The Female Economy: The Millinery and Dressmaking Trades, 1860-1930
by Wendy Gamber
University of Illinois Press, 1997
Paper: 978-0-252-06601-6 | Cloth: 978-0-252-02298-2
Library of Congress Classification HD6054.4.U6G355 1997
Dewey Decimal Classification 331.48870973

      Hemmed in by "women's work" much less than has been thought,
        women in the late 1800s and early 1900s were the primary entrepreneurs
        in the millinery and dressmaking trades.
      The Female Economy explores that lost world of women's dominance,
        showing how independent, often ambitious businesswomen and the sometimes
        imperious consumers they served gradually vanished from the scene as custom
        production gave way to a largely unskilled modern garment industry controlled
        by men. Wendy Gamber helps overturn the portrait of wage-earning women
        as docile souls who would find fulfillment only in marriage and motherhood.
        She combines labor history, women's history, business history, and the
        history of technology while exploring topics as wide-ranging as the history
        of pattern-making and the relationship between entrepreneurship and marriage.
      A volume in the series The Working Class in American History, edited
        by David Brody, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Montgomery, and Sean Wilentz,
        and in the series Women in American History, edited by Anne Firor Scott,
        Nancy A. Hewitt, and Stephanie Shaw


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