This article, which first appeared as Chapter 3 of Living Up to the Ads: Gender Fictions of the 1920s (Duke University Press, 2000), explores the contributions of some pioneering US adwomen. During the 1920s, female advertisers Christine Frederick, Dorothy Dignam, Helen Woodward, and Ruth Waldo penetrated a predominantly male workforce, successfully selling the notion that women were indispensable to the industry. As they advertised their capacity for "that feminine touch" to colleagues, they were negotiating with prevailing ideas about gender, generating their own stories about masculinity and femininity in the ads they wrote. At times the contrast was striking between the messages about female identity in their copy and their own professional challenges and triumphs. Using archival records, manuals, and memoirs, this essay takes a look at their role in the profession and in shaping the 20th century approach to gender.

Additional Information

Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.