Sunday, July 26, 2020

1863 - US Women as Flower Girls.

Flowers are the mementoes of an earthly paradise. They are said to be “the alphabet of angels, whereby they write mysterious things”- the mysteries of God's love & goodness. Earth would be a wilderness without them. 

Girls sell flowers most profitably at opera houses, theatres, & other places of amusement. They buy of those who devote themselves to the raising of flowers, & arrange them into bouquets. A number dispose of flowers on Broadway; &, summer before last, I observed a French woman at the Atlantic ferry selling bouquets to people waiting for the boat. 

A florist told me he disposes of flowers to girls who make up bouquets & sell them. One of them pays $500 rent for her room. It yields a handsome profit when a person has a good stand. He would like a stand at the opera house, but a great many others are looking forward to it. Some pay for the privilege, .others obtain it by being known to the managers. 

I was told by a man who supplies bouquets that he pays to florists from $8 to $10 a day for flowers, & then makes up his own bouquets. I have been told that at some hotels in Germany, girls pass around the table at dinner, & give bouquets. Such recipients as feel disposed, pay a small sum. 

The Employments of Women: A Cyclopaedia of Woman's Work by Virginia Panny Published Boston, MA. by Walker, Wise & Company. 1863

To read about women's changing roles in the 19th century. see:
Boorstin, Daniel. The Americans: The Democratic Experience. New York:Random House, 1973.
Clinton, Catherine. The Other Civil War: American Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Hill and Wang, 1984.
Cott, Nancy. A Heritage of Her Own: Toward a New Social History of Women. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979.
Cott Nancy. History of Women in the United States, Part 6, Working the Land. New York: K. G. Saur, 1992.
Degler, Carl. At Odds: Women and the Family from Revolution to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Green, Harvey. The Light of the Home: An Intimate View of the Lives of Women in Victorian America. New York: Pantheon Books, 1983.
Juster, Norton. So Sweet to Labor: Rural Women in America 1865-1895. New York: The Viking Press, 1979.
Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982
Mintz, Stephen and Susan Kellogg. Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life. New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, 1988.
Ryan, Mary P. Womanhood in America front he Colonial Times to the Present. New York: F. Watts, 1983.
Smith-Rosenberg, Caroll. Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York Pantheon Books, 1982.
Welter, Barbara. Dimity Convictions : the American Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Athens : Ohio University Press, 1976.