The Wunderkammer of the Mild Colonial Boy, Esq., a Reactionary Tory Gentleman, who armed only with a Steampowered Babbage Engine and Pure Intentions, wanders the Time Streams and Aetheric Plane gathering an Eccentric Hodgepodge of Curiousities, Frivolities, Whimsicalities and Nonsense.
Q. Why is your Tumblelog called "My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck by Lightning"?
A. Because "My Grandmother's Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck by Lightning" wouldn't fit in the available space.
An 1890’s satiric lid for a cigar box, featuring women in the just-barely-acceptable new styles of skirtless knickerbockers (Bloomers) at a swanky social club. Of course, late-Victorian gender mores were still very rigid in many aspects of society, especially in formal settings, so this was an absurd satirical proposition.
The acceptable settings for bloomers (at least for the more progressively-minded - many people still felt scandalized by them in general) were not restricted to when one was bicycling. Sports such as basketball were also becoming more acceptable for women, and nonrestrictive clothing was a “must” in those arenas, as well.
The original bloomers were an article of women’s clothing invented byElizabeth Smith MillerofPeterboro, New Yorkan early pioneer of the vulcanized rubber girdle, but popularized byAmelia Bloomerin the early 1850s (hence the name, a shortening of “Bloomer suit”). They were long baggy pants narrowing to a cuff at the ankles (worn below a skirt), intended to preserve Victorian decency while being less of a hindrance to women’s activities than the long full skirts of the period (seeVictorian dress reform). They were worn by a few women in the 1850s, but were widely ridiculed in the press, and failed to become commonly accepted (see1850s in fashion). Bloomer was an insult made up by the newspapers of the time. British explorerRichard Francis Burton, travelling across the United States in 1860 noted that he saw only one woman (whom he called a “hermaphrodite”) wearing bloomers.The costume was called the “American Dress” or “Reform Costume” by the women’s activists that wore it. Most of the women who wore the costume were deeply involved in dress reform, abolition, temperance and the women’s rights movement. Although practical, the “bloomers” were also an attempt to reform fashion since the majority of “bloomers” were also in upper to middle class and also in the public eye.