The struggle for women equality is an age old battle. The 20th Century was clearly a breakthrough century for women’s rights and women entering the workforce. The early 1900s saw many first FOR WOMEN.
- 1907 Dorothy Tyler the first jockey.
- 1908 Theresa Peltier first woman fly solo at a time when it was claimed woman could not drive…
- 1909 Alice Ramsey first women to drive across the USA. Between 1909 and 1975 she drove across the country more than 30 times.
- 1910 Alice Stebbins Wells first police woman, hired in Los Angeles.
- 1911 Harriet Quimby first licensed pilot.
- 1916 Jeannette Rankin elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by the state of Montana.
- 1917 Loretta Perfectus Walsh the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Navy other than as a nurse, and was sworn in as a U.S. Navy petty officer on March 21, 1917.
- 1920 Women get the right to vote with the 19th Amendment.
- 1922 Rebecca Fellon first woman to serve in the United States Senate for the state of Georgia, though she only served for one day.
Illustration seems to have had no glass ceiling when it came to artist, and women were hired because they were just as talented as their male counterpart. In a world dominated by male artist from 1900 to 1946 The Saturday Evening Post had at least twenty four women producing art work for their covers. Four of the most prominent were Sarah Stilwell Weber with around 61 covers from 1904-1921, Neysa Moran McMein with about 63 covers from 1916-1939, Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle with 40 covers from 1926-1936, and Frances Tipton Hunter with about18 covers from 1936-1941.
A brief history of The Saturday Evening Post. The magazine traces its historical roots to Benjamin Franklin, The Pennsylvania Gazette was first published in 1728 by Samuel Keimer. The following year, Franklin acquired the Gazette from Keimer for a small sum and turned it into the largest circulation newspaper in all the colonies. It continued publication until 1800. The Saturday Evening Post was founded in 1821 and grew to become the most widely circulated weekly magazine in America. The magazine gained prominent status under the leadership of its longtime editor George Horace Lorimer.
Sarah Stilwell Weber (1878–1939) studied at Drexel Institute under Howard Pyle. She illustrated books and national magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post, Vogue, and The Century Magazine. Weber was believed to be in a tie as the second highest paid woman illustrator with an income of $10,000 per year in 2017. The other being Jessie Willcox Smith.
Neysa Moran McMein (1889–1949) was an illustrator and portrait painter she illustrated magazine covers, advertisements, and articles for national publications, such as McClure’s, McCall’s, The Saturday Evening Post, and Collier’s. For General Mills she created the portrait of the fictional housewife “Betty Crocker”.
Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle (1876 –1936) created 40 covers for The Saturday Evening Post in the 1920s and 1930s under the editor George Horace Lorimer. She studied with Howard Pyle and later married Pyle’s brother Walter. She stopped painting in 1906 to raise her children and in 1919 Ellen went back to illustration to support her family after her husband died. As an aside note her daughter Caroline married Nathaniel C. Wyeth, the oldest son of N. C. Wyeth.
Frances Tipton Hunter (1896–1957) created covers for The Saturday Evening Post and many other magazines between the 1920s and 1950s. Her work is very similar to that of Norman Rockwell. Frances studied illustration at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art , the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial.