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American Woman, Italian StyleItalian Americana's Best Writings on Women$
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Carol Bonomo Albright and Christine Palamidessi Moore

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823231751

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823231751.001.0001

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Connecting Spheres Women's Work and Women's Lives In Milwaukee's Italian Third Ward

Connecting Spheres Women's Work and Women's Lives In Milwaukee's Italian Third Ward

(p.47) Connecting Spheres Women's Work and Women's Lives In Milwaukee's Italian Third Ward
American Woman, Italian Style

Carol Bonomo Jennngs

Christine Palamidessi Moore

Fordham University Press

In Milwaukee, the largest Italian enclave was defined by the boundaries of the Third Ward, where businesswomen worked as grocers, restaurateurs, saloon keepers, and purveyors of dry goods. Female entrepreneurs were motivated to earn an income through business enterprises while simultaneously continuing their familial and household responsibilities. Between 1900 and 1920 there were nearly 130 Italian-owned grocery stores in the Third Ward. Many of these businesses were short lived. Some appeared only once in the city directory and never again. Most of the women who were proprietors of grocery stores were not widowed and were married to men gainfully employed. All of the women in this study operated grocery stores at home. Operating a business in their home allowed them to combine economic activities with domestic responsibilities. Italian immigrant women used domestic life to their advantage.

Keywords:   Milwaukee, Third Ward, businesswomen, grocery stores, Italian immigrant women, female entrepreneurs, domestic responsibilities

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