Working It: 1920 Frederick

The 1920 U.S. Census marked the 14th one taken since 1790. Every 10 years, folks were asked a variety of questions about their lives. Those questions transformed through the years; some census years recorded where a person’s parents were born, if the individual was a veteran, married or could read or write, and even the value of the home he or she lived in.

While perusing this particular census, I found fascinating the wide variety of professions of those living on Frederick’s West Third Street:

  • Newspaper reporter
  • Musician (violin)
  • Dry goods salesman
  • Nurse (hospital)
  • Fish hatcheries superintendent
  • Woodworker (planing mill)
  • Stock clerk (knitting mill)
  • Dairy manager
  • Public school teacher (multiple)
  • Railroad electrician
  • Cook for private family
  • Bank cashier
  • College stenographer
  • Electric railroad superintendent
  • Poultry merchant
  • Medical doctor
  • Green groceries huckster
  • Tea & spices agent
  • Machinist (foundry)

What interesting information have you found in a census? Share in the comments!

Image and Data Source: “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 June 2017), Frederick, Maryland, United States; citing ED 62, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 672; FHL microfilm 1,820,672.

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