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I can see your ‘Bloomer’s!

Posted by: | October 18, 2010 | No Comment |

Amelia Bloomer in the "short dress" c. 1852-1858.

Amelia Jenks Bloomer was born in 1818, in Homer, New York.  She was a teacher, who married a lawyer named Dexter Bloomer.  He had a paper called The Seneca Falls Courier, for which he encouraged Amelia to write articles. She wrote articles in support of women’s rights and prohibition.  She joined several temperance groups and women’s rights organizations, and attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

In January 1849, Amelia was encouraged by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (women’s rights leaders) to publish her own newspaper.  The paper was called The Lily, and was devoted to women’s issues: suffrage, education, temperance, and fashion.

Amelia’s newspaper issues also helped her become part of the women’s dress reform.  She was famous for wearing full-length, billowy pants which gathered at the ankles with a short skirt over it.

An early bloomers ad.

Amelia Bloomer, the Lily

Amelia’s excessive wearing of bloomers, even after other feminists had stopped wearing them, led to her loss of credit as a women’s rights activist and her efforts were impaired.

Although she was losing popularity and support within the feminist community, she continued to publish the The Lily.  It wasn’t until her husband and she moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio, that they both decided to sell their newspapers.  A year later they moved to Council Bluffs, Ohio, where Amelia continued her dedication to women’s rights until her death in 1894.

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