When Dating Replaced Courtship

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Timothy Van Staden

When Dating Replaced Courtship

Without a hitch along they go The SPARKER rides in the TONNEAU
Only a few decades in American history saw as much change in society as the 1910s. The HMS Titanic sank, Henry Ford introduced the assembly line, World War One began in Europe, the worst influenza epidemic in history began in Kansas, and the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution that guaranteed women the right to vote was passed by Congress. We could start a raging debate on which of the above had the most influence on society, but I would like to suggest that it was Henry Ford’s assembly line. “The Line” was developed in 1913 at Ford’s plant in Highland Park, Michigan. It took months of experiments and re-tooling to perfect the process, but the end result was the availability to the general public of a product that “literally” everyone wanted. It was in this rapidly changing time that “dating” replaced “courtship.” Dating was casual while courting was a process meant to lead to marriage. Dating gave men the opportunity to ask a woman out for a private rendezvous, moving dating out of the home, and into the public where they could “see” and “be seen.”
The CHAUFFEUR looks right straight ahead And never hears the fond words said.
Other new technologies enjoyed by that generation – record players and telephones – that promoted socializing were also factors in that revolution. Those gadgets and driving in a car – what some alarmed parents considered “the Devil’s Wagon” — put the young and curious on dates to restaurants, movie theaters, and speakeasies. The automobile was popular with every young man and woman because it promoted freedom and allowed for an escape from chaperones. These couples, often dubbed “snuggle puppies,” found the car to be a convenient getaway from many situations and caused parents and chaperones to worry about the morals of “twosomes” found in questionable embraces in the back seat of a car.
The CLUTCH is working very well How close he holds his AUTO belle.
It was then that new ways thinking about unmarried sexual relations entered the mainstream of American life. The young women of that era bent the rules against what was deemed “ladylike.” Dress, hairdos, cosmetics, manicures, and personal conduct all changed and the gain in independence from parents was profound. By the end of the decade about half of the single women in America was employed on their own account. The only other individual seen is their chauffeur. He is given high-credit for looking straight-forward and behaving as if he is un-hearing. The growth of cities during the time was yet another influence on dating. The 1920 census revealed that for the first time the majority of Americans lived in cities. Many new urban dwellers were women seeking opportunities to earn their own money and escape the very predictable life they would be forced to live on the family farm.
Fond thoughts of love do so IGNITER That now she bids him clasp her tighter.
“CHUG!  CHUG!” is that the MOTOR’S hiss? ‘Tis but the sweet sound of a kiss.
The postcards in this featured set are from the era and could be equally evidential to the decade that followed. They are apropos to the topic because they portray the first elements of society to experience new freedom from the strict morals that their Victorian ancestors had imposed and enforced. The publishing firm of Julius Beim and Company, New York, New York, presented this six-card set with a 1908 copyright. The characters are a young couple dressed in “dusters” and hats. They are curiously posed and seem to be hardly acquainted in the first scene, but their journey to romance in their 1908 Ford Model T Roundabout has just begun.
And judging from the scene above The AUTO is the CAR of love.
The couple seems to find, what could be considered, a high degree of companionship in the following scenes. There is no way to know if the “Bells” will ring for this pair, because the rather lame lines of text that are meant to caption the cards simply don’t succeed.
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“Tonneau” is one of those great old words that have sadly disappeared from the everyday lexicon.

Article reminded me or me and my wife 58 years ago finding our way in my 1962 VW bug.. Cars changed everything for the better!

Liked these depictions of early car and how the captions used words relating to car parts.

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