• 7 Hudson County Women Who Made History

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    In honor of International Women’s Day,  it’s more than appropriate to highlight some of Hudson County’s “herstory” makers. From the masterminds behind the world’s leading lingerie brand to New Jersey Supreme Court judges, the ladies in our roundup have left their mark within this community {and beyond}. Today, we look back at these seven Hudson County gals who shattered glass ceilings and put real meaning behind “girl power.” Read on to find out more about the historic women of Hudson County. 

    Ida Rosenthal and Enid Bissett

    Ida Rosenthal historic women

    {Photo courtesy of @inquirerred}

    Before the push-up bra was everywhere, Ida Rosenthal and Enid Bissett were looking for a way to accentuate their curves in a flapper girl’s world. This search for a solution resulted in the first bra to lift and shape women’s chests. After a positive response from the public, Bissett and Rosenthal opened a Bayonne factory, creating what would eventually become Maidenform Inc., one of the world’s leading lingerie brands.

    See More: Hudson County Women to Watch {in 2019}

    Dorothea Lange

    During the Great Depression, photographer and Hoboken-native Dorothea Lange used art to document the suffering of rural America during a time of economic crisis. Her photo, Migrant Mother, has been a pivotal image when examining the art of the early twentieth century. The photo was first hung at Dorothea’s MoMA exhibit in 1940; today, the photograph is currently not for public viewing.

    Shirley Tolentino

    In 1976, Shirley Tolentino became Jersey City’s first black female municipal judge; eight years later she was appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court — and she was the first black woman to do so. She passed away in 2010, but her memory is kept alive today by the Jersey City post office in her namesake.

    Hetty Green

    Hetty Green historic women

    {Photo courtesy of @musuemofcityny}

    During the mid-eighteenth century, before women were considered people {legally speaking}, Hetty Green forged her way to Wall Street with a number of sound investments, making her {at the time} the richest woman in the world. While she wasn’t born in Hudson County, she lived in Hoboken for a time as she grew the ranks in NYC. Alongside the likes of JP Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, Hetty became a Wall Street staple.

    Mary Philbrook

    In 1895, Mary Philbrook became New Jersey’s first female lawyer. After working at a Hoboken firm for some time, the New Jersey Bar admitted Philbrook. She continued to practice in Newark for most of her life. As a lawyer, she championed for women’s suffrage ideals, including the change of the New Jersey Constitution to include women by changing “men” to “persons.” Today, an award in her honor is distributed yearly by Rutgers University to female legal professionals.

    Read More: 16 Millennial Entrepreneurs Kicking A$$ in Hoboken + Jersey City

    Maria Pepe

    Maria Pepe Historic Women

    {Photo courtesy of @hobokenmuseum}

    In 1974, the New Jersey Superior Court ruled in favor of a young Maria Pepe in her quest to play Little League baseball. After being recruited for the Hoboken Young Democrats in 1971, Pepe became the first female to pitch in a Little League game. Pepe was forced to quit the team when higher-ups of Little League Baseball Inc. got wind of the situation. By the end of her legal battle, the court ruled that girls must be allowed to try out for Little League teams — a big win for all the Sporty Spices of the world.

    Have you heard of these historic Hudson County women? Let us know in the comments!


    Written by:

    Alyssa is Hoboken Girl’s newest intern. The Louisiana native started at NYU in 2016 and is currently working on her degree in Media and Communication. She is making her way through the Mile Square neighborhood, one coffee shop at a time. When she isn’t writing or getting her caffeine fix, Alyssa enjoys trying out new dessert recipes (especially if there’s chocolate in it) or attending midnight showing of the newest blockbusters. On a typical Saturday night, you can usually find Alyssa either at a concert or watching Netflix’s newest binge-worthy TV series.


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