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Help on Wheels: 1917

Help on Wheels: 1917

Washington, D.C., 1917. "Red Cross Motor Corps." First aid has arrived, by way of West Virginia. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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The Curse of the Skirt

From "The Curse of the Skirt," an article in The American Golfer, Nov. 6, 1920:

"When daughter joined the motor corps she conceded the skirt for charity, but it wasn't long enough to hamper her and beneath it she wore knickerbockers and leather puttees on ambulance duty—she could always shed the skirt to do repairs beneath the car."

The name's Helen.

Helen Wheels.

The Blue Angel

Marlene Dietrich joins the Red Cross.

Almost Heaven West Virginia

I love her pose in this photo. Ready for anything!

Hide 'Em Under Short Skirts

Perhaps other Shorpy readers more knowledgeable of the history of fashion can comment as to whether the pictured attire qualifies as a "short skirt" for this era.

Hide 'Em Under Short Skirts, Is Order
of Red Cross to Fair Motor Drivers

Drivers of automobiles in the Red Cross motor corps must hide their breeches under short skirts. This was the edict which went forth last night in the announcement of the establishment of a bureau of motor corps service.

"Particular care will be taken," says the official statement, "In the establishment of safeguards to prevent anything that would reflect on the high character of the Red Cross and tend to bring humiliation to the body of the high-minded American young women who are enlisted in the work."

The object of the new bureau is to nationalize and broaden the scope of the women's motor corps which heretofore have been merely adjuncts of local chapters. The uniform worn in the District of Columbia will be adopted with a few changes as the national uniform.

It is hoped to have motor corps in service in every city in the country in a short time. There are now between 75 and 100 corps, embracing approximately 1,500 women and girls as volunteers.

Washington Post, Feb 17, 1918

Beautiful women

Have been told that pretty women smile, that beautiful women do not!

Help From West Virginia

Beats working in the mines.


That is a very capable and brash looking young woman.


Ready, willing and able to cope with whatever she finds.
Typical West Virginia stock (so was my mom)!
Wonderful picture!

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