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Ruyter girls and Verkade women

Ruytermeisjes en Verkadevrouwen Een eeuw vrouwenarbeid bij de Zaanse zoetwarenfabrikant

Hogema, Ineke / Ivonne van der Padt

Scriptum, 1997

ISBN: 9789055940783


Ineke Hogema en Ivonne van der Padt

‘(…) Just know that we have only one interest. We want to reap the fruits of our labour and we can only obtain these through united cooperation.’


For many former employees of the confectionery manufacturer Verkade, this concerns an over-familiar quote. Many a speech, annual report or anniversary book features this quote from Verkade’s founder Ericus Verkade. Ericus uttered these memorable words on Sunday 2 May 1886, when the Steam Bread & Rusk Bakery ‘De Ruyter’ was launched. At the time of this speech, no girls or women were working at Verkade. Five years later, in 1891, the first tin cleaners made their appearance. From that date, women have been an integral part of Verkade’s history. There are even periods in Verkade’s history when as many as four-fifths of the total workforce consisted of women.
Reason enough for Ineke Hogema and Ivonne van der Padt to focus on ‘the fruits of women’s labour’. In this book, they focus on the experiences and memories of four generations of female employees. They were or are working in various positions: we hear from packers, machine managers, secretaries, personnel officers, social workers, a laboratory assistant and various other employees. The oldest woman who tells in this book about her contribution to Verkade’s success was born in 1901, the youngest.

The creation of this book was equally obtained through ‘united collaboration’. First and foremost with the more than sixty women we interviewed. With great enthusiasm, they shared with us their memories of working life at Verkade or their current working experiences at Verkade with Ineke Hogema and Ivonne van der Padt.

With great enthusiasm.


Zaans industrial heritage