In our examination of the regulation of wages in the twentieth century United States, we pay a great deal of attention to the arguments among academics, regulators, and social reformers about the definition of a fair wage for women and men. These arguments reflect differing assumptions about the process of wage setting in general and the setting of women’s and men’s wages in particular. Rather than assigning priority to one narrow view of wage setting, we have discerned three simultaneous aspects of wages that can be woven together to help build a richer understanding of the politics, process, and meaning of wage setting. We label these (1) wages as a living, (2) wages as a price, and (3) wages as a social practice.