19th Century

This exhibition includes seven ensembles from the nineteenth century. These pieces include both men’s and women’s wear and showcase the changing silhouettes and construction techniques from the period. During the course of the century, women’s clothing became increasingly structured while men’s clothing showed much subtler changes.


Printed day dress, ca. 1850

This small dress was probably worn by a girl in her teens. Although the skirt is full-length like adult styles, the style of the bodice with a yoke and pleats down the front and back is typical of children’s dress at the time. The dress was made just about the time when sewing machines were … Continue reading Printed day dress, ca. 1850

Dress of green taffeta, ca. 1864

During the second half of the nineteenth century, most women’s dresses were actually composed of a separate skirt and bodice. Generally the waist of the bodice would conceal the waistband of the skirt. The brown cotton underlining of this bodice provides a beautiful contrast to the green silk taffeta of the outer fabric. The taffeta … Continue reading Dress of green taffeta, ca. 1864

Man’s suit, 1897

This suit was worn by William Allison to his cousin, William McKinley’s inauguration in 1897. It was made by Elias Rheinheimer, a Cleveland tailor. The label in the neck of the jacket was removed, but the tailor’s name appears on the buttons of the trousers. Although the cut of this coat is similar to the … Continue reading Man’s suit, 1897