Friday, December 5, 2008

style study: Motorcycle Girls of Laconia, NH, 1947

"Woman and her daughter sharing interest in motorcycle racing." Their hats say "Motor Maid Betty (L) and Motor Maid Dot! Hell yes!
According to this site: "Dot was a woman before her time. In 1939, following up on the idea formulated by Linda Dugeau, Dot rode all over the United States looking for women who owned and rode their own motorcycles. She found 51 ladies who became the charter members of the Motor Maids of America, now known as the Motor Maids, Inc"
Argyle, giant handmade belt, drinking = a winning combination! The driver is also wearing matching argyle. Looks like a sweater vest with a work shirt underneath.

hubba la hubba la boomski! This is my kind of dame! The goggles tie the whole thing together.

Dee's wayfarers and leather jacket across her lap scream American badass. AMERICAN BADASS!

Babs is the sophisticated lady of this bunch. Her cartridge belt/purse says, "I'm a lady, but I might be packing a side arm".

American servicemen and women returning from WWII established the template for iconic rebellious style. Brando's later portrayal of Johnny in the Wild One certainly aped the pure style established by real rebels like the ones pictured above. Not sure what is going on with those crazy wide belts, but, oh boy, I'm digging them. I especially dig the one with turn signal arrows! From Life Magazine image archives dating to July 1947.


vintagent said...

Those wide leather waist-cinchers are called 'kidney belts' and are meant to hold your insides in place while your (rigid) motorcycle bounced you all over. It wasn't uncommon for riders 'back in the day' to pee blood from their kidneys after a particularly rough ride.

Frank said...

hell yes!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the visual there vintagent.

izzit said...

Too bad only Betty & Dot got their own bikes!
(Found you on a search for old helmets. My blogspot site hornandhardart is big on old (steampunk)workwear & expedition wear.)