• Child's Tunic, 1840-1850

    This might be a boy's tunic, to be worn with trousers, although one wonders if the color and fabric were sufficiently masculine (it might also be a girl's tunic, but appears to be too short). This piece might have been used by the Bowen family of Pennsylvania.

  • Dress, about 1850

  • Girl's Dress with Pantaloons, about 1850

    This dress is notable for its casualness and ease of movement, with the shoulders and sleeves at a natural level. It is also notable for the lower-style dress and the fact that it is made from scraps and can be altered easily. The bodice decoration is reminiscent of 1840's "points."

  • Girl's Dress and Jacket, about 1870

    A nice special occasion dress, worn with a blousewaist. The use of magenta and black together suggests a circa 1870 fabric - a popular aniline dye combination at the time. Also, the zouave-style jacket was popular in 1860s. The red and black silk "shag" trim on the jacket is interesting but is not a great match for rest of the piece. Overall, this girl's outfit has the feel of the bustle and puff style popular in women's dresses of the 1870s.

  • Girl's Dress, 1845-1860

    This lovely, expensive girl's dress would have been worn for very special occasions and appears to have been seldom used.

  • Girl's Dress, 1880-1885

    Straight, low-waisted, heavily knife-pleated girl's silhouette dresses were very common in the early 1880's; men's suit fashions were also often reflected in women's clothing of the period.

  • 4-H Uniform, 1948-1949

    This dress was sewn at home by Ruth Ann Herriott (nee Goodell) when she was a member of the Willing Workers 4-H Club in Eden Township, Benton County, Iowa, near Garrison. She joined the club, referred to as the Eden Willing Workers, in 1942 at age 10; she probably made this in the later 1940s.

  • Paper Dress, 1966-1967

    This dress was worn by Thelma D. Nykanen, who was born around 1925 and worked as an executive secretary at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan. She was stylish and enjoyed traveling the world with the travel group known as The Nomads. This dress was printed with multiple stripes at the bottom; all but one stripe was cut off to accommodate Nykanen, who was short.Known as "The Souper Dress," this dress was made between 1966 and 1967, when paper dresses saw some popularity. The maker is unknown - i…

  • Wedding Dress, 1918

    This dress was worn by Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward for her wedding in 1918. It was an exquisite, expensive gown. It remains in remarkably good condition. The overskirt feels like rayon, which may help to explain the excellent condition of the piece. Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward 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 Up…

  • Jumper Dress, about 1918

    This dress was worn by Elizabeth Virginia Palmer Bradfield.It is a lovely, loose fitting dress of "reform movement" styling. Elizabeth Virginia Palmer Bradfield was born in to one of Michigan's oldest mining families in 1875 in Port Huron, MI.Her grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, was a pioneer investor and developer of mines and railroads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Her father, Charles Henry Palmer, Jr. continued to run his father's businesses and expanded them, with mines in Montana, Colora…

  • Dress, about 1932

    Worn by Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward, this is a striking, beautiful dress used for evening wear. The fine but very plain crepe is exquisitely cut, with the rhinestones making the whole dress seem even more streamlined. It likely was worn with a small belt, now gone. 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 Mi…

  • Evening Dress, 1958

    A couture piece by Henri Bendel made for Mrs. Edmond DeVine (Elizabeth Palmer Ward DeVine) of Ann Arbor, MI. Mrs. DeVine's portrait was painted wearing this dress, and the painting stills hangs in the family home. This lovely dress has seen a fair amount of wear-- it was surely a special gown worn for special occasions. Elizabeth Palmer Ward DeVine was born in to one of Michigan's oldest mining families.Her great great grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, was a pioneer investor and developer of mi…

  • Dress, 1924

    The dress was designed by Callot Soeurs. Callot Soeurs was one of the leading fashion houses in Paris during the 1920s. They catered to an exclusive clientele from across Europe and the United States. The house opened in 1895 at 24, rue Taitbout in Paris, France and was operated by the four Callot sisters: Marie Callot Gerber, Marthe Callot Bertrand, Regina Callot Tennyson-Chantrell and Joséphine Callot Crimont. They were known for their exotic and lavish detail; feminine, delicate fabrics and …

  • Dress, about 1918

    This dress was worn by Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward. It is of a similar style and by the same designer -Lucile- as her wedding dress, and may have been a part of her trousseau. Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward 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…

  • Dress, about 1860

    While this appears to be a day dress at first glance, it was more likely used around the house in the morning as it opens entirely from waist to hem at center front. It may have had boning in the bodice, however the bodice has been altered so it is difficult to determine.Worn by Betsy Ann Cowles Palmer around 1860. Betsy Ann Cowles Palmer was born in 1822. In 1839, she married Charles Henry Palmer, a pioneer investor and developer of mines and railroads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Palmer'…

  • 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 railroa…

  • Coat Dress, about 1950

    This is an interesting dress in that it appears to be a transitional late 1940s style. It includes features of prewar fashion such as the shoulder pads, but also has some of the fullness in the skirt characteristic of circa 1947 New Look styling. It was owned by Elizabeth Palmer Ward DeVine of Ann Arbor, MI. Elizabeth Palmer Ward DeVine was born in to one of Michigan's oldest mining families.Her great great grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, was a pioneer investor and developer of mines and rail…

  • Girl's Embroidered Cotton Dress, 1840-1850

    White cotton dress with wide, collar-less neck and slightly belled sleeves. Bodice and skirt gathered; tight gauging along center-front and center-back waist. Empty whalebone casing at center-front. Self-fabric piping at neck, waist and sleeves. White embroidery at hem; hem and cuffs finished with irregular scalloping and crochet trim. Two tucks on skirt. Bodice lined with plain-weave cotton; sleeves and skirt unlined. Bodice open at center-back; hammered-wire hook and eye closures. Hand-sewn. T…

  • Girl's Dress, 1840-1850

    This is a party or special occasion dress, the light washable fabric probably meant for summer wear. The workmanship is exquisite, the gauging tight and beautiful, the hem stitching fine and nearly invisible. With its drop sleeves, gauging, and wide neckline, the line of the dress is very similar to those worn by older women in the early 1840s. The dress is a gift of a New York State family.

  • Girl's Muslin Print Dress, about 1840

    Muslin dress printed with red, tan and yellow flower sprig motif. Pieced, lined bodice with round neckline and channels for bones at center front. Lawn-lined bishop sleeves. Gauging at top of shoulder, top of sleeves, and center front. Hammered wire hooks and eyes on sleeves; center-back hook and eye closures. Pleated skirt with many repaired holes. Hand-sewn. This is an early and very fashionable dress with a very high waist - mother's styling in a child's dress, including channels for bones to…