Clothing for Adults in Iowa, 1850-1899

Jane A. Farrell
1981 The Annals of Iowa  
In completing the research for the following study, I visited thirty museums and historical societies in Iowa, photographing and making detailed descriptions of 215 garments of adult women and men. Museum records often provided the name of the donor or original owner of individual garments, the most useful of which had an assured Iowa connection. Dates assigned to garments by donors or museum staff were corroborated hy reference to fashion plates in such periodicals as Godey's Lady's Book and
more » ... gazine, Demorest's Monthly Magazine and Mme. Demorest's Mirror of Fashion, Harper's Bazar [sic], and The Delineator. HO were those ancestors who stare solemnly at us from fading tintypes and photographs? What were their resources, physical and spiritual? How did they use those resources? Some possible answers to these questions can be learned from careful, systematic examinaton of clothing that survives in Iowa museums. Century-old dresses, suits, and bonnets hold clues to past standards of beauty, concepts of hygiene, levels of prosperity, and development of tools and skills.
doi:10.17077/0003-4827.8817 fatcat:c75icsx5xnbf7bm6rsykdro6f4