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Women's Traffic & Transportation Club, Inc.

Established 1933

Webchair:  Karen Bush

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History

May 29, 2014

The year was 1933. The Port of Baltimore was growing, and it was an indisputable fact that everything relating to transportation was male-dominated. Transportation Clubs invited women, but only as guests of their male members. Transportation businesses hired women, but only as secretaries or clerks. To have women in management positions or as active members of clubs was unthinkable.

Three courageous women got together and decided that women needed a platform to meet other women, discuss issues and educate themselves and others in the world of transportation. So, on May 26, 1933, The Women’s Traffic and Transportation Club of Baltimore was founded by Mathilda Brundick, Edith Bell and Nellie Cathcart. The Club was incorporated in 1940 for the purposes of:

To unite women, engaged exclusively or partially in traffic duties of various commercial and transport interests of Baltimore, in a program of education. To establish a more friendly relationship and understanding between shippers and carriers. To provide an opportunity for discussion of all traffic and transportation problems.

Meetings were held the second Wednesday of every month at the Hotel Longfellow on Charles and Madison. In 1950, the location became the Park Plaza and the cost of dinners was only $8.00. As times changed and costs increased, meeting locations changed to the Belvedere Hotel, La Fontaine Bleu, The Rose Restaurant, and various other restaurants throughout the city. In the 1950’s, no self-respecting woman attended a meeting or function without being nicely attired and wearing a hat and gloves.

In 1959, the Associated Traffic Clubs of America (which later became Traffic Clubs International – TCI) held their conference in Baltimore. Because of the male dominance in ACTA/TCI, that same year Sara O. Seamer of New York organized the Eastern States Women’s Traffic Conference. The ESWTC consisted of 20 women’s clubs, of which we were one, east of the Mississippi. Over time, the membership in ESWTC grew to 26 clubs. Bids were placed by the clubs to host the annual conference, held in the spring, which was usually a 3-day event and featured workshops and speakers and a formal President’s dinner and reception. Members have visited cities from Hartford, CT to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The WTTC of Baltimore was the proud host of the 1959, 1970, 1980, 1991 and 2000 conferences.

The WTTC of Baltimore was also a member of the Tri-States Seminar. Tri-States was formed in 1969 and was comprised of the clubs from Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. When the New Jersey club was disbanded, Virginia was invited to join. Tri-States also met annually, in the fall. It was a 1- to 2-day event, featuring a seminar or workshop, hospitality suites and luncheon.

Sadly, neither of these organizations are in existence today. In fact, of the original 26 women’s transportation organizations, the WTTC of Baltimore is the only club still active, still working, still thriving.

The WTTC of Baltimore has used its time and talent to help those in need, too. As participants in the Friendship Club, our members dressed hundreds of baby dolls and stuffed hundreds of stockings for the Salvation Army each Christmas. It was a wonderful sight to see dolls and stockings lined up and ready for giving at the annual Friendship Club luncheon. We have hosted fundraisers and made donations to innumerable charities and non-profit organizations throughout our history, a proud tradition that continues to this day.

Education has always been one of the cornerstones of our club. In the early 1980’s, small scholarships were awarded to elementary school students who submitted posters / essays on transportation. In 2000, a Scholarship Program was developed by Joan Buedel (our Advisor-in-perpetuum), Gloria Weber and Nora Barker. Scholarships are awarded to transportation students who must meet specific criteria.

The Women's Traffic and Transportation Club has a rich and proud history. However, we are not about to "rest on our laurels." there's still so much more to learn, more to give, more to achieve. And it doesn't matter if you're male or female. Membership in the WTTC is also extended to men in the transportation industry. We are still a young (even at 80!) club starting our 81st year with enthusiasm and excitement, and we encourage you to be a part of it!

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