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Selected Bibliography

General | Law and Finance | Agriculture | Beauty Industry
Clothing Manufacture | Entrepreneurship | Mills & Factories | Office Work
Domestic Work & Cottage Industries | Shipping & Whaling
Published Primary Sources | Guides to Archival Resources

Though the history of American women in business is a relatively young and evolving field, the number of resources available to the researcher is exploding. This selective list of materials in the history of American women and women in business reflects resources consulted in the process of creating the Women, Enterprise and Society Web site. It is not maintained or updated.


Amott, Teresa L. and Julie Matthaei. Race, Gender, and Work: A Multi-Cultural Economic History of Women in the United States. Rev. ed. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1996.

Berkin, Carol, and Leslie Horowitz. Women's Voices, Women's Lives: Documents in Early American History. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1998.

Bird, Caroline. Enterprising Women. New York: W. W. Norton, 1976.

Brownlee, W. Elliot. Women in the American Economy: A Documentary History, 1675 to 1929. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976.

Clark, Alice. Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century. London: G. Routledge & Sons, 1919.

Costa, Dora L. From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor. NBER working paper series; working paper 7608. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2000. Also available in PDF from the NBER World Wide Web site (www.nber.org).

Dublin, Thomas. Farm to Factory: Women's Letters, 1830-1860. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981.

Dublin, Thomas. Transforming Women's Work: New England Lives in the Industrial Revolution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994.

Gamber, Wendy. “Gendered Concerns: Thoughts on the History of Business and the History of Women.” Business and Economic History 23, no. 1 (1994): 129-140.

Groneman, Carol, and Mary Beth Norton, editors. "To Toil the Livelong Day": America's Women at Work, 1780-1980. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987.

Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Kessler-Harris, Alice. In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Kwolek-Folland, Angel. Incorporating Women: A History of Women and Business in the United States. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1998.

Oppedisano, Jeannette M. Historical Encyclopedia of American Women Entrepreneurs: 1776 to the Present. Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 2000.

"Special Section: Gender and Business History," Business History Review 72 (Summer 1998): 185-249

Scranton, Philip, "Introduction: Gender and Business History," 185-187.

Gamber, Wendy, "A Gendered Enterprise: Placing Nineteenth-Century Businesswomen in History," 188-217.

Peiss, Kathy, "'Vital Industry' and Women's Ventures: Conceptualizing Gender in Twentieth-Century Business History," 219-241.

Scott, Joan W., "Comment: Conceptualizing Gender in American Business History," 242-249.

Yeager, Mary A. Women In Business. 3 Vols. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 1999.

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Law and Finance

Kerber, Linda. No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship. New York: Hill and Wang, 1998.

Salmon, Marylynn. Women and the Law of Property in Early America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.

Stanley, Amy Dru. From Bondage to Contract: Wage Labor, Marriage, and the Market in the Age of Slave Emancipation. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

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Effland, Anne B. W., Denise M. Rogers, and Valerie Grim. "Women as Agricultural Landowners: What Do We Know about Them?" Agricultural History 1993 67(2): 235-261.

Geisler, Charles C., Waters, William F., and Eadie, Katrina L. "The Changing Structure of Female Agricultural Land Ownership, 1946 and 1978." Rural Sociology 1985 50(1): 74-87.

Maman, Marie, and Thelma H. Tate. Women in Agriculture: A Guide to Research. New York: Garland, 1996.

McCormick, Virginia E. “Butter and Egg Business: Implications from the Records of a Nineteenth-Century Farmwife.” Ohio History 100 (Winter-Spring 1991): 57-67.

McMurry, Sally. “Women's Work in Agriculture: Divergent Trends in England and America, 1800 to 1930.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 34, no. 2 (1992): 248-270.

Shortall, S. Women and Farming: Property and Power. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Tanner, Bonnie O. The Entrepreneurial Characteristics of Farm Women. New York: Garland, 1999.

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Beauty Industry

Manko, Katina L. "Now You Are In Business For Yourself: The Independent Contractors Of The California Perfume Company, 1886-1938." Business and Economic History 1997 26(1): 5-26.

Peiss, Kathy Lee. Hope In A Jar: The Making Of America's Beauty Culture. 1998. New York: Henry Holt, 1999.

Plitt, Jane R. Martha Matilda Harper and The American Dream: How One Woman Changed the Face of Modern Business. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000.

Scranton, Philip. Beauty and Business: Commerce, Gender, and Culture in Modern America. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Willett, Julie A. Permanent Waves: The Making of The American Beauty Shop. New York: New York University Press, 2000.

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Clothing Manufacture

Burman, Barbara, ed. The Culture of Sewing: Gender, Consumption, and Home. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers, 1999.

Gamber, Wendy. The Female Economy: The Millinery and Dressmaking Trades, 1860-1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.

Green, Nancy L. Ready-to-Wear and Ready-to-Work: A Century of Industry and Immigrants in Paris and New York. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1997.

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Amonette, Ruth Leach. Among Equals: A Memoir: The Rise of IBM's First Woman Corporate Vice President. Berkeley, CA: Creative Arts Book Co., 1999.

Cleary, Patricia. "'She Will Be In The Shop'": Women's Sphere of Trade in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia and New York." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 1995 119(3): 181-202.

Cleary, Patricia. Elizabeth Murray: A Woman's Pursuit of Independence in Eighteenth-Century America. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000.

Crane, Elaine Forman. Ebb Tide in New England: Women, Seaports, and Social Change, 1630-1800. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1998.

Lewis, Susan Ingalls. “Beyond Horatia Alger: Breaking Through Gendered Assumptions about Business 'Success' in Mid-Nineteenth Century America.” Business and Economic History 24, no. 1 (1995): 97-105.

Lewis, Susan Ingalls. “Female Entrepreneurs in Albany, 1840-1885.” Business and Economic History 21 (1992): 65-73.

Lewis, Susan Ingalls, "Business Women in the 'Land of Opportunity': First and Second Generation Immigrant Proprietessess in Albany, New York, 1880. Hudson Valley Regional Review 1997 14(2): 56-70.

Matthias, Rebecca. MothersWork: How a Young Mother Started a Business On a Shoestring and Built it into a Multi-Million Dollar Company. New York: Doubleday, 2000.

Mundy, Robyn. "Norfolk Businesswomen During The Civil War Era." International Social Science Review 1998, 73(1-2[i.e., 3-4]): 75-90.

Murphy, Lucy Eldersveld. "Her Own Boss: Businesswomen and Separate Spheres in the Midwest, 1850-1880." Illinois Historical Journal 1987 80(3): 155-176.

Murphy, Lucy Eldersveld. "Business Ladies: Midwestern Women and Enterprise, 1850-1880." Journal of Women's History 1991 3(1): 65-89.

Stage, Sarah. Female Complaints: Lydia Pinkham and the Business of Women's Medicine. New York: Norton, 1979.

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Mills and Factories

Blewett, Mary H. Men, Women, and Work: Class, Gender, and Protest in the New England Shoe Industry, 1780-1910. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.

Dublin, Thomas. Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860. New York: Columbia University Press, 1979.

Eisler, Benita, ed. The Lowell Offering: Writings by New England Mill Women, 1840-1845. Philadelphia: J. P. Lippincott, 1977.

Gersuny, Carl. “'A Devil in Petticoats' and Just Cause: Patterns of Punishment in Two New England Textile Factories.” Business History Review 50, no. 2 (1976): 131-152.

Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd, ed. Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Ranta, Judith A. Women and Children of the Mills: An Annotated Guide to Nineteenth-Century American Textile Factory Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.

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Office Work

Anderson, Gregory, ed. The White Blouse Revolution: Female Office Workers Since 1870. Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 1988.

Chandler, Alfred D., Jr. and James W. Cortada, eds. A Nation Transformed by Information: How Information Has Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Gilligan, Maureen Carroll. Female Corporate Culture and the New South: Women in Business Between the World Wars. New York: Garland, 1999.

Kwolek-Folland, Angel. Engendering Business: Men and Women in the Corporate Office, 1870-1930. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

Strom, Sharon Hartman. Beyond the Typewriter: Gender, Class, and the Origins of Modern American Office Work, 1900-1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

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Domestic Work and Cottage Industries

Barbara Burman, ed. The Culture of Sewing: Gender, Consumption, and Home Dressmaking. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 1999.

Dublin, Thomas. “Rural Putting-Out Work in Early Nineteenth-Century New England: Women and the Transition to Capitalism in the Countryside.” New England Quarterly 64, no. 4 (1991): 531-573.

Dublin, Thomas. “Women's Work and the Family Economy: Textiles and Palm-Leaf Hatmaking in New England.” Tocqueville Review 5, no. 2 (1983): 297-316.

Ulrich, Laurel. The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.

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Shipping and Whaling

Norling, Lisa. Captain Ahab Had a Wife: New England Women and the Whalefishery, 1720-1870. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Shaw, David W. Flying Cloud: The True Story of America's Most Famous Clipper Ship and the Woman Who Guided Her. New York: W. Morrow, 2000.

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Published Primary Sources

Abbott, Edith. Employment Of Women In Industries; 12th Census Statistics. Chicago, 1905.

Abbott, Edith. Women In Industry: A Study in American Economic History. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1926, c1909.

Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston. Women in The Twentieth Century: A Study Of Their Political, Social And Economic Activities. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1933.

Dodge, Grace H. What Women Can Earn: Occupations of Women and Their Compensations. New York: F. A. Stokes, 1899.

Fleishman, Doris E. An Outline of Careers for Women. New York: Doubleday, Doran, 1929.

Penny, Virginia. Five-Hundred Employments Adapted to Women, Married or Single in all Branches of the Arts and Sciences, Trades, Professions, Agriculture and Mechanical Pursuits, etc., etc. Philadelphia, 1870.

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Guides to Archival Sources

Armitage, Susan, et al, eds. Women in the West: A Guide to Manuscript Sources. New York: Garland, 1991.

Catanese, Lynn. Women's History: A Guide to Sources at the Hagley Museum and Library. Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 1997.

Hinding, Andrea, and Ames Sheldon Bowers, eds. Women's History Sources: A Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections in the United States. New York: Bowker, 1979.

Leab, Daniel J. and Philip P. Mason, eds. Labor History Archives in the United States: A Guide for Researching and Teaching. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1992.

Miller, Erika Thickman, ed. Guide to Collections in the Archives and Special Collections on Women in Medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1987.

Von Salis, Susan J. Revealing Documents: A Guide to African American Manuscript Sources in the Schlesinger Library and the Radcliffe College Archives. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1993.

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