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Bachelor Maids: Topics in Chronicling America

During the late 19th and early 20th century, single and independent women formed clubs with other Bachelor Maids. This guide provides access to materials related to "Bachelor Maids" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.

Introduction

Sketch of the typical living room of a bachelor maid. May 10, 1896. Journal (San Francisco, CA), Image 17. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Bachelor maids were a cadre of single women in the late 19th, early 20th century. Not to be confused with “old maids” (or “spinsters”), these women opted to be independent of men, live on their own and manage their own business affairs. Young, unmarried women’s social groups, known as Bachelor Maids’ Clubs, began in cities such as New York and Washington, DC. Soon thereafter, smaller clubs began forming in cities and towns around the country. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

Timeline

1894 Constance Cary Harrison publishes the book, “A Bachelor Maid."
1907 The Washington Herald newspaper begins publishing the popular column, “Bachelor Girl Chat.” Articles and stories written for Bachelor Girls begin appearing in Women’s Pages in newspapers across the country.