Visual display of the

				

FASHION AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN


  More and more in our present civiliza-
tion are women needed in practically all
phases of life. We find them holding im-
portant political positions, as leaders of
great social reform, as earnest intelligent
advocates for country life, for the better-
ment of civic conditions, for improved
methods of caring for children. We know
also that men are opening for them doors
into what has seemed in the past to be
essentially masculine activities. In fact, as
the world stands today, woman largely can
occupy the place which she desires, provided
she is fitted for it, adequate to its cares and
responsibilities.
  Yet with all this advancement -in the life
of American women we find only a limited
number availing themselves of opportuni-
ties for intellectual and spiritual progress,
and we see very many, and possibly an ever
increasing number, whose lives are largely
given up to interest in dress-women, too,
of good education, interesting surroundings
and unusual opportunities. It has been
said that fifty per cent. of the time of many
women in America is given over to, the
study of changing fashions and the per-
sonal adjustment of every new variation of
style, and that this is not only true of the
older women of means and position, but of
their daughters, and    not only   of the
younger generation among the rich, but
widely, and increasingly widely, true of
women young and old in the families of
men of comparatively small salaries. It is
so old a story that it is popular in the funny
pages of the     city papers-the weary,
broken, limp business man unequal to the
strain of supplying stylish dresses for his
charming family. Among the very poor,
disaster of many kinds follows the effort of
the women of the family to dress, so far as
poissible, as stylishly as those they see about
them in the shops or on the streets. And
so through every phase of our 'so-called
democratic nation we find much of the
beauty, the refinement, the sincerity of life
sacrificed to this strange, unreal, incompre-
hensible craze for a different kind of
fashion every few weeks.
   Because our readers are interested in
this subject, because I myself have for
years felt that dress was one of the signifi-
cant issues of the day, that our social,
political conditions were -expressed in it or
hampered by it, I have thought of taking
up the fashion question in a series of arti-
cles. I do not feel that it can be done in
506


any one brief article because the subject is
so inherent a part of the social body of the
day. I want to take up all the different
expressions of what constitutes the fashion-
able dress, the source of it and the effect of
it upon the country. Are our young
women, for instance, accepting as inspira-
tion for their gowns the ideals of the
underworld of Paris? Are we being com-
mercialized in the matter of dress by the
rapacious merchant who is ever zealous to
make sales regardless of the profit to the
country? What does the dress of our
women as it stands today cost us materially
and spiritually? Where do we find the
salvation for this condition? Must our
women create the reform themselves? Is
it a matter of education? Can we hope
for better things from the present genera-
tion or must it lie wholly in the training of
our children?
  All of these questions, it seems to me, are
sufficiently important to be presented clearly
and at length in the magazine, but I do not
want to undertake this campaign for right
dressing unless the readers of THE CRAFTS-
MAN are with me. I shall value more than
I can say an expression of opinion from
the men and women who read this article
and I should like to receive it as soon as
possible.
   If the vote which comes to me is favor-
able, it is necessary that we should begin
the preparation of the articles at once,
as a careful investigation of existing con-
ditions must be made, all facts must be
verified and the articles themselves must be
presented logically and as convincingly as
it lies in our power. If you are interested
in this matter please write to me personally,
tell me just what you think of the project,
also your point of view about the dress of
the day, as we shall be just as interested in
what you have to say as in what we may
present.
FOREST NOTES
HE American Forestry Association has
     members in every State in the Union,
in every Province in Canada, and in every
civilized and semi-civilized country in the
world.

EXPERIMENTS in the use of aspen for
    shingles show that such shingles do not
check in seasoning, and turn water satis-
factorily, but that they are too easily broken
in handling.

 

				
      
      
				
					
BOOK REVIEWS


BOOK REVIEWS
JOHN MARTIN'S BOOK: AN INTER-
ESTING    DEVELOPMENT         IN  THE
WORLD      OF   CHILDREN'S MAGA-
ZINES
NCE upon a time-for that is the
       way true stories as well as fairy-
       tales occasionally begin-there lived
       down South a little boy and his
young mother. They were more like little
comrades than mother and son, for they
played together and told each other stories
about the birds and flowers and trees,
stories that were so real they grew to be
quite an important part of the story-tellers'
lives. The favorite tales were those about
the birds, and a certain nest of swallow-like
martins formed the nucleus of many an ad-
venturous recital.
   The years went by,. the little boy grew
 up, the mother became only a tender mem-
 ory and the childish tales were told no
 more; until one day, many years later, the
 recollection of them was revived in newer
 tales for other children, and "John Mar-
 tin," as the man whimsically called himself,
 seeing an opportunity to bring fresh inter-
 est and fun into the lives of many Ame-i-


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THIS DRAWING, LIKE THE REST OF THE SERIES, IS IN
BLACK AND RED, AND GIVES A MOST EFFECTIVE POST-
ERLIKE TOUCH TO THE PAGES OF John Martin's
Book.
can children, began to send out monthly let-
ters full of quaint illustrations, stories and
friendly chat. So warmly were these let-
ters received by the little folk and their
parents alike, that the writer of them de-
cided to start a monthly magazine.
  So the John Martin's Book began, with
its history and  nature  stories, verses,
wonder tales, fables and legends, all of
them rich in illustrations and put together
in a form that the children seem to love.
On one page will be a drawing and verse
by Gordon Craig; on another, a tale of ad-
venture by H. Bedford Jones, next a na-
lure story by Thornton Burgess or perhaps
by Helen Waldo; then maybe a page about
making little figures out of nuts, by Caro-
lyn Sherwin Bailey, some alphabet draw-
ings by W. Fletcher White, or a series of
bear adventures, with pictures by Frank
VerBeck.   Then, of course, there is the
monthly letter from the editor to his little
readers-a letter full of marginal sketches
of the fanciful kind that appeals to the
youngsters' imagination.
  As we have intimated, the interest of
  John Martin's Book is not confined to ju-
  venile readers. Pictures, verse and prose
                                    507


ONE OF THE DECORATIVE ALPHABET DRAWINGS BY
W. F. WHITE, FROM John Martin's Book.


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