• Bonnet, about 1850

  • 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…

  • Drawn Bonnet, 1845-1855

    This fancy silk bonnet was likely worn for formal afternoon occasions.

  • Quilted Petticoat, about 1800-1825

    Between 1740 and 1800 dresses had open front skirts or they were looped up the sides to reveal the petticoat.Quilted petticoats were usually decorated along the hemline.Not only were these used for decoration, but for warmth as well.Later into the nineteenth century a quilted petticoat was primarily used for warmth.

  • Dress, 1855-1865

    This dress appears to have been remade in order to incorporate late 1860s fashion. The sleeves suggest the 1860s; the skirt appears to have been remade, and pleated instead of gauged. The dress is pieced to make up the yardage, but in a very deliberate mirror image on each side to make it less noticeable.

  • 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.

  • Bonnet, 1885-1895

    This shape of bonnet is referred to as a "Poke" bonnet. Poke bonnets were popular in the late 18th to mid 19th century and are characterized by a flat crown and deep, projecting brim only in the front.The wide silk ribbon was likely onlydecorative and not used as a closure. There are remnants of an elastic strap stitched in to the hat lining. This elastic strap was encased in fabric and would have been worn under the chin, securing the hat on the wearers head. It was likely worn for formal after…

  • Cloche, about 1922

  • Parian Brooch, about 1850

    It is possible that this was used in mourning as it is without sheen, is colorless and is a wreath, a symbol generally associated with mourning and everlasting life in the mid nineteenth century.Furthermore the forget-me-nots scattered throughout the piece are often found on mourning jewelry.A curator from the Bennington Museum in Vermont stated (1964) that this was likely to be a British piece based on the configuration of specifics of the flowers--perhaps Minton.Parian porcelain jewelry was ra…

  • Bonnet, 1848-1857

    During the 1850s, popular women's hairstyles were exaggerated at the front, puffed out at the sides, with hair pulled back low on the neck; and hat shapes changed to accommodate this. This is an example of such a hat. It is smaller and the crown does not extend as far out as hats popular in the previous decade. It does however, have a bavolet- the flap of fabric at the base of the crown which covers the nape of the neck- which also began to disappear around this time.

  • Dress, 1825-1829

    According to the source, the dress fabric was originally made and embroidered around 1785, and made over in the early 19th century.

  • Dress, 1840-1849

    A beautifully constructed, sewn, and finished dress, representing a homemade version of high style. The en tablier trim on the skirt is typical of 1850-55. The bodice and narrow sleeve are 1840s, the collar reminiscent of the 1830's, the skirt trim, ruffles and embroideryof the 1840's.

  • Dress, 1845-1850

  • Hat, 1940-1948

    Born in Decatur, Illinois in 1897 Elizabeth Parke married Harvey S. Firestone Jr., son of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, in 1921.Once described by a friend as, "the most luxurious woman in the history of luxury," Elizabeth Parke Firestone's clothing collection illustrates her impeccable taste in fashion.

  • Dress

    Born in Decatur, Illinois in 1897 Elizabeth Parke married Harvey S. Firestone Jr., son of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, in 1921.Once described by a friend as, "the most luxurious woman in the history of luxury," Elizabeth Parke Firestone's clothing collection illustrates her impeccable taste in fashion.

  • Dress with Underskirt, about 1927

    Patou was one of the most important designers of the early-mid 20th Century. He created fashions for slim, active, petite women like Elizabeth Parke Firestone. This is a cute, bouncy dress for a woman with a young family and many obligations.Born in Decatur, Illinois in 1897 Elizabeth Parke married Harvey S. Firestone Jr., son of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, in 1921.Once described by a friend as, "the most luxurious woman in the history of luxury," Elizabeth Par…

  • Sou'wester Hat, 1956-1965

    This style of hat is referred to as a Sou'wester. This name was originally given to hats worn by sailors at sea to protect them from rain and the stormy sea. It is characterized by a waterproof material and a brim that widens at the back to protect the neck. The shape was eventually adopted and used in fashionable women's wear, such as this example. The bright color, flowers, and straw indicate that this hat was likely worn seasonally in the spring and summer.

  • Twenty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary Dress with Jacket, 1946

    On June 25, 1946, the Firestones threw a fine party at the Ritz Hotel in New York in celebration of their silver (25th) wedding anniversary. Mrs. Firestone never looked thinner or younger than she did when she wore this sheath-like dress made by New York designer Carrie Munn.Born in Decatur, Illinois in 1897 Elizabeth Parke married Harvey S. Firestone Jr., son of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, in 1921.Once described by a friend as, "the most luxurious woman in the…

  • Dress, 1950

    Born in Decatur, Illinois in 1897 Elizabeth Parke married Harvey S. Firestone Jr., son of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey S. Firestone, in 1921.Once described by a friend as, "the most luxurious woman in the history of luxury," Elizabeth Parke Firestone's clothing collection illustrates her impeccable taste in fashion.

  • Bonnet, 1848-1855