Keywords: Clothing and dress.
Maine residents kept pace with the dramatic shift in women’s dress that occurred during the short number of years preceding and immediately following World War I. The long restrictive skirts, stiff collars, body molding corsets and formal behavior of earlier decades quickly faded away and the new straight, dropped waist easy-to-wear clothing gave mobility and freedom of movement in tune with the young independent women of the casual, post-war jazz age generation.
Organized by themed vignettes, Northern Threads shares stories about Maine people, while exploring how the clothing they wore reveals social, economic, and environmental histories. This re-examination of Maine Historical Society's permanent collection is an opportunity to consider the relevance of historic clothing in museums, the ebb and flow of fashion styles, and the complexities of diverse representation spanning 200 years of collecting.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, MA-30-18-0288-18.
Plain ordinary dress and working clothes worn by the financially less well to do, scarcely survive. Well used, repaired, passed on or repurposed…
With few exceptions, prior to the mid-20th century, clothing was not collected or considered museum worthy.
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan will give students the opportunity to explore and analyze primary source documents from the years before, during, and immediately after Maine became the 23rd state in the Union. Through close looking at documents, objects, and art from Maine during and around 1820, students will ask questions and draw informed conclusions about life at the time of statehood.