Walker, Madame C.J.

Walker, Madame C.J.
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b. 1867 Louisiana, USA
d. 1919 USA
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African-American inventor of hair and cosmetic treatments.
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She was born Sarah Breedlove in rural Louisiana, but she moved to St Louis, Mississippi, and settled there, first earning a living as a washerwoman. That occupation did not satisfy her for long, however; she saw a need among black women to smarten their appearance to improve their chances in city life, and by 1905 she had concocted a mixture that could straighten and groom black women's hair. She began to market her product in Denver, Colorado, under her married name, Madame C.J.Walker. After five further years of intensive marketing and persuading black women that they needed this product, she was able to establish her headquarters in Indianapolis for the national distribution of her hair and cosmetic products. She also set up beauty salons, which were especially successful in Harlem, New York.
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Further Reading
P.P.James, 1989, The Real McCoy: African-American Invention and Innovation 1619– 1930, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, pp. 85–6.
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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