SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Curious About the Dress Form: 1957

Curious About the Dress Form: 1957

My mother’s whole life was (and to an extent still is) seen through a lens of apparel. Her mother was a milliner (made women’s hats during the first quarter of the 20th century, when everybody wore hats). Her father was a pattern-maker. My mother graduated from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City. She designed and made her clothes. She designed and made my clothes. She never bought a curtain, bedspread, or furniture slip cover in her life. She made them. If you were looking for her in the house, she would not be doing heavy duty cleaning. We had hired help for that. But she might be making fashion sketches, or sitting at the sewing machine.

Here, three-year-old me stands on a seat cushion she made, which is on one of our Paul McCobb mid-century modern chairs, to examine to polka dot fabric she has draped on her dress form, as she starts the pattern-making process for another dress.

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SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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