This Week in Women’s Business History

October 3 – 9

Oct. 3, 1868
Myra Bradwell publishes the first issue of the Chicago Legal News.

Oct. 4, 1996
Marion Stephenson dies. Stephenson joined NBC Radio in 1944 as a budget clerk and, eighteen years later, was named vice president.

Oct. 5, 1964
Florence Lamont Hinman dies. She was a voice teacher who created the Lamont School of Music in 1924. In 1941, Lamont Hinman merged her private school with the University of Denver.

Oct. 6, 1962
Sylvia Beach dies. In 1919, Beach opened a small, English-language bookstore and lending library in Paris called Shakespeare and Company. Beach did her best to support up-and-coming writers so her shop was both a business and a community center for its patrons who included Ernest Hemingway, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce. Beach published Joyce’s controversial novel, Ulysses. It earned her Joyce’s eternal gratitude but little more. When Random House purchased the rights to the novel from Joyce in 1932 for $45,000, he shared none of it with Beach, who nearly bankrupted herself getting and keeping Ulysses in print.

Oct. 7, 2003
Eleanor Lambert dies. Lambert was a fashion publicist who championed American designers and revolutionized the industry. She founded the Council of Fashion Designers of America and managed it through its earliest years. She also founded the International Best-Dressed List and introduced New York’s Fashion Week, as a replacement for the uncoordinated shows designers put on. Her client list included industry legends like Anne Klein, Oscar de la Renta, and Bill Blass.

Oct. 8, 1913
Elizabeth Bain is born. Bain worked in broadcasting as the manager of film departments and operated her own consulting firm.

Oct. 9, 1987
Clare Booth Luce dies. In her varied career, Luce was the managing editor of Vanity Fair magazine and a playwright who served in the US House of Representatives and as ambassador to Italy.

Last week in women’s business history

Sept. 26, 1951
Lena Bryant Malsin dies. She founded Lane Bryant stores.

Sept. 27, 1957
Sarah M. Sheridan dies. Sheridan was an early employee of Detroit Edison Company (forerunner of today’s DTE Energy Co.) who was named vice president in 1921. She oversaw the entire customer experience, from clerks gathering account information, to linemen running transmission lines, and electricians installing the service in buildings, and made sure it ran smoothly.

Sept. 28, 2002
Patsy Takemoto Mink dies. Trained as a lawyer, Mink ran a private practice for a decade before moving to Washington, DC as congresswoman from Hawaii. One of her greatest legislative achievements was Title IX which outlawed gender-based discrimination in schools and programs that received federal funding.

Sept. 29, 1935
Nina Swan Gould dies. With her husband, geologist Charles N. Gould, Nina created the engineering firm Gould & Gould of Oklahoma City.

Sept. 30, 1967
Margaret Nabel dies. She managed one of the most successful women’s baseball teams, New York Bloomer Girls from 1920 until 1933.

Oct. 1, 1979
Dorothy Arzner dies. Arzner was an early film director and the first woman to join the Directors Guild of America.

Oct. 2, 1961
Grace S. Stoermer dies. Stoermer established the Women’s Department in the Los Angeles offices of the Bank of Italy. During a re-organization in 1930—when the bank changed its name to Bank of America—her department merged with general departments and Stoermer was promoted to assistant vice-president. She retired from Bank of America in 1946 and continued her career working for an investment firm.

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