by Lesley Drayton, Curator, Local History Archive
The Fort Collins Local History Archive recently received a wonderful donation of scrapbooks from the Fort Collins chapter of Quota Club International, an organization founded in 1919 by and for professional women that is known for its service to “deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired individuals and disadvantaged women and children.”
Quota Club International granted its 121st charter to Fort Collins, Colorado on June 12, 1940. The 16 charter members, referred to by the local newspaper as “the city’s leading business and professional women,” focused club efforts on promoting “girl’s service work, good citizenship, crime prevention, extending friendly relations, promoting world peace, and gaining recognition for the achievement of women.”
The group has since maintained thirteen scrapbooks spanning over 60 years that chronicle the members, events, and activities of the club. These fantastic scrapbooks provide a unique glimpse of life for women in Fort Collins over the last half-century. You can view the full finding aid for the collection here on the Fort Collins History Connection website.
One particularly charming entry in the 1940-1959 scrapbook details a posture contest for young ladies, sponsored in part by the Quota Club, which took place in the early 1940s. The contest was described as such:
Each girl had a silhouette picture made at the beginning of the contest. From the picture, she was able to tell what exercises and improvements she needed to attain a better posture. After several months of corrective work, another silhouette picture was made, and the winners were chosen from these.”
Look at the way this young lady improved her posture from September 1941 to May 1942. Sure enough, she won the first prize of ten dollars that year.