation for restaurants and convenience stores, among other locations.
  • Health and Labor Activism: They lobbied for the Family and Medical Leave Act and helped get it passed.

Pinup and Master Plumber Lillian Ann Baumbach

lillianAt the age of six, Lillian Ann Baumbach first began helping her father in his plumbing business. By age twenty-one, she had taken and passed the master plumber exam with flying colors. She became a local sensation, known as the “pretty plumber,” because not only was she a master plumber, but she was also renowned for her beauty. Some interesting things about her include the following:

  • She was the first woman in the US to become a master plumber.
  • She gained national and worldwide fame as a pinup girl during the Korean War.
  • She received fan mail from around the world and became the pen pal of some 250 men.
  • She is possibly the inspiration for Josephine the Plumber, the 1960s mascot for Comet.
  •  She became president of her father’s company and retired in 1989.

About Marc Francis Plumbing

Marc Francis Plumbing has over 35 years of experience serving Johnson City, TN, and the surrounding communities. They provide fast turnarounds, financing, and emergency service after normal business hours. Call them today for plumbing services in Johnson City, TN.

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