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Do Not Disturb: 1923

February 27, 1923. "Miss Alice Reighly, 1409 Harvard Street, president of Anti-Flirt Club, which has just been organized in Washington, D.C., and will launch an 'Anti-Flirt Week' beginning March 4. The club is composed of young women and girls who have been embarrassed by men in automobiles and on street corners." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

February 27, 1923. "Miss Alice Reighly, 1409 Harvard Street, president of Anti-Flirt Club, which has just been organized in Washington, D.C., and will launch an 'Anti-Flirt Week' beginning March 4. The club is composed of young women and girls who have been embarrassed by men in automobiles and on street corners." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Alice, 17 years later

According to the 1940 census, Miss Reighly was still a miss seventeen years after her moment of fame. She was renting in the Woodley Park neighborhood, working as a cashier at a cinema, and giving her age as 52.

The first rule

of Anti-Flirt Club is you do not talk about Anti-Flirt Club.

Anti-Flirt Club

would be a great name for a band.

Rule 6

On rule 6...she fails dismally. Her smile is WAY too irresistible. She's not the prettiest woman in the world, but that smile could seduce anyone. For this, I am delighted to say that she has failed. And that is a compliment!


If my wife followed these rules I never would have met her and made her my mountain bride! Here's to rule-breakers and risk-takers.

Cake Eaters

My hometown and our neighboring town had a fun rivalry in the mid 60's. Frankfort, a town with many Italian families, had an abundance of pizzerias. They were known as "Pizza Eaters." My town had an abundance of bakeries, leading us to be called "Cake Eaters."

I now live 150 miles away, but there is a Frankfort native I see every once in a while and we greet each other by the respective "eater" name.

Secretly pro-flirt?

Something about Alice's expression makes me think she was actually a major flirt. She obviously has no embarrassment about her teeth, as she's flashing a huge grin in both photos. I bet she was a kick to hang out with.

Alice Reighly

What records indicate that she was married, that her husband died at age 79, and that they were living in Florida? I could find nothing about this in the usual sources.

More Alice

Miss Reighly (Reighley in some records) married and lived to be 81 years old. Her husband died at age 79. They were living in Florida.

The Eyes of Alice


Birth: August 26, 1891
Death: January 1973

Last residence: 20014 (Bethesda, Maryland)

SSN issued: District of Columbia

Look at Alice's eyes. You can tell she was a hoot. You can see a healthy sense of humor and she has the look of a nurse or a schoolteacher.

Some of the earlier comments here were obviously from sore loser, lounge lizard, dandified cake-eaters whose slick, Lothariosish attentions the gentle lady would have surely spurned.


The lady doth protest too much.

Alice Reighly 1891-1973

Per US census and Social Security Death Index, Alice was born in Wisconsin, in 1891. She apparently never married, since she died as Alice Reighly, in Washington, DC, in January of 1973. She was 81.


I think she's pretty wonderful. I used this photo as a basis for a digital painting.

Wink Wink

Sadly, I knew there would be rude comments about Miss Reighly's appearance. Orthodontics didn't really exist back then. She obviously has a sense of humor, as she is winking and thus breaking one of the "rules."

"Lounge Lizard"

I'm a little surprised to see that that term goes back as far as 1923!

[The expression seems to have originated circa 1917. - Dave]

And I'm Old Enough

I'm old enough to realize that in some ways we have come a long way from where we were. Take a look at any episode of the old game show "What's My Line?" sometime. Any time an attractive woman comes on stage she is greeted with a cacophony of wolf whistles from the studio audience. Can you imagine that happening today? And that's just a symptom of the way that women were treated forty and fifty years ago. Off hand I might be more inclined to accept the "crass coarseness that passes for much of 'contemporary lifestyle.'"

Flirting by another name

Well, LocktownDog, I think that "flirting" in this case is really a soft name for what we might call "sexual harassment". And--as a homely-esque woman myself--I can tell you that if men are in the mood to yell at me from car windows, the state of my dental work is of no interest to them. I have the requisite number of limbs, am not fat, and have hair that is not grey. To those Lotharios of the side street, I'm good to go!

You ... you ... cake eater!

The term "cake eater" implied rich snobs who ate cake while most had only bread. Older Italian immigrants used it to describe Americans who were unfamiliar with their ethnic Italian ways. Today the pampered "only child" in China is sometimes referred to as a cake eater. There may be other meanings.

Words Of Wisdom

Ten excellent points, worthy of heeding today still.

Gotta agree with LocktownDog, though, not sure that she was necessarily at risk. The Anti-Plaque Club might be more appropriate.

It's Working

Apparently she's practicing her "anti-flirt" smile.

Anti-Valentine's Day card

This would make a great image for a card on Valentine's Day, from one single gal to another, say.

Where Do I Start?

Wow, if this one doesn't have at least twenty comments by tomorrow I'll be surprised. What a gem...


I'm not buyin' it for a minute. I bet she quite liked to pet.

Old Enough

I'm old enough and have seen enough to know that the crass coarseness that passes for much of "contemporary lifestyle" vindicates Alice's perspective.

Innocent Girls

Because women NEVER flirt for their own purposes.

How about a close-up, Alice?


Rule 9

I think rule 9 is age discrimination and politically incorrect.

Those ten rules are a hoot ...

... but I don't think Miss Reighly had much to worry about in the arena of flirting. Sheesh!

The Ten Commandments

Oh, the guidelines are *hilarious* -- but the fact is that most of this is true, if not a little exaggerated. Still, I'm snickering over the "slick, dandified cake eater," and wondering how one would KNOW him! I mean, if he eats cupcakes or doughnuts, is he all right?

The Ten Rules

The code of guidance for the Anti-Flirt Club, as published in The Post, Feb 28, 1923:

  1. Don't flirt: those who flirt in haste oft repent in leisure.
  2. Don't accept rides from flirting motorists - they don't invite you in to save you a walk.
  3. Don't use your eyes for ogling - they were made for worthier purposes.
  4. Don't go out with men you don't know - they may be married, and you may be in for a hair-pulling match.
  5. Don't wink - a flutter of one eye may cause a tear in the other.
  6. Don't smile at flirtatious strangers- save them for people you know.
  7. Don't annex all the men you can get - by flirting with many you may lose out on the one.
  8. Don't fall for the slick, dandified cake eater - the unpolished gold of a real man is worth more than the gloss of a lounge lizard.
  9. Don't let elderly men with an eye to a flirtation pat you on the shoulder and take a fatherly interest in you. Those are usually the kind who want to forget they are fathers.
  10. Don't ignore the man you are sure of while you flirt with another. When you return to the first one you may find him gone.
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