Untitled

Mary Anderson filed a patent for a “window cleaning device” for automobiles in June 18, 1903. During her time, window wipers were dismissed as being superfluous since cars had speed limitations. It wouldn’t be until the 1940s that her valuable item became a standard part of vehicles.

Share

Untitled

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
line-height:200%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Ladies Home Journal, Sept. 1922, pg. 180

With the advent of a large consumer culture, advertisers of the 1920s maximized their potential market by inventing “a new kind of advertisement which appealed to the consumer’s subjective desires and fears as opposed to his or her rational judgments.”[1] This Dr. Denton Sleeping Garment marketing campaign evidenced this urge to mothers to reckon with their child’s health based on clothing. Ruth Cowan’s research supports this guilt-based business which enticed women to purchase their products. [2]

 

[1] Marilyn Ferris Motz and Pat Browne, eds., Making the American Home: Middle-Class Women & Domestic Material Culture 1840-1940 (Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1988), 41.

[2]Ruth Schwartz Cowan, “The ‘Industrial Revolution’ in the Home: Household Technology and Social Change in the Twentieth Century” in Technology and Culture 17 (1976) 489.

Share

Untitled

Betty Wales Dressmakers Advertisement. Ladies Home Journal, Sept. 1922.

Share

Untitled

A Bicycle Party. American Home Magazine, February 1897.

Share

Untitled

What Women Did for Their Country in the War with Spain; San Francisco Call, 29 January 1899, p.19.

Share

Untitled

You can help—American Red Cross; W. T. Benda. 1918.

Share

Untitled

Smith College students in tennis outfits and holding racquets on the steps of Washburn House, c1889.

Share

Untitled

Suzanne Lenglen, single and mixed double winner at the 1920 Antwerp, Belgium Olympic games

Share

Untitled

20th Century technological innovation transformed the private sphere for women. Machinery aided in the daily household tasks. Yet, historian Ruth Cowan argued that “housewives with conveniences were spending just as much time on household duties as were housewives without them.”[1] The quandary of mechanizing the domestic sphere meant that rather than “Blue Monday” laundry day being reserved for single day,  the washing machine allowed a women to expand this into a daily task.

[1] Ruth Schwartz Cowan, “The ‘Industrial Revolution’ in the Home: Household Technology and Social Change in the Twentieth Century” in Technology and Culture 17 (1976) 489.

Share

Untitled

Kitty Cramer was the first Kodak Girl, a company marketing plan which first developed in 1893 that catered to the female market. The simplistic camera design gave its users a sense of modernity and fashion. These ads displayed a lady-of-leisure to encourage this pastime.

Share

Untitled

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
line-height:200%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Lightness of Being, 2004 — (C) Chris Levine courtesy Danziger Gallery

The Queen’s State and daily events integrate symbols of power and continuum. The physical crown “is a mnemonic device for some 600 years of British history.”[1] The coronation regalia acted as “sacra, a means of communicating gnosis, the wisdom essential to transform the Queen’s body natural into the body politic.”[2] By wearing emblematic items, The queen’s physical body holds the spiritual and political icons of authority.


[1] Ilse Hayden, Symbol and Privilege: The Ritual Context of British Royalty. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1987), 32-33.

[2] Ibid., 151.

Share

Untitled

Simplicity, 1951.

This sewing pattern publication provided step-by-step guides to manufacturing clothing. Simplicity started in 1931. It was an instrumental aspect to homemakers during the Great Depression who relied on fashionable, mimic-able designs that would save their family money. 

1951 Pattern

Share

Vietnam War: A Shift in Women’s Roles

Image: Dorothy Marder’s photography of Women Strike for Peace

The Vietnam War challenged traditional gendered roles with the destruction of the family unit due to removal of male figureheads who were prisoners of war. The United States framed Vietnam as the destroyers of an institution by holding these captured men.[1] Natasha Zaretsky argued that “whatever the physical wounds the United States military had inflicted on Vietnam, the psychological wounds inflicted by the Vietnamese on the United States were ultimately more dire.”[2] Families were torn apart and the state asserted that this was an “epidemic of male absenteeism with dire consequences for family and nation alike.”[3] The lack of men in traditional positions at home forced women into the workplace. Females became the viable source of authority for the family. Wives engaged in anti-war activism and earned prominent roles in society.[4] The source of empowerment and independence caused marital problems when men returned from war. Dissent arose from the war-related problems and couples filed for divorce in exponential numbers.[5] Children suffered from unstable family situations and questioned authority. The lack of male leadership led to frustrated and rebellious young adults.[6] This emerging generation experienced a severe shift in gender roles. Since the traditional male authority position transferred to the mothers, they redefined the meaning of an authentic family unit.


[1] Natasha Zaretsky, No Direction Home (Chapel Hill: University of Carolina Press, 2007), 27.

[2] Ibid., 31.

[3] Ibid., 29.

[4] Ibid., 46.

[5] Ibid., 47.

[6] Ibid., 53.

Share