Those Magnificent Ladies

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Yes, the Lily Elsie picture is tinted. I just bought it from eBay. It shows her in one of her trendsetting Lucile costumes (high-waist, big hat)from The Merry Widow (1907). I think its a design from later on in the run of the show as it doesn't fit the description of gowns worn in the premiere. The London production of The Merry Widow is considered by theatre historians to have marked the zenith of Edwardian entertainment. Cultural scholars have written since that the setting, the music, and YES the clothes showcased in Franz Lehar's operetta encapsulate the whole period. Sir Osbert Sitwell in fact called the era "the age of the Merry Widow." Lucile therefore, through her work for this representative production, plays a major part in the evocation of the era.



Another tinted post card image of Lily Elsie, this one of her in Lehar's The Count of Luxembourg, 1911-12.

Evelyn Nesbit was indeed a looker for all time. I think no contemporary American woman - with the possible exception of Alice Roosevelt Longworth - had anywhere near the sort of saucy looks and attitude that Evelyn had. She is definitely, despite the scandal that marred her, one of the great female cultural figures of the time. And I agree she has got to be one of the most beautiful women of any era.

My, she truely is a beautiful woman. Thank you for the links and posting her picture. I don't think that I have ever seen a photo of AR Longworth. Do you have one Randy. Good to see your posts Jan, have missed your charm, wit and personality.

Lots of online links to Lovely Alice- whose favorite quote of mine is "If you have nothing good to say about anyone- sit next to ME." Even a shade of blue was named after her. She qualifies as a Victorian AND an Edwardian lady. My darling for tonight is Maude Adams, inspiration for Elise McKenna in the novel and film Somewhere in Time. She was the highest paid actress of her time- America's #1 box office draw, star of Peter Pan, protegee of Lusitania's own Charles Frohman, and a favorite of J.M. Barrie- and a great obsession of mine for nearly 20 years- here is a postcard of sweet Maude. In 1911 and 1912 she was playing in the French play Chantecler by Rostand- in Boston and New York- as a ROOSTER- she was a smash.

Here is Edith Galt Wilson in her first formal portrait as First Lady. Her trousseau included gowns designed by Worth and, of course, by Lucile, who is credited with the ensemble depicted here, a lilac chiffon evening gown and rose velvet cape.


by Adolfo Muller-Ury, 1916.
I think this thread needs a little updating.

Another magnificent lady of the early 20th century was philanthropist Anne Tracy Morgan (1873-1952), daughter of J.P. Morgan.



For more info on Morgan, go to:

Though she was slightly post-Edwardian, let's here it for Bessie Coleman, the world's first black woman pilot. Bessie was from Waxahachie, Texas, "just down the road" from my hometown.

BESSIE COLEMAN (1896-1926) received her license to fly in 1921 but she had to go to France to get it since no aviation academy in America then admitted blacks. This woman was a true heroine. "If we (blacks)are ever going to make our mark," she said in an interview, "we've got to get above these cotton fields." She certainly soared over the poverty and prejudice of her youth, enjoying fame as "Brave Bessie" in national air shows and newsreels of the 1920s. Sadly she died in a crash at the age of 30.
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I do want to thank you for the above. I recall hearing about her regarding a stamp that was produced a few years ago(?) in commemoration. "Brave Bessie" is a perfect example of history-almost-forgotten; yet so needed when understanding past- and contemporary- strengths.

Take care-
Hi Kris,

Yes there was a commemorative stamp for Bessie Coleman and there are at least two books on her. I wrote a syndicated article on her last April, I believe, and it got good feedback.

I attended an air show last year where Bessie was honored but I was struck that there was not a single black person, and only one woman, present! I just reported on another air show last week-end, by the way, and even went up in a hot-air balloon for the first time. I will send you pictures of my nervous self as that wicker basket plopped down right in the middle of a service road!

I’ve just learned of the passing of Lucile Layton Zinman, one of the last original Ziegfeld Follies girls. She died on Dec. 22 at the age of 101. I interviewed her in 1996 and she shared some funny stories of her days as a dancer during the Great Broadway Period. She first appeared in "dinner shows" at the Ziegfeld Frolic (Florenz Ziegfeld’s nightclub atop the New Amsterdam Theatre) and afterwards went into the 1922 Follies. She remembered an evening when Lady Duff Gordon (who did the Follies costumes) attended a show at the Frolic:

"Lady Duff Gordon was Mr. Ziegfeld’s guest of honor one evening and he told us all to face his table for the end act and blow kisses to Lady Duff as the curtains fell. We pranced and kicked our legs off for her and smooched the air silly, and she sent each one of us great big baskets of flowers the next day, so yes I remember her very well."

With the death of Mrs. Zinman, there are only three Ziegfeld Girls left from the pre-1930 period.

The best known and most active is Doris Eaton Travis who is101 years old. I also interviewed her to get her memories of Flo Ziegfeld and Lady Duff Gordon.

Mrs. Travis is real inspiration — no one would be able to guess her age, she is so lovely and energetic. She attended the 100th anniversary of the New Amsterdam Theatre last year and has appeared in several documentaries lately, including one in which she proves she can still dance! She has just written her autobiography, appears regularly at benefits for AIDS research and only last week received an honorary doctorate from Oakland University.


Joshua Doyle Tift

Just wanted to say thanks for such an interesting topic. I all ways wanted to know about these ladies. Thanks
I think this was originally a longer thread, and I know that it mainly has dealt with non-Titanic gals but I thought I’d bring it around a bit to include them. The following "galleries" include some photos I’m loaning to the Titanic Branson museum. I’m particularly proud of the one of Rene Harris. Also the Madeleine Astor image, though a familiar one, is an extremely good original print (not necessarily evident in this Photoshop conversion of a Quark-built page).

Of the images, I own all but the Helen Candee and Noelle Rothes pics. The Candee one is from Charlotte Hungeford, a descendent, and the Countess comes from the Illustrated London News Picture Library.

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