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THE INTERPRETATION OF THE PAST IN ITS OWN CONTEXT.
Marshall Field & Co., Chicago's biggest department store, decided that their elevator girls required a bit of finishing, so they were enrolled in a local charm school.
|ELEVATOR STAFF at Marshall Field store, neatly aligned at their stations with the starter (left), shows the chic results of their "glamourizing."|
|NEW HAIRDO for operator Ann Vratarichis skillfully swept up by an expert. The charm school also reshaped her eyebrows and the curve of her lips.|
|REDUCING EXERCISES include rolling inflated beach balls, calisthenics, and homework with a rolling pin. One girl lost 35 pounds during the course.|
|Mary Leta Lambour (Dorothy Lamour)|
|Nancy Davis [Reagan] 1950.|
LIFE MAGAZINE PHOTO SHOOT - 1947
BEFORE AND AFTER charm school. June Wahl and Ann Vratarich.
AN ELEVATOR OPERATOR'S CORRECT STANDING POSITION (right) should be straight and modest, not too breezy, with the body bent and leg in the air (left).
CORRECT BENDING POSITION (right) is shown by an instructor. Knees should be bent and body lowered. Stooping from the waist (left) is undignified.
DICTION DRILLS teaches the girls to announce floors and merchandise and answer customers' questions in distinct, well-modulated tones.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.
Fascinating! I had no idea the elevator operators were sent to charm school. Another informative and fun piece of history.ReplyDelete
As a former part-timer in the downtown store in the late 60s I love reading more about this. Thanks!ReplyDelete
An eye opener. I didn't know they were groomed.ReplyDelete
My grandmother Delores was an elevator girl in this era, although sadly not pictured.ReplyDelete
Oh how I miss those days as a little kid in the early 60s going there. It was a huge deal, gloves and all. Such class and elegance. Give the lady what she wants is what Mr. Field said I think. Wish Macy’s would have left it alone. Great article Neil !ReplyDelete