1911 Queen Laura McKee was flanked by her Court at the Second Annual Pendleton Round-Up. Queens of the Round-Up did not compete in the Rodeo events. Only once did the two roles combine — in 1927. But that’s another year and another story.
A TIMELINE OF HISTORY AND SOME OF THE WOMEN WHO MADE IT …
Britain’s Edward Vll dies May 6 at age 68 after a 9 year reign. He is succeeded by his second son, 44, who will reign until 1936 as George V. George is involved in two crises: one over the reform of the House of Lords [1910-1911], the other over Irish Home Rule. During World War I, George will change the name of the royal family to WINDSOR.
China abolishes slavery March 10. In one year, by October 10, 1911 revolution will break out in Central China.
May 18 – Halley’s comet reaches it nearest point to earth. It’s tail is thought to consist of poisonous gas — so Comet Pills sell briskly as an antidote.
Former engineer Frederick W. Taylor claims he can eliminate wasted time and motion of factory workers by closely watching worker’s movements with a stopwatch. Bethlehem Steel puts his theories into action and claims that his techniques saved them millions of dollars. Taylor states that his scientific management can be used to make housewives tasks and all of society more efficient.
In 1910, the average US workingman earns less than $15 per week, working from 54 to 60 hours a week with irregular employment. A separate study reveals that the average American factory girl, makes only $1.57 for a nine-hour day. Because of conditions like these US clothing workers participated in more strikes during the last quarter of the 19th century than did workers in any other industry. Chicago clothing workers, including Sidney Hillman, 23, revolt against low wages and piecework and begin agitating for a stronger union in the men’s clothing industry. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) wins a 9 week strike for New York cloak makers.
Western women begin to wear V-neck shirts, which are condemned as immoral but the Kansas Attorney General rules women may wear trousers. Men don’t need a similar ruling to wear trousers. Women don’t need legislation to cut their hair when American dancer, IRENE CASTLE (1893-1969) bobs her hair and starts a craze.
Stores, salons and publications catering to women’s fashion explode on the scene.
Former beauty shop secretary FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE GRAHAM,25, borrows $6,000 from a cousin to open a Fifth Avenue beauty treatment parlor. Inspired by the 1864 Tennyson poem, Enoch Arden, she calls the shop ELIZABETH ARDEN. She repays the loan within four months and will move farther uptown. By 1938, there will be twenty nine Elizabeth Arden salons.
MME. C.J. WALKER (aka SARAH BREEDLOVE,1867-1919), opens a hair-care product line. Her products are so successful that she will rival HELENA RUBENSTEIN and ELIZABETH ARDEN and become the first African-American businesswoman to become a millionaire.
New York’s Gimble Brothers Department Store opens on Greeley Square between 32nd and 33rd Streets. Fashion becomes such a big business that journalist Edmund Fairchild, 44, begins publication July 13th. His garment industry trade paper is named WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY. It will become the basis of his publishing empire. He has to be careful of his illustrations, however, because The Printers’ Association of America tries to prevent the illustration of women’s skirts on billboards.
According to the 1910 census, the US population now stands at 91.9 million. Of these people, almost 50 million live in rural areas while some 42 million are urban dwellers. Less than half of them complete grade school, and only 4% will go on to college – almost entirely men.
“Motoring” is still considered a sport, but gaining popularity with average people. The United States has 1,000 miles of concrete road. To drive these new roads, people can buy a Sears, Roebuck Model L automobile for $370. If they want to race, Bugatti has just founded the first race car company.
The Mann Act is adopted by Congress as a weapon to stop the importation of European girls to work in American bordellos. The Act is known as the “White Slave Traffic Act” and it prohibits the transportation of women across state lines for immoral purposes.
Parents concerned with building their son’s moral character can enroll them in a newly founded Boy Scouts of America, founded by US painter-illustrator Daniel Carter. He was inspired by the two year old British organization founded by Lord Baden-Powell. The program stresses work, outdoor play and community duty.
Parents concemed with their daughter’s moral character can enroll their them in the newly founded CAMP FIRE GIRLS, a program based on a girls summer camp run by Luther Halsey Gulick and his wife CHARLOTTE VETTER GULICK. Gulick helped James Naismnith invent the game of Basketball in 1891; and is now the “social engineer” who directs physical education for New York City public schools. Their program for girls will emphasize work, health and love.
Back in England, Lord Baden-Powell and his sister AGNES BADEN POWELL continue their work and also focus on building girl’s character. They found THE GIRL GUIDES, a precursor to the AMERICAN GIRL SCOUTS founded by JULIET GORDON LOW in 1912.
Adults are less concerned with their character and health. US cigarette sales reach 8.6 billion.
MRS. JOHN BRUCE DODD, a Spokane, Washington housewife, aged 28, has been inspired by the selflessness and responsibility of her Civil War Veteran father who raised his six children alone when his wife died. She persuades the City Fathers, the local YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial Association to set aside a Sunday to “honor thy father”. June 19, 1910 becomes the first day Father’s Day is observed.
Hallmark, Inc., has its beginnings in a wholesale card jobbing company in Kansas City. Father’s Day cards will become a staple of their business.
Seventy percent of US bread is baked at home, down from 80 percent in 1890.
AUNT JEMIMA Pancake flour is sold throughout the US — as pancakes become a year-round staple served at many meals rather than just at winter breakfasts.
The first electric washing machine, air conditioner, hydroplane and machine gun are introduced.
Housework may be getting easier but politically, women are struggling for the right to vote. Suffragists are raising their voices politically. The Woman Suffrage party forms in New York City as a political party. Women in Washington State gain the right to vote in a constitutional amendment adopted November 8. A vociferous group of suffragists brings 500,000 names on a petition for the vote to their representatives in Washington. Grover Cleveland, writing in the Ladies’ Home Journal, states “Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. The relative positions to be assumed by man and woman in the working out of our civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence.”
The US Senate hears a resolution to abolish sex discrimination in the Constitution.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded at New York.
While some women struggle for the vote, others make great strides. JESSIE BELL RITTENHOUSE helps found the Poetry Society of America.
JANE ADDAMS becomes the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Yale University.
BLANCHE STUART SCOTT makes the first flight by a woman, flying 12 feet off the ground in an Ely flying machine.
English botanist LILLIAN GIBBS, the first woman known to scale Mount Kinabalu in Borneo; collected over 1,000 botanical specimens for the British Museum on that trip. Bambusa gibbsiae, or Miss Gibb’s Bamboo, is named after her.
MARIE CURIE publishes Traite de radioactivite (Treatise on Radioactivity) along with her husband, Pierre. Pierre and Marie coined the term “radioactivity” to designate the phenomenon discovered in 1896 by Antione Henri Becquerel, who observed that uranium emitted penetrating rays continuously and without initiation. The Curies proved that the radioactivity of uranium was an atomic property, not a chemical one; and Marie later discovered the radioactive elements, polonium and radium in uranium ore.
JANE ADDAMS publishes Twenty Years at Hull House. It becomes a best seller; telling about her twenty years with immigrants and pioneering efforts in the field of social work.
The 28 year old Russian ballerina ANNA PAVLOVA makes her American debut at the Metropolitan Opera. Born frail and sickly of poor parents, she entered the Imperial Ballet school of Saint Petersburg in 1892. By 1899, she was recognized by teachers and critics as a phenomenally gifted dancer and achieved ballerina status in 1906. She performed the Dying Swan, a solo choreographed for her in 1907, and it became her signature piece for the rest of her life. She settled in London and purchased Ivy House in 1912, in which she established a dance school. She organized her own dance company and toured extensively throughout the world, and as a result of these tours, became the most famous and wealthiest dancer of her time. She was responsible for popularizing ballet, and in her lifetime, “Pavlova” became a synonym for ballet.
The Secret Garden by FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT, Howards End by E.M. Forster is published and Mother Carey’s Chicken by KATE DOUGLASS WIGGANS are published.
Additionally, EDITH WHARTON’s Ethane Fromme is published. This short novel, a grim tale of frustrated infatuation in a decaying New England village will become especially popular after its dramatization in 1935. Wharton is unique among American novelists for her ironic, insider’s portrayal of New York’s High Society. She belongs to Old New York family by birth and by marriage. Discouraged by her family from writing, she nevertheless launched her professional writing career with a how-to book, The Decoration of Houses (1897). She married in 1885 and will divorce in 1913. She will spend the rest of her life between Paris and the French Riviera. Her first literary success is The House of Mirth (1905) and she will win the Pulitzer Prize in 1920 for The Age of Innocence.
Broadway musical Millie’s Nightmare opens at the Herald Square Theater, with MARIE DRESSLER. It includes an ode to the working girl titled “Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl.” The Zigfield Follies at the Jardin de Paris, features singer FANNIE BRICE, 18, who won a Brooklyn talent contest 5 years earlier which began her theatrical career. She is paid $75 a week. Billed as “The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas,” SOPHIE TUCKER (1884-1966) achieves stardom as a vaudeville performer.
Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads by John Lomax is published.
Popular songs of the day include: “Come, Josephine, in My Flying Machine”, “Down by the Old Mill Stream”, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.
Gertie The Dinosaur is the first animated cartoon.
Pendleton, Oregon holds it’s first Round-Up.
BERTHA KAEPERNICK BLANCETT is working for the Bison Moving Picture Company in Los Angeles, with Tom Mix, BEBE DANIELS, Hoot Gibson and her husband, Del Blancett. When she hears about the Round-Up, she’s determined to go the next year — 1911 — the first year women are “officially” allowed to participate.