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Los Angeles herald. (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1900-1911, December 03, 1905, Image 30

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042462/1905-12-03/ed-1/seq-30/

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TIIERE is nothing new under the
sun, and the cult that includes the
meanings of colors, the signifi
cance of lustres 'or dead surfaces,
straight lines or curves, is really older
than the pyramids.
The queen of Sheba in all probability
had more than an inkling of this when
she put on her glorious duds and went
to cull on King Solomon. Cleopatra, if
wo are to believe the theatrical repre
sentations, donned a very stagy boating
dress for her Journey down the Cydnus
to meet Antony.
Since then even the least of us have
learned that white muslin and blue tlb
bon stand for extreme innocence, black
alpaca for misfortune and spangles for
a certain degree of racy impropriety — a
code that will not balk at any small
Blue is sweet and good and true.
JBouguereau " said that the color blue
was the most beautiful thing in all the
world. Nine men out of ten like a
woman in v blue gown, although they
may not be able to explain just why.
Brown is demure; gray is modest und
discreet: all the shades of purple from
'mauve to deepest violet are disturbing,
languorous and luxurious, while the
different shades of scarlet, from pink to
crimson, go even deeper than purple
into the realms of the Ought Not.
It is a fascinating study even in its
kindergarten stages, and when you can
have jewels to play with as school
books it is like handling the living
colors themselves. For the occult in
"dross and in sheen and lacklustre and
tint has its beginning and end in gems
und their history.
Think how forms and outlines, the
silhouettes of men and women, have
changed within the century. From the
times of powdered hair und patches, the
dandy dnys when men sported ruffles
and brocade coats, high heeled shoes
with flashing buckles, silk stockings
and garters, to these of the billycock
but and the cutaway — what n Ht retch
there is in times and manners!
Observe how the clothes of the dressy
periods expressed the emotional rnm
pantness of the age when overy man's
linnd was either in his snuff box or on
the hilt of his sword, when he inces
snntly made love or fought duels with
only slight pauses for meals.
The days were beruffled us well as
the over-mannered heroes that go so
well with De Koven music and a. Hope
libretto, but we latter day women who
have passed the stage of matinee actor
worship are sincerely grateful that our
men do not wem- feathers in their hats
or lingerie ruffles on their shirt bosoms.
Man's Real Place
It is not that we object to feathers,
but we know that :i modern man who
could wear om; without feeling sev
eral kinds of a fool must lie of far
different calibre from the men we wot
o? today, lacking upholstery, lingerie
sui<3 frills generally, but accomplishing
things and signing checks for us with
a graceful lnsouclenca that impresses
us more deeply than the sweep of a
sword. The stub pen is mightier by
far, believe us.
Mcn'H dress today has been object
ed to hy artists who love to deck
themselves in loobc, baggy velvet ef
frcts, murderous nombrproH and flow
ing silken ties. Hut no one would care
to have the Latin Quarter fashions
transplanted to Broadway.
A little of that sort of thing goes a
great way with us, for although we are
yet In our primer st:ige of dress mys
ticism we could not associate manly
American manhood with the lace col
lar and knee breeches that Kdmuud
Russell and some others have sought
to infect our civilization with.
it is because wu are beginning to
perceive truthH in the relations of
clothes to the times and the individual
that the plainness of the American
mull's (lrens pleases us so much, AVp
are quite hwiiix- that the moment (hey
began to trim up their hats and wear
openwork HhirU there would be a cor
responding lack of simplicity in per
sonality, manners and morals.
No real run a can allord to go in for
beuuty in his clothes, to pin bunches
<if violets at his horse'e ours or on
hlB bulldog's collar. Women were built
for the purpose, of hanging beuutiful
luces and jewels upon, and When man
admires v. well dressed woman, us he
does almost childishly, he is admiring
fineness, delicacy, color, richness— all
the gorgeousness that is denied him in
everything but his dreanlng gown und
The moment he dares to go In for a
frill or two himself he is lost. He can
have purple orchids on his uiantelpi •cc,
but if he wears one In his coat it ar
gues v desire to be conspicuous or a
strain of the feminine desire for frlxols
und clothes that ruutle.
In this automobile age we will not
for v moment admit tin- uhb of the |
beauty man. AVu want tho male per
■ati who builds bridges ami Invents
Hying machines ami wiretMK cableg, or,
lacking thut, then the nutn who can
crawl ■ under the machine und juggle
successfully with the cogs and levers.
The modern man's dress in this
country expresses this sort of thing,
and does so very mysteriously ratliei
by an übsence of things, a lack of
color and a sparslty of what in a wom
an's dress wo call lines. Even the
least little touch of gayety blights) a
man these days, and only v broker or
an actor can afford to wear a bou
You may have admired a man for
some masterful attainment— the dis
covery of a new star or a smashing
game of polo, but if. when you mccx
him, you find him with a pule blue
band on his hat and a diamond horse
shoe In his scurf, his mere humanity
is at once apparent to you— he is
throwing away an Invisible aureole for
the sake of n little sparkle in his neck
American Men Manly
And so loud cheeks, violently striped
shirts that light up well, in the haber
dashers' windows, but never on men:
stones that shine, pallid spats, cloaks
Instead of coats, tassels where other
men wear studs — all these things im
Possibilities Ahead of Street Car Conductors: Some Cases of Note
A I/THOUGH less than twenty years'
have passed since it was first
proved In Richmond, Vu., that
there were commercial possibilities in
the overhead trolley, the profession of
electric railroading has already become
so well established that all sorts of
young men are getting into it.
It is again reported this fall from
several districts of the middle west ,
that male school teachers can hardly be
secured because the young fellows who
formerly taught in the rural schools
are now all in service, as conductors or
A liirge proportion, certainly, of those
who thvis join the ranks do su with the
press you vividly and occultly with ttH
until ness of the wearWi usually nn un
fitness thnt Is a port of youth and
piifses wltli It unless it has been al
lowed to sink Into the bone.
American men net mi oxninplo to the
world In this" rrspprt. On the nnltl
nent you see masculine creHti<r< % 8
sporting the must unnuril togs for trav
eling, nr cloaked in frigid shawls like
bearded ladles <m tour. Then thu de-
lightful truth dawns distinctly upon
you that we nre after all a distinctly
different breed of humans nnd thut.
whatever advantago seniority In art
and culture gives to the old workl peo
ple our fashions in drr«s for men art.
saner, finer and wore manly. .
Of course, our men are not so eas>
In their wearing of evening clothes as
the Englishman, nor no dapper as the
Frenchman, but this 1m a fault of our
youth and is again nn occult expres
sion of the fact that we are, not yet
socially developed. The actor who
comes on like a lurid sunburst in blank
nnd white, holding his shoulders like a
motorman, to suit the tailor's pressing,
stands with too many of us for the
real thing when he is only the really
nobby thing.
But it is the dres>< that Is, conveying
the Impression, mark you. und not the
man. just as the frayed, carefully
brushed, tightly buttoned condition tells
its own pathetic tale — a sad little story
that we enn rend so often.
And then there is the comedy that
we gather from the-young man of lr«
growlnjc social ambition, who, In spltu
of his savior fiiire and his intense ad
miration for the good, the beautiful und
the true, is wearing evening clothes one
or two sixes too large for him, or what
is much worse, too small.
In women's dress the occult speaks
so strong that we have learned to be
subtle. The honest working girl knows
in her heart that her proper garb is a
neat black ankle length gown, sleekly
brushed hair, stout boots, an umbrella
expectation of rising from the car plat
form to the higher paid positions
of responsibility. Although the.
wages paid employes by the elec
tric roads are good for the class
of work, the opportunities for
advancement are what are especially
attracting a superior class of men.
Thousands, undoubtedly, of the ambi - [
tious have been incited by the example
of street railway kings of today, who
only a few years ago occupied humble
positions at small wages.
The case of Richard T. Lnflin, who
rose In less than ten years through the
various grades of street railway ser
vice In Boston to become general man
and a little formless hat that one might
wenr to funerals with propriety.
Knowing this she avoids It and goes
to the ofllce In a startling pompadour
under v stunning nut with fllx plumes.
hi> open, work waist, stockings to-mutch
iiiKl a vanity bug. -
. Htr employer is vaguely 1 impressed
with something ho cannot understand,
poor man. Hut It is her manner of
dressing tlmt is appealing to certain
unused bruin lobes. The show girl
catches nine out of ten men either on
the Htnge or as a typewriter. And fo
it Is that these girls are marrying nil
the wealthy men while thu industrious
little girl In the black gown nnd stout
shoes keeps on slaving to the end of
the chapter. Her dress tells the truth,
and that In. something no woman mU3t
ever do it she wishes to charm men.
Symbols and Other Things
It wns not until a smart London
modiste begin to exploit the occult idea
seriously, a season or two ago, that wo
men commenced to understand why it.
was that three fenthers In the hair,
with a court veil and a bouquet, made
even a plain looking woman suggest
pomp, royalty, power.
Feathers have always stood for rnnk,
and the plume Invariably signifies cere
mony and state, whether It is on n
hearse or the head of an Indian chief.
The feather Is the symbol of pomp,
just as white muslin Is Innocent and
black velvet Is stately. The reason for
this lies not In custom, but In the line
and texture and color of the plume
itself. So we wear six in our hats this
season to emphasize the fact thnt we
are not nuns. And so the cardinal
cloak and the soldier's coat speuk to us
The London dressmaker made some
thing of a furore among the English
fashionables when she began to put
tears and smiles into lace and taffeta.
She seized upon an old motif and
ager of the entire electric car system
at Manila, Philippine Islands, is one
that a few months ago was widely com
mented on throughout the country, and
had Its influence on aspiring youth.
Again, more recently, there was the
case or young Oren Hoot, nephew of
the present secretary of state, who
eight years ago on graduation from I
college decided to g-o into street rail
roading. Taking no advantage of fam
ily position, he entered the calling on
the same basis as any other well quali
fied young fellow could, and fought his
way upward until he Is now general
manager of the Metropolitan system In
New York city.
built lip nn Idcn, delving Into undiscov
ered depths for her themes.
So when she put- gold spangim on n
sulphur rolored siitiu skirt under live
falls of chiffon, through which one only
got the dullest and least occasional
glints, she. wns expressing a thought
Hint only a graduate In clothes mysti
cism could appreciate. She called It
the "harp of a thousand strings" und
let it go at thnt.
Then she put forth a creation of
peach colored velvet with a little Irish
point lace coat, and she hung a few
crushed plum colored ' roses about the
bodice and' culled the thing v "lure to
happiness." . . ... _. '.'-■-,
Violet embroidered moussellne do
sole over a deeper shade of taffeta,
With transparent sleeves and a garland
of pearls about the shoulders, was "a
wavo of glory from a distant Shore";
surely an Inspiration for a youthful
widow who had passed the teething
stage of her bereavement.
These were only a few of the simple
ones In style and treatment and tltls,
but of the many shown on the tall
models during long afternoons in those
niose green parlors there were dozers
purchased by peers, earls and a tow
dukes and their wives who came to
have a cup of tea and pick out some
thing soiilfully lovely for Ul2 next
garden party or wedding In St.
Of course, London is magic mud nnd
Is finding the occult In everything, from
Japanese crystals to the American
cakewiilk, but the mystical thought ex
pressed in costumes was one of the
greater t things that ever came there
since the obelisk was floated down the
Thames und siet up on the embunk
ment. ;. ' ;
Here in America we have unconsci
ously exploited the idea ten- ma iy sea
sons, during which we have been in
dustriously eliminating evil things in
the way of dress, street sweeping trains
and such.
Then there was E. C. Foster, who I
some years ago drove one of the old-!
fashioned horse ears between the cities
of Lynn and Boston, and who, after a
remarkably successful career, in which
he bore a part In laying: out for Boston
its present rapid transit system, was
chosen president of the street railway
I company in New Orleans.
Still another Instance is that of Hugh
J. McGowan, who rose from the ranks
to the presidency of the street trans
portation organizations of Cincinnati
und Indianapolis. Another very notable
case is that of P. S. Sullivan, president
of the Massachusetts electric com
panies, which operate a very large mlle-
The American woman needs no Jap
anese crystal to tell her how to dress.
She takes a daily hint from Paris, em
bellishes It here and cuts it down there,
and you have, as Worth declared be
fore ho died, "the best dressed women
In the world."
Our horse show has become one of
the greatest dress meets in the world,
great even as the Grand Prix at Long
champs or Ascot Cup day in England.
Our restaurant dinners Sunday nights
are certainly occasions in which one
not gifted with second sight can read
the story of woman's emergment from
her shell nnd man's effucement of him
self that she may shine against a fit
ting background.
I age of trolley lines in the eastern part
I of the Bay state.
Misfits, of course, occasionally get in
still. There is the story that was going
the rounds of the press a short time ago
of a new conductor on a' New York
street car whose attention was called
by an official of the company to the
fact that his register showed only eight
passengers while he actually had nine
. "Begorra, sir, you're roight," the man
replied; promptly stopped the car, and
to the astonishment of the official. a;l
dressing the passengers in an authori
tative manner, he demanded: "Say,
one of youse fellers will have to git off
this car-r."
It was another employe of this cruel"
sort who not long ago addressed Vice
President Fairbanks In Washington
with the words: "Say, youse guys
ought to know by this time that this
'ere car don't stop on this side of t!it»
The records of such a corporation as
the Pacific Electric company prove that
there has been a steady Improvement
In the kind of men applying for exam
ination. The basis, furthermore,
Is large enough to generalize from.
Remarkable diversity as to former oc
cupations exists among the men whom
one notes .as polite conductors or motor
men in well cut uniforms. Many, of
course, report simply that they have
all their lives been farming or helping
their parents on the farm, but among
the hundreds of new ones taken 0:1
each year are to be found the names of
men who must have been through stir
ring adventures before they undertook
the useful task of collecting nickels-:.
From the United StateH army and navy
there is noticeable a regular drift to tha
service. Several score of former sol
diers or sailors pass their examinations
every year and enter the industrial
Those, too, who have been good ser
vants of Uncle Sam are likely to con
tinue to be good soldiers. They find in
their new occupation opportunities foi*
advancement which are impossible til
army and navy, for there exists in it no
impassable barrier between commis
sioned and non-commissioned officers.
The most efticleiH men may go right
from the bottom to the top, as indetd
every division superintendent of tho
road has.
If men from the government service
turn up often at the company's famous
training 1 school hardly less frequently
do people from callings which woul.J
not seem exactly to prepare for street
railroading present papers of applica
tion und recommendation. School
teachers and superintendents, weary
of the deadening grind of the school
room, have lately been appearing m
considerable numbers. They know
that in the chosen vocation the sumo
devotion that was shown in teaching
will eventually reward them much bet
ter. College students, too, enter the ser
vice, some for a few months in the
summer, and others — these of the typo
that the company most approves— for
permanent work.
It would be hard to say just how
many ex-clergymen are taking up
nickels instead of presenting contribu
tion boxes on the lines running in and
out of the California metropolis. There
Is, at any rate, a considerable number
of them. Some are men who became
discouraged In the disheartening task
of maintaining a congregation in a town
of diminishing population und lessen
ing regard for religious traditions, and
they turn to the conductor's calling a*
one which gives outdoor life, exercise
of Intelligence and abundant oppor
tunity to practice the Christian virtues.
Occasionally a minister takes the exam
inations because he has some throat
trouble which prevents his going on
with his preaching.
There perhaps are not bo very many
historians, novelists, or even romancers
In the service— most of these lust an)
too well paid nowadays writing ex
posures of graft in public and prlvatit
life — but It la known that ut least one
poet whose verses have attracted ati
tentlon wears the company's uniform.
He .is regarded, furthermore, us one of
the iH-st conductors, und he is too wise
a man to give up 11 sure thing for the
precarious calling of the free lane*)
writer. Another man waß formerly a
playwright, but, as he Is unable to keep
up In productiveness with Clyde fitch
and George Bernard Bhaw, he very will
ingly taken his weekly stipend from the
Iran* pollution company.
These cases are probably more or less
typical of nearly every American city.
The ranks of the street railway bri
gades arc Wring tilled by Intelligent men
from almost every human culling. And
their Intelligence In called Into play
every hour in their exacting work.

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