23/11/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Women in Trousers - a visual archive, new online project

1dc93d42-b02b-4046-980a-e3d3bf1f020c

A new archive brings together images of bloomers, knickerbockers and culottes to tell the story of trouser-wearing women through an online gallery of digital images spanning more than a century.

The images in Women in Trousers: A Visual Archive offer a visual account of the complex and sometimes contradictory meanings represented by women ‘wearing the trousers’ from the 1850s to the 1960s, and provide an illuminating document of the cultural, historical and political shifts affecting women’s lives during this period.

Female ancestors in trousers

The project is the work of Dr Becky Munford, Reader in English Literature at Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy, who invites members of the public to submit their own photos of ancestors wearing trousers.

Dr Munford said: "From Joan of Arc to Amelia Bloomer, and Mary Edwards Walker to Marlene Dietrich, trouser-wearing women have been associated with periods of social and political upheaval, women’s liberation, radical thought, aesthetic innovation and erotic freedom.

“The response to the request for images for the Who wore the trousers? section of the archive has already been fantastic. With several moving stories emerging from these photographs, this is one of the most exciting and valuable parts of the project. We would love to hear from anyone who has a photo to share or a story to tell."

To submit a photo, e-mail Dr Munford.

Visit Women in Trousers: A Visual Archive.

Images: Cabinet photograph by H Wragg. of Mary Harrison aged 16 taken, late 1800s. Source: Wigan World

Postcard (front) of Dorothy Frances Curtis of Cardiff (1918). Source: Glamorgan Archives Ref. DXFX/19. Note: Photograph of Dorothy Frances Curtis of Cardiff, employed on war work and dressed in protective clothing, including trousers, as a supervisor in a munitions factory where girls packed explosives into shell cases, in Birmingham. The rear of the postcard is signed 'Trousers' as this is likely to have been the first time that Dorothy had worn trousers.

Back to "Family history for FREE" Category

23/11/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

How to find your UK ancestors using adoption records

Do you have an ancestor in your family tree who was adopted? This needn't prove too much of a stumbling block ...


Using Family Tree Analyzer to identify errors on your family tree

FT Analyzer is a free service that allows you to upload a GEDCOM file and have your family tree checked for ...


Stuck on your family history? June Bridges

Stuck on your family history? ...


Stuck on your family history? Elizabeth Jones

Come along to Family Tree Live and get one-to-one expert help from a professional researcher to help solve ...


Other Articles

How to trace Caribbean family history - 'Finding your way home'

It was at his mum’s bedside in intensive care, that Adrian Stone took the first step to tracing his roots. ...


4 free websites to trace Freemason ancestors

Do you have ancestors who were Freemasons? Try these websites to begin researching their lives ...


How family history inspired my writing: from the River Kwai to the Thames

Ann Bennett reveals how she was inspired by her family history to write and publish her novels ...


Free downloads to help you organise & display your family history

These free downloadable family history sheets go with the 10 top family history projects in the April 2019 ...