Thomas Smith family christening dress, Portland, ca. 1737

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Thomas Smith family christening dress, Portland, ca. 1737

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Reverand Thomas Smith, who served as pastor of Falmouth Neck's (Portland) First Parish Church from 1727 to 1761, and his wife, Sarah Tyng, had eight children. At least one of their children was christened in this gown. The Smiths were relatively wealthy for the area.

A history of the church notes that when Smith accepted the call to serve as minister, his salary of 70 pounds was a third of the entire town budget. He also received money from the parish collection. The church built a house for the Smiths and supplied them with firewood as well.

This christening dress is attributed to the Smith family. Its quality represents a higher social status. The shape is unusual for a christening gown, since it resembles adult clothing rather than the elongated cotton gowns normally worn. The gown features appliqué crocheted floral lace trim on the overdress, which is made of linen twill.

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About This Item

  • Title: Thomas Smith family christening dress, Portland, ca. 1737
  • Creation Date: circa 1737
  • Subject Date: circa 1737
  • Location: Portland, Cumberland County, ME
  • Media: Linen, lace
  • Local Code: A86-365
  • 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

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