Capital Intentions: Female Proprietors in San Francisco, 1850-1920 (The Luther H. Hodges Jr. and Luther H. Hodges Sr. Series on Business, Society, and the State)
Edith SparksISBN: 0807857750;
Late nineteenth-century San Francisco was an ethnically diverse but male-dominated society bustling from a rowdy gold rush, recovery from the earthquake, and explosive economic growth. Within this booming marketplace, some women stepped beyond their roles as wives, caregivers, and homemakers to start businesses that combined family concerns with money-making activities. Edith Sparks traces the experiences of these women entrepreneurs, exploring who they were, why they started businesses, how they attracted customers and managed finances, and how they dealt with failure. Using a unique sample of bankruptcy records, credit reports, advertisements, city directories, census reports, and other sources, Sparks argues that women were competitive, economic actors, strategizing how best to capitalize on their skills in the marketplace. Their boardinghouses, restaurants, saloons, beauty shops, laundries, and clothing stores dotted the city's landscape. By the early twentieth century, however,...