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Dress, 1925-1935


This dress was owned by Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward. A dramatic and slinky bias cut evening dress, both the styling and the coral color are typical of the mid 1930s. The interesting seaming and panel insets give much visual interest to what might seemingly be a plain dress.Virginia Palmer Bradfield was born 1897 in Grand Rapids, MI. She was born in to one of Michigan's oldest mining families.Her great grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, was a pioneer investor and developer of mines and railroads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Her grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, Jr. continued to run his father's businesses and expanded them, with mines in Montana, Colorado, and Mexico. Her mother, Elizabeth Virginia Palmer Bradfield, continued to look after her family's estate as well as becoming an accomplished sculptress. Her father was Thomas Parks Bradfield, a graduate of University of Michigan and a lawyer. In 1918, Virginia married Harold Lee Ward of Pontiac, MI. Mr. Ward was the grandson of David Ward, one of Michigan's first lumber barons. After some time in California where Harold was stationed as a flying cadet with the Army Signal Corps Aviation Section, the two returned to live in Pontiac and had three daughters, Virginia Palmer Ward Golding, Elizabeth Palmer Ward DeVine and Ann Ward Spaeth.

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