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Jan 18 1901


The Evening News, Toronto, Ontario January 18, 1901
"Out of the frying pan into the fire" is doubtless the bewildered condition of the Audubonites upon finding out that instead of bettering things in their decision to eschew the use of birds and feathers in their headgear they have hardened the conditions of the life battle for some of their own species. Flowers and ribbons of course take the place of birds and feathers on their hats, and the demand for them is such that the wages paid for their manufacture are simply--well, just allow me to quote something on this subject: The branching and more difficult parts--of the work and some of the fine grades of flowers are done in factories, but fully two-thirds of the flower makers are "outside workers." Wages range from $1.50 a day to the most expert brancher, to 40 cents a day which the "outside worker" considers very good. The flower makers work by the piece, and receive from three cents to a dollar a gross.

The cheapest flowers are the violets, daisies and wreaths of small flowers for children's hats. The price for a dozen wreaths is 5 1/2 cents. Each wreath consists of 30 flowers, 468 in all. A little Italian girl who takes this work home with the assistance of her mother, her sister aged twelve and her nine-year old brother, can make a dozen of these wreaths, 5 1/2 cents worth, in two hours. For the cheapest violets three cents is paid for 144 flowers. A mother and her little daughter working together make two gross in an hour. These facts need no comment.

Another aspect of the New Woman

Esther Searle, of Cawker City, Kansas, is the latest specimen of the new woman. During the two months that her brother was absent Miss Searle took his place in the blacksmith shop with her father. Esther was determined that her father should suffer no inconvenience from the absence of her brother. In consequence she took hold of whatever there was to do with a heartiness and vim, which astonished everyone. Her prowess at the anvil became the common theme of conversation in the vicinity. The Searle smithy became the rendezvous for those who had heard of the girl blacksmith's fame and curious people from far and wide drifted into the little city to see the prodigy for themselves. Miss Searle seemed to be unconscious that she was the object of so much attention and continued her duties at anvil or bellows just as if she were doing nothing extraordinary.

Long before the return of her brother from his vacation Miss Searle received the most satisfactory proof of the advantage to be derived from hard manual labor. Her biceps were so developed that she could swing the heaviest hammer in the shop with comparative ease. Her chest measurement has increased two inches in the same period and she was capable of sustaining the harder and most protracted labor.

Naturally the experience of Miss Searle has directed attention to the benefits, which might be obtained by women from entering some of the trades, which have seemed to offer no opening for women on account of the severity of the labour involved. Various women's clubs in Kansas and other States have taken up the subject and a very interesting paper was read at one of them by an advanced woman suffragist recently.

In the course of her remarks this women said: "The lesson which Miss Searle has taught us should mean the regeneration of womanhood. We shall never escape from the thraldom, which binds us like slaves to the mop, the scrub brush and the dishrag, until we put ourselves exactly on the same level as the male. We must take our place at the forge and the carpenter's bench; as we have done at the loom and at the counter. We must sail ships and mount guns, blast rocks and mine metals. The woman of the Twentieth century will be a revelation. She will no longer be the timid, shrinking shadow of lordly and domineering man. She will ask no quarter in fighting the world's battle. She will take only when she can give. She will till the soil and mine the mountain. She will run locomotives and drive electric motors, play football and baseball and do anything and everything to develop that side of her nature which has lain dormant for centuries, thereby compelling her to be the weaker vessel.

"I would like to see a thousand American women working at the forge tomorrow. We should hear less about shattered nerves and dyspeptic anaemia if women would take their place at the plough and wherever good rough honest work has to be done.

"I would have the trade schools opened to girls just as they are to men, that they might learn the ruder crafts and in that way resume the position which they once held not only as the superior but the stronger sex.

"Moreover all that idle and vicious class of women should be taken from their lives of unspeakable shame and compelled to do the roughest and hardest kinds of manual labor in institutions specially provided for the regeneration of the moral degenerate. It would not take many generations of such treatment to convert the moral pervert into a valuable citizen. It is among the hardest working people that we find the highest standards of virtue. Hard work is the most valuable gift of God."


The aiglon handle is the latest and most novel fancy, and when made of gold in a dull finish it is especially pleasing. A gold ball top on one handsome handle is decorated with a chased design and bears an eagle with outstretched wings as an addition ornamentation.


A funny little incident of a women's club meeting the other day was the extreme versatility displayed in the program. Upon being asked what the plan for the meeting was, a bright club member announced saucily, "Garbage and Chopin." In reply to a look of horrified surprise, she said, apparently enjoying the sensation she was creating in the mind of the bewildered enquirer; "You see, I am down for a paper on "The Disposal of Garbage in Cities, and Mrs. Blank is to play a waltz of Chopin's and read a paper on the life of the composer, so you see, our meetings are a little like hash; are they not?


What a very contagious thing is a smile in a street car! The very simplest thing will set every risible in the car working. This morning a very silly little incident happened in a car. An eccentric looking woman--I should say a maiden lady of uncertain age--got into a Winchester street car in which every seat was occupied. She looked distressfully and apprehensively around, and a young man politely offered her his seat, which she took with a gasp of relief. She was comfortably dressed, but quaintly, as to color at least. A bright green hat, brilliant red woollen gloves with yellow backs, and a blue cotton umbrella. It was the umbrella that caused the fun. It dropped. She picked it up as tenderly, and examined it all over with "concern" written all over her anxious face. It was too much for the car load. All the men opposite her, who were fortunate enough to have newspapers, retired behind the sheltering pages to hide their smiles, and the women found occasion to cover up their faces with handkerchiefs. The eccentric "Sairey Gamp" got up, and left the ear in utter and complete unconsciousness. Perhaps the umbrella was a family heirloom. In any case I'm morally certain she rubbed it with arnica or Pond's Extract Hazel when she got it home.


Novel hair ornaments, neck arrangements belts and ties are strongly in evidence just now. The new coronets and flowers, frosted and studded with glistening rhinestone spangles, are simply charming for the hair. One of the prettiest of these affairs which caught my fancy was a large open lily, surmounted by a single bud. It was frosted and shone quite resplendently with rhinestone spangles. The petals which stood in the centre were each studded with large brilliants. Another fascinating hair arrangement was of delicate maiden hair ferns, the tiny leaves of which were of delicious changing shades of green velvet. In front a spray of the fern stood high with a somewhat large emerald jewel glistering upon the topmost leaf. On each side the wreath tapered away into a few small leaves, all of which were sparsely studded with tiny rhinestones and emerald spangles.

The prettiest new stocks are made of bias folds of white or colored satin held together by open work briar stitching of gilt thread. These worn upon the neck so that the flesh tint shows through the open work are extremely dainty while wearing them over a delicate color; pale blue mauve or yellow is equally pretty and rich in effect.


Dear heart, when first I knew you the world was young and gay,
The smiling, nodding daffodils glorified the way.
All golden lay the sunlight over the purple lea;
The daisies laughed from out grass when first you came to me

Dear heart, the world was older when crossed out paths again.
And drifts of blood red roses shook down their crimson rain.
The future seemed to beckon, and beyond the ocean rim, White palaces of coming years rose stately, far and dim,

Dear heart 'tis grey November. The world has rolled between,
The rain-drops beat on the dull, dead grass that once waved tall and green,
The daffodils have perished; slim pallid ghosts are they;
The crimson-dyed rose petals have withered and blown away.

Dear heart, those world-bright treasures you gather to your breast
Will fade, grow less and vanish and leave you dispossessed,
Seek then, in the lonely gloaming, the love that burned of old.
They'll be but a pale grey rain cloud
'twill then have stars so cold.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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