Readings for Rural Life

From Moore’s Rural New-Yorker in Rochester, NY


May 14th, 1864

Woman’s Dress

Considerable has been said on this subject by your correspondents and exchanges, and I have hitherto been silent, hoping that out of so much argument might come some practical reform.

The equestrian dress was a bold dah, in which it advocates showed their independence; and why may not they and others throw aside Fashion’s demand and make as decisive a move in the right direction, and defend it as persistently? They claimed to have the “silent consent,” if not the direct approval of the other sex, and while I can not believe that fathers, brothers, husbands, or true friends could regard with pleasure, or event indifference, one for whom they cherished either affection or respect, in such a costume and position, they still have an interest in whatever is for our physical or moral benefit, and, where both can be combined, will give us their hearty support without hesitation. If to this any demure, shall we not find their true motives unworthy of our attention and their relations to us such as shall not entitle them our acquiescence?

It seems to be acknowledged by all that our mode of dress is imperfect in two particulars, – its unequal distribution of warmth over the body and limbs, – and its manner of adjustment about the waist.

Men have their feet, legs, and arms well covered; and while high-necked, close-sleeved dresses are an improvement in our clothing, still, the low bands and short sleeves of our undergarments leave a want they do not experience. Loose skirts might, with propriety, it seems to me, be replaced by more comfortable and just as becoming drawers and “knicker-bockers,” beneath dress, balmoral, and if you will, crinoline. Striped balmorals and stockings take the place of so long filled by white; and why not “knickerbockers” be made of “Highland plaid,” or something similar, as well, with our gaiters enough higher to meet them and protect our ankles, and laced in front! India-rubber sides are too cold. Just about the waist, where there should be the least pressure, is the only place our clothing is close, and if anyone objects to looser belts and ladies’ suspenders, because we shall not look quite as trim and tidy, tell them not to say anything until “Garibaldis” are forgotten. Grace Glenn. Michigan, 1864.

About “Cheap” Sewing Machines.

Eds. Rural New-Yorker: – In answer to an inquiry of “A Rural Reader of Fairfield, O.,” in regard to sewing machines, I wish to say that the Union Ten Dollar Sewing Machine has been  (not used) in my house for the last year, and that instead of being a “Union,” it is a Disunion machine from the following facts: – 1st it will not unite cloth firmly together, but will disunite the cloth by friction in passing between the rough cogwheels. 2d, it will disunite the needle, (separating it in two parts,) every half minute; and, finally, the different parts of the this is easily disunited, the shafts upon which the wheels are placed being a round wire and the wheels fitted loosely to it, not being keyed, allows them to slip entirely from the shaft; and the same is true as regards the crank. It is the opinion of those competent to judge, that it is not manufactured for the good of the people but to smouge them out of four dollars each machine, which has been done to a great extent. Now, if your reader of Fairfield wishes to pay a dear price for wit, let him order a half dozen of “[sic] Clark, Dayton, Maine,” but her can get with at my expense much cheaper; for if he wishes I will send him one free, except express charges, and be glad of the chance; for I ordered a half dozen, and can neither sell, lose, or give them away here, though my friends generally take anything that is given to them.

Yours, for the good of the public, D. Allen. Byron, Wis., April 25, 1864.

Published in: on May 14, 2014 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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