The Way We Were (1910-1920)March 1, 2007 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
The advertising industry did much to win over its skeptics by playing a pivotal role in "selling" World War I to the American public. Under the banner of patriotism, advertisements used pro-America copy coupled with dramatic illustrations to remind Americans that supporting the war was not a choice but a duty. The government relied on firms to create ads to be used for everything from encouraging women to write their men cheerful letters to selling Liberty Bonds to soliciting money for the Red Cross. Most significantly, the government published ads to recruit men and women into joining branches of the armed forces. The role of advertising during the war serves as a remarkable reminder of the power politics yields when it is mixed with popular culture.
Senator Hair Whitening preparations were guaranteed to whiten gray hair that had turned yellow from any cause. According to their ad, "All up-to-date hairdressers use Senator Hair Whitening."
Before there was Jazz
The Truth About the Bob
It may have reached the pinnacle of its popularity in the 1920s, but the bob is older than you think. Dancer Irene Castle sported the look, dubbed the "Castle Bob," as early as 1915.
Ahh, the power of association. It seems to cement ideas together in our brains and hold them there with an ironclad tenacity. Take New Year's Eve and Champagne, for example. How about Texas and big hair, ball games and hot dogs, or even cowboy hats and Tim McGraw? In our minds, the bob has long been married to the 1920s. History, however, has a different lesson. The bob first appeared in the early 1910s. After an era of puffed-up pompadours, hairdressers—as they often do—pushed for a change. Of course, who brought the bob to the forefront of fashion remains fuzzy.
Irene Castle and her husband, Vernon, were the most famous ballroom dancers of their day. Willowly and boyish yet decidedly feminine, Irene bobbed her hair for "convenience."
Many attribute the style to Parisian hairdressing powerhouse, Antoine. Born Antoine Cierplikowski in 1884 in what is today central Poland, Antoine lived nearly a century, and his clients ranged from Sarah Bernhardt to Brigitte Bardot. He had salons in Paris, London, Milan and New York City. He designed costumes for the stage and screen, hobnobbed with everyone who was anyone, and was even credited with helping Coco Chanel develop her signature style. Antoine said that he was inspired by Jeanne d'Arc and in 1909 he started chopping his clients' hair to just below the ear. Those who were not bold enough had him pin their hair under, thus getting the look without the commitment. Hence, the bobby pin was born.
Within the next few years, the bob became popular in Britain among a group of bohemian writers and wanna-bes known as The Bloomsbury Set, which included the likes of Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster. Some historians claim that it was this group of high-profile socialites who popularized the bob before World War I. The group's open marriages and homosexual liaisons were forever attracting attention from the press, and their avant-garde style of dress made them acknowledged trendsetters. Many European women took to the style in the chaos of the war, as it required much less attention and maintenance than previous coiffures.