Apparently in 1895, bloomers were quite the topic of the Ann Arbor Register in 1895; family quarrels, women arrested. I found these wonderful little “Bloomer Clippings” at the website, Logiston.
I particularly like the “The Frightfully Awful Dilemma of a Chicago Bicyclist” article as Annie was in Chicago that year and if it wasn’t for “blonde ringlets” I would say it sounds just like something she would do. Go girl power!
Mrs. Noya, the first female cyclist to appear on the streets of Little Rock, Ark., clad in bloomers, was arrested by the police under an ordinance against “indecent apparel.” The bloomers were of the conventional style.
The Frightfully Awful Dilemma of a Chicago Bicyclist
Guests of the Stamford hotel, on Michigan avenue, were horrified Sunday at an accident to a young lady which occurred right in front of that famous hostelry, which has become a kind of headquarters for those bicyclists who make use of the magnificent South side boulevards, says the Chicago Tribune. At about 4 o’clock in the afternoon a very dashing girl, with a little cap set jauntily upon her blonde ringlets, came speeding down the avenue. She was dressed in a very natty blouse and the latest style of riding bloomers, which reached well down toward the ankle. Just as she reached the hotel one of the bloomer legs caught in between the chain and sprocket of the machine and in an instant, going at the scorching pace she was, the entire bloomer was stripped off her shapely right limb. The spectators were for a moment paralyzed at the extent of this catastrophe, and two or three young ladies who were just about to mount their wheels blushed as red as a rainy sunset, but the dashing damsel was equal to the emergency. With a dextrous hand she disengaged herself from the mangled bloomers and stood before her admiring and astonished audience arrayed in an extremely becoming pair of black tights and trunks to match. Thrusting the bloomers into her blouse, she vaulted lightly on her wheel and the next moment was vanishing southward over the hard roadway at a two-minute gait.
Annie Londonderry depicted in a newspaper in 1895, wearing bloomers.
Mrs. John Quill and her husband quarreled at Eaton, O., over the question whether or not their daughter should wear bloomers. The Quills are old people, wealthy, and have a large family of grown-up children. Quill is 75 years old and very feeble, but he advocated bloomers. They quarreled viciously, and finally Mrs. Quill attempted to pull out her husband’s whiskers. Not succeeding, she cut them off. The fight was so bitter that both the old people are under a physician’s care, and it is feared Mrs. Quill will become insane.
The question of bloomers has assumed a new form at the Michigan University at Ann Arbor. Miss Edna Day, a pretty junior literary student, appreciates their superiority over skirts and wore them until her landlady told her she would have to don her skirts while in the house. Miss Day has complied. When outside the jurisdiction of the boarding house keeper, however, Miss Day will appear as of yore. She is an enthusiastic bicycle rider, and thinks that such a dress is much more sensible and comfortable to wear on rainy days an during sloppy weather than muddy skirts. The wives of several professors also favor them and her instructors have commended her upon the stand she has taken.