Oh Man! Evening at the Club

Clare Briggs

Clare Briggs

Clare Briggs is a famous cartoonist who lived from 1875 to 1930.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    It’s nice to get out of the house every once in a while.Report

  2. Avatar North
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    says:

    As I understand it, and correct me if I’m wrong, but housing was pretty cramped back in these times and the idea of every apartment having individual bathrooms, let alone kitchens, was technologically and economically unfeasible. So the club and the dining venues essentially served as communal living rooms and kitchens for the more upper middle class masses. The poor, of course, used street vendors, public venues and the like for a similar purpose. Your domicile in the city was where you slept and kept your stuff more than anything.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to North
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      says:

      I think Briggs’ subjects are often upper middle class, and while they would have had domiciles that are smaller than today’s standards, they and their SESmates almost always had their own bathrooms and kitchen, plus a salon/living room in order to socialize (and demonstrate social status)

      I’d definitely say this is still the era where mixed gendered socializing is still somewhat scandalous, depending on the exact context. i.e. couples meeting couples at their homes is fine, large number of couples gathering for a formal party is fine, but just ‘hanging out’ with mixed groups of men and women was a no no) (and/or a speakeasy thing)Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North
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      says:

      I would add “large” in front of city in your last sentence. And possibly “eastern” or “coastal”. The couple of cities that I know enough of the history — Omaha and Denver — simply never built much of the kind of housing you describe. There were boarding houses for single people that fit the description, usually with breakfast and supper included because the person running the house could provide those cheaply. By the time apartments were built in any numbers, separate bathrooms and at least tiny kitchens were a given. An apartment was a scaled-down house, not a scaled-up boarding place. There were some luxury apartments with no kitchens, but that was a status symbol — “I can afford to eat all my meals out.”Report

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