Working at Harper’s Bazar

Working at Harper’s Bazar

What was it like for a woman to work at America’s first fashion magazine in the late 1860s? Follow this this blog, and you will find out. In family letters, Lavinia Goodell, Wisconsin’s future first female lawyer, provided detailed accounts of her day-to-day responsibilities as assistant editor at Harper’s Bazar and of her relationships with the famous Harper brothers.

Continue reading →

Posted by admin in Harper's Bazar years, Young Adulthood: 1860-1871, 0 comments

Present at the Creation: Harper’s Bazar

Present at the Creation: Harper’s Bazar

It’s true! Wisconsin’s first woman lawyer helped launch America’s first fashion magazine. In 1867, Harper & Brothers, a highly respected publisher, sought to expand its audience with the revolutionary Harper’s Bazar,* a weekly journal that reported on style, explained how to pin a bun, commented on work, family, and social mores, and published poetry and fiction from prestigious writers like Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy.  Lavinia Goodell was present at the creation.

Continue reading →

Posted by admin in Harper's Bazar years, Young Adulthood: 1860-1871, 0 comments

Of turkey-gobblers and young ladies!

Of turkey-gobblers and young ladies!

In 1862, a young man at the Brooklyn Times wrote: “The study of astronomy is of about as much use to a young lady as a knowledge of cookery is to a hen.” Lavinia, then a 22-year old Brooklynite, skewered him in The Principia:

Continue reading →

Posted by admin in Principia years, 0 comments

“I have been editor in chief . . . what do you think of that?”

“I have been editor in chief . . . what do you think of that?”

We want good original matter very much. Poor me! I have to “stand in the gap” and supply when others fail. I wouldn’t care if I could suit myself, but I do want our paper to be so extra good that I am always dissatisfied with my attempts.

Lavinia Goodell, November 2, 1862

From 1859 until early 1865, Lavinia Goodell’s father was the editor of the New York Principia, a weekly anti-slavery newspaper. The paper’s offices were located in lower Manhattan. The masthead proclaimed that the publication stood for “First Principles in Religion, Morals, Government, and the Economy of Life.”

Continue reading →
Posted by admin in Principia years, Young Adulthood: 1860-1871, 2 comments