Historical information

Apron belonged to and was used by midwife Mary Howlett.


Mary Howlett (1840-1922) began practising as a country midwife in 1866 in the western district of Victoria. She qualified as a 'ladies monthly nurse' in 1887 and continued to practise as a nurse and midwife until 1920.She began her six months training at the Melbourne Lying-In Hospital. She was known by many as 'Auntie', and her career spanned more than 50 years. Mrs Howlett's midwifery box and contents were given to Dr Frank Forster, and he donated them to the museum collection in 1993.

Physical description

Hand made white linen apron. Consists of a small bib at front, with two long shoulder straps attached to a long gored skirt. Shoulder straps have three mother of pearl buttons, and there are four buttonholes at the back of the waistband of the skirt. The skirt is divided into three gores. On the right side of the skirt there is a large patch pocket. The skirt is finished with a false hem.