1951 – Marriage? No Thank You.

Husband and kids? Nope. She'd rather work.

Isabel Moldenhauer at work on her kitchen table – McCalls April 1951

Meet Isabel Moldenhauer, a 25 year old fashion coordinator who loves her job. The Smith College graduate left her home town of Flemington New Jersey 2 years ago to pursue a big city career. She found a job in San Francisco’s White House Department store as an assistant fashion coordinator. When she was promoted to fashion coordinator, her dream job began. As the talent in charge of public relations, fashion shows, and store display, she is having the best time of her life.

The Girl Who Left Home – Isabel Moldenhauer – White House Dept Store Fashion Coordinator – McCall’s April 1951

Isabel’s story was told in McCall’s Personal Story feature in the April 1951 issue. It was titled, “The Girl Who Left Home”. The article referenced the 5 million single women between the ages of 18 and 34 who held jobs. It cited Isabel as one of the lucky ones who actually enjoyed working.

5 million single women between 18 and 34 who are already at work and perhaps twice that number who will take jobs as the national defense requires them.

Isabel Moldenhauer from the April 1951 McCalls article titled “The Girl Who Left Home”

The fact that Isabel wanted to pursue a career instead of marriage seemed to baffle the author. Although it stated that she dated frequently, Isabel was clear to point out that her main focus was her work.

I have yet to find a substitute for the glamour of this business

Isabel at work – preparing for a fashion show – McCalls April 1951

The 5 page article had some wonderful photography showing her at work and away. They couldn’t resist following Isabel on a date. Here, she is shown with friend Bill Rafter of the San Francisco Chronicle. When asked if they will marry, they respond. Nope. Just Friends.

Isabel Moldenhauer and friend Bill Rafter

McCalls published a similar Personal Story article in September 1951. This one perhaps was more comfortable for the McCalls editors. It was titled “Husband Hunting” about a group of college students whose main focus in life was marriage.

More Information

White House was San Francisco’s first department store. It began in 1854 and closed in 1965.

White House Department Store – 1948

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