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Girls and Their Fans

Scrapbook Party Fan
Paper, wood
Gift of Joseph W. Jackson (1955.480A)

While a teenager, Julia (Morris) Jackson (born c. 1881) of Madison, Wisconsin created this scrapbook fan at a party. She started with a blank Japanese mai ogi fan, a type of fan originally made for dancers who needed strong fans that could stand up to fast constant movement without breaking. Onto the fan's surface, Julia pasted photographs of people who probably were her friends. She added courtship advice, a popular topic for teenage girls of all eras, by cutting words out of newspapers and magazines.

Scrapbook Party Fan - reverse
Scrapbook Party Fan - detail
Scrapbook Party Fan - detail
Scrapbook Party Fan - detail
Scrapbook Party Fan - detail
Scrapbook Party Fan - detail
White Lace Fan
c. 1906
Gauze, lace, ivory
Gift of Lydia Vick Syftestad (1959.702)

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, young female graduates often carried simple lace fans at commencement ceremonies. Lydia (Vick) Syftestad (1888-1961) of Madison, Wisconsin used this fan at her high school graduation.

Autograph Brisé Fan
Patented 1869
Paper, steel
Gift of Ethel Quarles French (1999.3.1)

Autograph albums, filled with pithy verses, flourishes, and well-practiced signatures, first appeared on parlor tables in the 1820s. Between 1870 and 1875, Emma (Their) Quarles (1854-1942) of Kenosha, Wisconsin, had friends and family autograph her novelty fan with similar verses and signatures.

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