Queen for a Day

Click to enlarge

But queen of what?

I found these prints in a favorite store for old photos, the Broadway Antique Mart in Chicago. Almost every visit to see my daughter includes a trip there. The pictures have been sitting in my files for over a year as I looked around for clues to explain what was going on. Finally I have to admit that I am stumped and turn to you for help.

I suspect this is some kind of membership organization like the Masons or Moose, although the costumes do not match either one of those.  The banners on display above read “Truth” and (I think) “Charity.” The leadership is obviously older.

What fascinates me is that many of the women are wearing the same style dress, a short sleeved gown with a lacy top and a kind of lace apron over the skirt.  Why is the woman in the second photo not wearing the same?  Is she being inducted into the group? Note the long gloves on all, some fingerless and some not.

The men also wear the same style suits, although it is hard to see the details.  I wonder if a special tailor/dressmaker was hired to make the clothes.

Can you help?  What is the organization?  What is the year?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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5 Responses to Queen for a Day

  1. Judith says:

    Based on the sword and crescent symbol at the top of the tiaras, I’m betting it is a Daughters of the Nile ceremony.

  2. Dee says:

    My educated guess as to date would be late 1940s to early 1950s, based on the women’s clothing. At least one of the women appears to have shoulder pads beneath her lacy peplum bodice, and gathers at the center front, both popular in the 40s. The woman wearing the fuller skirted (crinoline) gown is perhaps a little more fashion-forward. I believe fingerless evening gloves were often referred to as mitts (much like the Victorian version.).

  3. Kai Jones says:

    There are a lot of unhappy expressions on the women in the darker clothes, in the backgrounds. I think the lace “aprons” are actually peplums.

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