|These professional ladies were called "women's editors."|
This Orange City Library Association photo appears on
page 57 of Our Story of Orange City, Florida
Then, as now, the range is vast. Our perspective is distorted because people donned their best for photo-making sessions in the early days. Even so, we can note interesting distinctions by looking at a few photos, shared here.
|West Volusia Historical|
Society photo of pioneer
Mary Ann Thursby is on
page 8 of Our Story of
Orange City, Florida
The hotelkeepers in another of the book's photos are ready for a different kind of business. The ruffles, tucks, bows, and pleats of the women's outfits speak of starched fabric and hours at the ironing board. Cinched waists tell of the corsets underneath. Every hair is in place - no easy task in our frizz-inducing humidity. The Freeman women are polished and professional, and waiting to welcome guests.
Family business activity was acceptable for 19th century women, particularly when based at home. Ladies who went out to work often faced discrimination, low pay, and social disapproval. You wouldn't guess it from the photo of the "women's editors" of the Orange City Times, an early newspaper. The editors smirk for the camera. Their attire resembles that of the hotelkeepers in style. But the dresses aren't as starched. Wrinkles can be detected. And the hats are positively frightful. Perhaps they were the height of fashion. Or maybe they hid the frizzy tresses of a crew too busy breaking barriers to style their hair.
End note: You can visit the historic Thursby House at Blue Spring State Park.
|The Freeman family is poised and professional as they wait to greet guests|
at their hotel. West Volusia Historical Society photo is on page 22 of
Our Story of Orange City, Florida.