Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Aprons and More Aprons


Sometimes there are photographs that you come across that just knock your socks off. This is one of them.

You can see the largest size HERE.

This is part of a group of women who ran a bazaar in the Stratford mechanics' Institute in 1899. The photograph is mounted on cardboard, on which has been professionally printed:

Stratford Mechanics' Institute Bazaar / Group of Stallholders / [back] Mrs WEBSTER, Mrs BREMNER, Mrs SEATON, Mrs MAYHEW, Mrs MILDENHALL. /[Middle Row] Miss HAZLETT, Miss M. MAYHEW, Miss REEVES, Miss KELLY / [Front Row] Mrs REEVES, Mrs KELLY (Treasurer), Mrs REFSHAUGE (President), Mrs DERBYSHIRE, Mrs DUCRET. Mr HOLT (Bazaar Sec). /
Presented to Mrs FREITAG. / By the Committee of the Mechanics' Institute Stratford, as a Memento of the Bazaar so successfully carried out by the Stallholders on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 16th October, 1899, whereby the sum of [pounds]400 was raised - an amount sufficient to clear the cost of building the additional rooms to the Institute. Absence from the district or illness prevented the group being complete. Mesdames Freitag, Wrigglesworth, Roach, J.Little, Brodie, Collins, Garden, Daniel and Misses Baylis, and McBain, were absent from one or other of the causes mentioned.

The thing that has always taken our eye has been the aprons. What was going on here? Was it a status thing to have the most ornate apron as you stood behind your own stall. Because this would have to be the most wonderful collection of aprons that we have ever seen.


Blogger Lenore said...

An outstanding picture. I'm guessing that the point of the ornate pinnies is firstly to display their handiwork (the sort of fine work they'd be putting into their "Bottom Drawer" or Glory Box as we knew it decades later); and secondly, the fine work would distinguish their aprons from the sort of thing domestic servants would have been wearing. They look purely ornamental - the bibs wouldn't have picked up too many drips from their hot dogs. It reminds me in a way of how French aristocrats used to dress up as shepherds and shepherdesses.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Lenore said...

Dear Linda,

Congratulation on your blog! I have nominated you for the "One Lovely Blog Award"! If you wish to follow up go to

Excellent blogging! Just spreading the love!


8:55 AM  

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