Proposed Women’s Tour of the Early 20th Century

A Walk In the Shoes of a Woman’s Regular Day in the Early 1900’s

Key Focal Areas to Tour Through

725 Madison Ave
1923 Women’ Club of Albany

The Women’s Club of Albany began as a civic organization founded in 1910 by Mrs. Elmer Blair. Its mission was to help aid women and children in need. The clubhouse itself was bought by its member’s generous donations in 1919. It still stands today as a pillar of hope for those in the Albany community with its extended volunteer work and range of projects.

“Woman’s Club of Albany – History.” Woman’s Club of Albany – History. Accessed February 28, 2016.

628 Madison Ave
Studio and Parlor Notre Dame 1895 building

This building was purchased in 1890 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, it would be named The Academy of the Holy Names by its opening in September 1884. The school housed students from grade school to junior high until the mid 20th century when it became a high school until its closing in 1968.

“Woman’s Club of Albany – History.” Woman’s Club of Albany – History. Accessed February 28, 2016.

245 Quail St
1923 Mildred Elley School

The Mildred Elley School was founded by Mrs. Augusta Mildred Elley during a time in which men had gone off to WWI and jobs previously monopolized by men only became available. She taught women how to type and shorthand in her home at 245 Quail Street so that the women that came to her could have better chances at obtaining well paid office positions.

“Mildred-Elley History | Mildred Elley.” Mildred Elley. 2015. Accessed February 29, 2016.

877-885 Madison Ave
1923 Hagaman& Co Bakery

Began as a smaller end bakery in 1923 and expanded throughout the continuing years in areas such as Troy and Albany. By purchasing parcels of land in large quantities, was known as making the largest baking expansion in NY during the mid 1920’s.

“The Northwestern Miller.” Google Books. Accessed February 29, 2016.

351 Hudson Ave
Eastern Star Temple

The building was originally owned by the Daughters of the Eastern Star which were a sec apart of the Freemason. The building was open to both men and women alike for time for worship since its opening in 1923. It’s inside match still the architecture of other Eastern Start chapter houses.

Uptown Downtown Media. “Lark Street, 35 Years Ago.” All Over Albany. Accessed February 29, 2016.

Estimated Time

Google estimates that my proposed tour will take a total of 24-26 minutes, in total it would be 1.2 miles from the start of 351 Hudson Ave up until 877 Madison Ave.

Theme/ Audience/ Takeaway Point

When thinking about what my tour would consist of I began with the single idea of, “How were females accommodating to the early 20th century?”. And the answer is that they were not too badly off. I wanted to start in 1923 with the creation of the Women’s Club of Albany, this is a critical moment because it can be seen as a starting point for this form of communal unity between the women of Albany. From there I wanted to see if there may have been a specific reason for 725 Madison Ave to be the home to this new club. For example, what type of areas around there were convenient or specific to women. I discovered that there was a Church, Middle school, bakery, and learning education center all within walking distance. These are places that I can see women of the era taking advantage of because of these certain locations like going to pick up their children at The Academy of Holy Names, attending the Eastern Star Temple for service, picking up bread and sweets at Hagaman& Co Bakery on their way home and attending type and shorthand teaching classes at the Mildred Elley School. This can all tell a story of what a normal weekday or weekend could consist of for a woman. The audience I hope to capture through looking into this window into the average Albany women’s day ranges from young children all the way to the elderly. This is meant to be a tour of how life use to be decades ago, almost a century ago really. It shall show the change of how Albany has now transformed into an area where everywhere one looks there are stores that pertain not only a single gender but to both whether it be mechanic, hardware or sports store a woman may either work there or pay a visit to it. That’s the takeaway, let us not take advantage of just how far the community of Albany has come in regards to public transportation and vehicles. Now most any type of stores can be near one another to fit around either a women or man’s preference.

Potential Images

The two potential pictures I found for the tour had the same copyright restrictions since they came from the same site, Flickr. Flickr is stated as being All Rights Reserved, meaning the copyright holder has the legal rights to copies, distribution of his or her work, license and exploitation.

Additional Questions to be Asked

Are there other places maybe a bit farther then the range I gave myself that would better connect with the Women’s Club of Albany?

What type of impact did the club have on the community in regards to its motto having been to assist needy children and women?

Were there certain places that perhaps women from around the community were not allowed to enter? For example, if their husbands were not around could they without being watchfully gawked at enter a woodwork store?

2 thoughts on “Proposed Women’s Tour of the Early 20th Century

  • March 3, 2016 at 7:01 AM

    I love that your topic was original and had a common thread -women. This is similar to my tour because my common thread is Pearl Street/Pearl Palooza. I also like your main point because it’s important to show the societal progression from decades or even centuries ago until now. If I had one question it would be, what other factors effected the woman’s role in society at the point in history you’re describing?

  • March 13, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Some general things: Eastern Star Temple is a social group, not a religious organization. Do some more digging on that one or drop it in favor of a different location. Flickr allows individual users to set their copyright restrictions, so as we discussed in class, the site-level copyright restrictions don’t necessarily apply to all images on that site. Check your individual images’ copyright restrictions. Finally, be sure to proof read carefully or get a friend to proofread, as you’ve got a lot of spelling errors and grammar mistakes here.

    Right now your locations are very organization-focused, so the bakery stands out as a bit odd since it’s not like the others. What about switching out some of the organizations (like Eastern Star) for other businesses women might have patronized, like beauty parlor or clothing stores ?

    Also, be clear as you’re writing what kind of woman you’re talking about. Right now the kind of locations you’ve selected were mainly accessible to middle class white women, so your tour isn’t also about working class women or women of color. Those groups had different experiences, so be clear that your turn-of-the-century woman had a very particular background and doesn’t represent all women of that time period.

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