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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Bloomer (1818-94)  was born on May 27, 1818 in Homer, New York. 

Bloomer wrote on current affairs for her husband's newspaper before founding and editing Lily (1849–53), a temperance journal that, under the influence of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, also championed women's rights. It is believed the Lily, was the first newspaper edited entirely by a woman.

Bloomer advocated a move away from starched petticoats and whale-bone fitted corsets to something giving women freedom of movement. 

In 1851, the women’s rights campaigner told her American readers how to make the Turkish-style pantaloons and short skirt that she had adopted — and within weeks newspapers dubbed it the ‘Bloomer’ dress

Although Bloomer's costume was not adopted for general wear, the bloomers were worn by women for gymnastic and other physical exercises through the turn of the century. 

Bloomer suit

Amelia Bloomer's efforts were followed by those of doctors who wanted to put an end to the corset, but their attempts to inject reason into fashion met with failure.

These trousers were soon adopted in England where they became especially suitable for younger ladies taking up bicycling.

At a British Columbia auction in 1983, Houston tavern owner Jim Anderson paid $3,000 for a pair of "bloomers" once worn by Queen Victoria. They are history's most expensive used bloomers.

Source Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc

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