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Early 20th Century Handbags

By Editor | April 14, 2006

The legacy of John Morgan Crook - who served as Paris’ mayor for 16 years at various times beginning in 1918 - extends farther than simply his civic duty. Thanks to Crook’s fashion-conscious wife and daughters, and donations to the A.M. and Welma Aikin Jr. Regional Archives, a bit of early 20th century Paris, Texas, style has been preserved in the form of seven ladies’ handbags.

The small handbags, apparently meant for use with evening wear, were used by Crook’s daughters Mattie Belle and Thelma, or his wife Lula. Two of the handbags, in the form of metal cases, bear the initials “TRC,” perhaps indicating they belonged to Crook’s daughter Thelma. The others bags are either colorfully beaded or made of metal links.

But the power of their design still draws admiring smiles of early 21st century Paris women, proving that elegance speaks through the generations.

Reader comments

Diann Mason | April 18, 2006 @ 01:53 PM

What a treasure…I can’t wait to see these handbags in person.  It seems the most everyday objects take on new meaning many years after they are in vogue…a small glimpse into the lives of earlier Parisians.  How elegant the dresses must have been to accompany such accessories!


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