Great women of the Gilded Age


Aug 29, 2000
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Someone recently suggested a tribute to the great women of the Gilded Age- oft forgotten. The pampered and dainty morsels were certainly around, but there were the Molly Browns and Lady Duff Gordons as well- ladies ahead of their time with All the Right Stuff! My toast for tonight are the aviatrices (had to look up the plural of aviatrix!!)Harriet Quimby, first Lady Licensed pilot- bless her- in her plum satin flying knickerbockers (the snaps came undone to turn those snappy britches into a skirt) made headlines in 1911- she flew the English Channel first -8 years after the Wright Brothers made the headlines. She was on the front page April 15, 1912 but another story garnered the attention that day!Hooray for Mathilde Morisant (1911), Georgia "Tiny" Broadwick who was the first 1913 Lady Parachute Jumper, and Katherine Stinson who in 1913 did the first loop de loop and started a flying business with her Mom. You go girls! And little Marjorie Stinson -the youngest pilot who started a flight school and trained WWI Royal Canadian and American war pilots and became the first Air Mail pilot- recognized by the postmaster general! Those magnificent gals in their flying machines!
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Shell,

Great idea for a thread. I toast the gorgeous musical hall gals whose postcard images were so sought-after at the newstands in those far-off times - the forerunners of "pin-ups girls."

My favorites - Lily Elsie (the English "Merry Widow"), blonde and shy and dainty in her chiffon frocks by you-know-who; Gabrielle Ray with her own blonde beauty and naughty glances; and Gertie Millar, with her dark-hair and jaunty manner and perky, crooked smile. As the fleshy, broad-bosom creatures of early Edwardian days passed quickly away as the fashionable ideal, the tall, slim figures of Lily, Gabs, & Gertie became the trendsetters of the younger generation in their empire waisted, narrow skirted dresses and wide hats.

Other beauties of the stage of the 1907-1914 period:

Billie Burke
Zena Dare
Ina Claire
Pauline Chase
Gaby Deslys
Mistinguette
Monna Delza
Gladys Cooper
Fannie Ward
Irene & Violet Vanbrugh
 

Kris Muhvic

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Jul 3, 2001
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Oh- this is very good!
Since being an avid fan of modern literature (well, what modern was!) I have to put in my special "literary ladies (?)" here...
The French writer Colette, who in 1912 was starting a new life (she did everything, why not?!) after the divorce with husband Willy- tres scandale!
My favorite, Katherine Mansfield, who in 1912 hooked up with her future husband John Middleton Murray (she had a husband already, but only for a day!)and collaberated with him on lit. mags. "The New Age" and "Rhythm".
And here in the U.S., we had the Village femme fatale (or party-girl, depending), poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, who left home to live in Greenwich V. (in poverty) in, you guessed it, 1912.
Vive La Boheme!
Speaking of "La Boheme"-
Dorothy and her more famous sister Lillian Gish started their Film careers in 1912- I say "film" on purpose, "flickers" or "galloping tintypes" was slang NOT allowed by Mr. Griffith at Biograph! And if you were on set, dare you Not to call an actress a "dame"! Mary Pickford put a stop to that! Well, for a while anyway...
Randy- I took special note of your mention of Ina Claire. According to Lord's "The Night Lives On" Mrs. Renee Harris is attributed to the development of Ms. Claire's stardom- well, you probably knew that... it's just something I picked up on.
OK, I rattled on long enough- it is only that I wanted to give a little to the women who, in spite of being criticized and discredited, at times in their lives, still pushed on anyway. That is something we can all learn from.

max gratis-
Kris
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Here's to you too Miss Bessie!! Billie Burke is a great fav of mine- loved her in Wizard of Oz. I must give a virtual orchid to Miss Evelyn Nesbitt- the Girl in the Red Velvet Swing who was the DEATH of Stanton White and nearly of Harry Thaw and the inspiration for RAGTIME the novel and Broadway play. Whatta dame! And the LUSCIOUS Anna Held with the smallest waist in the world-ooh my ribs ache just thinking about that corset!For thousands of photos and books on the silent stars- and HOURS of "surfing" head on over to
http://www.silent-movies.com
Those were the days my friends....
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Now you know you must go and admire Anna Held's waspwaist before you reach for another Twinkie! Here's the gal that drove 'em WILD..

Held26.jpg
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Tracy,

Lillian Russell was still a beauty - big bosom, hips, and all - even into WWI days, when she must have been in her 60s. I could just see you in one of those swish-tail dresses and "go to hell" hats! Mae West must have been spoofing her look in the movies later.

Randy
 

Kris Muhvic

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Jul 3, 2001
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Shelley- thanks for the links! And here I thought of going to bed early tonight!
To tell you the truth, my "wallpaper" here is a rather scary picture of Theda Bara, half nude and hair down, crouching like a Tigress over a...Skeleton! Probably her last victim-the Queen of Vamp-dom she was!
Rather funny today, but in those days, being on stage or screen was considered a most disreputable profession. Unless you were a Ethel Barrymore, Sarah Bernhardt, or yes Tracy, Lillian Russell, you got little or no glory from society... especially screen work! It was a job, entertainment. "On the stage? yes, we'll go see her, but she'll not marry my son!" Expect a sandal, that sort of thing.
Of course things were changing, exceptions to the rules etc. (It helped if one had Talent!). What I most enjoy is the pioneering spirit of those, the few I read about anyway, who embarked on this "outside the home" line of work...and those who had FUN doing it!

P.S. Have any of you seen those old, I guess one could call them "slides", projected illustrations that were shown before the movie started, asking patrons not to spit on the floor (!), or for ladies to remove their hats for the benefit of viewers behind? Great stuff!

'till next curtain call-
Kris
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Hello, When I was in Saratoga Springs I went to a restaurant called Lillian's. I think it had a Lillian Russell theme, but as she wasn't a big name over here in the UK I can't be sure - anyone care to enlighten me?

Geoff
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Geoff,

A Lillian Russell theme in a restaurant? Come now Geoff, where were you really? And when was this?

I'd believe you if you said you actually SAW Lillian Russell IN a restaurant. I hear you date at least that far back!

Randy
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Hi Randy, Shame on you! Why, I'm so old it was I who put the wheels on Doyley's Carte!
I'm certain it was Lillian Russell - there are photographs of her all over the place and the meal was quite wonderful. But, being a mere Limey, I had not had the pleasure of an intimacy with Ms Russell so I could be mistaken. Somebody out there must be able to back me up!
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Lill could pack away a meal- she and Diamond Jim Brady would stuff in a 12 course dinner from oysters to nuts at Delmonico's. Voluptuous is the word- DANGEROUS curves ahead! Fleshy- Rubenesque- sigh... I was born too late- coulda been a contender!
 
B

Bob Cruise

Guest
WHOA!

Ain't nobody gonna pay homage to Marie Dressler???

She was the favorite comedienne of something like 5 presidents?

"Tillie's Punctured Romance" is one of the earliest (1915) classic comedies.

And even during her senior years, when on-screen with a blonde bombshell like Jean Harlow in the movie "Dinner At Eight", Ms. Dressler ran away with the scene.

Bob
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Bob,

You are so right! I have a copy of "Tillie's Punctured Romance" with good ole Chaplin. Dressler is hysterical. I have also seen "Dinner at Eight" and thought she was great fun in that too as was Billie Burke. I believe she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar at one point (1930?).

Randy
 
Aug 29, 2000
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My femme du jour is the irrepressible Carry Nation who once said " Men are the nicotine-soaked, beer-besmirched, whiskey-greased, red-eyed devils." She literally chopped up the gins mills of Kansas with her little hatchet- bursting into saloons praying, weeping, and belting out hymns for the Women's Temperance Movement until her demise in 1911. (Wonder if she and Lizzie Borden ever met??!!)
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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Hi, Shelley,
I used to live in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which boasts the home of Carrie Nation. She was a pistol with an axe! I don't think she limited her brand of "evangelism" to Kansas, though. I could be wrong.

P.S. I sent Mike a copy of the Manuscript this a.m.

Kyrila
 

Kris Muhvic

Member
Jul 3, 2001
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Hello!
Shelley- Carry & Lizzie teamed up! Gosh, I need a beer!
Kyrila- I want to say you're right on Nation taveling. Here in Michigan there is a town called Holly, where there is a street, I think they call it "Battle Alley", where there is a theme of Carry Nation visiting with an axe to grind
happy.gif
. Today it's all little gift stores in Victorian storefronts. Now, maybe this was in homage to Carry- being a little guy last there- I can't say for sure now.
Quite interesting how the Temperance movement, and all the other social reforms, played such a large role in Women's Suffrage.
Well, I was going to finish my beer, grab a smoke and call my step-mother, then two ladies started to chop down my door! Um, gotta go-

'til next time...hopefully...
Kris
 

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