We use cookies and related technologies to personalize and enhance your experience. By using this site you agree to the use of cookies and related tracking technologies.

Privacy Policy
Cortland Curiosities Logo

Amelia Jenks Bloomer

Location #1: Childhood Home of Amelia Jenks Bloomer at 43 North Main Street, Homer, NY
(42.639810, -76.177780)

Amelia Jenks Bloomer famously said, “Let men be compelled to wear our dress for awhile and we should soon hear them advocating a change.”

Born in 1818, in Homer NY, Amelia would go on to change the lives and dress code of women for generations. Feisty from the onset, she insisted the word “obey” be removed from her wedding vows, a then wildly radical act. Fast forward to 1848, when Amelia co-founded the nation’s first-ever newspaper for women and by women, The Lily. As The Lily blossomed into an unabashed women’s right paper, Amelia’s clothing taste also transformed.

Location #2: Bloomer Costume at Cortland County Historical Society at 25 Homer Ave, Cortland, NY
(42.639810, -76.177780)

Inspired by the fashion-forward Elizabeth Smith Miller, Amelia adopted the more comfortable Turkish pantaloons, worn under a daringly short knee-length skirt. Shirking the constriction of corsets and formal dresses, Amelia wrote about the practicality of the garment in The Lily. One could ride a bike, work in the garden, and freely engage in sports. The trend caught fire, much to the chagrin of the conservative set, and the pantaloons quickly came to be known as bloomers, coined for their champion. The very act of wearing the bloomers in public came to identify a woman as a suffragette.

So next time you slip into your favorite faded pair of blue jeans, spare a thought for Amelia Bloomer. Without her bravery, wit, and fashion sense you might just be wearing a corset.

1. “Bloomer, Amelia Jenks – Freethought Trail – New York”. Freethought-Trail.Org, 2022,
2. Norwood, Arlisha. “Amelia Bloomer.” National Women’s History Museum. 2017.