Enterprising Women: 250 Years of American Business

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UNC Press Books, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 184 pages
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Meet Katherine Goddard, owner of a print shop and publisher of the first signed copy of the Declaration of Independence; meet Madam C. J. Walker, whose hair care products brought her from her slave parents' dilapidated cabin to her own Hudson River estate; and meet Katharine Graham, publisher of the Pentagon Papers and owner of the Washington Post Company.

These are just three of the diverse women whose lives unfold in this engaging history of women entrepreneurs in America from the colonial era to the end of the twentieth century. Some ran businesses in industries dominated by men, such as iron and aircraft production, while others built businesses that marketed specifically to women, in industries such as beauty, fashion, and food. Despite facing gender discrimination and the burdens of work and family, these women entrepreneurs understood the value of a good idea, were willing to take a risk, and believed in the possibility of the American dream of success.

Enterprising Women is the companion publication to the national traveling exhibition organized by the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, and the National Heritage Museum, Lexington, Massachusetts.

The exhibition and its national tour are made possible by Ford Motor Company and AT&T.

Additional support has been provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Cabot Family Trust. The exhibition will open in Lexington in October 2002 and travel to The New York Historical Society, National Museum of Women in the Arts in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, Atlanta History Center, Women's Museum in Dallas, Los Angeles Public Library, and Detroit Historical Museum.


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Page 174 - Ellen Fitzpatrick, Endless Crusade: Women Social Scientists and Progressive Reform (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); and Robyn Muncy, Creating a Female Dominion in American Reform, 1890-1935 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).

About the author (2002)

Virginia G. Drachman is Arthur Jr. and Lenore Stern Professor of American History at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. She is author, most recently, of "Sisters in Law: Women Lawyers in Modern American History".

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