John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Chatty Morning

Happy birthday, cmdr_kitsune! For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

Stepney wheel
This Stepney wheel is an ordinary [automobile] wheel, fitted with flanges to fix on to the existing wheel, and carries a tyre already pumped up, and can be affixed to your car in less than ten minutes ... [It] should have the place of honour on a woman's car.
--Dorothy Levitt's The Woman and the Car, 1909

Feast Day of St. Frances of Rome,
a wealthy fourteenth-century mother of three who, in the early twentieth century, became a patroness of "pious motorists." Dorothy Levitt's The Woman and the Car (1909) offered the female "motoriste" tips on operating her own automobile while maintaining her appearance amid mechanical failures. Levitt cited non-legged, skirt-style overalls as "indispensible to the motoriste" and proceeded to describe the type women ought to wear. They should, she wrote, "be made of butcher-blue or brown linen, to fasten at the back -- the same shape as the artist's overal. ... You can always slip off your coat and put on the overall in a moment, and it is necessary if you have anything to do in the car. Remember, it is better to get grease-spots on your washable overall than on your coat."

Penelope Pitstop, take note.

-The Gneech
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