American History


diminutive powerhouse Martha Matilda Harper was overseeing some 500 hair salons around the country, in Canada, and across Europe that promoted her Harper hair care method. From an impoverished child indentured in Ontario, Canada, she matured into a pioneering businesswoman in Rochester, New York. Though not the first American woman to make her fortune in hair care, Harper created one of the earliest business franchises in the United States, along the way enlarging opportunities for women to take charge of their economic lives. She built an empire that blossomed, then languished forgotten until 2ooo, when Rochester resident Jane Plitt published . In her book, Plitt chronicled in detail how Harper founded one of the

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