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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

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

View on Google Maps

The Bayside community is fortunate to have an extensive collection of costume, representing social life and fashions in our local area from early settlement through to the modern day. Our costume collection is of State significance and is the most comprehensive collection of costume in any historical society or small museum in Victoria. 

The collection includes children’s wear, evening gowns, dresses, hats, gloves, shawls, nightgowns, underwear, menswear, fans, shoes, swimwear and handbags. 

The Brighton Historical Society will loan costume to recognised organisations that use current conservation techniques. We have previously loaned items to the Bayside Council for an exhibition at the Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre and to the National Trust for exhibitions at Rippon Lea and Como House. 

We welcome donations to our costume collection. Items are assessed and accepted on the basis of their relevance to the ongoing history of the area, their connection to Brighton or their rarity.

Costume has been donated since the Society began in 1963. Some was even purchased in the days when Victorian items were still to be found on sale in local op shops. The origins and size of the collection are attributable to the foresight of the founder of the BHS, Mrs Rosalind Landells OAM. 

In the early days little was known of conservation techniques but as time progressed and we became aware of the treasures held, methods were implemented by volunteers to care for the costumes in the best way possible using available funds. 

Four conservation friendly wardrobes were purchased from the Performing Arts Museum to house the collection and later a Bayside Council Grant enabled us to have six more wardrobes built. Volunteers triple washed unbleached calico in pure Lux soap flakes before sewing covers for costumes and for coat hangers. Some acid free boxes were purchased from Zetta Florence to store our most important items. 

Thanks to a 2017 Local History Grant from the Public Record Office Victoria, we have been able to further improve our collection storage and records, and share more of our fascinating costume with the public. Items are continually being added to Victorian Collections, and a community workshop is being planned.

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158 items

158 items

Dress and jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sleeveless black floral lace dress with v-neck and matching collarless jacket with scalloped bottom hem.

Historical information

Brighton councillor Sally Allmand's grandmother Minnie Toms (1878-1983) began making this dress and matching jacket in the 1920s, but never finished it. Sally's mother (also named Minnie, 1914-2001) finished it in the 1970s and Sally wore it when, as Mayor of Brighton in 1981, she was introduced to the Queen during a Royal visit.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand and machine sewn cream, pale blue, orange and gold embroidered satin formal dress, the bodice dates from circa 1890. This dress shares a skirt with T0004.3, which dates from circa 1840. The bodice features a high scoop neckline with gathers at the base of the scoop and directly below where the bodice finishes creating fullness over the bust. The bodice front encloses the bust with a right panel over the top of a left panel and securing with two hook and eye closures over the left shoulder. The panels are secured together with 15 hook and eye closures. The sleeves are set neatly on the true shoulder and are elongated full puffs to just above the elbow. The fullness is created by nine pleats from the top of the shoulder over the back of the shoulder. At the base of the sleeve the fullness is gathered just above the elbow. At the centre back of the bodice are four inward facing pleats running from the centre neck to the waist. The bodice is secured around the waist with a tape and four hook and eye closures. The bodice is boned around the sides and back of the torso with eight bones. This bodice is finished at the waist with a pleated cummerbund of the dress fabric that is designed to appear to be a sash with two decorative bows. One front left of centre and one back right of centre. The skirt secures at the waist with an opening to the left of centre at the back. The skirt gathers tightly at the centre back with a dart on either side. The skirt has a front central panel and the skirt falls to floor length. At the back, the skirt is also floor length. The back of the skirt may have been modified at some time and may have originally finished in a train. It would be more appropriate to the period of the bodice, and the believed use of the dress with a 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, the skirt portion of this dress (along with the bodice T0004.3) was made for either Elizabeth or 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 this dress 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. 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.

Bonnet - Calash

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black taffeta calash with ribs made of baleen.

Dress and shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Floral cotton dress with matching belt and shoes. Sleeveless polished cotton cream dress with large red, pink and brown rose print. Heavily ruched front. The skirt has an in-built crinoline structure made with thick Vielene lining and corded hoops. Separate belt with bow at centre front. Shoes made to match by 'Suzette' in their original box. .1- dress .2 - belt .3 a-b - pair of shoes .4 a-b - shoe box and lid

Historical information

Brighton local Margaret Cooke (nee Parish) had this dress made for the Miss Summer Festival competition fundraiser. The idea for the dress came from a photograph in the Womens' Weekly. A professional dressmaker cut and made the dress. It has an 18" waist. There is a black and white photocopy on file of the dress being worn at the time.

Inscriptions & Markings

Shoes - Label, printed in gold on white leather in sock: Suzette / Styled in / NEW YORK-PARIS-ST. LOUIS

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

White French wool lace wedding gown with low neckline and high empire waist. Bodice embroidered with beads.

Historical information

This dress was worn by Brighton model Coral Triplett when she married John Knowles at St John's Church, Toorak, on 18 June 1966. Made from beaded wool lace, it was commissioned by the Australian Wool Board for the Gown of the Year competition and made by Jinoel, a high-end Melbourne fashion house run by husband and wife team Jill and Noel Kemmelfield.

Cape - Pelerine

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black silk satin, lace and beaded pelerine from c.1890. The pelerine features a silk high stand collar covered in black lace. It secures around the neck and down the centre front to the waist by seven hook and eye closures. A black lace frill extends down the centre front from the throat to the centre front tip of the garment. The shoulders feature a heavy, intricately beaded floral design open sleeve through which the arm would be visible. The sleeve finishes around the elbow in a point, however the beading hangs down to below the hip in a loose fringe. At the back from below the shoulder, the garment shapes in to finish in a tapered 'V' shape over the wearer's coccyx.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. "Barone" (also known as "Seaview") was a stately Brighton home built at 9 Moule Avenue prior to 1855 and demolished in 1986. The house's residents included Edward Elgin Browne (during 1859-72), a Melbourne tea merchant, and the family and descendants of retired Scottish Army captain Archibald Black (during the period 1880-1970). Its neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward- Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family. The items in the "Barone" collection were largely donated by one of the house's later owners, Mrs B. Brandt.

Inscriptions & Markings

There is a hand stitched "M" in white thread on the inside lining of the pelerine near the neck.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Red, white and black cotton halter neck dress with rows of pin tucking on the bodice and applied horizontal strips of red and black cotton and black lace to the skirt.

Historical information

Mary Owen OAM (1921-2017) purchased this dress in 1975 in Mexico while attending the first International Women's Conference and wore it to the reception there. A dedicated feminist, unionist and activist, she was a vocal campaigner for the empowerment of women, particularly in the fight for equal pay. Mary's involvement in activism began in 1966 when she joined the staff of the Association of Architects, Engineers & Draughtsmen (AAESDA), where she was responsible for advertising, layout and proofreading editorial for its journal 'Blueprint'. Her contact with the union awoke an interest in women's rights in the workplace, and in 1969 after she joined Dr Bertram Wainer's Progressive Reform Party, which advocated for legalised abortion. She joined the Women's Electoral Lobby in 1972 and remained an active member for over forty-three years, representing the WEL on many government committees. She was a founding co-coordinator of the Working Women's Centre Melbourne from 1975 until 1986, a founding member of EMILY's List Australia, an early member of the Melbourne Press Club and an early supporter of the Australian Women's Archives Project. An annual Mary Owen Dinner was held in her honour for twenty years from 1986 until 2007, which brought together hundreds of women each year. Mary was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and the Order of Australia Medal in 1984. She was added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2001.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: Disenado con carino por / GEORGIA CHARUHAS / HECHO / EN MEXICO Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: Gerorgia's / BOUTIQUE LAS MARIPOSAS / Designer: / Georgia Charuhas / MERIDA YUCATAN, MEXICO

Badge - School badge

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Metal Shirley College school badge in the shape of a hollow crest containing the interlocking letters "S" and "C". The back has a hook rather than a proper clasp; possibly it was originally attached to a school hat.

Historical information

This Shirley College school badge belonged to Gladys Elvira Linton, nee Richardson (b. 1891). Shirley College was a private girls' school situated in a large single-storey house in Seymour Grove, Brighton from around 1898 until 1912. The school was first run by the Misses Bird and later by Miss Elizabeth Stewart. Gladys married First World War veteran and Brighton local Richard Vivers Linton in 1919. She looked back fondly on her days at Shirley College and helped to organise school reunions well into the 1930s, long after the school itself was gone.

Inscriptions & Markings

Motto engraved around border: "NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA" (Latin, "without God, [it is] in vain").

Bodice

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn cream silk satin evening bodice from c.1865. This bodice features a very low, wide scooped neckline with a set in sleeve and four small pleats across the head of the shoulder. The elbow length, straight fitted sleeves are trimmed with a pleated ruffle that extends around the arm finishing at the elbow crease at the inside arm and tapering to mid forearm length at the back. The fitted bodice, lined with waxed linen, fastens down the centre front with eight covered buttons of the bodice fabric. The front two panels wrap around the sides of the bodice to meet another series of panels creating a princess line with a delineated central spine. The waist position is just below the natural waist at the sides, tapering to an elongated front covering the belly. From the sides towards the back it curves up to the natural waistline and then down again to a central point. The bodice is decorated with strips of the same fabric, which has been tucked, pleated and padded to create ruching. The ruching edge has a multi coloured thread, suggestive of rosettes, on both sides. In the front of the bodice, a strip runs down the centre front, concealing the buttonholes, and finishing at the elongated point. It then goes up the bodice over the bust line where it meets the neckline. It follows the neckline around the nape of the neck and back down the front over the bust line to the centre front. More strips run around the base of the fitted sleeve near the elbow above the ruffle. The rosette like coloured thread finishes the base of the ruffle.

Historical information

A bodice 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.

Suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pink taffeta suit comprising jacket, skirt and belt. Fitted jacket with peplum. Machine-quilted shawl collar and separate belt. Calf-length pencil skirt with V-shaped pleated insert centre back. .1 - jacket .2 - skirt .3 - belt

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven silver on cream acetate, centre back jacket and skirt: Prue Acton

Dress and vest - Dress and tunic vest

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Long-sleeved crimplene dress (.1) with white bodice and short purple skirt. High collar, cuffs and waist have a purple and yellow checkerboard-patterned trim. Four self-covered buttons down the centre front of skirt. Zip at back. Long purple tunic vest (.2) worn over the top.

Historical information

This dress belonged to Nola Jennings, a long-time Brighton resident. Bindi of Melbourne was the youth label of Australian commercial fashion house Len Vogue.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label in both dress and vest, white with black text: "Fashioned for / Bindi / of MELBOURNE" Two smaller labels at bottom: "SIZE 10 / TO FIT / BUST 32" / HIP 34"" and "CRIMP TERY. / C 145 4".

Purse - Coin purse

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream vinyl coin purse with conversion table for pre-decimal and decimal currency printed in black on each side. Hinged silver metal opening and kiss clasp. Unlined.

Historical information

Australia converted to decimal currency on 14 February 1966. This coin purse is printed with a simple conversion table to help the user navigate the switch from pounds, shillings and pence to the new dollars and cents.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Purple silk full length dress with cream neckline and arm hole band trim and white decorative beading over waist. The bodice joins front and back at the shoulder with a decorative purple ring. The lining is made of magenta coloured silk.

Historical information

Gifted to Di by a previous manager of the Bayside Gallery, who herself wore this dress to a fancy-dress event after finding the dress in a local opportunity shop. This dress was subsequently worn by Di Reidie to a party with friends at the Windsor Hotel, Melbourne to celebrate and watch the televised royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018

Significance

Di Reidie was a volunteer and president of Brighton Historical Society from 1999 - 2016. Originally from New Zealand, Di and her family have lived in Male Street, Brighton for many years and been active community members. During her time at BHS, Di has contributed significantly to the establishment, preservation and promotion of the Costume collection as well as the Brighton Historical society as a whole. Di was also a vintage clothing dealer and amassed her own significant costume and ephemera collection. The 2018 wedding of British royal Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex to American actress Meghan Markle was a significant historic and popular event, as is common for royal marriages. The Windsor Hotel in Spring Street Melbourne established in 1883 and originally called The Grand Hotel is the last grand standing hotel of its kind in Australia and is the work of famed architect of the era Charles Webb. It once had many peers now demolished. The hotel was renamed The Windsor in 1923 in honour of the visit of His Royal Highness, the Prince of wales. The hotel has hosted Royalty, distinguished guests and celebrities.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Exclusively Yours Hartnell REGD Melbourne", "Exclusive Finest Imported Fabric"

Gloves

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A pair of ivory kid ladies' gloves secured at the wrist with a metal catch. Circa 1853.

Historical information

This item is from the "Barone" Collection. "Barone" (also known as "Seaview") was a stately Brighton home built at 9 Moule Avenue prior to 1855 and demolished in 1986. The house's residents included Edward Elgin Browne (during 1859-72), a Melbourne tea merchant, and the family and descendants of retired Scottish Army captain Archibald Black (during the period 1880-1970). Its neighbors included “St Ninians” owned by the Ward Cole family, “Seacombe” owned by the Moule family, and the home of James Grahame and his family.

Inscriptions & Markings

Modern inscription on the inside of the glove: "'Barone', worn at Hastings E (presumably England), 1853."

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream satin princess line wedding dress with dark cream lace trim. Fastens centre front with 17 satin covered buttons. Nine extant bones are placed on the interior seams and darts. Three-quarter length fitted sleeves. Bodice backed with cream cotton. The back trained panels of the skirt have been cut to extend into a pleated swathe of satin that wraps around the hips to the centre front. A square padded bustle pad is attached to the interior back of the skirt. The hem of the skirt is decorated with kilted and swathed satin and lace.

Historical information

The donor's husband's grandmother was Bertha Michaelis who lived at 'Linden', St Kilda. She married David Jacob Baruch (known as Dalbert) in Hamburg on 9 November 1881. Bertha was born in Melbourne. The couple lived in Germany. Bertha returned to Melbourne with their two children, Ernest and May, after Dalbert died in 1893. May married Rabbi Jacob Danglow in 1909 and they had one son, Frank, who was the donor's husband.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, interior waist tape, woven silk stamped in dark green: H. L. HEYNEMANN / Hannover / Seilwinderstr. 6a., Bose; In monogrammed ("HLH") circles either side: (Left) BAARZAHLUNGS SYSTEM; (Right) ERSTE PREISE. Stitched in thick cotton thread on interior waist tape: *9097

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A cream, green, brown and red striped cotton evening cloak with a brown silk velvet collar from the 1880s. The cloak features a double tiered velvet capelet with high standing collar that meets in the centre front, fastening with three hook and eye closures and finishing just below the shoulder line. At the centre front throat is an additional piece of lined cloak fabric which may have attached across the throat, purpose unknown. The lining of the throat and collar of the capelet appears to be a replacement with a darker red silk. The original red silk lining features through out the remainder of the garment. Inside the front left breast, the lining features two pockets; inside the right breast, the lining features a single pocket. The lining also features a waist tie to secure the cloak to the body. The cloak is approximately mid calf to ankle length.

Historical information

A cloak believed to have been worn by Captain George Ward Cole. 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 sub divided and later demolished.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A grey-green circa 1878 dress comprising a matching jacket and skirt. The jacket features a standing collar that gathers to a low point at the throat. This point is concealed behind a bow with raw edges which may not be original. The centre front of the jacket has been secured with nineteen concealed metal hook and button holes. The centre front features fifteen sets of single fabric covered glass buttons secured in a diagonal pattern and appearing as double headed buttons. From the shoulder through the body the jacket is shaped with decorative panels with grey silk detail. Beside these panels shaping into the waist and under the arm are a further two pleats. On the left side waist is a small pocket with decorative flap, grey silk trim and button. The base line of the jacket features a decorative horizontal panel that wraps around the jacket. The sleeve head is small and sits on the natural shoulder line with a slim fitting, curved, full length sleeve. At the base of the sleeve, there is a decorative panel reminiscent of a formal cuff, with a decorative turn back and two buttons. Secured underneath this turn back is a bow like decoration. From the back the jacket features a V shaped decoration, an extension of the front two decorative panels. From the shoulders the jacket is shaped by four panels curving tight into the waist and flaring out again to fullness of the bustle. These seams are also finished with decorative binding. This peplum-like shape features two decorative flaps and six covered buttons. The skirt is shaped to the waist with pleats and secures on the front left hand side, the original waistband and fastenings have been replaced. The skirt front features a large decorative panel of the same fabric that curves from the front at approximately shin length, upwards towards the back securing underneath the bustle decoration. A second panel, plus a pleated panel finish the hem of the skirt continuing around to the back. At the back the skirt features two deep pleats with a large decorative bow that would sit out over the bustle. The skirt is long featuring a small train at the back. The dress is lined in a brown waxed cotton.

Historical information

This dress is of uncertain provenance. BHS records indicate that it was owned by Marion Jane Ellen Devlin, nee Stokes (1845-1936), who married Oliver Devlin on 2 April 1877 in Victoria. The dress is believed to have been worn on the Bendigo goldfields circa 1878. It may have been worn as a wedding dress. However, additional documentation discovered in August 2019 suggest that the dress belonged to Margaret Cocking, nee Carr (1850-1936), who married Gustavus Cocking in Bendigo in 1877.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Full-length pink satin evening dress with beaded shoulder straps and plaited fabric trim decorating low back. Two fabric bows on front bodice and diamond-shaped centre front panel. Separate wide pink satin cumerband made of plaited fabric with bow at back. .1 - dress .2 - cumberband

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Printed cotton maxi dress with long sleeves. Print of red, navy, white and green spots. Shirtmaker front which fastens with three covered buttons.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven maroon on cream acetate, centre back: Imported / from Italy / BY GEORGES / OF COLLINS STREET

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn, brown silk, evening dress, circa 1860, consisting of a bodice and skirt. The bodice features an off the shoulder neckline edged with cream lace. A chevron design of black velvet trim, passes from the shoulders to the centre front waist, then hangs loosely to the hip line. The black velvet trim on the sleeves and the skirt is edged with a black fringe. The bodice base is finished in a v-shaped front at the natural waistline. There are short puffed sleeves also feature the black velvet fringed trim and lace at the edge along with three epaulette style strips, which pass from the shoulder seam to the edge of the sleeve. Each strip finishes with a decorative bobble. The bodice lining is cream glazed silk with steel boning, cotton tabs sewn into both sides have four eyelets for lacing. The dress has a full, floor length unlined skirt which is slightly longer at the back creating a modest train. The skirt has horizontal bands of the velvet trim and finishes with a box pleated trim of the dress fabric. The dress is fastened at the back using two connecting rows of black velvet covered buttons.

Historical information

A dress belonging to the family of George Ward Cole in the late 1800s; possibly his wife Thomas Anne Ward Cole or one of his daughters, Margaret or Agnes. 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.

Pearl collars and box

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two artificial pearl collars in original cardboard box. One collar is constructed with two tiers of interlaced pearls and the other with three. The lid of the box is covered in a textured printed cream paper with a flower and sprig pattern in red, brown and green. T0099.1- small necklace T0099.2 - large necklace T0099.3 - box lid T0099.4 - box base

Historical information

The collars were made by Maria Frisch who, according to information provided by her daughter, survived seven concentration camps and emigrated to Australia via Italy in 1948. Maria and her daughter Anne were Polish. Anne was hidden by a Polish family throughout the war and Maria found Anne after the war. When they emigrated to Melbourne, they lived in Martin Street, Brighton. Maria's husband, and Anne's father, died in Dachau. Maria married Jack Frisch after the war.

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.

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.

Jacket - Evening jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Evening jacket made of gold metallic fabric. Deep cross-over front with curved peplum and flared cuffs. Peplum and cuffs feature 7 rows of pale blue stiching. Lined with pale blue silk.

Vest

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Fair Isle patterned hand-knitted vest in beige, brown, yellow, green and red.

Historical information

Knitted by the donor's grandmother, Elsie Hone. Knitted using bicycle spokes as knitting needles. Elsie Hone (nee Stone) was born in 1890 and died in 1987. She had six children and she apparently knitted this vest for her second son (fifth child), Albert George Hone (b.1914) for his 18th birthday. Albert and his wife Grace had four daughters between 1942 and 1951. The donor's mother, Ina Harriet Nilsson, was born in 1925 (fourth daughter, sixth child of Elsie) and as she had a son, the donor's uncle George (Albert?) passed it on to her. Both the donor's elder brothers wore and out-grew the vest and eventually it was passed on to the donor, Ray Nilsson. The vest was worn for many years while the donor worked at VACC Insurance Co Ltd in St Kilda Road, Melbourne and in the North Sydney, Canberra and Dandenong offices and it was a talking point as he recalled the story. (Information provided by the donor)

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

White cotton high-waisted maxi dress printed with black spots and trimmed with red rickrack. Elbow length sleeves. Fastens with centre back zip.

Historical information

This dress belonged to Bernice Overend, a longtime Brighton resident. Bernice Adelaide Emily Lawn was born in Ballarat in 1911. In 1938 she married Acheson Best Overend (1909-1977), an early modernist architect in Melbourne whose notable designs include the heritage-listed Cairo Flats apartment building in Fitzroy. Bernice and Best made a home together in Brighton, raising their family at 80 Were Street. Their son Darren followed in Best's footsteps, becoming an architect, and in 1979 he and his wife Jenny bought a property just down the road from his childhood home - the heritage-listed 1881 Victorian mansion 'Chevy Chase' at 203 Were Street. Bernice lived in the house with with Darren, Jenny and their three children.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed black on white acetate, centre back: JILLIAN / OF / MELBOURNE

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Four-piece wedding outfit comprising bodice, belt, skirt and separate train all made of cream figured wool. The bodice has a centre front ruched panel, stand collar and a fitted two-piece sleeve with full gathered head. It is trimmed with cream-coloured beading with pearl drops. The bodice has seven interior bones and is fastened with metal hooks and hand sewn eyelets which are concealed under the front panel. A separate pleated belt fastens centre back. Plain gored skirt with separate train that ties around the waist.

Evening outfit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Silver, blue and green knitted lurex evening outfit comprising maxi dress and short blue lurex jacket with short sleeves. Sleeveless high-necked dress with bold seaweed design. Fastens centre back with long metal zip. Jacket and dress fully lined with dark blue lining.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate centre back jacket: Tricó / ROMA

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 1015) 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.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Long-sleeved ivory-coloured silk chiffon and gold metallic fabric dress decorated with silk and metallic thread emroidery and (gelatine?) beading.