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What is a Flapper?

Bathing Beauties, 1922 Several period sources claim the word ‘flapper’ originated from the American fashion among teenage girls for...

Be an Athletic Supporter...

As men took up team sports in the 19th century, they adopted knitted cotton and wool jersey garments to allow freer movement. However,...

The Sweater from Paris

Pages from 1950s/60s catalogue showing Mary Maxim sweaters and a graph pattern for a child's sweater with the Three Little Pigs motif....

Getting the Point: Hatpins as Weapons?

New York Times, March 22, 1910, long hat pins were being banned! “It is now a misdemeanor for any woman to wear a long hatpin in public...

Saints and Seamers

Even those of us who aren’t catholic are probably familiar with the names of a few saints. There are St. Christopher medals for nervous...

Sole Discretion

In ancient times, the shoe was often used as a symbol of authority. ‘Upon the land of Edom do I cast my shoe’ (Psalms 60:8) This biblical...

Sewer or Sewist?

I recently created a bit of a brouhaha on the FHM facebook page. I posted about the word ‘sewist’ with a reference to a New York Times...

Have a Crepey Halloween

Crepe paper Halloween dress, hat and mask, late 1920s The origin of crepe paper is a bit murky. It appears to have been developed in...

That Time Chanel Went to Hollywood

On January 19, 1931, the New York Times reported film producer Samuel Goldwyn’s announcement: “After more than three years of constant...

Poison Rubber

In 1887, three men who all worked at a New York rubber company were committed to a local Hospital for incoherent insanity. Dr. Frederick...

Moths? Freeze Them

Moths are potentially the worst problem a textile collection might encounter. I have two methods I used to keep them under control. First...