Thursday, August 24, 2006

TIMES PAST 1912: Police Declare War on 'Hobble Skirts' as a Menace to Traffic

Aug. 24, 1912: Los Angeles Police Lt. John L. Butler of the traffic squad declares war on "hobble skirts," with hemlines so snug that they allow women to take steps of only 8 mincing inches as they cross busy city streets.

" 'It is impossible for these women to move rapidly,' Butler said. 'When they get in front of a streetcar or automobile, the vehicle simply has to stop until they can wiggle out of the way,' " The Times reported. "It takes about a minute to congest traffic on a crowded corner but a good deal longer to straighten it out." While acknowledging that women have the right to wear tight skirts, the irate Butler warned that they run "a big risk of getting killed."

"Time and again I have seen a motorman have to use the emergency brakes to prevent running down a woman who was unable to get out of his way after he had been given the right of way," Butler told The Times. "The tight skirt is the bane of the traffic policeman. My men would rather see a truckload of steel beams get stuck in the center of the car tracks than have one of these hobble-gaited traffic-disorganizers, hop or trip into their territory."

1 comment:

Richard said...

"The tight skirt is the bane of the traffic policeman. My men would rather see a truckload of steel beams get stuck in the center of the car tracks than have one of these hobble-gaited traffic-disorganizers, hop or trip into their territory."

How times change, Arthur!