Calico Carnival
[Americana / Women].

Calico Carnival

Regular price $125.00 $0.00

(n. p.): Committee of Women's Aid Society, Circa 1899. 20 x 15 cm. Broadside, printed in black on green-striped calico cloth. Faint center fold line; small crimp to one edge; minor fraying. Very Good+.

Heavily alliterative invitation to a "Cosmopolitan Calico Carnival convening in Congregational Church Parlors" on May 26, "19th Century". The invitation notes that attendees are expected to wear calico, and will be fined if they don't; additional fines will be placed on those "sitting continuously in chair and refusing to converse" (20c) and "carping critics consigned to cheerless corners" (10c). Entertainment includes music and appetizers, and all proceeds go to the Sunday School library fund.

Calico was a popular dressmaking material in the early American republic, giving rise to calico societies -- whose members swore to appear in calico dresses at balls, church and in daily outings -- and, by the 1850s, calico parties, where, as at the carnival advertised here, attendees had to wear calico.; calico parties were considered women's affairs, and in fact "calico" was sometimes used as a term for women (see Babcock, "The Vocabulary of Social Life on the American Frontier").

Although it is unclear where this event was held, we note a similar broadside on the market for an event held March 16, 1899, in Chicago, and speculate that this our event may be a follow-up to that one.


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