1st Edition

Beauty and Business Commerce, Gender, and Culture in Modern America

Edited By Philip Scranton Copyright 2001
    344 Pages 15 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    346 Pages 15 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Leading historians explore how our ideas of what is attractive are influenced by a broad range of social and economic factors. They force us to reckon with the ways that beauty has been made, bought and sold in modern America.

    Contents Preface, Philip Scranton Acknowledgments On Beauty, . . .and the History of Business, Kathy Peiss Part 1: Images and Reforms Any Desired Length: Negotiating Gender Through Sports Clothing, 1870-1925, Sarah A. Gordon Questionable Beauty: The Dangers and Delights of the Cigarette in American Society, 1880-1930, Nancy Bowman Collars and Consumers: Changing Images of American Manliness and Beauty, Carole Turbin Fighting the Corsetless Evil: Shaping Corsets and Cultures, 1900-1930, Jill Fields Part 2: Business and Work A Depression-Proof Business Strategy: The California Perfume Company's Motivational Literature, Katina L. Manko I Had My Own Business . . So I Didn't Have to Worry: Beauty Salons, Beauty Culturists and the Politics of African-American Female Entrepreneurship, Tiffany Melissa Gill At the Curve Exchange: Postwar Beauty Culture and Working Women at Maidenform, Vicki Howard Estee Lauder: Self- Definition and the Modern Cosmetics Market, Nancy Koehn Part 3: Constructing Commodiities Black is Profitable: The Commodification of the Afro, 1960-1975, Susannah Walker Loveliest Daughter of Our Ancient Cathay!: Representations of Ethnic and Gender Identity in the Miss Chinatown U.S.A Beauty Pagent, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu Hiding the Scars: History of Breast Prostheses After Mastectomy Since 1945, Kirsten E. Gardner Notes on the Contributors Index


    Philip Scranton is the Governor's Board Professor at Rutgers, editor of the journal Enterprise and Society, and director of research at the Hagley Center. He is author of several books, including Endless Novelty: Specialty Production and American Industrialization (1997).

    "Recommended for business historians and upper-division academic libraries with women's studies programs." -- Bellinda Wise, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY
    "Recommended for business historians and upper-division academic libraries with women's studies programs." -- Library Journal
    "This pioneering collection weaves beauty into a capacious commercial net that stretches from the late 19th to the mid 20th century. Expansive in scope but sharply focused to capture the interplay between beauty and business, the volume casts an illuminating light on the individuals, groups and businesses involved in the transformation of modern cultures of consumption. With this volume, a new business history has arrived." -- Mary A. Yeager, UCLA
    "Eschewing simplistic narratives of corporate victimization in favor of subtlety and complexity, these essays emphasize the role of consumers and small-scale entrepreneurs -- many of them women -- in shaping America's beauty industry...required reading for anyone interested in the histories of gender, culture, and business." -- Wendy Gambler, author of The Female Economy: The Millinery and Dressmaking Trades
    "These essays from a conference a the Hagley Museum and Library...attest to the growth of women in business and the welcome incursion of social and gender history into traditional business history...The mix is both interesting and potentially widely useful, not only for the study of business or women in business, but for a variety of other academic pursuits. It is a welcome addition to a growing body of literature." -- Choice