Monday, August 25, 2014

Amelia Bloomer the gal we get the term bloomers from

Last Wednesday I had a post on 19th century fashions and at the tail end there was a comment about bloomers along with four images. Here is a link back to that post. I had not realized that bloomers were actually designed by Mrs. Amelia Bloomer and her name has been attached to what we've used for years. This had me wondering about this woman, who she was and why she designed the outfits that she did. First misunderstanding she did not invent the outfit but Libby Miller from New England did in 1851. Amelia stopped wearing it in 1859. She was the author and editor of a lady's magazine called "LILY" which talked about women's rights and fashion. I have not found a copy of the magazine online but her husband wrote that a full copy of the editions were at the Albany, NY library.

Wikipedia gives a short overview of her life. Here's the link to that post.

But the real gem came in finding this book Life and Writings of Amelia Bloomer This book was published the year after her passing by her husband Dexter Bloomer. I have not read the entire book but what I have read is really touching as he writes about a woman he loved and their lives together and his encouragement to her to begin her writing, political life.

In this book are also excerpts from her letters and when she was out visiting various areas of the country she'd write descriptions of the areas. For example on page 291 she describes Colorado. She was huge advocate for the suffrage and temperance movements. Her husband even includes a brief conversation they had when he attempted to give her a glass of wine at their wedding reception.

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