“Won’t You Skip, Sir?”: 1879


Jump rope with mechanical counter. 1872

Jump rope with mechanical counter. 1872

“Won’t You Skip, Sir?”

Pedestrians on Plymouth avenue were very much amused the other afternoon at a little scene, in which several well known ladies and gentlemen participated, greatly to their own satisfaction and the edification of others. Two children, a boy and a girl, one of each side of the walk, were swinging a skipping rope, and from their actions it was evident they had an object in view. The first to approach was one of our prominent jewelers, and he was greeted with the request, most politely made, “won’t you jump, sir, before you go past?” The gentleman received the proposal in the same spirit that it was offered, settled his hat firmly on his head, looked around to see that no one was near, measured the distance with a practiced eye, jumped the flying rope with all the ease and accuracy of youth, and then marched on with a smile on his face, glancing neither to the right or to the left. No far behind was a popular Main Street groceryman, who observed the performance and at once caught the humor of the thing. He is bulky in form and short in wind, but when the inquiry came, “Won’t you jump, sir?” he replied, “Of course I will,” and forthwith spread himself in the air with an abandon that threatened to burst his coat, but which cleared the rope, to the infinite delight of the children. The next was the critical test. She was young and shapely, bright of face, and stylish of apparel, and she had witnessed the aerial flights of her predecessors. It was her turn, and to the honor of the sex, be it said, she did not shirk the responsibility. The trail was kicked up and firmly grasped, the body swayed for a moment in time with the rope, then came a spring, a flash of cardinal hose in the sunlight as she swept through the air with the greatest of ease, and then pursued her way without a misplaced ruffle to tell the story of her daring. The next victim was one of the Sunday school scholars who reports for this paper, and greatly to his discredit, be it said, he made a most inglorious failure. He was more accustomed to skipping the tra-la-le than a jumping rope, and the result was disaster. He extricated himself, however, but the blushes on his face was so deep that he could not see those who came after, and as a veracious chronicler of events of course the story is compelled to conclude with his mishap.

The Wyandott Herald [Kansas City, KS] 22 May 1879: p. 4

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: At the date of this little vignette, the young lady in the cardinal hose would perhaps have worn something like this French confection, making her pluck and agility worthy of high commendation. Mrs Daffodil will pass over in silence the perpetually tardy “Sunday School scholar,” who, no doubt, was recovering from some juvenile debauch.

1879 French gown

1879 French gown

red overdone french3


Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.


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