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Cruel Fashion

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Woman were blamed for their heartlessness in wearing hats covered with the feathers and body parts of cruelly harvested wild birds. But with time, knowledge of the consequences of this practice prompted many socialites and educated women into campaigning against this practice. We spoke earlier of Boston socialite Harriet Hemenway who used invitation to tea parties to convince nine hundred equally influential woman to join her campaign against feathers in fashion. With the widespread authority that the Audubon society was receiving, women promoted Audubonnets – hats that were decorated with ribbons and lace. Florence Augusta Bailey promoted citizens to study birds through her writing, published in the book Birds Through an Opera Glass. And adored German opera singer Lilli Lehmann, with a commanding presence, would give autographs if fans agreed to stop using feather to an effort to be glamorous.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.