Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18, 1909 - Girl Wanted

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].

I suppose this 100-year-0ld classified ad for a social event was intended to be amusing, but it was probably irritating even in 1909.

Girl Wanted

I prefer a Rensselaer girl, one who is not afraid of work, willing to cook, and keep the house in order, and be a companion to me on rainy days. I am not particular as to the color of her hair but prefer that it not be entirely false; have no objections to a few false teeth or other minor defects which can be kept as family secrets; not particular whether she can sing, or whether she understands music. Prefer to have one who is home loving, knows enough of the world to appreciate a man who is willing to spend all his money in giving her a good time; do not care for one who is a prude or too old-fashioned to play a game of euchre, or dance.

I want a jolly, good looking, happy girl who will help me have a good time every day in the year. If any such girl in Rensselaer is open for a proposition I would like to have her meet me at the Foresters Euchre and Select Dance, at Kapp's Hall on Sixth street, next Thursday night, September 23. She will know me by the dark clothes and pleasant smile which I wear.

The Albany Evening Journal, Tue. Sept. 21, 1909, had this notice: "Court Fort Cralo, Foresters, will give a prize euchre and dance at Kapps's on Thursday night." Another Journal notice from 1914 lists them as "Court Fort Cralo, 4655, Independent Order of Foresters" ("Cralo" was the common spelling then, not "Crailo").

The Independent Order of Foresters was a nation-wide fraternal organization, established to help its members in times of distress. "Independent" refers to the American Order's split from the Ancient Order of Foresters of England in the 1870's. (see History of the Independent Order of Foresters).

Rensselaer's Foresters held regular social events and fund raisers including clam bakes, dances, and card tournaments. (Euchre was popular around the turn of the last century - see How to Play Basic Euchre.)

The Independent Order of Foresters survives as a fraternal benefits organization providing financial services and insurance. The Catholic Order of Foresters and National Catholic Society of Foresters, which date back to the 1890's, offer similar services. (The Independent Order recently won a cancellation against the Catholic Order regarding the confusing trademark "Forester Life".)

The "well known hostelry of 'mine host' Kapp" was often was listed as the location for annual club, chamber, or union dinners, in addition to social events like these. I'd love comments from anyone who knows the address of the former Kapp's Hotel, or more about its history.

UPDATE: If you're wondering about the "false" hair reference, read this excellent vintage sewing blog post: Hairstyle Tutorial: A 1909 Edwardian Coiffure.

1 comment:

Carl said...

I spend a lot of time poking around old newspapers, but I must say I've never seen anything quite like this. I would almost think it was only a tongue-in-cheek advertisement for the dance itself, except for the bizarre level of detail in the opening paragraph.

The 1928 Rensselaer City Directory lists Kapp's Hotel (proprietor George F. Kapp) at 1006 Sixth St., which under current numbering is up above the intersection with John St.