Ohio Consumers' League

From Ohio History Central

The Ohio Consumers' League sought improved working conditions for women and children.

The Ohio Consumers' League was made up of Progressive women reformers. A group of women originally founded the organization in 1900 at the Goodrich House, in Cleveland, Ohio. Soon, a number of other Ohio cities had started their own branches of the league. The Ohio Consumers' League was affiliated with the National Consumers' League, a national organization with the same general goals of Ohio's group. The National Consumers' League had been founded in 1890.

The Ohio Consumers' League was most concerned about how women and children workers were treated in factories. Its members investigated factories that employed women and children, using this research to publish reports and advocate protective legislation. If a factory met the league's standards for child labor, work hours, pay, and other factors, it was placed on a "white list" of approved businesses. When women were given the right to vote with passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the league's members used their new political rights to put even more pressure on the government to respond to their demands. Interestingly, organizations like the Ohio Consumers' League provided women with experience in fighting for political and social causes, including for such opportunities as the right to vote.

Elizabeth Magee, who was director of the Ohio Consumers' League from 1925 until 1965, was influential in determining both the state and national organizations' goals for this era. Under her leadership, the league added unemployment insurance and health insurance to its list of basic goals. Magee also encouraged very close ties between the Ohio Consumers' League and the National Consumers' League during this era.

See Also


  1. Sklar, Kathryn Kish. Florence Kelley and the Nation's Work: The Rise of Women's Political Culture, 1830-1900. N.p.: Yale University Press, 1997.
  2. Storrs, Landon R.Y. Civilizing Capitalism: The National Consumers' League, Women's Activism, and Labor Standards in the New Deal Era. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000.