|(rt) El Dorado Jones (1860-1932)|
married and learned to function on her own without a man's help. She taught school, sold insurance, and then discovered she could make more money with her inventions.
She started a factory (Eldorado Inventions, Inc.) in Illinois to produce her products and hired only women past the age of 40. Her ability to work with metal soon earned her a reputation as a successful businesswoman and the nickname "Iron Woman."
The products were mainly for women: a light weight electric iron, a travel size ironing board, and a collapsible hat rack. But a later invention, an airplane engine muffler in 1919, could have been her greatest invention, and perhaps, made her a fortune.
El Dorado needed financial backing for its production, but her reputation as a man-hater turned potential male backers away. Reportedly, businessmen offered to buy her factory, but she adamantly refused. Apparently, her dislike of men was not a casual dislike, but a blatant hatred of all men.
Based on the concept of the automobile muffler, the airplane muffler had a lot of potential in controlling aircraft noise. It tested successfully in New York, but because of El Dorado's known reputation against men, the New York Times refused to give her due credit in their report. It hurt her financially and she never recovered from the blow.
Even the most ardent of feminists, it has been said, know that ticking off the male population would never earn any respect for their causes. Male support was as crucial then as it is today, more so in the campaign at the time for women's rights. Apparently, El Dorado never made peace with that. After her business failed, she was forced to apply for public assistance (welfare), and later was found dead in her bed by a neighbor.
Sad, isn't it? What do you think?
Copyright 2015 © Sharon Marie Himsl