The Business of Charity

The Business of Charity : The Woman's Exchange Movement, 1832-1900

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Description

In the nineteenth century Woman's Exchanges formed a vast national network that created economic alternatives for financially vulnerable women in a world that permitted few respectable employment options.One of the nation's oldest continuously operating voluntary movements -- many are still in business after more than a century -- the Exchanges were fashionable and popular shops where women who had fallen on hard times could sustain themselves by selling their handiwork on consignment -- without having to seek public employment. Over the century Exchanges became an important forum for entrepreneurial growth and an example of how women used the voluntary sector -- which had so successfully served as a conduit for their political and social reforms -- to advance opportunities for economic independence.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 152.9 x 229.4 x 14.7mm | 353.33g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0252067037
  • 9780252067037

Back cover copy

One of the nation's oldest continuously operating voluntary movements -- many are still in business after more than a century -- Woman's Exchanges were fashionable and popular shops where women who had fallen on hard times could sustain themselves by selling handiwork on consignment -- without having to seek employment in the public sector.Since the first shop opened in Philadelphia in 1832, Exchanges have provided an important forum for entrepreneurial growth as women have reevaluated their place in society and their ideas about economic independence. As paid work for women became more respectable, proponents of the Exchanges took up Mrs. George Armstrong (Libbie) Custer's cry, "We are all working women! Not a lady among us!"Kathleen Waters Sander draws on a wealth of research to demonstrate how women used the voluntary sector -- which had so successfully served as a conduit for their political and social reforms -- to advance opportunities for economic independence.show more

Review quote

"Rests on careful research into obscure sources to offer new insights into women's entrepreneurial activities... Well worth reading." -- Margaret Walsh, Business History "Besides being a well-written and humorous history of the Woman's Exchange Movement, The Business of Charity confirms my thinking that our efforts today are as valid as they were at the turn of the century." -- Manie Van Doren, president, Board of Managers of the New York Exchange for Woman's Work.show more

Rating details

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