Thursday, September 29, 2011

From the Newspapers - The Bustle Returns

.What self-respecting female sticks a hump on her back the size of a dollar’s worth of flour?
The Winston Herald, March 15, 1894 (Alabama)

That Pesky Bustle.—That ridiculous bustle is going to be “the fashion” again this summer. What self-respecting female sticks a hump on her back the size of a dollar’s worth of flour? It seems to a man up a tree like it’s time to call a halt and consider the bearings. We truly hope that the pretty girls of Winston will refrain from making themselves ridiculous by wearing the bustle this summer. We don’t care a snap what the ugly girls do about it.
From Tweets Of Old
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

From the Newspapers - Giddy Mother of 16

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Mrs. J.C. Anderson, a giddy young thing, and the mother of 16 children, has run away with a big-trousered dude 25 years of age.
Xenia, Ohio 1889 -The Telegraph

From Tweets Of Old
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Long Island in the 1860-70s by William Moore Davis (1829–1920)

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William Moore Davis (American artist, 1829–1920) The Lady Behind the Door

Born in Setauket, New York, the self-taught William Davis was a painter of trompe l'oeil still life, genre, & landscapes. He trained as a boat builder in Port Jefferson, Long Island. There, he befriended renowned genre painter William Sidney Mount, who lived nearby in Stony Brook. Davis was influenced by Mount, who was one of the most respected painters in America at that time. Although Davis was never a pupil of Mount's, surviving letters between the two artists show that Mount often gave the younger painter artistic advice.

William Moore Davis (American artist, 1829–1920) A Close Shave

In 1868, Davis exhibited still-life paintings at the National Academy of Design. From 1863-1871, he exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association. Davis had opened a studio in New York City in 1868; but in 1872, he returned permanently to the Long Island area of Port Jefferson, where he was affectionately known as "Painter Davis." Mount had died 4 years earlier, & to a degree, Davis continued in his mentor's footsteps, providing locals with paintings of villagers pursuing their daily tasks, the area's quiet bays & coves, as well as boats anchored or at sea.

William Moore Davis (American artist, 1829–1920) Girl Reading by a Tree c 1875

Once he returned to Long Island, Davis exhibited exclusively in Port Jefferson, with the exception of a one-man show in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1894. According to the Bridgeport Daily Standard, Davis showed 135 of his works and had over 700 people in attendance. Davis died on Long Island in 1920.

William Moore Davis (American artist, 1829–1920) Cider Making on Long Island

William Moore Davis (American artist, 1829–1920) Farmyard
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Men & Women Camping in the Adirondacks, New York

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Photographer J F Holley, Camping in Lean-tos in the Adirondacks 1890

Here, both men and women are camping in the Adirondacks in various styles of fashionable dress. The six couples are standing in front of two lean-tos that have been set up as an open camp. One man has a banjo on his knee. The woman at the far left holds a small dog in her arms. Tall trees can be seen beyond the lean-tos.

The lean-tos are furnished with a number of household furnishings like curtains and shelf drapes. A mirror hangs inside the far lean-to. The roofs are covered with overlapping pieces of spruce or pine bark, held down with long boards. The large rocks in front of the lean-to probably mark the fire pit for campfires.

The photo shows many details of clothing and accessories. The women are wearing long skirts and fitted blouses. The men are wearing high, thick socks and breeches, fitted pants that end at the knee. Shoes, belts, jewelry and hats can also be seen. Three of the men are wearing a Scottish style of hat called a Tam o' Shanter.

J. F. Holley was a photographer from Chestertown, NY, during the late nineteenth century. He photographed Adirondack locations and people in the 1870s-90s, and published a series of photographs he called Adirondack Views. He also operated a variety store, and repaired bicycles, clocks, jewelry, etc.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From the Newspapers - Toenails

.A woman in Minnesota filed for a divorce because her husband “never cuts his toenails and being a restless sleeper, scratches me severely.”
-from The Hartford Weekly Herald, Hartford, Kentucky, April 18, 1894

From Tweets Of Old
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Women and Labor Day

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Norman Rockwell, Rosie the Riviter 1943

The United States Department of Labor tell us that Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.


Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The Moss Industry in the South, Harper's Weekly, September 2, 1882

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Working Women's Protective Union Hearing Complaint Against Sewing Machine Dealer

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.


A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

Maryland - The Labor Troubles In The Cumberland District - Scenes At and About the Eckhart Mines Detail, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, June 10, 1882

Labor Day was important for women who took part in parades and celebrations. It honored women laborers during World War II, who took the place of men in the American workforce, as they were deployed around the world. World War II's Rosie the Riveter was a real woman, Rose Will Monroe, who was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky in 1920, and moved to Michigan during World War II. She worked as a riveter at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan, building B-29 and B-24 bombers for the U.S. Army Air Forces.


The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

Pennsylvania - The Carpet-Weaver's Strike in Philadelphia - Female Strikers Patrolling the Streets, Frank Leslie's Illustrated News, November 3, 1888

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Labor Day Parade, float of Women's Trade Union League, New York

Women Organizing in the 19th Century compiled by the I Am Woman blog.

1824 Women workers strike for the first time in history at Pawtucket, Rhode Island. 102 women workers strike in support of brother weavers protesting the simultaneous reduction in wages and extension of the workday.

1825 'The United Tailoresses of New York' is formed. It is the first union for women only.

Labor Day

1831 In February of this year, almost 1600 women, all members of the United Tailoresses of New York, strike for "a just price for our labor."

1845 The 'Female Labor Reform Association' is formed in Lowell, Massachusetts by Sarah Bagley and other women cotton mill workers to reduce the work day from 12 or 13 hours a day to 10, and to improve sanitation and safety in the mills where they worked.


Detroit, Michigan. Women workers parading in the Labor Day parade photo by Arthur S. Siegel, September 1942 Photos from Farm Security Administration, Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

1853 Antoinette Brown becomes the first U.S. woman to be ordained as a Protestant minister.

1867 Cigar makers are the first national union to accept women and African Americans.

1869 In July, women shoemakers form the 'Daughters of St. Crispin', the first national union of women workers, at Lynn, Massachusetts.

World War II Rosies

1872 Congress passes a law giving women federal employee equal pay for equal work.

1881 In Atlanta, Georgia almost 3,000 black women laundry workers stage one of the largest and most effective strikes in the history of the south.

Detroit, Michigan. Float in the Labor Day parade showing relationship between the Army, Red Cross and industrial workers photo by Arthur S. Siegel, September 1942 Photos from Farm Security Administration, Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

1888 Suffragists win passage of a law requiring women doctors for women patients in mental institutions.

1889 Jane Adams founds Hull House in Chicago to assist the poor. It becomes a model for many other settlement houses and establishes social work as a profession for women.

Rosies World War II
1892 Mary Kenney O'Sullivan of the Bindery Workers is appointed the AFL's first female national organizer.

1898 Charlotte Perkins Gillman wrote 'Women and Economics' which argues that women need to be economically independent.

1899 The National Consumers League is formed with Florence Kelley as its president. The League organizes women to use their power as consumers to push for better working conditions and protective law for women workers.

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