Category Archives: 1910s

Mother and Daughter on a Windy Day

What a difference in style between mother and daughter!  The mother wears either a shirtwaist dress or a shirt and skirt combination in a conservative polka dot pattern.  From this angle her boots look almost flat.  Maybe she had problem … Continue reading

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Grandmother Smith with Ting and Ling

There’s a short, short story wrapped around the side of this snapshot—“Grandmother Smith with May’s two Pekes Ting and Ling.” Although the Pekinese aren’t hers, Grandmother Smith really looks like a dog lover, don’t you think?  Maybe she’s the one … 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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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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Polka Dots or Stripes?

Let me make a confession—I don’t like polka dots.  Delving into fashion history has made me realize that I have very strong opinions about textile patterns in general.  From the outset I knew I didn’t like flowered patterns. Geometric designs … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s | Tagged | 4 Comments

A Summer Idyll, ca. 1909

This beautiful photo, an eBay find, is the front of a postcard. A little research revealed that it is what is called a “real photo postcard.” Although such cards had long been in use, the Kodak company developed special paper … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Neighbors at Mission Court, 1919

Are you wearing your mask?  These residents of Mission Court in Pasadena California are all abiding by the rules.  As luck would have it, I found a Wikipedia entry for the small apartment complex, which is now on the National … Continue reading

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Looking Back to the Flu Epidemic, 1918

Apparently not everyone was on lockdown during the influenza epidemic of 1918.  I found these images on one of my favorite website, the Digital Public Library of America. All kinds of institutions collected photos of the epidemic. The three I’ve … Continue reading

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Women and War Bonds, 1917

When women are depicted in political posters, they are most often young and appealing or heavily idealized, like Liberty herself.  I’ve looked at a lot of war posters in my day—they are a convenient teaching tool—and the older woman in … Continue reading

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A Skirt with Fur Trim, mid 1910s

Here’s an elegant update to a classic style. This older woman wears all the components of the classic shirtwaist look–a white blouse and a dark skirt–that had been an American fashion standard for years. However, the fur trim added to … Continue reading

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