Kingsport: A Business of Her Own

If you can cook, sew, or craft, you can become a budding cottage industrialist. While processing the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Kingsport collection, today, I came across a pamphlet with advice for women who want to earn a living from home. It was New York State’s answer to the underemployment of women.

A Business of Her Own cover

The fact that the pamphlet was not dated made the information within it all the more intriguing. The inside front cover was signed by the then governor of New York State.

Thomas E Dewey

We couldn’t read the governor’s name so we looked up a list of New York governors, estimating a date range, and then compared the booklet’s signature to Dewey’s signature online. (You may remember that Dewey defeated Truman in the ’48 election for a couple of hours in the press…until they actually counted the ballots.)

According to the pamphlet, in the 1940s-50s, over 6 million women were the sole heads of  households. Here are some of my favorite pages. Click to enlarge to read the print.











Business Advice


Actually, the advice on marketing and supply and demand still hold true for today, but the profitable skills spotlighted would more likely be web design, jewelry making, and blogging! Modern cottage industries!

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