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Imaging women of the future ... in 1902

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

What People in 1902 thought "women of the future" would look like.

In 1902, French artist and manufacturer Albert Bergeret released a set of trading cards that imagined the “women of the future” (original: Les Femmes de l’Avenir).

The photo series "Les Femmes de l'Avenir", depicted various jobs that were inaccessible to women at the time: doctor, lawyer, politician, firefighter, soldier, etc. As you can see, the cards represented various, imagined occupations that would have seemed fantastical and illusory to most ladies at the time. Nowadays, all these professions are accessible to women, which was unthinkable at the beginning of the twentieth century.

This retro-futuristic attempt to upgrade the role of women in society, even if it was only fantasy at the time, makes me think of Bergeret as a man with a great progressive vision of his time. The question is: did he really think that these visions could be carried out in the future or were these just “pin-up” style cards intended to capture male fantasies rather than incorporate a feminist movement? I am afraid this question will remain unanswered.

In any case, Bergeret became a successful businessman. His studio was the leading producer of postcards in France. In 1900 he produced 25 million cards and in 1903 he published 75 million postcards. Bergeret died in 1932 but his postcards are still famous today.



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