• Corset, 1838-1840

    The donor indicated that this was worn by Betsy Ann Cowles Palmer for her wedding sometime between 1838 and 1840. Its styling is that of a wedding or trousseau corset-- lovely and decorative with fancy embroidery. Torso proportions are appropriate for the 1840s, and metal eyelets were not used until this time.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's had …

  • 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…

  • 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, 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.