Remembering Mildred Kramer

As we celebrate National Women’s History Month, it is fitting to recognize the remarkable achievements of a woman who defied the odds, shattered barriers and left an indelible mark on the history of Madison, Wisconsin.

Amidst the bustling streets and lively sidewalks of Madison’s isthmus in the 1930s, a remarkable figure emerged during economic hardship and societal constraints. Her name was Mildred Kramer, a woman of spirit and ambition. Despite the challenges of the era, Mildred charted her own path to success; she will be remembered as an entrepreneur and esteemed business woman.

Kramer Printing original building across from the WI state capital.

Overall, while women entered the workforce in various capacities in the 1930s, they were frequently limited to lower-paying and less prestigious positions compared to men. Women also faced significant challenges in advancing their careers or breaking into male-dominated industries.

Mildred Kramer graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business in 1927. Mildred continued to break barriers and built a successful business, Kramer Printing, which she opened in 1936 with a typewriter and a mimeograph machine. Throughout the depression and World War II, Kramer Printing endured, proving the strength of Mildred’s resolve and ingenuity. Mildred remained president of Kramer Printing until her retirement in 1980.

Kramer Printing ad in the 1956 Wisconsin State JournalThroughout her career, Mildred continually encouraged other women to become business leaders and established the Mildred Kramer scholarship fund at the University of Wisconsin School of Business. She was an active member and benefactor of numerous organizations including the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Madison Children’s Museum, the UW Arboretum, and the Crane Foundation of Baraboo. Another of Mildred’s personal passions was West Highland Terriers and she was an active member and leader of the Badger Kennel Club.

Mildred passed away at the age of 91 and was preceded in death by her husband Norman T. Gill. Her resilience and determination paved the way for future generations of women entrepreneurs and her legacy is a testament to the boundless capabilities of women.

We’re proud to share that Kramer Printing, now Kramer Madison, is once again owned and run by a woman entrepreneur, Gina Weise.

More Kramer News