Amelia Bloomer 1818-1894

Timeline:

  • Born: May 27, 1818, Homer, NY
  • Died: December 30, 1894, Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Went to a local school, taught school, private tutoror
  • 1840 married Dexter C. Bloomer, a Quaker Newspaper editor of Seneca county
  • 1848 attended Seneca Falls Convention
  • 1849-1853 editor of the first newspaper for women, The Lily
  • 1853 started to become involved in women's rights, and started to appear in public wearing pantaloons
  • 1854 sold The Lily

Amelia Bloomer and The Lily

In 1848 when Bloomer first began editing The Lily, the newspaper was to be a temperance journal. However, later on, it was to turn to the issue of women's rights. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is known to be a big influence on Bloomer and her writings in The Lily. Stanton was her driving force to turn the newspaper toward the topic of women's rights. Bloomer and Stanton were also some of the first women to wear pants under a knee-length dress. They got this idea from Elizabeth Smith Miller. Amelia Bloomer refused to take the credit for these pantaloons, however, because of her articles on them in The Lily, her name has been associated with "bloomers" ever since.

"It is woman that speaks through The Lily…Intemperance is the great foe to her peace and happiness. It is that above all that has made her Home desolate and beggared her offspring…. Surely, she has the right to wield her pen for its Suppression. Surely, she may without throwing aside the modest refinements which so much become her sex, use her influence to lead her fellow mortals from the destroyer’s path."

"When Anthony Met Stanton"

In May of 1851 Amelia Bloomer introduced Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This statue named "When Anthony Met Stanton" sculpted by Aub A. E. Ted was presented on July 18, 1998 in Seneca Falls, New York. This bronze statue depicts Susan B. Anthony on the left and Elizabeth Cady Stanton on the right being introduced by Amelia Bloomer in the middle.

The Bloomer Costume

The "Bloomer Costume" as pictured above, consists of a knee-length skirt with loose pantaloons worn beneath them. Before this type of dress, the women would wear hot, heavy, thick skirts and dresses that would go down to the feet. These lightweight, freeing skirts and pantaloons allowed the women to have a more enjoyable, comfortable lifestyle.

“As soon as it became known that I was wearing the new dress, letters came pouring in upon me by the hundreds from women all over the country making inquiries about the dress and asking for patterns – showing how ready and anxious women were to throw off the burden of long, heavy skirts.”

References:

  • https://www.britannica.com/biography/Amelia-Bloomer
  • http://collections.si.edu/search/record/siris_ari_441775
  • https://www.nps.gov/wori/learn/historyculture/amelia-bloomer.htm
Created By
Caroline Burgen
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