|San Antonio Express, June 20, 1925|
Lounging room for ladies, Louisville & Nashville Railroad
Location: Ran between New Orleans, Louisiana, Louisville, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
As a student of history, I know very well that access to a transportation service like this, especially in this location (the American South), was stringently regulated by race and social/economic class.
But there is a part of me that is easily seduced by the golden age of railroads--I freely admit it. Especially in the hot summer months, I can easily find myself fantasizing what this kind of journey by train could have been like.
And then under the description of the Pan-American, I see a reference to a "lounging room for ladies."
Now I'm really imagining good times!
I have seen references to ladies lounges in hotels of this era, but never one on a train. I have seen references to smoking cars, which were almost always reserved for men with few exceptions. (An earlier post on a smoking car for women--for some inexplicable reason--is one of our most popular posts.)
So as I swelter in front of my computer, I am drifting back to 1925 and shuttling off on a night-bound train out of New Orleans. I had just settled into a seat in the lounging room for ladies, when a mysterious woman in a black cloche hat strolls into the car and eases into the seat beside me....