Barbells & Bios: The Sportswoman Magazine

Barbells & Bios: The Sportswoman Magazine

Published for several decades, beginning in the 1920s, The Sportswoman marks one of the earlier, and indeed, most fascinating insights into female sport in America in the first half of the twentieth century. Part of the Stark’s Anna Hiss Collection, the magazine covered a range of women’s sports including, but not limited to field hockey, lacrosse, badminton and horseback riding among other pursuits. The Center’s earliest edition, coming in May 1928, details hockey, badminton, tennis alongside articles on Greco-Roman ideals, the ‘Sportswoman’s creed’ and miscellaneous observations on women’s sports. In recent decades, a great deal of historical interest has been directed towards the history of women’s sports namely, the trials and tribulations often facing those seeking to promote exercise for women. Published every month, The Sportswoman details the evolution of women’s sport in America for both collegiate and high school athletes. Furthermore it showcases, often implicitly, the many barriers to women’s sport in the 1920s from material shortages to ideological constraints. 

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