Alford, who styled herself as Mrs. Byron Alford after the custom of the time, was well-suited to the task of running the factory which she and her husband had built. She was a trained accountant, writes the Penn Brad Oil Museum, who worked with her husband to build the dynamite factory in 1883. She had also studied how explosives worked and how to manufacture them. There’s another factor to her success, too: Bradford was “an astute businesswoman in the midst of America’s first billion-dollar oilfield,” writes the Oil and Gas Historical Society.
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