This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

What young women looked like in old-time Phoenix - 1919 to 1921

Let's time travel back to Phoenix, Arizona in 1919-1921 and meet some young women. I've selected a few from my collection of old photos, in no particular order. These are "society women", that is, young women from wealthy and prominent families, and, as the term "Miss" implies, they are unmarried.

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Let's start in 1919 with Miss Mary Louise Pinney at the top of this post. This is an article from the society pages of the local Phoenix newspaper, and I'll see if I can give something of an accurate description. At first glance I'd say that she looks like she could walk into anywhere nowadays and look thoroughly modern. Of course, the image is kinda blurry since it's from a scan of an old newspaper, but I can see that she had short hair (it was called "bobbed" in those days, after the practice of "bobbing" a horse's tail, by cutting it short). It must have looked very modern back in 1919 - looks like Mary Lou was getting ready for the era of the "flappers" - the 1920s!

Miss Louise Jackson, who was the Poster Girl Miss Arizona in 1920, is probably suffering more from the inferior reproduction quality of newspapers of the day than actually looking like a clown. I'm sure that she was very pretty. I mean, look at those dimples! I don't know anything about makeup, but I'm guessing that she had hers done, probably by a local theater troupe, before that photo, and didn't walk around Phoenix looking like that. Also note that her hair is fairly short. This was a trend for women in the 1920s.

Miss Arizona, Miss Louise Jackson, standing on top of the Heard Building, at Adams and Central, in 1920.

Miss Elizabeth Samuels, who is a friend of Ruth Goldberg, looks very sweet in 1921. The reproduction quality of this photo isn't very good, but it looks to me as if she had short hair. I don't know anything about women's clothing, so I'll just say that she's wearing a dress.

So there you go, we just met some nice young ladies in Phoenix back in 1919 to 1921. And just the fact that they had their pictures in the paper tells me that they weren't the common everyday women who lived in Phoenix. And by that I mean that I can practically guarantee that they never saw a Phoenix summer, and always went away to California, or the mountains.