Life, Times and Work of Florence Kelly, the First Female Factory Inspector in the US

Leigh Bienen

Wed, 09/24/2008
12 - 1:30 PM, Dickinson 210
Event Category: 
Co-sponsored Event
By Invitation Only

The American Studies Program at Princeton is delighted to host a lunchtime talk by Leigh Bienen on the "Life, Times and Work of Florence Kelly, the First Female Factory Inspector in the US, and the First Factory Inspector in Illinois." LAPA and the Program in Women and Gender Studies are co-sponsoring the talk. Please RSVP to Maureen Killeen at or 609-258-4710. Leigh will be available after the workshop to meet with graduate students and continue discussion in McCosh 43, the AMS Library.


Leigh Bienen's new project is a web site and book (actually two books) on the life, times and work of Florence Kelley, the first female factory inspector in the us and the first factory inspector in Illinois. The web site will have some 35,000 documents related to her work, the reports of the factory inspector, national and state economic and census data, and special reports of the 1890's in Chicago, visual materials, as well as much of the statistical and economic data put together under the leadership of Carroll Wright and his colleagues, of whom Florence Kelley was one.

Leigh B. Bienen is a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law and a criminal defense attorney whose areas of expertise include capital punishment, sex crimes, and rape reform legislation. She has taught law at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law. She was also Administrative Director of the Undergraduate Program at the Woodrow Wilson School. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and D.C and a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. She is a member of the Illinois Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee and the Director of the Chicago Historical Homicide Project. This Project involved the analysis and exegesis of a hand written data set kept by the Chicago Police of more than 11,000 homicides in Chicago from 1870-1930. The original data set along with contextual and archival materials is available on an interactive web site, Homicide in Chicago, 1870-1930 ( This Project has been generously supported by grants from The Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, The McCormick Tribune Foundation and Northwestern University School of Law.