The Fadettes (1888-1920) were a Boston-based all female orchestra led by Caroline B. Nichols. From a sextet the band expanded to 20 pieces within its first decade, by which point they had become a headlining act on the B.F. Keith vaudeville circuit. By the time they disbanded in 1920, they had played some 6,000 concerts.
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc