Amelia Bloomer was a social reformer, newspaper editor and fashion icon. Born in Homer, NY in 1818, she taught in her hometown before moving to Seneca Falls, where she attended the Women’s Rights Convention in 1848. The Convention inspired her to begin publishing The Lily, the first newspaper owned and operated by a woman for women. It began as a temperance journal, but through collaboration with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, it soon advocated for women’s rights and circulation exceeded 4000.
In 1851, she introduced Stanton to Susan B. Anthony. Bloomer believed that women should dress for their health, comfort and usefulness and not their appearance. That’s why she wore what became known as bloomers. Bloomer continued fighting for women’s suffrage by leading campaigns in Nebraska and Iowa. She died in 1894. Every year the American Library Association releases the “Amelia Bloomer List” of new feminist literature to inspire young readers.