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February 22, 2024

30 Elegant Portraits of Australian Women From the 1920s

Women were granted the right to vote in Australia in 1902. The Great War increased independence for some, with women taking on the roles of men in factories, businesses and on properties while men were away at the front. And many women were reluctant to leave their new found freedom at the war’s end.

And yet despite a growing contribution to the economy many women found their opinions still largely disregarded, the world male-dominated. There were few roles available to women other than that of wife, sister or daughter. Domestic duties remained the most common option, either in their own home, perhaps in a married siblings house or in paid employ.

By the arrival of the 1920s, more and more women had thrown away the corsets which had literally been restraining them for years. They began adopting the more fluid, tubular style of the modern woman, the flapper.

Frowned on by established society for their wayward, partying antics, few people realized that these modern women were leading the push to go beyond the dictated expectations of society. They were no longer content to be pigeon-holed and, after the horrors and restrictions of the Great War, the sense of relief gave way to optimism.

These elegant photos were taken by Alexander Galloway (1876 - 1945), who had photographic studios in Cessnock, Kurri Kurri, Maitland and Weston in New South Wales, Australia, that shows portraits of Australian women in the 1920s.


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