From the 1940s to the 1980s, Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, employed more than 200 escorts, known as elevator girls, who greeted guests visiting Bethlehem Steel.
Fifty former Bethlehem Steel escorts, ages about 40 to 80, gathered at a reunion to reminisce about working for the industrial giant. According to the escorts’ handbook they were 18 years or older, attractive, smart and personable. They were required to look and act uniformly and received detailed instructions about how to wear their clothes, hair, makeup, shoes and accessories. A “well-proportioned figure” was a job requirement and weight was monitored. Waist measurements had to be 10 inches smaller than bust and hip measurements.
Escorts welcomed people into company offices and escorted guests from the lobby to the office they were to visit. They started a conversation to get information about guests to make appropriate introductions.
Once the escort arrived at an office, she was responsible for introducing the guest to the Bethlehem Steel employee. Then she excused herself, went back to the lobby and waited for the next guest.
From a story by Michael P. Buffer in The Express Times, Easton, Pennsylvania.