Underwear Chronicles Eight: Amelia Bloomer

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Manage episode 331754383 series 2948673
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Despite being the namesake of an article of clothing that we commonly think of as underwear, Amelia Bloomer did not invent bloomers. To further the cause of Women’s Rights and to fight for the right to vote (in addition to prohibition), Amelia Bloomer ran a newspaper called The Lily.  When one of her friends showed up for a visit in a new outfit one day, history was made. Tired of the restrictive and oppressive clothing women were expected to wear in the 1800s, Amelia fell head over heels for the “tunic and pantalette combo,” as it was known. When she published the instructions to make them in The Lily, her subscriptions went through the roof.   Soon, the knee-length skirt and leg coverings underneath allowed for a new range of motion and freedom for women all over. One of the most remarkable things this allowed women to do was ride bicycles, which Susan B Anthony herself said, did “more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world.” Bloomers didn’t lead directly to the 19th Amendment, but the underwear played a strong supporting role.

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