Paula A. de la Cruz-Fernández’s book Gendered Capitalism: Sewing Machines and Multinational Business in Spain and Mexico, 1850–1940 explores how the gender-specific cultures of sewing and embroidery shaped the US Singer Sewing Machine Company’s operations. Using the cases of Spain and Mexico, Fernandez details how the cultural, everyday realm of female use of sewing machines for family or business purposes influenced corporate organization and marketing strategy. In those places local agents, both men and women, developed and expanded Singer’s selling system such that this American-based multinational company assumed a domestic guise because of its focus on the private sphere of the home. In this way Fernandez genders the corporation, especially the intersection between feminine domesticity, commerce, and corporate strategy.
Paula A. de la Cruz-Fernández is the Digital Editor of the Business History Conference and Digital Heritage Manager at the University of Florida. She received her Ph D in history from Florida International University in 2013.
The audio only version of this program is available on our podcast.
Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-paula-de-la-cruz-fernandez,
Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout.
Carol Ressler Lockman