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Brighton Historical Society Brighton, Victoria

Since our founding in 1963, the Brighton Historical Society has been working to collect, preserve and share items and information connected to the history and heritage of Brighton, Victoria. We have an extensive and diverse collection, including photos, documents, maps, art, artefacts and a large costume collection of State significance.

Contact Information

location
PO Box 266 Brighton Victoria 3186 (map)
phone
+61 03 9553 8650

Contact

Opening Hours

Our rooms are open to visitors and researchers on Thursdays from 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and at other times by appointment

Entry Fee

Entry is free. We undertake email and written research requests for a fee of $20 per hour which includes photocopying and postage

Location

First Floor Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

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The Brighton Historical Society has a large and diverse collection of material relating to the history of Brighton and the Bayside area, including documents, books, photos, artwork, artefacts and costume.

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212 items

212 items

Swimsuit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Navy cotton/nylon terrycloth one-piece swimsuit with inbuilt bra. V-neck, with oversized white plastic zip from neckline to navel.

Historical information

This swimsuit belonged to Audrey May Ferguson (nee Fulton), a longtime Brighton resident. Jantzen was founded 1916 in Portland, Oregon. The brand's "Diving Girl" logo - featuring a woman in a red bathing one-piece and cap in mid-dive - became famous throughout the world in the early twentieth century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: "Miss Jantzen / 16 / MADE IN AUSTRALIA"

Hat - Beret

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Green wool beret featuring an oval-shaped white patch embroidered with the five Olympic rings. Grey lining.

Historical information

This beret was worn by Marlene Austin, nee Trenberth in 1956 as part of the uniform of an official driver for the Melbourne Olympic Games. Marlene, who was living with her parents in Brighton at the time, took leave from her job as a stenographer to work as a driver at the Olympics. She drove officials and dignitaries from a variety of nations (including Thailand, Italy, Cuba and Sweden) to and from events, collecting a number of souvenirs, including a Venezuelan pennant and a pair of earrings gifted by the Thai delegation. Marlene's family have lived in Brighton since 1941, when her parents moved into a house at 15 Moffat Street. The house remained in the family for more than 75 years, before it was sold in 2018.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label in lining, cream with yellow text: "COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT CLOTHING FACTORY / MELBOURNE" Stamped on top of this text in black: "7⅛"

Swimsuit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pink short-sleeved one-piece swimsuit with silver lamé embellishment. Sweetheart neckline and low-cut back with metal zip. A black and gold swing tag is attached to one sleeve.

Historical information

Ada of California was a Melbourne swimwear company founded in the early 1950s by Brighton locals Ada and Toni Murkies. Born in Poland in 1922, Ada was 17 when the Second World War reached her doorstep. She and her family were torn from their home by Soviet soldiers and sent to a brutal labour camp in Siberia as part of a series of mass deportations. In order to escape the horrific conditions of the camp, Ada and her sister Barbara joined the Soviet-backed Polish Army. During her time in the military she became close with a handsome young Jewish officer, Lieutenant Antoni Murkies, who later became her husband. After the war Toni was awarded 15 medals including the highest Polish military honour, the Virtuti Militari. Ada was awarded 10 medals, including the Order of the Cross of Grunwald. Emigrating to Australia as postwar refugees in 1948, Ada and Toni arrived in Melbourne with little to their name. Working initially in garment factories and building their connections, by the mid-1950s the couple were able to start a company of their own, with Ada designing the garments and Toni managing the business. Within ten years, Ada of California swimwear was being sold in department stores throughout Australia, and the Murkies family were able to build a permanent home of their own in Brighton. By the early 1980s they had acquired several other major labels, including Watersun. This swimsuit is believed to be one of a large quantity of samples, seconds and unsold Ada Productions stock donated to Brighton Historical Society in late 1990 by Brian Samuel, who worked at the company between 1979 and 1990.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label in bra: “Ada OF CALIFORNIA / MIRACULOUS s-t-r-e-t-c-h BRI-NYLON / 34” Swing tag, front: black with gold text and palm tree logo. “Ada / OF CALIFORNIA / ‘Limited Edition’”. Back: gold with black text. “‘Limited Edition’”. Interior: “Congratulations on your choice of ADA OF CALIFORNIA ‘Limited Edition” Swimsuit contoured for your discriminating taste. / Style 546 / Size 34 / Price £11.9.6”. Care instructions also included.

Muff

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn dark blue silk velvet muff, circa late 1800s. This cylindrical muff features a central lightly padded area for the hands with the sides extending un-padded a further five centimeters. A six centimeter black grosgrain and satin ribbon decorates the front. Attached from the wearers right at the edge of the padded area and falling diagonally to the left edge of the padded area, where it finishes in a decorative bow.

Historical information

A hand muff belonging to the family of George Ward Cole in the late 1800s. George Ward Cole was an early member of the Victorian Parliament and the family featured prominently in Melbourne Society in their time. They established a substantial home known as “St Ninians” at 10 Miller Street in 1841. The family reportedly entertained Melbourne’s first Royal visitor the Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, at St Ninians in 1867. In later years St Ninians was subsequently subdivided and later demolished.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Short sleeved peach silk dress featuring beige lace appliqué on neckline, along with original rectangular brown cardboard box.

Historical information

This item is part of the Di Reidie collection. Diane Reidie was a much loved volunteer and President of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 until 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years. A vibrant and energetic person with a zest for life and a gift for bringing people together, Di was a friend to many in the Bayside community and active in local community organisations. Her tireless work as President of BHS saw her named Bayside Citizen of the Year in 2008. As a seller and collector of vintage clothing, she was passionate about fashion history; one of her many enduring contributions to BHS was her extensive work in preserving, developing and promoting the Society's costume collection. In 2018-19, Di donated more than one hundred items from her personal vintage clothing collection to the Society. The collection, which includes clothing, hats, handbags and shoes from local and international designers, is representative of Di's wide-ranging interests, colourful personality, creativity, humour and love of fashion and travel. Di purchased this dress as a vintage item and wore it during the years 2010-18, before donating it to BHS. The Mooney sisters, Nell and Ida, were situated beside the Regent Theatre in Collins Street, Melbourne and were well respected milliners and dressmakers.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: "MF 2900 / Misses Mooney / of Collins Street" Printed on lid of box: "Misses Mooney / 189 Collins Street, Melbourne"

Knitting project - Lovely Learned Luscious Ladies of Brighton knitting project

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Irregular-shaped knitting project consisting of multicoloured knitted stripes in a variety of yarns and stitches created by a group of women over a period of eighteen years. The piece includes numerous additions and embellishments by the various makers, including sequins, beads, shells, badges, ornaments and laminated images.

Historical information

Formed in 1990 by a group of current and former social services and administrative staff at the then-Brighton Council, the Lovely Learned Luscious Ladies of Brighton were a group bound by friendship, humour, fun and a delightfully strange knitting project. Each member took turns to add ten rows ten rows of knitting to the piece, following a series of handwritten rules on an attached card. The wool used was not to be bought, but could be "begged, borrowed or stolen", and previous work was not to be altered. The ladies met bi-monthly over dinner at local restaurants and hotels to swap gossip, play games and share the progress of the knitting. The work of twelve women over eighteen years, the piece documents fond memories, personal passions, wedding celebrations, the birth of a grandchild, footy triumphs, holidays and major events. It is a testament to a close-knit friendship, as expressed on the rules card: "MAY THIS PIECE SERVE TO BIND US TOGETHER".

Inscriptions & Markings

Attached yellow laminated rectangular card with handwritten rules: "1) Nominated member is to knit (in any stitch of choice) 10 rows of your best by the next meeting. 2) The yarn to be used is not to be purchased for the job but can be begged, borrowed or stolen. 3) The colour of yarn is to be left to member's discretion, but judgement will be passed by others. 4) The nominated member will not tamper with, pull out or destroy a previous member's work. 5) On returning the work to the meeting the member shall declare to what genuine purpose the piece will be put on completion (as a guide for future knitters), e.g. rug for favourite chardy, cock sock for lover. 6) The next knitter can (and shall be encouraged to) change the purpose as stated by the previous knitter. 7) This tag must not, without the permission of a majority of members, be removed. MAY THIS PIECE SERVE TO BIND US TOGETHER."

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

This circa 1849 silk blue grey window pane check dress features a high round neck and pleats on either shoulder extending over the natural shoulder line. The dress shows evidence of nine ornamental buttons down the centre front with only four blue silk buttons currently still attached. The dress fastens with thirteen concealed hook and eye closures to the waist. The Pagoda sleeves inset into the bodice in a small high armhole flaring out and finishing just below the elbow. A pale blue silk ribbon with a diagonal drawn stitch design decorates the front of the sleeve in a simple geometric design. The Pagoda sleeve is lined in a matching pale blue silk. The full skirt is pleated into the waistband and finishes just above the floor at the front. At the back the bodice features a squared off design to the princess panels shaping the dress into the body. The skirt is heavily pleated at the centre back into the waistline and finishes slightly longer at the back than the front. The skirt features two very small pockets on either side of the dress, just inside the hips.

Historical information

This dress was made for and belonged to Mrs Elizabeth McLachlan (nee Duncan, 1820-1904), wife of Reverend John Hamilton McLachlan (1813-1908), who was the first Minister of St Cuthbert's Presbyterian Church in Brighton. Elizabeth and John were married at the Free Church of Ayr at Lindsaystonn in the Parish of Kirkmickach, Ayrshire, Scotland on 15 October 1849. At this time his occupation was listed as "Minister of Presbyterian Church" and hers as "Governess". They left for Australia on the 1 November 1849 and arrived in Australia 6 months later. Apparently John's hair turned snow white during the journey due to his seasickness! The McLachlans first went to Geelong upon their arrival in 1850, then to the Western District, then Brighton, then Talbot at the height of the gold mining era. The couple had seven children: John Campbell Duncan McLachlan (b. Geelong, October 1850), Mary McLachlan (b. Geelong, November 1851), Agnes McLachlan (b. Hopkins River near Wickliff, May 1853), twins Elizabeth and Walter McLachlan (b. June 1854), Elizabeth McLachlan (b. Hesham, June 1855), Margaret McLachlan (b. Brighton, 1857). Elizabeth died in 1904. She and John are both buried in Amherst Cemetery. The dress was donated by one of her granddaughters.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two-piece evening dress comprising separate bodice and skirt made of gold-coloured silk damask woven with large curvilinear design in cream. Cream tulle trim around neck embellished with beads and artificial pearls. Similar trim down centre front and around lower edge of bodice. Short puffed sleeves Neckline trimed with wide gold satin riboon and bows. Bodice is boned and fastens centre back with hooks and eyes. Gored skirt pleated into waist. .1 - bodice . 2 - skirt

Historical information

In 1880 Melbourne hosted its first major international exhibition the "Melbourne International Exhibition". In 1888 Melbourne hosted its second major international exhibition the "Melbourne International Centennial Exhibition".

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven blue on cream, centre back bodice: QUOD FACIMUS VALDE FACIMUS, George & George Ltd / Federal Emporium / Melbourne, International Exhibition Melbourne, Costumes and Mantles

Jacket - Bolero

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Red velvet bolero decrated with gold stitching and braid. Lined with red satin. Stand collar which fastens with two metal hooks and eyes.

Historical information

This bolero is part of a Greek national costume from the Peloponnese. Long-time Brighton resident Olga Black wore it to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games to represent her Greek heritage. She remembers the stands at the MCG being full of migrants wearing their traditional national costumes. Olga Maria Black was born in Melbourne in 1930, the daughter of Ithacan migrants Constantine and Toula Mavrokefalos. Constantine first emigrated to Australia in 1902, returning to Greece circa 1912-13 to serve his home country in the Balkan Wars. Toula's family had left Ithaca for Romania when she was only six months old, but she happened to be visiting the island at the very time that Constantine arrived, fresh from the war. Within three weeks they were married, and when Constantine returned to Melbourne in 1914 his new bride came with him. Constantine had trained as an accountant, but his qualifications were not recognised in Australia. Changing his surname to the Anglicised "Black", he started off working in his older brother Dionysios's cafés before going into business on his own. In 1917 he opened the Paris Residential Café at 54-56 Swanston Street, which offered both dining and accommodation. The business saw some years of success, but did not survive the Great Depression. Constantine died in 1944. Olga's mother Toula learned to sew as a child, while growing up in the Romanian village of Brila. She developed her skills making lace and embroidering items for her trousseau. Some of the linen she embroidered had been woven from flax on Ithaca by her own grandmother, Efstathia. During the Depression, when money was scarce, Toula embroidered at home, doing work for a factory in Flinders Lane. Using a cotton reel, a threepence and a sixpence she created and embroidered designs on hundreds of blouses. Olga spent her preschool days sitting at the table where her mother worked. Toula would involve Olga by allowing her to help choose the colour combinations. Toula lived with Olga in Brighton until her death in 1976. Olga inherited her mother's sewing skills. She re-invented some of Toula’s trousseau nightdresses and skilfully altered other clothing, making dresses which she wore around Brighton for many years.

Coat - Water rat fur coat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Three-quarter length brown fur coat made of Australian water-rat (rakali) pelts. Wide raised collar and cuffs. Fastens centre front with two large hooks and eyes. Lined with chocolate brown silk satin.

Historical information

This coat belonged to Brighton resident Audrey Winifred Pickett (nee Heriot; 1915-2011). The coat is made from the pelts of rakali, also known as the Australian water rat, a native rodent species similar to an otter. Growing up to 35 centimetres in length, rakali typically live in burrows near water, feeding on fish, insects, yabbies and waterbirds. Throughout the early twentieth century, they were widely considered to be a nuisance and were hunted for their soft and waterproof fur. Demand for rakali pelts increased during the 1930s Depression years, when a ban was placed on the import of overseas furs; rakali fur became a popular substitute for the fur of the American muskrat. The species was placed under a protection order in 1938, although periodic culls were allowed until 1957 due to their perceived destruction of irrigation banks and fishing nets. Audrey recalled that the coat was made for her by furrier F. J. Ellemor after a large cull of rakali. The coat was displayed in the window of Ellemor's Block Place store. F. J. Ellemor Pty Ltd was established in 1908 by furrier Francis John Ellemor (1867-1944) and continued into the late twentieth century under the management of his son Wilfred (1801-1972). Francis and his wife Edith lived in Rothesay Avenue, Brighton from the late 1930s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on beige silk, centre back neck: created by / F. J. Ellemor / FURRIERS / MELBOURNE

Uniform - Army jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

First World War Army jacket, khaki with four front pockets. Winged Australian Flying Corps patch above left breast pocket. Lieutenant's insignia on epaulets: two diamond-shaped metal 'pips' and a curving band with the word "AUSTRALIA". Flying Corps colour patch on each shoulder: a pale blue triangle with two small red stripes and a large central darker blue stripe. Metal belt hooks on either side of the waist. The garment has been widened, with a strip of khaki fabric inserted in the centre back.

Historical information

First World War Army jacket belonging to Lieutenant Sydney Matthew Callaghan (1892-1976), who served in the Australian Engineers, AIF Canteens Section and the Australian Flying Corps during WWI. Sydney and his family lived at 34 Normanby Street from 1932. His parents lived in Bay Road, Sandringham.

Cape

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black silk satin cape with corded design. Black fur trim on collar, centrefront openings and hem. Lined with quilted black silk. Watch pocket on left proper interior. Wool interlining.

Coat - Dustcoat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Unlined dustcoat of beige cotton. Fastens centre front with three brown plastic buttons. Two large patch pockets. Separate cloth belt with metal buckle. Signs of wear and mending. .1 - coat .2 -belt

Historical information

Dust coat worn by Mr Frederick Alister Jennings when he managed a family grocery store circa 1948 at 510 Point Nepean Road, East Brighton. Frederick was born at Nagambie, Victoria in 1909 and died in Brighton in 1979. He was the son of Hugh Edwin Jennings and Alice Constance Warren. He married Margaret Jean Hughes in 1934 and served in the Second World War. He lived at 1 Valda Grove Brighton. Frederick was a commercial traveller as well as his time spent managing the store in Point Nepean Road. It is believed this coat dates from his time at the store c1948 - 1955. The store was owned for many years by his father-in-law W. G. Hughes and was one of a group of shops near the corner of Centre Road. In 1944-45 the group of shops included Fletcher’s fuel merchants, a haberdasher, butcher, fruiterer, grocer, Brighton East post office, a ladies’ hairdresser and Hughes’ grocer. In 1950 Hughes’ grocery store was between a service station and the Commercial Bank on what had been renamed Nepean Highway. The business was sold to G. S. Maynard, grocer, sometime before 1960.

Inscriptions & Markings

Garment label reads: APEX (RLG.) Dust Coat DEPT. MYER STORE for MEN. MELBOURNE & ADELAIDE

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Coral pink silk parasol with black lace overlay. A lace design is painted in black on the end of the polished wooden handle.

Historical information

The donor, Mrs Verona Cresswell, was given the parasol in 1941 by a friend, Mrs Teppa, who had purchased it many years earlier in Paris. It was part as an outfit worn to the Melbourne Cup in the 1940s.

Evening outfit - Four piece outfit of blouse, camisole, skirt and wrap

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A four piece outfit consisting of a blouse/cardigan, camisole, skirt and wrap. Double-layered silk wrap with an outer layer of silk chiffon. Both ends feature and embroidered band of brown and black cotton, copper wire, and copper glass beads. Camisole of black and copper shot polyester rayon with wide shoulder straps and small shoulder pads. Blouse of brown silk chiffon, with a v-neck and eleven silk-covered buttons and loops at centre front. Patch pockets over front hip and full length sleeves. The neckline and sleeve edges are trimmed with copper-coloured glass beads. Full-length double-layered straight skirt with black and copper shot polyester rayon lining and silk chiffon overskirt. The skirt secures centre back with a nylon zip and botton closure. The skirt features a centre front embroidered panel of brown and black cotton leaf and flower motifs, with copper wire and copper glass beads.

Historical information

This item is part of the Di Reidie collection. Diane Reidie was a much loved volunteer and President of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 until 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years. A vibrant and energetic person with a zest for life and a gift for bringing people together, Di was a friend to many in the Bayside community and active in local community organisations. Her tireless work as President of BHS saw her named Bayside Citizen of the Year in 2008. As a seller and collector of vintage clothing, she was passionate about fashion history; one of her many enduring contributions to BHS was her extensive work in preserving, developing and promoting the Society's costume collection. In 2018-19, Di donated more than one hundred items from her personal vintage clothing collection to the Society. The collection, which includes clothing, hats, handbags and shoes from local and international designers, is representative of Di's wide-ranging interests, colourful personality, creativity, humour and love of fashion and travel. Of all the items Di donated to the Society, this four-piece Easton Pearson outfit was her favourite. When she bought it around 1997-98, it was the first time she had spent a large amount of money on clothing, and she thought it only fitting to throw a suitably elegant party at which to wear it. James Cameron's hit movie 'Titanic' had just been released, and upon discovering the recipe book 'Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner', Di was inspired to host a Titanic-themed party for her friends. Held at her home in Brighton in 1998, the event included a string quartet, an eleven-course meal prepared entirely by Di, and a life boat in the backyard swimming pool.

Inscriptions & Markings

manufacturer's label: "Oh! Easton Pearson", "Pure Silk", "Polyester Rayon", Care label, "M"

Coat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Maxi coat in cream, yellow and metallic gold ogival patterned brocade. Fastens with five large metallic gold corded domed buttons. Lined with ivory silk taffeta.

Historical information

Jot was an exclusive Toorak fashion label and boutique established in 1969 by Lithuanian-born Terry Oertel and French-born Odile Moktar. Terry's sister Arija Austin was also a designer; in partnership with Erna Vilks she established the high-end Tu Boutique in South Yarra in 1963. The two sisters came to Australia as teenagers after World War II.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back neck: jot / TOORAK

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Long sleeveless beaded evening dress with V-front and back neckline. Black tulle base embellished with black, grey and purple beads and sequins with a design of a purple sunburst radiating from the right proper hip and mirrored on the back. Bodice sides split to waist and skirt sides split to hip.

Earrings

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Six-sided bell-shaped silver screw-back earrings for non-pierced ears. Each of the six sides features a vine pattern with black inlays. Each earring has a hollow interior containing a small metal bead dangling on a chain, causing the earrings to jingle when the wearer moves.

Historical information

These earrings were given to Marlene Austin, nee Trenberth by members of the Thai Olympic delegation when she drove them around Melbourne during the 1956 Olympic Games. Marlene, who was living with her parents in Brighton at the time, took leave from her job as a stenographer to work as an official driver at the Olympics. She drove officials and dignitaries from a variety of nations (including Thailand, Italy, Cuba and Sweden) to and from events, collecting a number of souvenirs. Marlene's family have lived in Brighton since 1941, when her parents moved into a house at 15 Moffat Street. The house remained in the family for more than 75 years, before it was sold in 2018.

Swimsuit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Silver lamé swimsuit featuring delicate brocade embellishment, an inbuilt underwire bra, a zippered back and elasticised edging on the legs and back.

Historical information

Marina Couture was a luxe swimwear line produced by Watersun in the 1960s. Polish-born designer David Waters first began producing swimwear in 1952. His mother Halina had recently opened a stall at Melbourne Queen Victoria Markets and was looking for swimsuits to sell; unable to find any she liked, she asked David to design something. He began making swimming costumes using his mother's sewing machine, in between his shifts working at a knitting factory. He had soon set up a small business in his parents' home, cutting patterns in one room while a machinist sewed them together in the next. His company, which he named Watersun, would become an iconic Australian swimwear label. During the early 1960s, Watersun developed its "Unquestionable Bra", an inbuilt moulded bra which was marketed as giving wearers a more natural bustline than other labels. The company was also known for its matching swimwear and beachwear, producing dresses, kaftans, tops and skirts in identical colours and prints to those used for many of its swimsuits. By 1967, the company was reportedly one of Australia's two biggest swimwear manufacturers, with over one hundred employees. Watersun was sold to Ada Productions in 1984 and was later acquired by Trackerjack Australasia. This swimsuit is believed to be one of a large quantity of samples, seconds and unsold Ada Productions stock donated to Brighton Historical Society in late 1990 by Brian Samuel, who worked at the company between 1979 and 1990.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label in bra, blue with gold crown logo and text: “MARINA COUTURE / 32”.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn white purple, pink, green, blue and yellow floral silk chiffon dress from circa 1870. The dress consists of two pieces worn together as a dress. This dress has received a great deal of mending and alteration and so it is difficult to be sure of what constitutes its original state. The following description is of its current state. The bodice has a high neck with a simple shallow band collar, an olive braid and a press stud closure. The bodice fastens down the centre front with ten hook and eyes closures and two sets of ribbon ties . The bodice has three darts providing shaping into the waistline. The bodice finishes at the waist and gently tapers towards the front creating a 'V' line. Down the centre front from the neck to the waist concealing the bodice opening is a pressed pleated ruffle of the dress fabric and a line of olive braid. The dress features pagoda sleeves finished at the hem with pressed pleated ruffle of the dress fabric, a line of olive braid and a silk fringe of 4 cm pale pink and white. The skirt part of the bodice section attaches to the front of the dress with two hooks and eyes on the left hand side of the waist. The fabric drops down to approximately the knees at the front, curving up and splitting on either side over the hip. The edge of this piece is also trimmed with a pressed pleated ruffle of the dress fabric and a line of olive braid. Just below the hip on either side is a large bow of pink, cream, purple and green taffeta. The bodice at the back is shaped with four panels into the waistline. Where it joins the bodice skirt the skirt is pleated, creating fullness. The skirt of the dress ensemble secures at the waist on the left hand side. At the front it has two pleats (that may have been repositioned during repair), and is fully gathered at the back. At the front the dress falls to the floor whilst at the back it is longer to accommodate the bustle and possibly a small train.

Historical information

The donor and family of this gown were long-term Brighton residents, and the gowns were held by them as family heirlooms prior to donation to Brighton Historical Society. Originally owned by Elizabeth Emma Adams and Cecilia Elizabeth Adams, it is believed that the dress was brought to Australia by either a half brother, James Smith Adams, or a younger sister, Sophia Charlotte Louisa Adams (later known as Mother Rose Columba Adams). Elizabeth and Cecilia were the daughters of James Smith Adams (a squire, 1780-1860) and Elizabeth Emma McTaggart (1793-1843) of Tower House, Woodchester in Gloucester, a property which Elizabeth later inherited. Originally a monastery, Tower House had been converted into a stately home after the Reformation. According to information originally provided by the donor, both this dress and the dress T0004.3 were made for Elizabeth and Cecilia, to be worn at the young Queen Victoria’s first 'drawing room ball' following the end of court mourning in 1838 for her uncle William IV who died in 1837. In 1838 Cecilia would have been twelve years old and Elizabeth would have been ten years old. It is possible that the dress T0004.3 was worn by one of the girls to this event as it is of appropriate dimensions for a child of that age, although its design is very formal and adult. However, it is unlikely that either of the girls wore this dress at the ball due to the size and styling of the dress. It is likely that the dress belonged to one of the girls, but was worn at a later date. Elizabeth was born on 30 June 1828 at Tower House and died on 1 May 1909. She created a scandal when she eloped with her first husband, Thomas Charles Gardiner at the age of 18. The validity of the marriage was later formally investigate and, while it was confirmed as valid, a second church wedding was subsequently held. Thomas died in 1878. Elizabeth subsequently remarried Reverend R. E. Blackwell, but was widowed again by 1889. Cecilia was born on 17 December 1826 and died in 1902 a spinster recluse in England. At the inquest into Cecelia's death in 1904 it was revealed that she had clearly come from a family of means as her home was filled to the brim with highly valuable goods, many in boxes. She was buried in the family vault at Woodchester. Elizabeth and Cecilia's sister Sophia converted to Roman Catholicism in 1851 and became a nun, taking the religious name 'Rose Columba'. In 1883 Mother Rose Columba led a group of eight to Australia, answering a call for Dominican sisters to nurse the sick in Adelaide. Upon arrival, she founded St. Dominic's Priory and the Church of Perpetual Adoration in North Adelaide, using her inheritance to build the chapel. Elizabeth's second son, George Henry Somerset, who inherited the Adams family estate dropped the 'i' in Gardiner and added the maiden name of his grandmother. Therefore, the family name has now become Gardner McTaggart. These Adams family entries have been updated with information provided by Dr Herbert Gardner McTaggart, great-grandson of George Henry Somerset in April 2016. Mr McTaggart contacted the society after finding our entries online.

Smock

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Agricultural worker's hand-loomed linen smock, dyed brown. Fully hand-stictched with smocking details on front and back and sleeves. Opening at front and back neck area fastened with now missing buttons.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A white, mauve, purple, red, and green paisley / floral printed cotton day dress from circa 1820. The day dress features a wide scooped neckline, with a dropped shoulder line. At the head of the sleeve is has three lines of gathering creating a narrow arm hole around the shoulder, flaring out into a leg of mutton sleeve. The sleeve finishes neatly at the wrist with a cuff that secures with two brass hook and eye closures. The dress bodice is open at the centre front and secures with six hook and eye closures to the empire line waist. Over the breast on either side of the opening are six diagonal pleats, pressed and secured facing towards the neck. This pleated detail is on a facing that extends from shoulder to shoulder and finishes with a bound edge. The remainder of the front bodice is plain and secures to the skirt at the empire waistline. The skirt pleats onto a binding, wrapping around the torso and securing to the bodice with eight hook closures. At approximately knee, height the skirt has an additional gathered flounce with the dress finishing at approximately ankle length. From the back, the bodice is plain and the skirt is gathered and sewn to the bodice at Empire line. Alterations to the garment have been made with the addition of hooks and eyes. The garment is generally in good condition although the skirt at the front shows evidence of damage and subsequent repair.

Historical information

This dress, which was made around 1820, was passed down through five generations of a single family before its donation to Brighton Historical Society in 2007. It originally belonged to a great-grandmother of Margaret Reynolds (1881-1958) of Hertfordshire, England, who herself came into possession of the dress around the early twentieth century. Having no daughters of her own, in 1945 the 64-year-old Margaret sent the dress as a Christmas gift to her niece, Margaret Willoughby Reynolds (1907-1996). In the letter accompanying the parcel, donated to the Society with the dress, the elder Margaret writes that she loves the dress very much but has now outgrown it. She makes reference to her own mother Mary Reynolds (nee Lloyd)'s pleasure at seeing the dress worn, indicating that it may originally have belonged to one of Mary's grandparents. She had two requests of her niece: first, that the younger Margaret wear the dress on Christmas Eve as a treat for her Mary (the letter includes styling advice on how the dress should be worn and accessorised), and second, that she one day pass the dress on to her own daughter or niece. In March 1968, the younger Margaret gifted the dress to her Australian-born niece, Dorothy May England (nee Reynolds, 1924-2013), along with a letter of her own. Dorothy, a Bayside resident, donated the dress and both letters to the Society in 2007. The letters paint a picture of the significance of the dress within the Reynolds family and its journey from England to Australia.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Evening gown made of cream ribbon lace and a rich latte-colured satin; applied beading. Cut with a high waist, short sleeves and deep V at centre back. Boned interior bodice. Centre back zip and train.

Historical information

This gown was the winning entry in the Mannequins and Models Guild's Gown of the Year competition, held at the Chevron Hilton Hotel, Melbourne in November 1963 in aid of the Torch Bearers for Legacy. Designed by Lorna White for Hartnell of Melbourne and modelled by Marien Brindley, the dress’s construction is reputed to have consumed 300 hours, with the finished dress weighing 6 kilograms and costing around 3000 pounds.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Light brown floor-length silk evening dress featuring a band of black and bronze beading around neckling. Circular beaded buckles at either side of waist. Zip at back.

Historical information

This item is part of the Di Reidie collection. Diane Reidie was a much loved volunteer and President of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 until 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years. A vibrant and energetic person with a zest for life and a gift for bringing people together, Di was a friend to many in the Bayside community and active in local community organisations. Her tireless work as President of BHS saw her named Bayside Citizen of the Year in 2008. As a seller and collector of vintage clothing, she was passionate about fashion history; one of her many enduring contributions to BHS was her extensive work in preserving, developing and promoting the Society's costume collection. In 2018-19, Di donated more than one hundred items from her personal vintage clothing collection to the Society. The collection, which includes clothing, hats, handbags and shoes from local and international designers, is representative of Di's wide-ranging interests, colourful personality, creativity, humour and love of fashion and travel. Di purchased this dress as a vintage item.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, pale blue on cream "Exclusively Yours / Hartnell REGD / MELBOURNE" Label, black on pale grey: "Exclusive Finest / IMPORTED FABRIC".

Trousers - "Howard Showers" trousers

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream coloured cotton French terry cloth pants with metal zip fly front, branded button closure, feature red stitching and printed cars in black ink. There are several car designs featured with each design appearing c1960s - 1970s. One car design features the name "Howard" on its number plate.

Historical information

This item is part of the Di Reidie collection. Diane Reidie was a much loved volunteer and President of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 until 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years. A vibrant and energetic person with a zest for life and a gift for bringing people together, Di was a friend to many in the Bayside community and active in local community organisations. Her tireless work as President of BHS saw her named Bayside Citizen of the Year in 2008. As a seller and collector of vintage clothing, she was passionate about fashion history; one of her many enduring contributions to BHS was her extensive work in preserving, developing and promoting the Society's costume collection. In 2018-19, Di donated more than one hundred items from her personal vintage clothing collection to the Society. The collection, which includes clothing, hats, handbags and shoes from local and international designers, is representative of Di's wide-ranging interests, colourful personality, creativity, humour and love of fashion and travel. Di wore these novelty car print "Howard Showers" pants to many car rally events in Victoria, Australia and USA between 1990 and 2010, where she would perform the role of navigator and co-driver in a team with her husband David. Di's choice of clothing at the rallies is indicative of her sense of humour and attitude towards clothing.

Inscriptions & Markings

Manufacturers label "Howard Showers, Holiday, size 12" Metal button inscription "Howard Showers, Syd (Sydney), Aust (Australia). "Made in Australia". Care label.

Shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dark brown leather shoes with Louis heel. Vamp and strap are decorated with cut metal beads. Strap secured with one boot button and button hole.

Historical information

These shoes belonged to Margaret Law (nee Bartholomew). Born on 3 December 1837 in Stirling, Scotland, Margaret emigrated to Australia with her family aboard the Ticonderoga, arriving in Melbourne on 22 December 1852. Around one hundred passengers died of typhus during the journey, and around seventy more after arrival. Two of Margaret's siblings were among the casualties. The Bartholomew family settled in Ballarat. Around 1861, Margaret married James Nicol Law. They continued to live in Ballarat for some years, and it is likely that Margaret purchased the shoes during this period. They had several children, the youngest of which was James Lindsay Gordon "Lin" Law, (1881-1963). In 1906, Lin and his business partner James Kerr Pearson (also a Brighton local, who lived at 12 Moule Avenue) established the shirt manufacturing company Pelaco. In 1922 the company established its factory at 23 Goodwood Street on the top of Richmond Hill; the 4.3 metre high neon 'Pelaco' sign, erected in 1939, is today heritage listed. The company was known for its innovative approach to efficiency and labour relations, discontinuing Saturday morning work in 1908 and appointing an industrial relations officer in 1928. Lin married Elsie Russell on 12 January 1915 (BHS also holds a bridge jacket given to Elsie by Lin; see T0047). They settled in Brighton, moving into 'Blairgowrie', 306 St Kilda Street, in 1920. The eldest their four children, Pauline Margaret Law (born 15 December 1915) ultimately purchased the house with her husband Hugh McLean in 1956 and lived there until 1965 when the house was demolished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Made in Austria for / J. T. MORRIS / 306 Sturt Street / BALLARAT

Swimsuit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Blue backless one-piece swimsuit with ruching up sides and front. Halter neck. Straps loop down over hooks at the back.

Historical information

Ada of California was a Melbourne swimwear company founded in the early 1950s by Brighton locals Ada and Toni Murkies. Born in Poland in 1922, Ada was 17 when the Second World War reached her doorstep. She and her family were torn from their home by Soviet soldiers and sent to a brutal labour camp in Siberia as part of a series of mass deportations. In order to escape the horrific conditions of the camp, Ada and her sister Barbara joined the Soviet-backed Polish Army. During her time in the military she became close with a handsome young Jewish officer, Lieutenant Antoni Murkies, who later became her husband. After the war Toni was awarded 15 medals including the highest Polish military honour, the Virtuti Militari. Ada was awarded 10 medals, including the Order of the Cross of Grunwald. Emigrating to Australia as postwar refugees in 1948, Ada and Toni arrived in Melbourne with little to their name. Working initially in garment factories and building their connections, by the mid-1950s the couple were able to start a company of their own, with Ada designing the garments and Toni managing the business. Within ten years, Ada of California swimwear was being sold in department stores throughout Australia, and the Murkies family were able to build a permanent home of their own in Brighton. By the early 1980s they had acquired several other major labels, including Watersun. This swimsuit is believed to be one of a large quantity of samples, seconds and unsold Ada Productions stock donated to Brighton Historical Society in late 1990 by Brian Samuel, who worked at the company between 1979 and 1990.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label in side: "ada / 12"

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

An orange pink (salmon) with cream spot, very fine silk organza dress from circa 1840. The dress features a wide scooped neckline, almost to the shoulder. The sleeves are set low with a gathered head to the sleeve and finished with a flounce, dropping to just above the elbow. The bodice is shaped and fitted to the body and features a centre front detail of the bodice fabric that is gathered, ruched and tapers in a v to the waist. The waistline of the dress sits on the true waist at the sides and tapers to a v at the centre front and centre back. The full skirt is gathered to the piped waistline and falls to the floor. The skirt features three horizontal pleats in the skirt fabric in between four bands of cream floral self embroidered detail. The dress is open at the back where it is boned and features lacing holes. The lacing is missing from the item. The bodice of the dress is lined with a very fine cotton lawn and boned.

Historical information

Margaret Law (nee Bartholomew) was born on 3 December 1837 in Stirling, Scotland. She emigrated to Australia with her family aboard the Ticonderoga, arriving in Melbourne on 22 December 1852. Around one hundred passengers died of typhus during the journey, and around seventy more after arrival. Two of Margaret's siblings were among the casualties. The Bartholomew family settled in Ballarat. Around 1861, Margaret married James Nicol Law in Ballarat. They had several children, the youngest of which was James Lindsay Gordon "Lin" Law, (1881-1963). James Nicol Law was killed in a train accident in Fingal Tasmania in July 1886. Lin Law married Elsie Russell on 12 January 1915 (BHS also holds a bridge jacket given to Elsie by Lin; see T0047). They settled in Brighton, moving into 'Blairgowrie', 306 St Kilda Street, in 1920. The eldest their four children, Pauline Margaret Law (born 15 December 1915) ultimately purchased the house with her husband Hugh McLean in 1956 and lived there until 1965 when the house was demolished. In 1906, Lin and his business partner James Kerr Pearson (also a Brighton local, who lived at 12 Moule Avenue) established the shirt manufacturing company Pelaco. In 1922 the company established its factory at 23 Goodwood Street on the top of Richmond Hill; the 4.3 metre high neon 'Pelaco' sign, erected in 1939, is today heritage listed. The company was known for its innovative approach to efficiency and labour relations, discontinuing Saturday morning work in 1908 and appointing an industrial relations officer in 1928.

Evening dress and bag

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black silk satin sleeveless full-length evening dress. The attached bodice floats over the top of the under-dress. Asymmetrical opening on bodice which features five large flat self-covered buttons. The black suede bag has chrome fittings and buttery cream coloured satin interior.

Historical information

This dress and bag belonged to Mrs Edith "Dot" Paroissien (nee Jackson, born 1916), who lived in Brighton with her husband David William Paroissien. The dress was purchased from Croyde, a Melbourne designer who had a small boutique shop in Collins Street near the Block Arcade, and the bag was bought for her in London by David. Dot recalled wearing the dress in the 1950s, in particular to a ball at the Royal Exhibition Buildings for Wesley College. She wore it with suede shoes with a medium heel with straps across the instep and long white kid gloves, and accessorised with a baguette choker and drop earrings.

Inscriptions & Markings

.1 dress - Label, woven black on white acetate centre back: CROYDE / MELBOURNE .2 - bag - Label, printed, black on cream acetate, interior pocket: Susan / HANDBAGS / LONDON; Label, printed, copper on black metal, interior pocket: MADE IN ITALY / FOR SUSAN

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sleeveless bias-cut dress of watermelon pink silk featuring red and gold hand-painted abstract designs. The dress features a Mandarin collar with a button fastening at the throat. A matching silk belt with tapered ties wraps around the waist.

Historical information

This dress belonged to Bayside woman Wendy Young, who bought it around 1980 from Melbourne designer Prue Acton's Toorak shop for about $300. She recalled, "It was one of her off the peg creations, but I never saw it on anyone else... she made limited runs, especially as this is hand painted silk." The belt has been signed by Acton.

Inscriptions & Markings

The belt features two signatures in gold paint: "Prue" and "P Acton"