Bloomerism at the Crystal Palace (1851)

Bloomerism at the Crystal Palace

On the Thursday afternoon the visitors of the Great National Exhibition in Hyde Park had an opportunity of judging of the merits of the new American costume, of which Mrs. Bloomer is the reputed inventor. Shortly before 2 o’clock three ladies, attired according to the Bloomer fashion and accompanied by two gentlemen wearing the habiliments of the new sect, made their appearance in the large open space to the west of the Crystal Palace. They appeared to be persons of some station in society and bore with considerable good humour the taunts which were freely directed against them. They walked around the building followed by a large number of persons, who had been attracted towards them by the novelty of their dress, but did not enter the exhibition. They carried with them a quantity of printed bills, announcing a lecture by one of their order in Finsbury, on Monday evening next, and these they politely distributed among such persons as were willing to accept them. After remaining on the ground about an hour and a half they rode away in a phaeton, which was waiting for them. It was stated that two of the ladies belonged to a family of great respectability residing in Torrington Square. – Globe.The Bloomers in Florida. We copy the following from the Apalachicola Advertiser of the 6th inst.:- On Thursday afternoon last our city was honoured by the appearance of three of Alabama’s fairest daughters, magnificently dressed in Bloomer costume, who, we understand, arrived here that morning in the schooner Geneva, from a place of that name vid Pensacola. Their sudden appearance produced quite a sensation among our quiet citizens; in fact we never saw a place more effectually stirred up. Most of the young men made their acquaintance immediately, some of whom escorted them to all parts of the city, explaining all the advantages and beauties of our metropolis as a summer residence. They were all dressed in most exquisite style and we believe the new costume has met the approval of most of our citizens. Miss Julia Mortimer, who attracted most of our attention, was richly dressed in a scarlet bodice and costly blue barege skirt, with fine white linen cambric pettiloons, tipped with lace and fastened around her small ankles with fancy ribands, which gave her little feet an exquisite appearance. Miss Alice Grey displayed her charms with great affect; her complexion, a dark brunette, with her small piercing black eyes and raven tresses hanging loosely about her shoulders, made her almost irresistible She wore a rich purple silk bodice and pink satin skirt; her short sleeves, fastened with large diamond bracelets gave her small hands that interest which they so justly deserve. Miss Dorah De Kalb was dressed with the taste which quite showed her knowledge of that art to be far superior to many of her sex; her blue scarf, scarlet bodice and white satin skirt admirably corresponded with her fair blonde complexion; her swelling bosom, which rose and fell as the perpetual motion of the sea, was tastefully adorned with a large diamond breas’pin, its brightness only equalled by her sparkling blue eyes. Her unaffected modesty, benevolent and intelligent expression, will always win for her a host of devoted admirers. They all wore beautiful little gipsy hats, tastefully decorated with fresh rose-buds of every hue and colour. We had almost imagined when we first beheld them we were visited by a flock of fairy queens or muses from Mount Olympus. We understand they are ladies of wealth and the first respectability, making a summer tour about the coast of Florida. At Providence, however, a young woman, named Mary Rhodes, has been arrested and fined 20 dollars and costs for appearing in male attire.

The Times, Saturday, Sep 27, 1851; pg. 8

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