This was one of my Grandma’s business cards from when she worked at the downtown Marshall Field’s on State Street in Chicago. I remember her working there but didn’t know that she used a different last name. Her maiden name was Zabowski, though she didn’t work at Field’s until after she was married and had become a Kownacki. I asked my Dad and Aunt about the name change. They knew of it but never heard from my Grandma why, though my Aunt believes it had something to do with being easier and more American sounding. I wish I had known about this pseudonym when she was alive so that I could have asked her. Was it her idea? Did someone higher up suggest, or tell her she had to do it? Marshall Field’s was known for hiring women for the sales floor going back to the 19th Century. It would be interesting to know if changing a particularly ethnic sounding name was their common business practice. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was back at the turn of the century, but to have it continue so far into the 20th century? It’s not like Chicago didn’t have a good number of Polish names floating around. Sure makes we wish I knew the backstory. 
Also, I find the use of the word “utilities” amusing. 

This was one of my Grandma’s business cards from when she worked at the downtown Marshall Field’s on State Street in Chicago. I remember her working there but didn’t know that she used a different last name. Her maiden name was Zabowski, though she didn’t work at Field’s until after she was married and had become a Kownacki. I asked my Dad and Aunt about the name change. They knew of it but never heard from my Grandma why, though my Aunt believes it had something to do with being easier and more American sounding. I wish I had known about this pseudonym when she was alive so that I could have asked her. Was it her idea? Did someone higher up suggest, or tell her she had to do it? Marshall Field’s was known for hiring women for the sales floor going back to the 19th Century. It would be interesting to know if changing a particularly ethnic sounding name was their common business practice. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was back at the turn of the century, but to have it continue so far into the 20th century? It’s not like Chicago didn’t have a good number of Polish names floating around. Sure makes we wish I knew the backstory. 

Also, I find the use of the word “utilities” amusing. 

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  1. familyephemera posted this
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