Bessie Rodis' wedding gown, Portland, ca. 1938

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


A long ivory and white rayon satin wedding gown, with a high neckline and lace insert at the waist. The dress was worn by Bessie Rodis (1914-2001) at her January 23, 1938 marriage to Peter Spanos (1906-1997). The couple married at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Portland.

The dress' includes puffed sleeves and a rayon lace insert below each elbow. Twenty five small white covered buttons, probably wood, run down the back of the dress. A long train of both lace and a rayon satin insert add texture to the back of the dress.

Bessie (Rodis) Spanos, born in New Hampshire, married immigrant Peter Spanos about fifteen years after he immigrated to Maine from the Greek city of Smyrna, Asia Minor, in modern day Turkey.

Bessie's father Sederes Rodis (also spelled Rodentis) also immigrated to the United States from Smyrna. In contrast, when her parents married in 1913, her New Hampshire-born American mother, Blanche Whitham, lost her citizenship because she married an immigrant. By 1938, when her daughter married, such laws had changed. Blanche (Whitham) Rodis successfully reapplied for her citizenship in 1946.

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About This Item

  • Title: Bessie Rodis' wedding gown, Portland, ca. 1938
  • Creation Date: circa 1938
  • Subject Date: circa 1938
  • Town: Izmir, Portland, Smyrna
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: rayon, wood
  • Dimensions: 94 cm x 60 cm
  • Local Code: 2018.145.001
  • Collection: Costume collection
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. No Permission is required to use the low-resolution watermarked image for educational use, or as allowed by the applicable copyright. For all other uses, permission is required.

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