This Week in Women’s Business History

October 11 – 17

Oct. 11, 1939
Elsie M. Murphy is elected vice president of S. Stroock & Co., a fabric manufacturer.

Oct. 12, 1860
Mabel Thorp Boardman is born. She headed the American Red Cross.

Oct. 13, 1897
Edith Spurlock Sampson is born. Sampson was a lawyer, diplomat, and the first Black female judge in Illinois.

Oct. 14, 1962
Irma Rombauer dies. In 1931, she risked $3,000 of her savings to print and publish her cookbook, The Joy of Cooking. In 1936, the book was picked up by a national publisher and in 1943 it became a best-seller.

Oct. 15, 1906
Alicia Patterson is born. She founded the newspaper Newsday.

Oct. 16, 1851
Josephine Wupperman is born. She was president of Angostura-Wupperman Company for twenty years.

Oct. 17, 1935
Jacqueline Cochran opens her first beauty salon, located in Chicago on North Michigan Avenue.

Last week in women’s business history

Oct. 4, 1996
Marion Stephenson dies. She started at NBC Radio in 1944 as a budget clerk in the advertising department. Four years later she was promoted to business manager of the advertising and promotion department. That same year (1948) she received her MBA from New York University’s Graduate (now Stern) School of Business. On Oct. 5, 1962, Stephenson became NBC’s first female vice president.

Oct. 5, 1940
Anita Newcomb McGee dies. McGee was married and the mother of a young daughter when she earned her MD from Columbian University (now George Washington U.). She founded the US Army Nurse Corps but was unable to serve as its superintendent because she was not a trained nurse, as the legislation creating the corps required.

Oct. 6, 1970
Edith Gregor Halpert dies. Halpert opened her Downtown Gallery of Contemporary Art with a partner in 1926 as a venue for modern American art. Halpert (who bought out her partner in 1935) introduced and promoted the work of Stuart Davies, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, John Marin, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, Jacob Lawrence, and many more. On the other end of the spectrum, she saw a market for folk art and established American Folk Art Gallery with expert Holger Cahill in 1929. The popularity of folk art helped underwrite the promotion and marketing of the contemporary works.

Oct. 7, 1866
Martha McChesney Berry is born. She founded Berry College in Georgia.

Oct. 8, 1883
Maria de Ramirez Kramer is born. She operated hotels in New York City and Washington, DC which she branded as the Maria Kramer Hotel System.

Oct. 9, 1823
Mary Ann Shadd Cary is born. She was the first Black female newspaper editor-publisher in North America.

Oct. 10, 1898
Lilly Daché is born. She was a milliner and one of the top fashion designers of the US in the mid-20th century.

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