Category Archives: 1900s

The Dowager Corset, 1900

If you had a product intended for older women, what would you call it?  These days it might include the words “ageless” or “forever young,” but in 1900 “dowager” was apparently considered a good idea.  What is a dowager anyway? … Continue reading

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A Horde of Hats, 1900s

My friend Sally, a source for many wonderful photos on this blog, found this treasure at a recent photo conference she attended. It’s a post card that was never sent, but luckily there’s some writing on the back: “Grandma Snowdon, … Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

I won’t be wearing a wonderful champagne bottle dress on New Year’s eve, but I will be enjoying champagne. New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday–no presents to worry about, no special foods (at least not in my household). There … Continue reading

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Mrs. Ralston’s Fashion Advice for Older Women

In the early years of the twentieth century the Ladies Home Journal fashion expert, Mrs. Ralston, wrote for a wide audience.  On her regular trips to Paris, she brought home news of the latest trends for the stylish set. However, … Continue reading

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Who Was Mrs. Ralston?

If you have ever looked at issues of Ladies Home Journal in the early twentieth century, you probably have come across articles by one Mrs. Ralston.  She gave advice on current fashion trends for all age groups and answered questions … Continue reading

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Philosophy of Dress

Feminist philosopher Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), suffragist, novelist, and economist, spent a lot of her life thinking about clothes.  She considered herself a dress reformer, but was not interested in the extremes of bloomers or pants.  Instead, she followed her … Continue reading

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At the Breakers Bath House, ca. 1906

This photo postcard has a 1900s look about it, but historical events allow me to date it more precisely.  According to printed information on the back, it was taken at a photo studio at the Breakers Bath House in Galveston, … Continue reading

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Pants for Women in Montgomery Ward Catalogs, 1907-1924

When did Montgomery Ward begin offering pants designed for women?  The first mention I found (and I could have easily missed some) had to do with horseback riding.  In 1907, you could buy a custom made divided skirt “for cross … Continue reading

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Made to Measure Clothing from Montgomery Ward

The big American catalog companies that started in the late nineteenth century—1872 for Montgomery Ward and 1888 for Sears—fueled the American ready to wear industry.  In order to supply clothing to far flung parts of the United States without easy … Continue reading

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Mary Colter–Architect of the Southwest

You don’t have to spend much time at the south rim of the Grand Canyon to hear the name Mary Colter (1869-1958).  She designed Bright Angel Lodge, the Hopi House, and the Lookout Studio, which fits into the walls of … Continue reading

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