Friday, November 19, 2010

Frances Espy 1931-1935

Wouldn't you know the prettiest girl in the 1935 Agnes Scott yearbook would have the same hair as me?

My two newest obsessions, my Tyrolean hair style and mid 1930's ephemera, come together nicely in my discovery of The Internet Archive's scanned copies of Agnes Scott College's school annuals. I was flipping through the online book version and stopped in my tracks upon seeing SEVERAL girls with the hairstyle which has led my coworker Doug at the Non Fiction desk to affectionately bestow upon me the moniker "Hilda". Hurray! A coif that was born out of a bored moment of hair braiding gone serendipitously RIGHT for once actually has a style connection to the very era in which I'm now most interested. Frances Katheryn [sic] Espy, whose surname puts me in mind of Esquire magazine's first mascot Esky, was a gorgeous English major from Dothan, Alabama. Vice president of her senior class, president of the Lecture Association and the Poetry Club, on the Agonistic newspaper staff, and member of the basketball team her junior year, Miss Espy was certainly a girl with "go". The curious letter below, from "Earl Carroll Attractions" (click on the image for a full size version), ranks her a very politely worded "honorable mention" in what appears to be a competition for most attractive. All the girls' pictures follow, but I can tell you from thumbing through them, the gal (whose top most picture is the one from the running) was robbed.

Side note: Earl Carroll, come to find out, was a Broadway producer (just like all those fame hungry dames in movies like Stage Door were trying to make splashy impressions on, in hopes of a part) of some note, who threw a party that resulted in his having to appear before a Grand Jury. GOOD. NIGHT. Wiki Quote here:

During the private party a bathtub was brought out in which there was a nude young woman bathing in illegal liquor. One of the guests at the party was Philip Payne, editor of the New York Mirror. Although Carroll expected his guests would be circumspect about what happened at the party, Payne published a report. This was noted by federal authorities, and they subpoenaed Carroll to appear (with others) before a grand jury. The authorities were apparently determined to learn the source of the illegal alcohol. Carroll denied the incident happened, but others at the party confirmed it. The federal government prosecuted Carroll for perjury, and he was convicted and sent to the Atlanta Penitentiary for six months.

I, for one, am impressed.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures of my new beauty role model, and search "yearbooks" on the Internet archive sites if you want more on dazzling eds and coeds of yesteryear. I'll keep you posted if any more catch my eye!

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