It’s not often that one can find the image of the “strong, independent woman” anytime before the 1960s. However, the film industry trade magazine Moving Picture World features a Medford woman in September 1921. The feature emphasizes how much work she does, and the fact that she doesn’t need help to do it. She “not only runs the publicity for five theaters in two towns but she does it all ‘on her own’.” The choice of placing the quotations around the phrase “on her own” seems curious and a bit degrading in modernity, but the implication this article held when it was published could easily be completely different. She ran publicity for theaters in both Medford and Grants Pass with those being The Page, Liberty, Rialto, Bedford, and Rivoli. The feature claims her focus is on newspaper advertising, with her preferred journalist being George Bleich.
She is said to be, in some ways, the equal of men in her field, like Amike Vogel, a man featured in multiple newspapers in California at the time. One of the specific achievements noted is that she bartered a deal for the film Brewster’s Millions (1914) that any male professional would be proud of. Upon researching the film, this story was a book-turned popular Broadway play before it was a film. Then it was remade into several films up until the 1980s, all this implies that the film she bartered for would have been very popular and therefore expensive.
In modernity she would be praised as an independent woman who “don’t need no man,” however that proved difficult as the feature never giver her name. She is known by her husband’s name. While we are not given her name we are given her face. Her photograph is the same size as the text of the feature. While the text builds her up as a hard-working self-taught publicity manager, the poised and styled woman in the photo contradicts that in a way. It seemingly acts as a reminder that this feature is about a woman, who is pretty and feminine.
“Brewster’s Millions (1914 Film).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Apr. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster%27s_Millions_(1914_film).