Values Codes I-E-L-
Amelia Dannenberg was born in Geislingen, Germany in 1829.
She and her husband, Joseph, were from Geislingen, in the Rhineland.
In the 19th century West few women were employed in business or industry, and other than school teaching, no gainful employment for female members of Jewish families was considered socially acceptable.
The attitude was that such employment was an advertisement to society that the male breadwinner was inadequate.
Thus, Amelia Dannenberg’s status in San Francisco as an independent businesswoman and as a manufacturer of children’s wearing apparel was certainly unique.
In the 1860s Amelia Dannenberg was importing and manufacturing “embroideries and infants’ furnishing goods.”
Her husband, Joseph Dannenberg merchandised the products of his wife’s factory and materials she imported.
In the American Israelite of Cincinnati, the great national Jewish weekly of the 19th century, it was noted, in 1869, that Mrs. Amelia Dannenberg had won a diploma at the San Francisco Mechanics’ Fair for some of the baby clothing she had manufactured, recognizing the “very highest quality” of the products she turned out.
By the 1870s, Amelia Dannenberg was engaged in manufacturing and importing “ladies suits and cloaks” as well as children’s clothing.
Ameila and Joseph had a daughter, Dora, who married Jacob. H. Neustadter, an 1850 arrival in California who was also a major clothing manufacturer and wholesaler.
Joseph Dannenberg died in 1889.
Amelia Dannenberg died in 1913.
Amelia Dannenberg was one of the first, if not the first true Jewish Woman Entrepreneur in the West.
More information can be found in the following issues of Western States Jewish History:
Dannenberg, Amelia. Susan Levy, Corrine S. Koshland, Mary Prog, Amelia Dannenberg and Carolyn Anspacher: Five Pioneer Jewish Women of San Francisco. Norton B. Stern.; 35/3&4.
Dannenberg, Amelia, Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part One, A-L, Norton Stern, 41/1
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