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Enterprising Women: 250 Years of American Business

Enterprising Women: 250 Years of American Business

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Meet Katharine 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 Hazel Bishop, whose "kissable" lipstick left an indelible mark on the cosmetics industry even after her own company disappeared.

These are just three of the diverse women whose lives unfold in this engaging history of women entrepreneurs inAmerica 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. Sponsored by Ford Motor Company and AT&T with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Cabot Family Trust, the exhibition will open in Lexington in 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.