Shouting Down the Wind barely scratches the surface regarding the breadth and depth of pioneering women, both in the past and today. For thousands of years, there were women living in Napa Valley with no written record, even within the historic period. Their specific achievements are lost to time, but we know without a doubt they amassed many pioneering feats and had the wisdom to create legends and traditions that they passed from generation to generation.
Historically, women’s names were consistently recorded by their marital status — Miss, Mrs., or Widow, while men simply used their given names or initials. In many instances, women are recorded in connection with their husbands, such as Mrs. John Smith, often confusing who is actually being discussed and erasing a woman’s given name.
Because women took their husband’s name at marriage, fashion became a way to create individual identity. Using sewing skills they acquired in their youth enabled women to create and embellish everything from undergarments to dresses and hats.
Undergarments such as corsets, bustles and hoops were employed to create desired body shape aesthetics to enhance a woman’s waist and hips. Up until WWII women’s uniforms were always dresses or jackets and skirts.
Women used the skills they learned as young ladies to embellish their clothing, create unique hats, and elevate their home accessories such as tea cups, plates and other dishes.
Art was very much a part of a young woman’s education and used to embellish otherwise plain ceramics, jewelry, or add art to the home.
Sketchbooks and autograph books were very popular precursors to school yearbooks.