Women's lib 1902: How artist imagined career girls of the future (and yes, he was a man)


18:29 GMT, 9 March 2012

Despite being a tongue-in-cheek depiction of girls in uniform, Albert's Bergeret's collection of playing cards entitled 'Women of the Future' turned out to be an eerily accurate portrait of the modern world.

The French illustrator, renowned for his post cards, created a series of drawings in 1902 showing girls dressed as soldiers, lawyers, journalists and even army generals.

And while he was right in predicting women would one day join the work force, the impractical wardrobe choices were far from realistic.

Albert Bergeret

A mayor: Women in France were not allowed to serve in office until 1944

Albert Bergeret

A doctor: Only a small handful of women were given medical degrees

Albert Bergeret

A lawyer: Women in France were allowed to practice law in 1900

French trading card

A journalist with a duck-detailed hat

But judging by some of the revealing clothing, the 'pin-up-style' cards were
meant to capture men's fantasies rather than be part of any feminist

French women were given the vote and became eligible to serve in office in 1944, significantly later than the United States and Great Britain.

Although the military in France was never officially open to women, about eight thousand were estimated to have served openly in the 'arm' – in local troops, not in the battle fields, between 1792 and 1794.


Albert Bergeret

Second lieutenant: Women did serve in the 'arm' from 1792-1794 but did not fight in battle

Albert Bergeret

A general: The revealing outfits cater more men's fantasies than any feminist movement

Albert Bergeret

A marine: Female marines are still few and far between today

Albert Bergeret

A firewoman: Women firefighters became more common after WW2

Albert Bergeret was born in 1859 in
France and after serving in the First World War, set up his own studio
where he became the leading post card printer in France.

His company increased production from 25million postcards in 19000 to 75million just three years later.

Bergeret died in 1932 but his postcards are still renowned today.

Albert Bergeret

A student: Colleges and secondary education was not open to women until 1879

Albert Bergeret

A jockey: Reports of the first female jockeys surfaced in the 1920's

Albert Bergeret

A rural police officer: The job involves a combination of police work and a park ranger role

Albert Bergeret

A fencing teacher: The revealing attire is far from realistic