Keywords: clothes press
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Contributed by: Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media Date: circa 1922 Location: Portland Media: Glass negative
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.
Adorning oneself to look one's "best" has varied over time, gender, economic class, and by event. Adornments suggest one's sense of identity and one's intent to stand out or fit in.
From the earliest days of photography doting parents from across Maine sought to capture images of their young children. The studio photographs often reflect the families' images of themselves and their status or desired status.
… 1864, "manufacturers made a clean sweep to kill pressing over so as to sell new stock and established a fashion as above to take off the rim entire…
… cents per yard, flannels 17-25 cents per yard and pressed cloth for 25 cents per yard. (25 cents is the equivalent to approximately $5.13 today).
Union supporters destroyed Emery's press, but he continued publishing. Martin quotes Emery as writing in his newspaper in 1861, "52 thousand dead…