(RUSS) & DAUGHTERS: ON THE THEORY OF FEMINIST FISHMONGERS. (WITH A CAMEO FROM RUTH BADER GINSBURG.)
Russ & Daughters — the landmark appetizing shop — was founded on the Lower East Side of NYC with a herring barrel and pushcart. In 1914 the Russ family moved the business into a storefront. It still stands on East Houston Street today. And now there's a restaurant — Russ & Daughters Cafe — on Orchard Street, where the herring barrel business began.
- •In the 1930s, founder Joel Russ made his three daughters full partners in the business, a practice unheard of at the time. (At that time, it was common for businesses to be "& Sons," "& Brothers," or "& Any Other Male.")
- •"Everything else was ‘Shmuel & Sons,'" says Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recalling how struck she was by the store’s name as a girl. "Even before I heard the word ‘feminist,’ it made me happy to see that this was an enterprise where the daughters counted just like sons counted. That was most uncommon in those days."
- •Russ & Daughters is thought to be the first business in the United States to have "& Daughters" in its name.
- •The second generation —the daughters: Hattie, Ida, and Anne — had worked in the shop since they were pre-teens. They had no choice. They were expected to work in the family business.
- •The business is now owned and operated by the 4th generation of the Russ family: Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper. (They're the great granddaughter and great grandson of Joel Russ, and they are the grandchildren of Anne Russ.)
- •"I would love to think of my great-grandfather as a pioneering feminist," said Niki Russ Federman in an interview with The New Republic. “But really, it was that he had no sons and it was very catchy to say 'and daughters.'"
- •The magazine wrote: Striking a balance between adherence to distinct century-old tradition and expanding, diversifying and revising past practices is something that plays on Niki’s mind, she said. "It’s an incredibly compelling challenge to think about how change and continuity can coexist in a business and in our culture. It’s not always so easy."