No Bottle Baby

When Elsie Murphy went job-hunting in 1934, she wanted to make a million. She thought the best chance was in the wholesale fabric business, where there were few women, and she picked S. Stroock & Co., Inc., as her target. President Sylvan Stroock offered her something less than a million, but Elsie took the job anyway—at $20 a week. By last week chic, shrewd Mrs. Murphy had still not made her million. But, at 41, she did become the $35,000-a-year president of the company (Sylvan Stroock moved himself up to the new post of board chairman).

Stroock & Co. had...

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