Inquiry Question: How was image of the American woman projected as she transitioned out of the Victorian era through vaudeville?


Abigail Davids

Collection Items

Caroline Caffin's 1914 non-fiction book is one of the best primary sources available for the study of vaudeville. She writes about the main aspects of theater, including details on specific performers. Clearly, Caffin writes from a standpoint of…

Vaudeville: Drama and Opera in Tabloid Form
This article is a contemporary reflection on vaudeville; if it were published in a paper today it would probably be categorized as an editorial. The writer celebrates vaudeville as a form of family entertainment, and it fit into my discussion of the…

Notes by the Matinee Man
This newspaper article is one man's somewhat rambling review of the all of the vaudeville acts that are in town. The writer is clearly a theater critic who knows about theater, but he also admits he enjoys going to the theater to see pretty girls.…

Recollections of 1861-65
This is a beautiful audio recording of Edna White playing a piece on the trumpet. The listener can tell that the piece is quite beautiful and that White is very skilled. A woman trumpeter was highly unusual, especially during the age of vaudeville,…

Picture Section
This picture section of the

Katherine Selsor Monologue
This monologue was written for one woman, and though it is quite long, it offers many insights into the time period. The speech is humorous, and Selsor speaks about common problems between men and women. The piece is useful to me because Selsor…

The Model and the Chappie
This vaudeville scene is written for a man and a woman. It is humorous in nature, and the joke of the scene is that the male character has more feminine characteristics than the woman. This gender role reversal was instrumental to my research. While…

The 5 Barrison Sisters' Extravaganza: a musical drama in one act
This long song was written for a group of women to sing, and was humorous in nature. The song puts to rest the idea that women are naive or shy, as the sisters speak bluntly about the assertiveness of the New Woman. This image was very different from…
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