• 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 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'…

  • 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.

  • Dress, 1850-1855

    An interesting, inexpensive fabric. The sleeve is a little modified from its work dress origins. This was probably the best dress of a lower middle class woman.

  • Morning Dress, 1850-1855

    The dress was probably originally two pieces: a bodice and skirt. The basques of the bodice are now on the inside. The skirt was removed from the waistband, cut down and applied to the bodice, and green silk trimmings added.

  • Printed Cotton Calico Girl's Dress, about 1845

    White cotton calico dress, roller-printed with tan stripes, small red dots, and small red stylized flower petal motif in narrow vertical stripe pattern. Long drop sleeves. Pointed front bodice; vertical gauging emanating from point to bustline; whalebone stiffening at center front; darts on either side; side seams; round neck. Skirt gathered at waistline with small bustle. Tucks on sleeve and hem. Piping throughout. Cotton lining. Hook and eye closures. Fine hand stitching. According to the sour…

  • Short Sleeve Wool Child's Embroidered Dress, 1840-1850

    Blue dress of fine wool twill. Square, gathered neckline. Gathered cap sleeves. Gathered and pleated bodice lined with cotton. Applied waistband. Box-pleated skirt. Hand-embroidered flowered vine motif around sleeves, waist, hem. Sleeve edging embroidered in the pieceand cut from cloth. Center-back closures of hammered wire hooks and threaded eyes. Hand-sewn. Appears to have been altered to fit fuller torso: bodice lining shows stitching removed to let out pleats, skirt changed from gathering to…

  • Dress, 1845-1850

  • Child's Dress and Jacket, 1850-1860

    This outfit could have been made for use by either sex, but was probably made for a boy due to the shortness of the skirt (with knickers probably visible underneath). The printed wool is very fine. The flat-pleating all around suggests an 1850s date. A fashionable dress for warm weather.