Dell Williams

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Dell Williams (born August 5, 1922)[1][2] founded the first feminist sex toy business in the United States, Eve's Garden, in New York City in 1974.[1][3][3] Eve's Garden was also the first woman-owned and woman-operated sex toy business in America.[1] As Williams put it, "Eve represented all women and the Garden was symbolic of women taking responsibility for their own sexuality."[4] She was inspired to found the business after she took a “Body/Sex Workshop” by Betty Dodson in New York and afterwards went to buy a vibrator, but found that the salesboy at Macy's asked her nosy questions about it.[5][6]

Williams was also an actor for a time, and appeared in productions of The Vagina Monologues.[6] Her most notable role was perhaps in a 1962 film called The Cliff Dwellers, a film which was nominated for an Academy Award.[6] In addition to this, she was a singer, artists’ model, and writer during the 1930s and 1940s, and was later one of the first successful female advertising executives in New York City.[1]

Some of her papers are held as the Dell Williams Papers in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at the Cornell University Library.[7]

In 2005 her memoir Revolution in the Garden was published.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Revolution in the Garden. "Revolution in the Garden (9781596370388): Dell Williams, Lynn Vannucci: Books". Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  2. ^ Williams, Dell. "United States Public Records Index". Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Hd Feminism 2ed(52) - Janet K. Boles, Janet K. Boles Diane Long Hoeveler - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  4. ^ "Dell Williams". Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  5. ^ "Dell Williams A Sexual Pioneer for Women". Bitch Lifestyle. 2010-09-28. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  6. ^ a b c "Good Vibes: Eve’s Garden Founder Appears in West Side Benefit for Women | - New York's essential guide to culture, arts, politics, news and more". 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  7. ^ "Guide to the Dell Williams Papers,1922-2008". Retrieved 2012-11-24.