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: 1840
  • 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…

  • Bracelets, about 1850

    Woven hair jewelry was made as sentimental jewelry from at least the 1830s until late in the century but is most popular from 1845-1860.These bracelets could easily date anywhere in that era.The hair used in the creation of these bracelets is very coarse and is likely animal hair.It is possible that these were made for use in mourning.The hair is woven in bow know fashion, suggesting interwined lives and love.The jet bead in the center of the medallion could well indicate mourning or half mourni…

  • 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.

  • Bonnet, about 1840

    The quilting of this bonnet tells us that it was likely worn seasonally in the fall and winter.

  • Coral Earrings, about 1910

    These are odd earrings- they are very poorly carved and are very low quality cameos.The setting into which they've been placed seems makeshift and perhaps even a repair or replacement.It seems plausible that these are early twentieth century souvenir pieces from Italy.

  • 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.

  • Drawn Bonnet, 1840-1849

    This is an excellent example of an 1840's drawn bonnet, which was likely worn for formal afternoon events.

  • Daguerreotype Brooch, about 1850

    This may have been used in mourning and may memorialize the gentleman depicted on the brooch.Earlier mourning brooches included watercolors of likenesses of the deceased but daguerreotypoes, our first real photographs, records the extraordinary image of the deceased.The bit of hair on the back of the brooch may be the hair of the gentleman depicted but this cannot be verified.The curator has seen few brooches set with photographs, either daguerreotypes orthe later tintypes; this is a rare surviv…

  • Waistcoat, about 1780-1840

    Maybe an under waistcoat, worn under other waistcoast as it is very plain and there is original piecing at side front, indicating the sides would not have been seen.Inserted panel at side seams.Worn by a member of the Mitchell family of New York State.

  • Boy's Jacket, 1840-1860

    This is a good example of a mid-19th century boy's suit style, made for the "in between" years of a boy too young for an adult male-style trouser suit, and a radical departure from the kinds of suits worn by boys a century before. It might have been part of a spring suit, to be worn with cotton or linen trousers buttoned onto the jacket. It is also an excellent example of the use of velvet for boy's clothes from that era. The lack of seams in the center back also suggests an 1840-1860 constructi…

  • 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.

  • Trousers, about 1820-1840

  • Dress and Pelerine, 1840-1845

    Simplicity, rich material, and subdued color indicate that this redingote and pelerine might be of Quaker origin. The narrow sleeves, long waist and darts are typical of the 1840s, while the pelerine is reminiscent of the 1830s.

  • Poke Bonnet, 1840-1847

    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 which frames the face and extends just around the front of the hat. The velvet material and dark color indicate that this hat was worn seasonally in the autumn and winter.

  • Masonic Pin with Case, 1865

    Research indicates that this Masonic piece represents the Royal Arch Masons.Characteristics include the keystone shape and jewel decorations.In 1855, Fowle was Master of Mt. Tabor Lodge, East Boston, Massachusetts.The Freemasons are the world's largest fraternal organization.What is known as modern Freemasons began in 1717 in England; however, the history of the legend of the Freemasons dates far back to biblical times with the building of King Solomon's temple and written evidence of the Freema…

  • Dress, 1840-1855

    According to the donor, this dress belonged to Geraldine McMaster Cole, who died near Cato, New York in 1860. It has a simple one piece back and a simple work sleeve. The sleeve is shirred at the seam but is straight rather than curved, indicating an 1840-1855 date. The bodice was probably originally pointed at the center front, and is now straight cut. At its current position, the waistline is quite short-waisted - might this have been used as a maternity dress, or in the late 1830s? The full s…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.