Tag Archives: California

On the Ferry, 1943

On a recent visit to relatives in the San Francisco Bay area, I went to the Oakland Museum’s exhibit, Dorothea Lange–The Politics of Seeing.  The museum is the depository of Lange’s archive, so it was a chance to see some … Continue reading

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Older Women in Pants—Photos from the Teens and Twenties

My favorite topic of all time is tracing the history of older American women in pants.  It was only in the 1970s that older women adopted pants in great numbers, but that does not mean that some didn’t try the … Continue reading

Posted in 1910s, 1920s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Gertrude Atherton’s Fountain of Youth

What lengths would you go to in order to stay young?  In 1922, the then famous California novelist Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948) underwent an experimental x-ray treatment to her ovaries that was believed to stimulate estrogen production.  She pronounced the process … Continue reading

Posted in 1920s, 1930s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Migrant Grandmother, 1938

Dorothea Lange’s most famous photo is of the migrant mother, a young Oklahoma woman and her children in a farm laborer camp in California.  The migrant mother has become the iconic expression of hardship during the Great Depression.  But it … Continue reading

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Documenting the Department Store, 1961

What a wonderful contrast between the shopper and the worker in this 1961 photo by Ruth-Marion Baruch.  I discovered it in the alumni magazine of my undergraduate alma mater, UC Santa Cruz.  The university was gifted the archive of Baruch … Continue reading

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Visiting the Texollini Factory

One of the members of my American Sewing Guild group organized a field trip to a local textile mill specializing in knits called Texollini.  According to our guide, Merchandizing Director Sherry Wood, the plant is one of the few vertically … Continue reading

Posted in 2010s | Tagged , | 2 Comments

An Evening in India

Charity balls have always confused me.  If everyone donated the time and money that it takes to plan and participate, wouldn’t that benefit the charity more?  But then we wouldn’t have photographs like the one above. This staged shot was … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

On the Street in Chinatown, ca. 1900

When did women in the United States start wearing pants on the street?  It depends on where you look.  This picture from San Francisco’s Chinatown shows that pants were common attire for women of Chinese descent at the turn of … Continue reading

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The Embroidery Club of Orange, California 1914

It’s not all that easy to find photos of older women in costume.  Most of these happy ladies look young, but a few, center right, might be pushing fifty. Many have chosen decades past for their inspiration, but two have … Continue reading

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Pants Party, 1934

This picture needs its own short story, or maybe its own novel. At the center is a young man with some sort of hanging logo for the radio station KTRB. He is surrounded by women young and old, many wearing … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s | Tagged , , | 3 Comments