antedate for "blue collar" (OED: 1950)

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at ISCHOOL.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Dec 17 20:23:09 UTC 2008

The five-man committee stressed the need for the following speedy
remedial actions: . . . Simplification of the efficiency rating system
for ”blue collar workers” to make it more easily understood by
employes [sic]. ”Labor Corrections at Navy Yard Urged, " New York
Times,  Jul 15, 1945
That's well after "white collar," which the OED puts in 1919. Which
leads me to wonder: when did workingmen start wearing shirts with
collars, anyway?

Geoff Nunberg

The American Dialect Society -

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