Amelia Bloomer was born on May 27, 1818, in Homer, New York. She worked for women's rights and belonged to the suffrage and temperance movements. She is best known for advocating a dress reform that included looser tops and short skirts with a pair of pants underneath. The outfit was called “bloomers” after her. She died in 1894.
Early Life and Activism
Born Amelia Jenks on May 27, 1818, in Homer, New York, Amelia Bloomer is best known for advocating a certain style of dress reform, as well as for working on behalf of women's rights and in the temperance movement. Bloomer attended a local public school, receiving a limited education. In her late teens, she became a teacher for a short time, and then became a live-in tutor to a nearby family.
While working as a governess, she met Dexter Bloomer, who was editor and co-owner of a local newspaper, the Seneca Falls County Courier, at the time. In 1840, she married Bloomer and moved to Seneca Falls. There, she emerged herself in social life, becoming an active member of her church and community organizations. Amelia Bloomer was deeply committed to the temperance movement. With her husband's encouragement, she began to write about social issues for his newspaper.
With her husband, Amelia Bloomer moved to Ohio in 1853. The pair relocated to Council Bluffs, Iowa, two years later. While she had stopped publishing The Lily that same year, in 1855, Bloomer continued writing on social and political topics. She also worked on behalf of women's rights, becoming involved in the women suffrage movement in her new home state. She is credited with helping to get women the right to vote in Ohio in 1873.
Amelia Bloomer died on December 30, 1894, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Remembered mostly for a style of women's fashion, she was also an important contributor to the women's rights movement. Her efforts have been remembered in numerous ways, including becoming the namesake of an annual feminist booklist: The Amelia Bloomer Project honors the top feminist books for young readers.
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