Wacky Western Outwear by Timur Karamanov Grade 7, Ward Traditional Academy
Posted Apr 2, 2012 07:58
by AZ Kids
Wacky Western Outwear
by Timur Karamanov
Grade 7, Ward Traditional Academy
Copper has always been an abundant resource in Arizona. We use it for so many things that at one point it became an outfit as well! Only in Arizona would such a style occur with such an unlikely material, and only a woman such as Sharlot Hall would be the one seen wearing it with stride and pride.
Sharlot was often seen walking around Arizona wearing a 9-pound, loosely hanging, dark orange copper dress. Topped off with her hat made of prickly pear cactus, She made her mark in Arizona's history as a woman of dazzling poetry, politics and some of the strangest fashion anyone has ever seen.
Sharlot was selected as the person to deliver Arizona's electoral votes to Washington in 1925. For preparation, the Arizona Industrial Congress presented her the copper clothing, which she wore at the opening ceremony. The copper dress was more like wearing an apron on your front and back, and her hat looked as dry as a cactus with a very small yellowish tint, yet looked like a very ordinary, but fashionable hat, and seemed to go great with the copper dress. As she continued on with her life, lecturing about Arizona's land and assets, Sharlot continued to wear the dress, along with her rather dried up hat.
Most considered Sharlot to be an unusual woman in her time. She was well educated and wrote beautiful poetry to express herself. She loved the Western culture and resources of Arizona so much that apparently she went to the lengths of wearing it!
Sharlot became known for many other things, such as the first woman to hold territorial office, an active lobbyist and presidential elector. In 1927, Sharlot agreed to create a museum with her old documents and artifacts in the old governor's mansion. The dress, hat and other artifacts are on display there now in the Sharlot Hall Museum in downtown Prescott.
After her death in 1943, she became one of the first women in the Arizona's Women's Hall of Fame. Even the mannequin that wears the dress today seems to be glowing with pride, as if it knows it is carrying the famous copper dress of the great Sharlot Hall.
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