September 5, 2013

Great Expectations

by Kendra Newhall, Assistant Registrar

In many ways, maternity clothes have not changed much over the years. Styled the same as everyone else’s clothing, they added fullness in the front for an expanding tummy, a slightly raised waistband, and additional room for growth in the bust.

AimeĆ© Fisher shows off the maternity dress of her
great-great-grandmother, Regina Davis.  

Often these garments are altered and remade into clothing for children, their trims are taken for other dresses, or they are passed on to other community members who are pregnant. This maternity dress was worn by Regina Parker Davis in 1905, when she was pregnant with her daughter Esther. Regina was married to Mr. Allison Davis, a sheep rancher in Wibaux, Montana. A photo of Al, along with an account of his life with Regina, can be found in the digitized book Trails Along Beaver Creek.

The dress can be seen in the exhibit Domestic Economy: Managing the Home, 1890-1920 through the end of December 2013.

Rear view of the dress.
Photos by Joe Fisher.