Woonsocket, Rhode Island Majorettes (1940s)

What a time to be alive, right? Look at all the men in their trench coats and hats and women with their heads covered with scarves. I can feel the cold rain and hear the tuba making its way down the winding avenue.

I am 100 percent sure these photos were taken in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Woonsocket appears to be the word scribbled on the back of the photos. Also, the photo looks like they were taken in a flatiron district and Woonsocket has flatirons. The biggest clue, however, is the store, Avedon, which you can see in the picture. Avedon’s was a women’s dress store in Woonsocket. It was opened by Jacob Israel Avedon in 1937.

Twirling came to the United States far earlier than most writers and historians record. We’ve documented twirlers in the late 1800s and early 1900s in minstrels, burlesque shows, vaudeville shows and the circus. The evolution to majorette-in-military-parade is quite fascinating. I certainly wish we could get our hands on more wartime majorette memoirs Maybe someday we’ll have the time to find them. We are sure they exist, if only in old diaries or news clippings.

woonsocket majorettes

I don’t know the exact date of these photos. They could have been taken in the late 1930s, but more likely it was the early 1940s. Also, these are the first baton twirling-related images we’ve featured from Rhode Island. We try to tag each post with its correlating state in hopes of representing all 50 states someday.

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