The textile sector and women at work

In the 1930s new businesses opened in the textile sector, providing good job opportunities for both men and women.

In the 1930s in Maranello, people who needed a package delivered could turn to Eminia Grani, called “Il Corriere di San Venanzio” (the courier of San Venanzio). The woman carried goods on her back to deliver them between the two locations, rigorously on foot.

Apart from the spirit of entrepreneurship of people like Erminia Grani, the rice harvest was one of the first jobs considered “for women”. While on one hand it could be seen as a step towards empowerment, on the other hand we must not forget the hard physical labour of the “mondine”: countless hours bent over standing knee deep in water, whatever the weather conditions. Even Maranello has had its mondine. The girls were recruited, some very young and others nearly adults, at the primary school in Via Vittorio Veneto. From here, they were taken to the Vercelli area for the season: 40 days of work to come home with some money and a handful of rice.

But starting from 1930, there began to appear alternative job opportunities for the women of Maranello. This same year, Augusto Maffei founded the Maffei weaving company, which would employ 30 women in 1946 and expand to employ around one hundred. Armando Olivieri started the Olivieri tailoring shop, which blossomed until after the war.

Another business was opened by Francesco Volpi, a quilting company in Fornace, which then moved to Via Zozi immediately after the war. The Nuovo Trapuntificio Impero produced quilted blankets and was managed by Ermidia Volpi. In 1946 it had 65 employees, 60 of whom were women, and over the years it diversified production focusing on shirts, aprons and uniforms under the name Fox Confezioni.

As the Trapuntificio Impero changed its skin, Lina Alboni Pellati opened her Pellati textile company in 1949, eventually providing work for 80 women. The textile industry continued to grow until more recent times, with the last historical opening in 1974: the Gold Tricot company. Founded by Maurizio Goldoni with the help of his sister Mariangela and his mother Laura Masoli, an expert weaver, the company manufactured finished garments for third parties, and later became an independent store.

We can say that “the seeds of business” were sown in the 1930s. And no doubt much progress has been made since the “Corriere di San Venanzio”!

 

Bibliography:

Silvano Soragni, “Maranello. Dal Feudo Calcagnini… alla Scuderia Ferrari”, Artioli Editore, 2004

Silvano Soragni, “Maranello. 1860… Da libero comune a laboriosa città”, Artioli Editore, 2011