This ribbon belonged to my Great Grand Uncle Wm. H. Ehemann. He was the Alderman for the 24th Ward in Chicago over the last turn of the century. During his tenure Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia visited the city in 1902 (he was the younger brother to Kaiser Wilhem II and apparently a hell of a lot more fun). This was a big to-do in the U.S. and his trip was heavily covered by the press. While in Chicago a grand parade was thrown and a large State dinner was held in his honor. The guest list included J. Ogden Armour, Potter Palmer, Oscar Mayer, Marshall Field Jr. and apparently my Uncle. This ribbon was given to him and other members of City Council to wear during the festivities.
While the Prince and his visit has been pretty much forgotten, an event and trend his trip inadvertently created lurks in the distant memory of pop culture. While in Chicago the Prince visited the infamous brothel The Everleigh Club. The Everleigh sisters had arranged a show for the Prince that included dancing girls. As told in Karen Abbott’s book Sin in the Second City, in the midst of a routine done to “The Blue Danube” one of the girls lost her shoe and it flew off knocking over a champagne glass thus spilling some of its contents into the shoe. One of the Prince’s entourage named Adolph picked up the slipper and said “Boot Liquor – The darling mustn’t get her feet wet” and downed the contents of the shoe before handing it back to her. Immediately after the entire entourage was busy pulling a girl to their side, lifting off her shoe, and toasting the Kaiser, the Prince, and “To beautiful women the world over.” Hence the trend began of sipping champagne from a woman’s shoe; a trend that lasted up until prohibition.
See, I told you the Prince sounded like a lot more fun than his uptight older brother.
#1900s #1902 #Alderman #Chicago #Chicago History #Ehemann #Prussia #Sin in the Second City #William H. Ehemann #history #vintage #Antique #Progressive Era