Category Archives: 1920s

Gold Star Mothers on Memorial Day, 1924

With all the talk of road trips and crowded airports, Memorial Day is mainly known as the official start of the vacation season in the United States.  However, its original purpose was to honor war dead.  Read this fascinating articles … Continue reading

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Tanaka Designing and Tailoring School, 1925

Although the banner in the background mentions ladies and gents, I see only women and children here. I suppose the students were making both women’s and men’s clothing. The photo possibly depicts some kind of open house or graduation ceremony.  … Continue reading

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A Fabulous House Dress, Early 1920s

What an amazing outfit—but where did it come from?  I turned to the experts at the Vintage Fashion Guild for help.  Jonathan Walford, noted fashion historian and head of the Fashion History Museum in Canada, came back with the most … Continue reading

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The Flapper’s Mother…and Grandmother

I have always thought there was something sad about flapper-style clothing on older women. The dresses were designed to fall in an unbroken line from the shoulders, but that only worked if there weren’t a lot of curves below.  To … Continue reading

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Strange Fur Pieces from the 1920s

The undated photo above shows New York governor Al Smith and his wife Catherine in around 1925, judging by the length of her skirt.  That would make Catherine, born in 1875, just about fifty here. This photo makes me reassess … Continue reading

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Mary B. Talbert, Feminist Icon

Why isn’t Mary B. Talbert (1866-1923) better known?  I discovered her through a feature on black women suffragists at the Digital Public Library of America.  However, suffrage was just one of her causes.  She was involved in the anti lynching … Continue reading

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My Great Great Grandmother, Mary Wade

It’s not often you get such a clear picture of an old relative.  My aunt discovered this photo when she was moving.  In my grandmother’s handwriting on the back it says “My grandmother Wade.”  Given all the online sleuthing tools … Continue reading

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Treasure and Trash on Pinterest

I have given up on Pinterest many times.  After getting recommendations from friends and sewing teachers, I’ve tried to assemble various “collections” of things that inspire me.  Each time I have delved into that chaotic bundle of images, I have … Continue reading

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Ida B. Wells–A Giant among Women

Here is a short list of Ida B. Wells’s accomplishments: school teacher, journalist, newspaper owner, anti-lynching crusader, mother of four, civil rights leader, and black women’s suffrage advocate.  She filled her life (1862-1931) with more achievements than tens of other … Continue reading

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And Your Little Dog, Too

Was the photographer who took this photo used to having dogs in the studio?  Perhaps the woman insisted, since this little dog was clearly important to her.  Did it help her through hard times, like pets are doing for millions … Continue reading

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