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 Women of the West

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riders57

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Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 60

PostSubject: Women of the West   Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:17 pm

We all typically write about and enjoy the stylized men of the west (our fearless ex-outlaws), but what about the women who took even greater risks heading out west?

The following are some books that provide diary excerpts from women's journals and other research to make interesting reading about the women who braved everything to head to the west between 1840-1870 (or so).

Linda Peavey and Ursula Smith, Pioneer Women:  The Lives of Women on the Frontier.

Lillian Schissle, Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey.

Chriss Enss, Heart's West:  True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier.
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Nebraska Wildfire

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Join date : 2016-12-10
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PostSubject: Re: Women of the West   Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:36 pm

As a costumer, the quality and historical accuracy of most of the women's costumes on ASJ makes me cringe. (Don't get me started on the hair styles...)

Per one of our discussions in the chat last Sunday, the pictures below show time period appropriate women's dresses.  Notice the bustles in the back.  Out on the frontier everyday dresses might not be as elaborate, but they'd be similar in structure.  The dresses in the first picture are from Helena, Montana in 1879.  The dress in the second picture was made for Lucretia Garfield in 1881.  

I used to volunteer at an Italianate home that was built in 1872, and all the costumes we wore at Christmas and other special events were historically accurate to the time period.  We also wore the correct undergarments, corsets and bustles.  If you don't, the dresses do not fit or hang correctly.   For the one or two dresses that showed up on ASJ that were constructed correctly, they did not wear bustles, even though the dresses were made to have them underneath.  The back of the dresses hung wrong and on the ground.

Rich women would wear the full waist to floor bustles, but even the maids (and I dressed as both) had a small bustle bump, and corset of course.

Both of these came up in my Facebook feed this week, so I thought I would share them, since they are excellent examples.  One is from a historic Helena page and the other from the Midwest National Parks page.

Nebraska Wildfire.



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Nebraska Wildfire

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PostSubject: Re: Women of the West   Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:46 pm

One of my favorite books about women in the West, is Letters of a Woman Homesteader, by Elinore Pruitt Stewart. It is from a time period a bit later than the series, but she did homestead in Wyoming.  
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Silverkelpie

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Location : Over the rainbow

PostSubject: Re: Women of the West   Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:30 am

I couldn't agree more, Nebraska Wildfire.  The attention to historical detail was woeful, and don't get me started on false eyelashes!  Great post.

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