Woman of the Century/Ellene Alce Bailey
BAILEY. Miss Ellene Alice, inventor, born in Pond Fort. St. Charles County, Mo. She is ELLEN ALICE BAILEY. the third daughter of the late Judge Robert Bailey and Luanda Zumwalt Pond Fort was founded by her grandfather, Robert Bailey. Her father was a man of liberal thought with an appreciative interest in all new ideas. An owner of slaves, through the force of circumstances rather than from inclination, he and his son Robert were among the first to advocate their freedom. Her father's ancestors were English, her mother's German. Miss Bailey's first invention was the "Pond Fort" boot, a high boot reaching to the knee and close-fitting about the ankle, on which she obtained an American and a Canadian patent in 1880. The next thing was to put it upon the market and that led her to remove to New York. Her second invention was the "Pond Lily powder puff" patented in 1882. Later she invented another puff, the "Thistledown." An interest in this she sold for a fair price. In the spring of 1889 she improved and simplified these two pull's, bringing out the "Floral" puff In the summer of 1891 she invented and patented the Very best of all, the "Dainty" powder pull. These all proved of commercial value. One of her principal inventions is the "Dart" needle for sewing on shoe and other buttons, patented in 1884, 1886 and 1888. The man who undertook the setting up of her machinery and the manufacture of the needle, departed abruptly about the time things were ready for business, leaving no one who understood the mechanism. The inventor rose to the occasion and made the first sixty-thousand needles herself. There was more than one crisis to meet, and she met them all in the same business-like way. For the past three years the needles have been made by a well-known New England firm, and are Staple goods. Another patented article, which is successful, is a device for holding on rubber overshoes. One of the ways in which she increased her resources was by designing useful articles for a novelty-loving public. The list includes a silver whisk-broom, patented in 1887, and several other novelties filled with perfume; a music roll which was used first as a Christmas card and then as an Easter card; a shaving case; a manicure case; a wall album for photographs; a desk holder for stationery; a work box; a perforated felt chest protector; a sleeve holder; a corset shield, patented in 1885; copyright photographs of Martha Washington and Mrs. Cleveland; odd novelty clocks; chains for holding drapery; ornamental tables, inkstands, screens, easels and unique boxes for holding candies, a hand pinking device (1892); a leg protector made of water-proof cloth, a combination of legging and over-gaiter (1892). She has also taken several crude designs of other inventors and improved them so as to make them salable and profitable. Miss Bailey enjoys the friendship of many of the most womanly women of the country, and she has the respect and confidence of the largest business houses. Her inventions have proved not only useful and practical, but of Commercial importance. She is a member of Grace Episcopal Church, New York, and also a member of the Young Woman's Christian Association, in which she is greatly interested. She finds time to keep in touch with whatever is newest and best, and writes an occasional article for the press.