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Granny’s Panties and Great-Grandpa’s Jock Strap: Reconstructing 200 Years of Middle-Class Clothing

Author(s): Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator

Year: 2016

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Summary

This paper shares an in-depth comparative study focusing on clothing-related artifacts recovered at the Houston-LeCompt site as part a Route 301 data recovery project by Dovetail Cultural Resource Group. The site was occupied in rural Delaware from the mid-18th century until about 1930, and it is representative of the evolution of a typical middle-class clothing assemblage. Eighteenth-century artifacts illustrate specific forms for different garments while a decline in artifacts in the early 19th century corresponds to the rise of ephemeral styles with less hardware. As industrialization ratcheted up, artifact quantities increased until the 20th-century tenant farmers of Houston-LeCompt wore and discarded cheap fasteners and accessories with relative abandon. Using period portraits, extant clothing, historic sales catalogs, and assemblages from comparable sites, all artifacts are presented in a visual context to reconstruct modest wardrobes from undies and jock straps to outerwear and accessories. 


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Granny’s Panties and Great-Grandpa’s Jock Strap: Reconstructing 200 Years of Middle-Class Clothing. Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434605)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 115

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America