This Week in Women’s Business History

December 5 – 11

Dec. 5, 1998
Hazel Bishop dies. Bishop, who earned a chemistry degree from Barnard College in 1929, invented a non-smear “kiss-proof” lipstick in the late 1940s. She formed Hazel Bishop, Inc. in 1948 to manufacture it. However, she lost control of the stock, became a minority shareholder, and was forced out of the company in 1952. She invented other products and created companies to make and market them before becoming a stockbroker for Bache and Co. in 1962. She worked in the securities field for almost 20 years, specializing in the cosmetics industry.

Dec. 6, 1927
Patsy Takemoto Mink is born. After earning her law degree in 1951 from the University of Chicago Law School, she established a private practice because she could not find with an established firm. She eventually served in the Hawaiian legislature and the US House of Representatives. Among her priorities, removing the barriers that prevented women from being hired into positions they were qualified for.

Dec. 7, 1943
Alice Caroline Carpenter dies. In 1915, she founded Bonbright & Company’s women’s department.

Dec. 8, 1885
Ruth Fanshaw Waldo is born. She was the vice president of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency.

Dec. 9, 1912
Elizabeth I. Graham is born. She rose from secretary to sales and advertising manager of Liggett Spring and Axle Co.

Dec. 10, 1915
Dorothy Whyte Cotton is born. She was editor of Parents’ Magazine between 1965 and 1970.

Dec. 11, 1892
Harriet Stratemeyer Adams is born. She and her sister ran the famous Stratemeyer Syndicate, the publisher of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Cherry Ames, and other serial stories.

Last week in women’s business history

Nov. 28, 2006
Rose Vesel Mattus dies. Rose and her husband Reuben Mattus co-founded Häagen-Dazs ice cream. While her husband concentrated on flavors, recipes, and products, Rose, officially controller of the company, ran the business but could sometimes be found handing out free samples in grocery stores.

Nov. 29, 1898
Irene L. Blunt is born. She was secretary of the National Federation of Textiles, Inc.

Nov. 30, 1932
Barbara Gardner Proctor is born. In 1970, she founded Proctor & Gardner Advertising, the first Chicago-based agency owned solely by a Black woman.

Dec. 1, 1784
Susanna Wright dies. Wright was a landowner and prosperous farm manager in colonial Pennsylvania. In 1726, when her widowed father bought property along the Susquehanna River in what is now Columbia, PA, Susanna also purchased one hundred acres. Six hundred more acres were put under her care in 1746 when a friend bequeathed her his property. In addition to overseeing the crops and livestock, she raised silkworms for many years, even winning a prize for the most cocoons raised by an individual. A well-educated woman, Susanna counted Benjamin Franklin as a friend and correspondent. Her home in Columbia is now a museum.

Dec. 2, 1886
Josephine Roche is born. She was president of Rocky Mountain Fuel Company.

Dec. 3, 1896
Gladys M. Strang is born. She served as assistant cashier of Bank of Italy’s Women’s Banking Dept. under Grace Stoermer.

Dec. 4, 1884
Maria G. Sada is born. Her business, Chata’s Store, in tiny Boquillas, TX, was a general store, trading post, hotel, and café.

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