Notes about Canoeing and Clothing

Canoeing. Canoeing was a major fad in the 1920s. MBL scientists, investigators, researchers and students brought their own canoes to Woods Hole and enjoyed the local waters, making trips to the Elizabeth Islands, such as Naushon. Getting across the unpredictable Woods Hole Passage with its swift currents must have been a thrill and a challenge.

Clothing. Women in the 1890s typically wore long skirts (often black) with white blouses, all over layers of undergarments, no matter whether it was summer or not. When they went collecting, they tucked their skirts up in some manner. Bathing suits were also worn: a knee-length dress garment over bloomers and long black stockings.

Notice that from 1916 to the 1920s middy blouses (sailor-style) were popular attire for women out of the lab, along with bloomers (also called knickers) and canvas sneakers (sold by Mrs. Snow’s Dry Goods store on Water Street). Women’s bathing suits were still more or less knee-length and black. Some wore black stockings as well. Still, the picnic participants and canoe-paddlers managed to have a lot of fun!

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