Presentation on theme: "Four Victorian Women The Kentucky Library and Museum Western Kentucky University Created by Donna Parker 2006."— Presentation transcript:
Four Victorian Women The Kentucky Library and Museum Western Kentucky University Created by Donna Parker 2006
Four Victorian Women Sadie Price, Carrie Taylor, and Ora Porter were Bowling Green women who grew up Victorian and worked outside the home. In some ways, their lives reflected the times in which they lived. In other ways, they were very different from most Victorian women. Most girls became wives and mothers, occupations which Victorians felt were noble and very important.
Four Victorian Women They grew up in an era when people mostly distained, or pitied, women who worked outside the home. These three women faced the same obstacles that all professional Victorian women faced, yet all three had very successful careers. Their lives show that Victorian childhood could result in many adult roles.
Sarah Frances Price Born in Evansville, Indiana in 1849 Sarah Frances Price moved with her family to Bowling Green as a young child. She returned to Indiana during the Civil War where she attended school in Terra Haute and graduated from St. Agnes Hall, an Episcopal church school.
Sarah Frances Price After the Civil War the family returned to Kentucky and settled in Bowling Green.
Sarah Frances Price At about age 16 Sadie suffered a back injury that confined her to bed for the next 12 years. In addition to this misfortune, the Prices suffered a financial setback and both parents died.
Sarah Frances Price Fortunately for Sadie, she had drawing and painting skills - - genteel arts she may have learned at school. From about 1865, Sadie supported herself by giving painting lessons from her home on Eleventh Street. From the Missouri Botanical Garden Library
Sarah Frances Price When Sadie was in her thirties, a Philadelphia doctor cured her back condition, enabling her to pursue her primary interest; collecting and identifying hundreds of Kentucky plants and birds. From the Missouri Botanical Garden Library
Sarah Frances Price She spent four years preparing an exhibit for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. This exhibit included over 720 specimens of plant and birds, drawings, and watercolors and won first place in its class.
Sarah Frances Price At the time of her death in 1903, Sadie Price had a national reputation as an artist, author and naturalist. From the Missouri Botanical Garden Library
Sarah Frances Price Achieving national recognition as a scholar was unusual for nineteenth century women. But in Bowling Green, Sadie was most famous for painting nature scenes and teaching art lessons, both acceptable occupations for women. From the Missouri Botanical Garden Library
Sarah Frances Price Probably because she remained single, Victorian society was able to accept her interest outside the home.
Carrie Burnam Taylor Carrie Burnam Taylor was born in Bowling Green in 1855. Her grandfather was the treasurer of the Confederate Government of Kentucky and although the family lost most of its money after the Civil War, Carrie attended Cedar Bluff College, a women’s school in Woodburn, Kentucky. She graduated in 1877.
Carrie Burnam Taylor In college, Carrie earned a reputation for her stylish taste in fashion. After graduation, she began a small dressmaking business in her family home.
Carrie Burnam Taylor By the time she married Aaron Taylor in 1879, her business was a success. By 1880, Carrie shocked Bowling Green society by opening a dress shop outside her home.
Carrie Burnam Taylor Around 1882 the shop had to move to a larger location on the public square. In the early nineties it moved again, to Main Street, and in 1902 to its final address on State Street.
Carrie Burnam Taylor Luckily for Carrie, she was a respected wife and mother as well as a career woman and her success stemmed from a “feminine” skill that Victorians admired.
Carrie Burnam Taylor The Mrs. A.H. Taylor Company was one of the most successful businesses in turn of the century Kentucky. A 1914 magazine article reported that it earned over $50,000 a year and had 24,000 customers across the country.
Carrie Burnam Taylor At one time, the Company employed 300 women working 10 hours a day, six days a week.
Carrie Burnam Taylor When Carrie died in 1917, her business was worth a quarter of a million dollars. Mrs. Taylor and her husband traveled annually to New York and Europe for the finest fabrics and trims. Taylor fashions
Carrie Burnam Taylor It is said that Carrie Taylor shocked Bowling Green society by opening a business outside her home. Victorians felt that men should rule the world of business, but they also admired success and wealth, even in women
Carrie Burnam Taylor In her lifetime, Carrie Taylor was described as a gracious, modest woman with a deep devotion to church and charitable activities.
Carrie Burnam Taylor She had two children and preferred the quiet of her home on Main Street to the excitement of society. Probably these traditional feminine qualities made Carrie Taylor acceptable in the eyes of Victorian Society. Carrie Taylor, far right
Ora Frances Porter Born in Butler County, Kentucky about 1880 Ora Frances Porter moved to Bowling Green with her family when she was about ten years old. She attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama graduating in 1904 with a degree in nursing.
Ora Frances Porter Kentucky first required nurses to register with the Commonwealth in 1915. One year later, Ora Porter was the first to register in Warren County and, for a time, was the only registered nurse in town. She worked at a private hospital and a State Laboratory, but later became a private nurse. She was very strict about procedures and professional care, and enjoyed a reputation as an excellent typhoid fever nurse.
Ora Frances Porter Ora Porter lived on College Street with her mother. She like to entertain and people remember her house as being furnished in Victorian style.
Ora Frances Porter She was a faithful member of her church and an active participant in elections and campaigns for civic improvement. She belonged to the Chautauqua Club and the George Washington Carver Community Center, and organized the Interracial Commission in 1949. Ora Porter, seated
Ora Frances Porter Pursuing a profession was not easy for women who grew up Victorian, and black women faced especially difficult odds. For Ora, being a nurse was more than a traditionally feminine career. Her success shows that being Victorian hinged on more than race alone.
Ora Frances Porter When Ora Porter died in 1970, Bowling Green lost an excellent nurse and a living link with the Victorian world. Ora Porter, seated right
Wife and Mother Born to middle class parents, she grew up in a small town, spent a season in a female college, and married a local minister. She kept house, raised three children, and taught Sunday school for thirty years.
Wife and Mother She was known for her needlepoint and her macaroons and she saw to it that her children grew up Victorian.
Wife and Mother Wives and mothers were rarely famous beyond their own families.
Wife and Mother They did not travel hundreds of miles to college or produce books or businesses, but they were participants in careers aimed at future generations - - raising children and supporting their families.
Wife and Mother These are the women who taught us to go to church, to bake a cake, to respect our elders, to be kind to animals, to play the piano, to say please and thank you, and to be nice to our brothers and sisters..
Wife and Mother Most of us would probably agree that our mothers and grandmothers taught their children well.