• 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.

  • 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…

  • 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 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 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.

  • Morning Dress, 1780-1795

  • Child's Dress, 1780-1830

    This dress, which belonged to the Hungerford family of rural New York State and could have been worn by a girl or boy, has features dating from a broad span of years. The bodice is constructed to reflect, in very simple form, a woman's bodice with a faux busk pocket or channel in the center front, which seems more late eighteenth than early nineteenth century. It appears to be a bit later than the collection's other woodblock-printed Mitchell family dress (object no. 35.894.1).

  • Child's Dress, 1810-1825

    The puff-over-long sleeve style was seen in women's fashions around 1810-1820. Pastel silks were also used during this period for "best dresses." See: Bradfield, Costume in Detail, pp.107-110; Buck & Cunnington, Children's Costume, p. 195. This dress was probably worn with pantalettes, probably by a little girl, although boys wore similar dresses in this era before the age of about three.

  • Child's Dress, about 1780

    This is the earliest child's dress in the Henry Ford collection. While it seems logical that it would close in back, the sleeves are set in in such a way as to indicate a front closure like other short or long gowns. The fabric may well be British. From the Mitchell family of rural New York State.

  • Girl's Dress, about 1885

    This is a fairly inexpensive and rather short ready-to-wear dress for a young girl. It is surely a summer or spring dress - light in color and easily washable. Dresses of this type were often advertised in clothing catalogs of the mid-1880s.

  • Round Gown, 1840-1845

    The detachable sleeves on this dress make for a multi-purpose bodice. The back pleating is unusual and is more common in work and plain dresses, but adds ease. The back opening and narrow sleeves are suggestive of the 1840s. This was probably the better dress of a woman who usually wore cotton.