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Blanche Espy Chenoweth, Her Life, Her Times

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  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UIDC49A1BD4B99A971CAFD92F2184FBE430.jpg

    Blanche Espy holding flowers.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID0AED48758DA170356F71511C3EEAF4C1.jpg

    Four women and a man eating watermelon in front of an early twentieth century car. Blanche E. Chenoweth is the woman on the far right. Taken near Montreat, North Caorlina.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID48FAFEFF911CB087D037D685D629DB69.jpg

    Blanche E. Chenoweth (center) and two other women standing by stairs leading to a shoreline. Taken in Chataqua, New York.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UIDC2320AE45DF67BC8A85AA0FA634718D0.jpg

    Blanche Espy and friends sitting in the grass under a tree. Blanche is in the upper right corner of the group.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID11190DF2A084F13AE2A477D01AC60EEC.jpg

    Two men riding horses on McCoy's Ranch. Another man in a hat watches in the foreground.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UIDD15F6F86EDA1F642FF3D868FEFCEF9F6.jpg

    Blanche E. Chenoweth, on the right, and another woman posing in a field. A tree stands in the center of the background.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID52F8F604377BE5ACF4EEC4C5C8610A0B.jpg

    Left photographs: Four black and white photographs of a woman in a dark dress. Center photograph: A woman in a dress and a decorative hat standing on a shoreline. Right photographs: Four photographs of a girl in dark dress.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UIDF74FE06D598D928C9ADBA8AE1DB0234D.jpg

    Blanche E. Chenoweth holding five-month-old Robert C. Chenoweth

This collection contains photographs documenting the life and times of Blanche Espy Chenoweth, a lecturer, writer, and voice on the radio who covered topics related to women’s social customs, homemaking, and general well-being. The photographs of Chenoweth, her family and friends, and her travels give a glimpse of American life during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The digital collection includes 67 photographs and a 48-page scrapbook.

The photographs, including those found in the scrapbook, include formal portraits and snapshots. Many of the portraits provide examples of formal dress and photographic customs from the time period, including dresses worn for graduations and weddings. In contrast, the snapshots show life unscripted. These snapshots include groups of friends and colleagues, travels across the American Southwest, and picnics, sports, and other social outings. Much of the information about the photographs comes from notes included in the archival collection that houses the materials, the Blanche Espy Chenoweth Papers.

Chenoweth was born in Iowa in 1875 and spent the last 25 years of her life in Houston, prior to her death in 1960. Throughout her adult life she lived and travelled in various cities giving lectures on women’s dress and grooming and their importance in a happy life. In the 1920s, she lectured and wrote on the problems of women at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, and in the 1930s she had a radio program in Chicago which gave advice on women’s personal problems. During this time she also wrote an advice column for a newspaper.

The original materials are available in UH Libraries’ Special Collections in the Blanche Espy Chenoweth Papers.

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