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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 18, 1909, Image 2

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" They Toil Not,
Neither Do They
Spin; Yet I Sayr
Unto You, Solo*
mon in All His
Glory Was Not
Arrayed Like One
of These" §
(Oopjrijftt, IM9. All rights reserTtd.)
They toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto
you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like
one of these.
DID you ever attend a meeting of the "How Can
She Afford to Dress That Way Club?" If you
are a woman it is certain you have,, and many
men are enrolled , as associate members. It
is affiliated with the "How Can He Afford to Spend
Money That Way Club?" made up exclusively of
men. The meetings of both organizations are held
any time at any place and two present constitute a
The most popular meeting place of the "How Can
She Afford to Dress That Way Club" is in the corri
dor or parlor of one of the fashionable hotels. Ses
eions are held every evening at the theater and opera,
and not infrequently on the street corners. Whenever
and wherever you see two women looking with fishy
eyes at another woman it is almost certain a special
meeting of the club has been called. .
This is the way meetings are held. Two women
are engaged in earnest conversation about any sub
ject, preferably woman suffrage. Usually they are
women who have summoned both science and art to
conceal the fact that they are not as young as they
once were, and who are now getting stout. They are
helping the United States steel corporation pay divi
dends by wearing an armor plate contrivance from
their arms to their knees to dissipate as much as pos
sible the impression that they are taking on flesh, and
also* to enable them to wear those straight gowns that
were never intended for large women.
They are the busy little talkers when they see
walking through the hotel corridor a sylphlike creat
ure, one of the kind who can wear the prevailing
modes without banting, and who always has the last
word in the milliner's creation. She is one of that
kind that the other.women look at twice,- and the men
four or five times. When the eyes of the women who
are discussing the entirety of ' the cosmos or sorhe.
other weighty subject fall on this creature the discus
sion ends; if they know her there is a call for a special
meeting of the club and each tries to beat the other
to it by saying first: — .
"How can she afford to dress that way?"
It is possible to say those words so they sound like
a simple inquiry. It is also possible to say them so
they sound like a rehearsal of the anvil chorus.
There is a happy medium between the two, one that
can be interpreted either way, and it is to those who
can strike that medium the high honors of the club go.
There is a reason for the question. Every big.city
has hundreds of women— good women— who dress
well, live well and .who. can riot tell themselves how
they do it They have reduced to an exact science "the
frivolous work" of . polished idleness." "They are wel-
corned — and that does not mean tolerated— in many
homes and they have real friends. They go to the
opera and their names are seen in the society
columns. If asked how they do it they can not tell,
for they have never wanted to think it out.- .
This is the answer: They are social panhandlers,
the bunko artists of the fashionable world; They are
gamblers who play all they have as the stake, turn
trie cards witb/fate arid risk their future on the throw
of the dice. Many, of : them win, for j the social"pan
handler of -today may \be the society, leader , of 'to
morrow and may be asking some, other' woman the
very question asked about her =a: short time i ; before/
There are different classes of ' these social pan
handlers, running from class Ai the members of .which
are welcomed in fashionable hom^s and who have to
decide what invitations they will accept, through the
scale to the woman who lives in a hall bedroom, takes
her luncheon at the food demonstrations in i the ! de
partment stores, writes her. letters in the hotels arid
prays that sheNvill be' invited to dinner.
No two women of the same class are alike, and- yet
there are characteristics which every woman of every"
class must have. Beauty is desirable, and so -is youth,
but neither' is absolutely essential. But a woman
must ' have charm, with- all that word implies. .'She ;
must have tact, graciousness, a genuine sympathy arid
\u25a0more than that. : •:*'.-
These are all as essential ; to the success of . a social ;
.panhandler as a suave mariner and a' convincing
speech are to- the wireless wire tapper. She must
know how to wear clothes and. that means looking:
better in an inexpensive dress than many woirien
can inthe best product of the dressmaker's art. Above
all, a woman of this kind must be whatVsouth of the;
slot wpuld describe as "a skirt with some; class,", and
it is hard with the riiore elegant vocabulary ;' of
Pacific ". avenue to give a better description: V '. , _. "^ :
\u25a0 Rarely are these women natives. Now^ and then one
overcomes the handicap of birth in this city, but for
many reasons they* are more: likely to come from' the
east or thesouth, ahdUf one is from the latter section
with ! the right kind oi an accent it is doubly hard for
her to fail. No two of them come to town for just
the same reason, but. it: is only a difference in detail^ '\
and no one of them ever came with a plan of campaign'
mapped ". out.
\, Take a. typical case of a young woman; who . is in
; class A. Her, father is" not "a" but "the" distinguished
\u25a0citizen of somel-small city. She l\as been educated
in ; one of the fashionable schools of the east and has
become acquainted . with wealthy New York girls,
•who love' her for that charm' which is to become so
;to her. They correspond with- her .when
' she or ; they go to Europe, i and she has a standing in
vitation to visit the homes of a half dozen or more of
; these friends; whenever she is in the city.
.; With: old' age that hard headed ; father" gets it in his
' head that he can make the New York financiers look
like cashboys' in a'department store or he sells to the
Patten of his day a lot of wheat heroes not own.
; When; the .estate is '\u25a0; settled this young woman who
-has always been put in" the heiress class'finds she-has
a few thousand •-. dollars ", and an income which would
keep henriicelyin Milpitas or whatever city .it may be.
She ' has seen New York, and while she is not im
bued with 'the idea that she would; rather be a lamp
post < in Broadway than the whole electric : light works
in Chico '*. she ''decides i to ; take t the few thousand J dol
lars in 'cash and the small" income and ;. study art. .
in New .York'for; a time, where she can live with an =
aunt, . and later in Pans. \u25a0 "'. '; r. -V
With.her artistic tendency and" ability, , if she: had"
been a man she might have become the best, barn
•painter in.her native county, and after j, years ; of toil
might "have aspired to paint" patent /medicine^ signs on
rocks 'and ; fences." .: As /women have . hot r y et k entered
that field of endeavor/no matter how earnest she'may
: j)e: art > holds -littlei future for/, her;; ; ; / \ ;v; v -
When^she arrives in;New /York she calls on her old
school friends. Her. charm wins allshe comes in con
tact; with, and' there afe^ invitations to teas,"> luncheons,'
dinners, abridge rparties;;and;:tor: the^opera^ \u25a0{, She ;is
th ro wn 'into a social wtii rl _ • that bio ts out all thought of :
ar t,fand^.the fact that. 'she is^not^ very^ strong^ for Ut
.helps ; ; the process. ; : She has friends, in .the different
social ; cliques and she is popular ;\vith all:
It . takes "clothes" to~do " all ' the ; things \u25a0 she: is .called '
upon to.; do, .for shabbiness will not - be>' excused by
those - who ; admire her', hiost's for -her cleverness .'and '
her - charm. / She has'a'- large wardrobe,;. ' arid ? with "'a
'.; seamstress;- the i old clothes ' : areVmad<^;to'!lqok:like^riewV:
/particularly, as^ 'she i is:. one \of those rare :'.woinen\whb^ :
look -.well in anything/,^ She. finds; ah 5 inexperisivei
.milliner arid : designs; h^
•\u25a0 * Paris -models. \u25a0 She > goes ' : to i the- hairdresser, for she
has Cunconsciously \u25a0'came to -thek realizing » sense ; that
; there must be no backward step -in : lief* personal ',ap
;-;,pearance;';.,':: -'\u25a0"\u25a0.\u25a0\u25a0. .' \u25a0\u25a0 :':: ':- ~' : 1 \u25a0\u25a0•--:.,./?, \' -' \u25a0' \u25a0' '\u25a0. .',: : '^ :
I ".".-.\u25a0•^So;i ; after ;allj" k it' is ''tip; great .;\yOnde*r L that, worrieri; ask.
; the, question.:- They; will' : 'see -this; young. \voman,",\who
; :is keeping an engagement'.p.er|^pp^jtiie : Waldorf^
; Astoria;" bowing gracioush'^ to' this .friend! arid! that oiie w
tasvsnei walks ; through -the "cornaor,-: dressed- 111
.- ; moiiey.% ; -Tlie memberslomnelclub»hj.ve*foundKi^Ha^ ! |
rwjomeir ;^ajrj "alwaysSfind^out,f^bout|her financial re
sources, and there is the swift race- to see who can
"How can she afford to dress that way?" ~-l
Clothes will wear out and the time comes when our
class. A young woman realizes, although perhaps it is
unconsciously, .that she is making a gamble of life.
She has had proposals, and tthere are men of wealth
jWho are ready to marry her, but she has been 'waiting
t for the' right! man. "She can't leave the life that "has
become part of her, and she must have clothes to, keep
on until,she makesup her Vriind. She takes a chance.
"Gwendolyn, that is a handsome suit," she will say
to one of her^friends. "I wish you would introduce
mejtb your tailor." • '
.Gwendolyn's. father- is one of the men. the social
ists talk about and who has contracted a glass arm
cutting coupons.- So when the* young- woman with
that, kind of an introduction goes, to. a tailor she gets
what she wants and there, is "nothing said about the
time of the; payment . And the tailor/being a real
artist, delights in making a suit for the ; woman with
the ; fine figure, particularly as Gwendolyn ' and some
of his other wealthy customers have shapes that can .
be best described as "dumpy." ;
i, ;Of course there is no money to pay the bill, and in
the course of time it is charged in with ' Gwendolyn's
and the other wealthy customers' accounts. .^ Other
friends introduce her to the furrier, -the milliner,- and
she gets a new outfit. .There, are many places-in
New York, so' it will be years before the lisVis ex
The.end has to come some time, and the happy end
ing is to have her marry the :brother of Gwendolyn or •
some other young man r with plenty o*f money, pay the
bills and live happily. She will eventually become one:
of the women. who will sit and ask that question about
some other struggling young woman, and- never think
that if she 'would she could give . the answer. ;
These social 'panhandlers run down the scale. in so
ciety. There are those who \u25a0 dress "well, have a room at.
afashionable hotel, and; who try to live on their invi
tations to dinner. If the invitations .are hbt'forthcom- r
ing she will drop in bn^a family she knows just the
"I am. simply^ dying for some home cooking," she
rpHE advocates of the monorail system of ; traction
I have been trying for i many years to "introduce it
•*•, on some important \u25a0 American line, but without
success. The'feceritly. granted franchise for a.mono-;
: rail ; road from Bartow station . to City, island, within
"tie'; limits, -of the city of New York, is of
: muchs ifiterest to railroadmen. . This line is only" a
fthV-ee mile ''fe^^
r thetNewl Haven : road, • but- its promoters hope ,that : it
may prove an entering wedge to larger things. ;
\u25a0\u25a0>. In the most important monorail system- now exist
\u25a0 irigV-that ".between; Elberfeld and Barmen, in Ger
many-—which :. has ; now been in operation 10 years,
the cars are susperrded from an overhead structure,' so
there; is : ho" question of balancing.; .^ln: the ' sys
;tem^proposed'for >New. York the rail 4s 'beneath; the
car, which- is y kept 1 from upsetting' by^ an overhead
.guide. ','_-, -"'^ : - \u25a0
• •Although Jnot ; ' extensivel y . adopted > for ; : passenger *
. the monorail is ; largely used for trav-'
•jeiirigi cranes, V automatic r electric carriers, etc. : ;In>
: fact,' an 'of dinar y \u25a0 cable 'way. is; practically , a
monorail . .' The s monorail people . are of 3 opinion that
.\u25a0: their, system -ha^ irieverJ had -a* fair>sb^w v but: traction^
* experts, r while;adinitting;its *adyantages;for sriiall car-;
riers,-: have % neve V.i been '§ enthusiastic , about ' it "in ; its ".
; larger, forms?; assert 'that fno • satisfactory . proof
3 ; of its' superioiity * over an .ordinary; two^ rail • road has
levers been 'given. : ft may^ossibly.i as -is asserted, 'be,
capable of higher speeds, -but this would hardly be to
its advantage on. short lines. \u25a0
H. G. Wells in his book. "The War in the Air!*'
\u25a0"-'.-\u25a0 \u25a0-\u25a0;\u25a0\u25a0: '-/^; ; v--v-'-r'-: \u25a0-:-\u25a0\u25a0:" :^ ; -\u25a0'•' .
The San v 'Francisco Sunday Call
will i gurgle, "and I knew I couldn't 4 get it anywhera
as good as.it fs he^e.. You can't: imagine how tired
one gets, of hotels and restaurants.'*
It ; is" because she" has charm that she gets away
wijti it for' a time arid receives a genuine welcome.
iThen'comesthe day that her oldj friends^ are not at
home to her, and - she remains away for a time until
she can call again. • For a social panhandler can carry
no grudges and cherish no resentments against any
one. V .; '.
\u25a0 There are; those who try the life and fail. If they
are wise they, go~ back from where they came and take
up the life- they^left That is easier said than 'done,
howeveivfor they are victims of New Yorfciris by that
time, and it ? is' a disease that few- ever recover from.
They ihay" lack charm or there is something that pre
vents . them^f roin _• getting on. You; read about these
failures in the story of a suicide, and some of them
have an ending even worse than death. But there are
always those who come to take their places, aqd'the
members of the "How Can She Afford to Dress That
Way Club" -are never without plenty of persons to
ask that question about.
And what about the, men? There is no doubt that
there are many, men in New York who have solved
the- problem of existence, but how and almost why
they live is a problem. They are honored members
of the work dodgers, they dress well, go to theaters
and have many friends. They -take the position, as
many other men have/ that the world owes them a
living, but these collect the debt without troubte and
always without much work. • ; , :v: v
Anyone who ' knows his upper Broadway well can
think of J5 or 20 of these human \u25a0 puzzles.- You
can't feel sorry for jhein, but, on the contrary, you
always think . the y ; are feeling sorry for you because
you have: to work. 'In the old days of racing they
could be found'in the betting ring every afternoon,
and, when they had the money they were no pikers,,
and -when' they did not have' it they .tried to bet
with markers." If they were lucky they spent the
money just as if they had the money . tre<s in their
front yard, and When they /did not have it they
smiled. ,
That smile is part of the answer. A. man with a
grouch would last about five days trying to extract
a living, from New York -without work, and he
would be hungry the last three of these days. To
succeed one has to 'have the temperament of a
Billiken and be a fatalist that will be ready for any
thing. He must;; exude good nature .so- -that his
friends will .be glad when he comes around;* he
must be' the original \u25a0 "Little Sunshine."
There is one thing these men must have, and that
is a good dinner. "They can get along without break
fast, for* they can sleep then, and luncheon is not
necessary, but dinner they must have. They get
many' invitations, but when they have neither jnvita
tion npr money they dine just the same, and, the res
taurant, or hotel man must wait. . And ./every
of the' Never -Work Society can e^t.a^inner^sign the
check which he don't know when > I hc'jwn ;pay, throw
back his shoulders and exclaim, I^Fate can not harm
me;- I\ have dined today." .: " * '„ : " . ;-
These ( men > panhandlers run whsle , gamut of
s6ciety;from the members of j^he FiftF'avenue. clubs
to. the .hobo who asks for a.' nicKkt,"* The class A
men must have ; good clothes, and 'that .means, above
all things, evening, clothes and the ability to wear
them as if they were born in them. -There must be
morning and {afternoon clothes,' and they must be
ready to' accept invitations for weekends or a trip
to. the Adirqridacks.
It's a game that men do not play as well a3 women.
They caivjWeey itup/fgr'a time, but the mea who
work always view them with more or less suspicion,
even when 'loaning them money. They may 'Iry to
marry a rich girl, but the fathers of rich girls have
a • prejudice against men who have no speaking
acquaintance with work.
'Some of them keep it up fora long time, bat. most
of .'them strike the toboggan sooner or later. They
become real panhandlers or get. a job selling fake
mining stock. Now and then they take a long chance
and -the district attorney begins to inquire about
them.* There' is a scandal, and the men .who know
them once know .them no more.
V Does New York like its social panhandlers? New
York does. ,|t is amused by both the men and
women, and New York is thankful for anything that
amuses.. Besides there a*re some people with money
who are so bored with life that they welcome the
diversion of being^made^; good -thing of. It relieves
the monotony!
Ask any woman -who, has been the subject of in
quiry on the 'part rof the "How Can She Afford to
Dress That Way Club" and who has won out arid be
come a ; member of that > club herself; ask any man
who has raised* himself f rom the Work Dodgers* and
who for any reason has become a useful member of
society. If. they will talk at all they will tell, you it
is;a hard : life, that there have been days when it was
hard to smile, and to stop meant the end of .the game.
They will tell- you. that the social panhandling may
be hard on society, but it is much harder on the pan
handler. • "
makes' monorails; supersede^ all existing railroads be
fore, the airship cornea to its own, and the r 8 ar«
others who are* sure that' th© plan will speak for, it
self if it only has a chance.
THE'exhibition of toys held annually in Paris has
become such a feature there, and has increased so
' enormously in vogue, that it is remarkable that
ithaa not been imitated .elsewhere. A Frenchinewa
; paper asks /the pertinent < question— Why, since toys^
arc" to please children, should not the jury of *warai
be composed of the only persons competent to judge
whether this aim has been accomplished— namely, the
children themselves t\ -
The'fact.is/however, that the exhibition is not con
\u25a0fined to toys, properly so called. It includes also ar
ticles de Paris— knickknacks' s of all kinds, some oi
which require expert scientific knowledge in the jurors.
A' French writer tells of ''a. scientific toy shown at one
"of. these exhibitions. A toy stean: engine of a'cotonxos^
type, using l an alcohol lamp as * fuel, ran a number of
toy/ machines, arnong' them :a -dynamo,- which appar
ently fed an electric lamp. :
Now the energy, required to operate an
lamp, even a toyone^isfar in excess of, that furnished
by; the common toy engine. The jury sat up arid took
"notice. The; exhibitor stqptly; maintained that the
current from the toy dynamo, and naught* else, il
lumined the lamp/; The " argument was ; brought to
an- end' by the; accidental stoppage of all the machinery,
notwithstanding which the lamp shone on benignly.
The ; clever, inventor 1 had J concealed a . storage battery
in: the stand on -which, the toy rested! J

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