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Pasadena Museum of History Presents its Winter 2016 Collections Quarterly – The Gilded Age Edition

Published on Friday, January 15, 2016 | 9:53 pm

Pasadena Museum of History’s Collections Quarterly, features new acquisitions as well as select items from the Archives, art and artifacts collection, and the Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo collections.

Archives Feature

First page of the Scrapbook on Throop Mandolin and Guitar Club, circa 1904. (Scrapbook Collection - Volume 94). Photo courtesy Pasadena Museum of History

Throop Mandolin and Guitar Club

Throop Mandolin and Guitar Club was organized by Edward Spaulding Warren in 1898. He was the musical director of the club and a wonderful impresario. He lived at 351 Congress Street in 1902. Under his leadership, the club was very successful and came to be known as “The Troupe that made Throop Famous.” The club not only entertained fellow students at Throop as well as Pasadenans at various hotels, churches, and halls in Pasadena; they also traveled all over California, including San Francisco, and even went on a concert tour to the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. In 1903 alone they traveled 2,990 miles. The Archives houses two very interesting scrapbooks on the club filled with clippings of the news reports of delighted audiences; concert programs; and interesting pictures of the places the club traveled to, the hotels they stayed at, and much more. Please visit the Reading Room, which is open Thursday through Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, if you would like to take a look at this bit of history

Collections Feature

First page of the Scrapbook on Throop Mandolin and Guitar Club, circa 1904. (Scrapbook Collection - Volume 94). Photo courtesy Pasadena Museum of History

No More Than Seven Pounds

The new prosperity of the late Gilded Age brought changes to the rigid class barriers and stiff, formal manners of the Victorian era. Women’s roles also began to change. Freer to move about, women enjoyed shopping trips to department stores and social gatherings in tearooms. However, this new-found freedom was not reflected in their clothing, which remained very structured in design and purpose.

1890s fashion relied on layers of underclothing to shape the figure. Ladies first put on loose cotton or muslin drawers and a chemise. Next was an intricately-boned corset, tightly laced at the back to achieve the small-waisted silhouette. Garters for wool or cotton stockings attached near the center front and a waist-length camisole covered the corset. Petticoats, or underskirts, consisted of at least three yards of fabric around the bottom. The Rational Dress Society, formed in 1881, advocated no more than seven pounds of undergarments!

The undergarments pictured are currently on display in Fabulous Fashion – Decades of Change: 1890s, 1920s, & 1950s.

Fenyes Feature

Leonora’s Scrapbook: 1893-1901

Leonora Scott Muse Curtin's memorabilia from Stanford University's Pasadena performances, 1897-1900. (FCP. 103.1.70-71). Photo courtesy Pasadena Museum of History

“Society was out in force to hear the gay, rollicking Stanford boys” on a Saturday evening in late December when the Stanford University Glee and Mandolin Clubs performed for a Pasadena audience during the 1899 Christmas season. The concert was followed by a “social dance,” at the Hotel Green, “in which the Stanford boys participated.” (FCP.103.1.71)

Leonora Muse’s one hundred page scrapbook is literally bulging with similar newspaper clippings, letters, notes, and ephemera that recall her social engagements and adventures during the era we now call the “gay nineties.” Between Leonora’s November 1896 arrival in Pasadena with her mother and step-father, Eva and Adalbert Fenyes, and the December 1899 performance of the Stanford boys, this scrapbook records several years in the life of a young society woman living in Pasadena. Tally-ho rides, cotillions and hops, card parties, charitable events, at-home receptions, golf and shooting clubs, the Valley Hunt Club, the Pasadena Country Club, Miss Orton’s Classical School for Girls, and Leonora’s introduction into society-all are represented in Leonora’s scrapbook, which is available for viewing in our Research Library and Archives.

Pasadena Museum of History is located at 470 W. Walnut St. (corner Orange Grove Blvd. and Walnut St.), Pasadena. Free parking is available in the Museum lot and on Walnut St. Directions and further information are available at or by calling (626) 577-1660.


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