Amelia Dannenberg: Pioneer Woman Clothing Manufacturer & Entrepreneur of San Francisco

 

Amelia Dannenberg

Amelia Dannenberg WS 17/2436

Amelia Dannenberg, #WS17/2436

Values Codes I – E – L

 

Amelia Dannenberg was born in Geislingen, in the Rhineland region of Germany, in 1829.

 

San Francisco

In the 19th-century American West, few women were employed in business or industry. Other than school teaching, gainful employment for female members of Jewish families was considered socially acceptable.

Such employment was seen as advertising the inadequacy of the male breadwinner.

Amelia Dannenberg’s status in San Francisco as an independent businesswoman and as a manufacturer of children’s wearing apparel was unique.

In the 1860’s, she was importing and manufacturing “embroideries and infants’ furnishing goods.”

Joseph Dannenberg 17/2516

Joseph Dannenberg, #17/2516

Her husband, Joseph Dannenberg, merchan­dised products from Amelia’s factory and materials she imported.

In the American Israelite of Cincinnati (1869), a national Jewish weekly of the 19th century, it was noted 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 1870’s, she was engaged in manufacturing and importing “ladies suits and cloaks” as well as children’s cloth­ing.

 

Family

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.

Sources

  • Norton B. Stern, “Susan Levy, Corrine S. Koshland, Mary Prog, Amelia Dannenberg and Carolyn Anspacher: Five Pioneer Jewish Women of San Francisco,” Western States Jewish History 35/3&4.
  • Norton B. Stern, “Amelia Dannenberg,” Western States Jewish History 41/1.
Dora Dannenberg WS 17/2515

Dora Dannenberg, #WS17/2515