NEGAUNEE — Many think that the mines were the UP’s chief employer, but another industry was pretty successful here, and what they produced might surprise you.
The Gossard Factory employed 500 employees for over fifty years, making bras, corsets, and girdles. Ninety percent of those employees were women. Not many people know the story of the Gossard Factory, so the Vista Theater decided it was time to put on a play, called Revolutionary Brassiere.
“I think my favorite part about directing this has been all the incredible talented people who have made sacrifices to be in this play and getting to hear all the amazing stories from the women who used to work there about their experience being factory workers and making luxury women’s undergarments in a time when a lot of women didn’t work at all,” said Paul Olson, director of the play.
Good story aside, very few people know about the Gossard Factory, and the impact it had on the Negaunee Area. Olson hopes that this play will help get the word out.
“I really don’t see this show as being the end of the conversation, I really see this as being the beginning of the conversation about what this meant for our community during such an important time when our community was growing,” added Olson.
The play opens Thursday night at 7:30. It runs through Saturday.