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  • Women's Boots, about 1845

    Fabric gaiters that matched an outfit, with ankle lacings and square toe, were extremely popular in the mid 19th century. Wedding gaiters were of white satin, everyday pairs were of sturdy fabrics such as this. This pair could have been made at home (see Every Lady her Own Shoemaker, 1856). This pair comes from the Mitchell Family of Port Washington, New York.

  • Satin Boots, about 1865

    Congress gaiters is a term for boots with elastic at the ankles. This style of boots is comfortable and easy to pull on and off. They were a very popular style in the mid 19th century for both men and women. At the time these were made, elastic thread was only available in black. This is why you see the black speckling in the white fabric of the gores of these boots.

  • Women's Boots, about 1870

    The machine stitching on these boots is extraordinarily tight and fine--fabulous. Very narrow outer sole for a long, skinny foot. They could be wedding boots. Donor Mrs. Ethel G. Douglas, of 5th Ave. in New York City, was born circa 1885 in Pennsylvania. It is plausible that these were her mother's shoes, perhaps worn at a wedding around 1875.