Sunday, October 31, 2021

19C American Woman (...about my age)

Betsey Long (Mrs Isaac Ellis) 1796-1867 ME

Friday, October 29, 2021

1863 - Women as Florists in the USA

Jean Frederic Bazille (French Impressionist Painter, 1841-1870) Woman Preparing Flower Arrangement

1863 American Women as Florists. The rearing of flowers has ever been a charming pastime to many of our sex. When the pleasure can be combined with profit, it is well. The cultivation of flowers is a taste whose beneficial results are not sufficiently appreciated. When the cares & troubles of life begin to press upon men & women, they are apt to neglect the cultivation of flowers, when it might absorb some of the cares that burden their hearts.

Vines, roses, & ornamental fruit trees cost but a small sum, & yet how much they add to the beauty & comfort of a place! Most of the choice roses of our country are from cuttings imported from France. They are brought over in jars. Many, of course, die on the voyage. The variety is very great.

The selling of roots, plants, & bouquets is quite remunerative in some places. Much depends on the knowledge & skill of the fiorist, the location of his gardens, & the fondness of the people in the community for flowers. It is a delightful business for a lady, if she has men to do the planting, digging, & other hard work.

In Paris, there is a market devoted to the sale of flowers. In most of the markets of our large cities, are exposed for sale pot plants & bouquets, also shrubs & evergreens. A florist told me that he employs two women in winter to make up bouquets & wreaths for ladies going to evening & dinner parties, concerts, & other places of amusement. It requires taste & ingenuity. He pays each $5 per week. They can make up wreaths to look like artificial flowers.

A woman on Long Island makes a living by raising flowers that are sold in New York. I was told that some lady has established a horticultural school on Long Island. Florists in & near cemeteries are apt to find sale for flowers & plants. Hence it is common to observe gardens & hot houses so located. I rode out to a florist's near Brooklyn. He says the business is not so good as it was, because the Germans in Hoboken raise flowers & sell bouquets for sixpence that he could not sell for twentyfive cents. The man does not send bouquets to the city, as it does not pay. Their profits are mostly derived from the sale of choice fruit trees raised at Flushing. They sell bouquets at their hot houses from a shilling up to $5.

They derive most profit from flowers in winter. A florist's occupation is healthy, & affords much pleasure to one fond of flowers. Yet it requires close attention to business. In England it was formerly customary to serve a seven-years' apprenticeship at the business, but three or four years will answer very well, if an individual gives undivided attention to his business, & is with a superior florist. A knowledge of botany is necessary to a florist. It requires considerable taste to make up a bouquet, & therefore is very appropriate to women. A knowledge of colors & their artistic arrangement is essential; also a natural taste for flowers, & some patience. Making bouquets, wreaths, &c., is slow work. The stems of flowers for bouquets are cut very short, as most of the nutriment of the stem is lost to the succeeding ones by cutting long ones. Artificial stems are added to the natural ones, & are usually made of broom straw or ravelled matting.

Mrs. F., the wife of a florist, says the wives of most florists assist their husbands in making up bouquets, wreaths, & baskets. She thinks, if a florist had enough to do to employ a lady, he would pay her $3 or $4 a week. She, has often thought a small volume might be written on the flower business in New York. She says no one has an idea of the amount of money expended for flowers. Mr. D. used to send out $1,000 worth of flowers on New Year's morning. It is a very irregular employment. Some days she sells a great many for balls, parties, & funerals.

One might learn to make bouquets, if they have taste & judgment, by a few months' practice. The flowers that are sold at different seasons vary greatly, & the value of them depends much on their age. Mrs. F. has sold a few baskets of flowers at $50 apiece. She sells many flowers for Roman Catholic churches about Easter. Mrs. R. says florists prefer to have men, because they can work in the garden or green house when not cutting or putting up flowers.

The Germans have run the business down in New York. A florist named Flower writes: “We employ from two to four women tying buds, hoeing, weeding, &c.; in winter they help about grafting. They are paid fifty cents a day, of ten hours. Women so employed are German born. The employment is healthy. Men get 75 cents a day, as they can do more work; but the principal reason for employing women is, that we can hire them cheaper & like them better for light work. Women could do all parts of our business, if they had a fair chance with men, & would improve the chance. One year would give a general knowledge, but five would be better. A good, sound constitution, & industrious habits, are the best qualifications. Women that want such work can find plenty of it; but outdoor work is too hard for American women.” Another florist writes : “In Europe, where women are sometimes employed in fruit or vegetable gardens, their wages are usually about half a man's. Women (chiefly Germans) are employed in this country by farmers to pick fruit, vegetables, &c., by the quantity. At light work, done by contract, women, I believe, can make as much as men. Several years would be necessary to learn the business ; some branches of it might be learned in a few weeks. The requisite most needed for women to work in green houses, is a change of fashion. Their dress unfits them altogether for moving about in crowded plant houses. Were their dress similar to the men's, I see no reason why they would not be equally useful in other departments as well as this. If that should ever happen, they would, in my opinion, be worth as much as men; for the work is mostly light, & ladies, having a natural taste for flowers, would soon learn it. If you have gone through green houses, you cannot but know the difficulty of doing so without breaking everything. Men, at this kind of work, are not fully employed in winter.” A lady florist writes: “I sometimes  think my nervous excitability is to some extent caused by an excess of electricity, derived from the earth or flowers with which I work."

From  The Employments of Women: A Cyclopaedia of Woman's Work by Virginia Panny Published Boston, MA. by Walker, Wise & Company. 1863

To read about women's changing roles in the 2nd half of the 19th century. see:

Boorstin, Daniel. The Americans: The Democratic Experience. New York:Random House, 1973.

Clinton, Catherine. The Other Civil War: American Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Hill and Wang, 1984.

Cott, Nancy. A Heritage of Her Own: Toward a New Social History of Women. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979.

Cott Nancy. History of Women in the United States, Part 6, Working the Land. New York: K. G. Saur, 1992.

Degler, Carl. At Odds: Women and the Family from Revolution to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Green, Harvey. The Light of the Home: An Intimate View of the Lives of Women in Victorian America. New York: Pantheon Books, 1983.

Juster, Norton. So Sweet to Labor: Rural Women in America 1865-1895. New York: The Viking Press, 1979.

Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982

Mintz, Stephen and Susan Kellogg. Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life. New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, 1988.

Ryan, Mary P. Womanhood in America front he Colonial Times to the Present. New York: F. Watts, 1983.

Smith-Rosenberg, Caroll. Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York Pantheon Books, 1982.

Welter, Barbara. Dimity Convictions : the American Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Athens : Ohio University Press, 1976.

Winter Paintings by American Artist William Merritt Chase (1849-1916)

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Beatrice Clough Bachmann

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Portrait of a Woman 1885

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Mrs William Merritt Chase (Alice Bremond Gerson) 1890

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Contemplation 1889

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Mrs Leslie Cotton 1888

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) A Lady in Brown

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Mrs William Merritt Chase (Alice Bremond Gerson) in a White Shawl

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Mrs William Merritt Chase (Alice Bremond Gerson) 1892

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Irene Dimock

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Lydia Field Ammet 1892

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Fashion for the Privileged 1809

Walking Dress
Title: Ackerman's Repository
Item Date: January, 1809
Collection: Casey Fashion Plates
Location: Los Angeles Public Library

Monday, October 25, 2021

19th-Century American Women by Erastus Salisbury Field 1805-1900

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Maryette Field Marsh 1836

Erastus Salisbury Field was born in Leverett, Massachusettes on May 19, 1805 and died there on June 28, 1900. He studied with Samuel F. B. Morse in New York during the winter of 1824-5.Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Mrs Dyer, from Somerville, MA.
On his return to Leverett, he painted his earliest known work, a portrait of his grandmother Elizabeth Billings Ashley. He began his career as an itinerant portrait painter in 1826, with most of his commissions coming through a network of family associations in western Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Sophia Sanford Johnson 1835
His portraits between 1836-40 are considered his best. From 1841 he lived mainly in New York, where he expanded his subject-matter to include landscapes and American history pictures.

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Susan Cowee Doty Joslin from Wesminister MA.

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Julia Ann Adams Peck 1843
Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Lauriette Ashley Adams Peck 1843
Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Lady Holding Sheet Music
Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Mrs Pearce 1835

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Elizabeth Bullings Ashley

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Lady of Squire Williams House

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Lady with a Yellow Ribbon

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Mrs. Harlow A. Pease, c 1837

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Mrs. Paul Smith Palmer and Her Twins, c 1835

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Persis Russell Montague (1765-1851) c 1836

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Portrait of a Woman 1833

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Portrait of a Woman said to be Clarissa Gallond Cook c 1838

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Wife of Man with Vial, c 1827

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Woman Holding a Book, c. 1835

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900) Woman with Green Book c 1836

Erastus Salisbury Field (American artist, 1805-1900)

Saturday, October 23, 2021

On Bathing & Excercise for the 1891 American Girl


From the 1891 Godey’s Lady’s Book, alternatively known as Godey’s Magazine and Lady’s Book, a monthly magazine published in Philadelphia.

The Toilet by Olivia Phillips

THE first duty of a young girl is to be in health.

I should say the first duty of everyone is to follow such courses in living, that the greatest and best health may be enjoyed.

To be perfectly well, and in the fullest enjoyment of all our faculties,both mental and physical,one must have an abundance of pure air and water, articles cheap and plentiful, and to be had for the asking.

In starting out to build a house, one begins, of course, at the foundation—in attempting to make oneself healthy and beautiful, we must follow the builder’s example.

It is a conceded fact that paper and paint, although for a season they might beautify an old building, could never give strength or comeliness to its foundation.

All the cosmetics in the land applied to an unclean or uncared-for body, only make the imperfections greater and the wearer an object of ridicule.

Let us then begin at the foundation of health and beauty, and knowing that “cleanliness is next to godliness”—let us purify ourselves, if need be.

“How often shall I bathe?” seems to some a useless and unnecessary question, yet many there be who need instruction concerning the bath.

Bathe every day, the body needs the rest and refreshment of water, as much as the face and hands. There would be fewer colds and less sickness, during our winter months even, if the daily bath were more popular.

A clear and pure complexion, even in the plainest women, is one of her greatest charms, and to insure a clear complexion the blood must be carefully cleansed, and water and out-door exercise are the two greatest purifiers.

In the cold weather a warm sponge bath, followed by careful rubbing and sure drying, just before retiring, is refreshing and in many instances a cure for insomnia. If one is careful there is no danger of taking cold.

In the warm summer days, the morning bath is one of the delights of living.

In the morning or at night, try which suits you best—use your own commonsense—a hot bath for some, a cold bath for others, whichever you can stand, but let your bath be as regular as the sun’s rising, if you desire a clear and beautiful skin.

Turkish baths, if convenient, do much toward purifying the skin, and starting the blood in strong currents through all the smaller veins.

So many fancy soaps are thrown upon the market that one is bewildered which of them to choose.

A friend’s experience amused me greatly, on being asked which was her favorite soap, she replied:

“Oh! I haven’t any. I bought a box of Pear’s soap and used that, then I tried cashmere bouquet, then Coudray’s lettuce soap—after that Colgate’s turtle oil, and almond soap. Now, I’m using white rose. I don’t see any difference. I like them all, but nothing will make my face white.”

Poor girl! Her face must have had a marvelous constitution to stand the wear and tear of such treatment.

I agree with my friend. They are all excellent soaps, but it is best to choose one kind, which agrees with your skin,and stick to that kind, for many changes are very injurious.

Some may ask “are the scented soaps pure and desirable for the bath—is not Castile better?”

The soaps made by reliable houses areas pure as they can be.

Our own American soaps are very fine, and compare favorably with the imported soaps, and are less expensive.

Castile is a desirable soap to have on hand, but for my part I prefer the scented soaps, of the best makes. They leave a pleasant and refreshing oder, which is by no means unpleasant.

But in this, as in many respects, one must follow her own taste.

In using soap, be sure that every bit of the lather is carefully rinsed off.

A little ammonia in the daily bath, about a gill to a pailful, makes a pleasant solution, and has a beneficial effect.

Rose water and glycerine, too, has a tendency to soften, and still give tone and smoothness to the skin.

A spoonful of ammonia in a bowl of water, and used every morning to bathe the arm-pits and the feet, will destroy the disagreeable oder which is so annoying.

Towels should receive our attention and care. A fine, soft, damask towel for the face is best, and the face should be dried by patting it, and not scrubbing it as you would other parts of the body.

It is a good plan to buy Turkish toweling by the yards and make them into towels almost as large as small sheets.

The women of Constantinople have immense towels which envelop the body, and dry it at once, so preventing any possible cold.

Next in importance to the bath is out-door exercise, sunlight and air—pure air.

The young need physical movement, plenty of laughing and good times, and all the innocent jollities of life tend to make the blood flow faster through each vein and artery, and keep the wrinkles from our faces.

An English woman is more beautiful than a French woman, and why?

Because of her out-door life. The English children are constantly in the open air—they do not dine with their parents, they eat no sweetmeats.

We Americans might learn much from the English if we would.

Taine, in his English notes, says:

“In spite of the perpetual fogs—rain nearly every day and the most execrable walking—the English ladies walk. Look at the foot-covering of the ladies! Their boots are as large as the men’s, their feet like water-men—their gait is in keeping.”

The American girl must walk—if she would be healthy and beautiful too, she must not dress herself in stylish array and promenade the crowded and fashionable thoroughfares, filled with rattling carts and the rasping cry of the street venders.

Seek out some quiet and beautiful street, as far from noise and confusion as you can get; and with head erect, shoulders back, feet encased in comfortable common-sense shoes, give yourself up to the beauties of the hour—take God’s pure air into your lungs, and gather health and beauty with every breathing.

Don’t be afraid of the sun and sunlight—when obliged to stay in-doors, take your sewing, your reading or whatever you must do to the sunniest window, let its warm rays fall full upon you and give you strength and beauty.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

1830s American Woman with a Locket

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Unknown Lady Wearing a Locket.  Milton W. Hopkins was a painter active in Ohio and New York for about a decade between 1835 and 1844.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Friday, October 15, 2021

American Women in Miniatures by Sarah & Eliza Goodridge Goodrich (1788-1853)

Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Self-Portrait c 1825
Miniaturitst Sarah Goodridge (or sometimes Goodrich, 1788-1853) was born the 6th of 9 children in Massachusetts in 1788. It is said that as a child, she came across a book on drawing & painting & taught herself to draw. Growing up on a farm, with little money to buy paper, she drew her earliest pictures on the sanded kitchen floor with a stick or on sheets of peeled birch bark with a pin. Sarah's younger sister Eliza Goodridge (1798-1882) also painted miniatures.
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Self Portrait 1830
After the death of their father, Sarah moved to Boston, to live with her sister Eliza. There Sarah was able to expand her birch-bark-beginning by taking a few lessons from a miniaturist & by visiting portraitist Gilbert Stuart for advice. She soon began earning a living by painting miniature portraits. By 1830, Sarah Goodridge was a leading miniaturist in Boston, completing up to 3 portraits a week; supporting her sick mother & her orphaned niece; & maintianing a studio there. The Boston Athenaeum held 5 exhibitions of her work between 1827 & 1835. She never married, but she had an intimate, influential friend.
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Daniel Webster 1825
She developed an ongoing love relationship with Boston lawyer & politician Daniel Webster (1782-1852), who was married with 3 children, when she painted his 1st portrait. He returned to sit for 12 more portraits over the next 25 years. Their friendship is documented in 44 letters that Webster wrote to Goodridge between 1827 & 1851. She carefully preserved his letters to her; he destroyed her letters to him. His first wife, Grace, died in January, 1828; & he married Caroline LeRoy in December, 1829. In 1850, due to failing eyesight, Sarah Goodridge retired to a house she bought in Reading, Massachusetts. Three years later she died of a stroke at the age of 65. Her sister Eliza lived until 1882.
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Self Portrait Painting a Miniature 1845
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Girl Called Persis, 
Child of Mrs Solomon Sargent
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Sarah Appleton with Cat
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Lydia Stiles Foster (1806-87) c 1838
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Mary Maccarty Stiles (1807-1872) c 1825
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Mary Stiles Newcomb (1807-1872) c 1840
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Rebecca Faulkner Foster (1761-1834) c 1830
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Julia Porter Dwight 1832
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Sophia Dwight Foster Burnside (1787-1871) c 1830
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Lydia Stiles (1806-1887) c. 1825
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Mary Maccarty Stiles (1775-1838) c 1825
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Mary Maccarty Stiles (1807-72) c 1837.