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Brighton Historical Society Brighton, Victoria

Brighton Historical Society was founded in March, 1963 for the purposes of forming a historical society in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. Today the Society has about 200 members.

Contact Information

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

Contact

Opening Hours

The rooms are open to visitors & 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 Brighton Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

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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.

History
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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114 items with images

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.

Hat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pink floral dome-shaped hat made up of silk and velvet pink hydrangea petals and mauve silk stems attached to a stiffened net base.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed black on white acetate, centre back: THOMAS HARRISON

Romper suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two piece boy's romper suit. Short-sleeved beige shirt with smocking on front is buttoned to mid-brown short pants with large mother-of-pearl buttons. Cream coloured contrast top stitching.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

One piece floor length dress of (originally) lavender, watered (moiré) silk taffeta with short sleeves and train that is controlled by interior tapes to create bustle effect. The bodice fastens down the centre front to the waist where the opening below the waist is concealed by side pleats. The bodice appears to have originally featured a piece of lace at the neckline and a textile ruched belt. The dress is backed with a cream cotton.

Historical information

This dress was worn by Julia Benjamin (1850 - 1927) for her marriage to Abraham Smith (of Polish descent) at the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation in Bourke Street, Melbourne on September 5th 1868. Julia was the daughter of Joseph Benjamin and Hannah Soloman. Records suggest it may have been converted into her 'calling' gown for the three month 'bridal' period following her marriage. The gown would have been worn with accompanying accessories of a cape, gloves.

Significance

An early example of a wedding dress of the Melbourne Jewish community.

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

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven blue on cream, centre back bodice: George & George Ltd / Federal Emporium / Melbourne

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.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

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.

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A c1878 eau de nil (green) silk parasol. The parasol canopy features a decorative gathered frill, a pale green silk lining and a scalloped edge. The wooden handle is painted pale beige with a bone ferrule.

Historical information

This parasol is believed to have been used on the Goldfields of Victoria. The discovery of gold in Victoria ranged between 1851-1879. May have been worn with T0011.1.1-2, Afternoon dress.

Significance

This parasol is believed to have been used on the Goldfields of Victoria. The discovery of gold in Victoria ranged between 1851-1879. There are few remaining examples of similar items used on the Victorian goldfields.

Jacket - Bridge jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream silk jacket block-printed with Art Deco style pattern in red, blue, black and mustard colours. Lined with soft apricot-coloured satin. Wide stand collar. Front fastens low on hip with four silk covered buttons.

Historical information

Bought in England for Mrs Law by her husband James Lindsay Gordon Law in 1930. Used as a bridge jacket. See ADB entry for James. His wife was Elsie Russell (married 12 Jan 1915, St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Sydney) and they lived most of their life in Brighton. He was a shirt manufacturer - company became Pelaco.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on cream silk, centre back: Eileen / Mulholland / Ltd. / 43, Wigmore St., / LONDON. W1.

Shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pair of flat black kid leather indoor shoes decorated with pale blue silk, cut-away applique and embroidery.

Historical information

Worn by Emily Smith of 'Castlefield', South Road, Brighton.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

This c1872 grey and white silk pin stripe dress features a high round neckline with eleven decorative blue silk buttons and secured by a concealed line of fifteen hook and eyelet closure. The bodice has decorative blue and green braid over the shoulder and bust and across the base of the bodice. The dress features three darts shaping the dress to the body. The sleeve is cut high but relatively full and tapers to the elbow then flares again in Pagoda like style but ends at the wrist or hand. The skirt opens over the left hip and features a pocket over the right hip. The skirt at the front finishes at the ankle or just above the ground. At the back the bodice features panels shaping the dress into the body and pleated and flared from the waist. At the small of the back is a decorative bow with pinked edges and decorative braid. The skirt at the back is uncommon in shape most likely as the result of modification. It appears to have had panels removed reducing its original fullness. It has a tape inside the back of the skirt that would draw the skirt in creating a bustle like shape . It would appear that the dress had been modified in order to create a more fashionable silhouette most probably in circa 1872. There are three separate pieces of fabric. One is made up into a semi-circular over-skirt trimmed with blue braid and fringing. Two pieces are unpicked skirt gores, one still has its cotton lining attached.

Historical information

This dress was donated as having belonged to Annie Elizabeth McLean born in Argyllshire, Scotland in 1853. This dress appears to have been originally made in c1855 and then modified in c1872. This indicates that the dress would most probably have been originally made for someone else and acquired by Annie Elizabeth McLean. In 1855 Annie was 2 whereas in 1870 she was 19 years old.

Significance

Annie Elizabeth McClean arrived in the Colony of Victoria from Argyllshire Scotland with her aunts and cousins in 1867 aged thirteen and a half. She had been educated in Scotland and eventually became a personal maid and then companion to the Renwick girl, daughters of Samuel Renwick of Brighton, Australia. She returned to England, Scotland and again to Victoria in the service of the Renwick family. She left the Renwick family upon the marriage of the youngest Renwick daughter. She then went to the household of Sir William and Lady McCullough until she left to be married in 1878.

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

Olga's family were Greek immigrants to Australia. Olga was born in Melbourne in 1930. This bolero is part of Greek national costume from the Peloponnese. Olga wore this to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games to represent her Greek heritage. She remembers the stands being full of migrants wearing their traditional national costumes.

Coat - Water rat coat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

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

Historical information

Belonged to Audrey Pickett (nee Heriot) who was married to Ted Pickett. Later in life, after Ted died, Audrey married Don North. The coat was exhibited in the window of F. J. Ellemor's store in the Royal Arcade.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Gloves

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A pair of very fine ivory doeskin evening gloves. The gloves feature full pique insert seams around the fingers and thumb with a slit on the inside arm from mid thumb to mid fore arm and three white shell buttons. The gloves extend high to high on the upper arms and feature a ribbon covered elastic to aid hold on the upper arm.

Historical information

Clara Miller nee Bell (1867 - 1910) was the only daughter of Mr James Bell a local shire Councillor and prominent family of Woolbrook, Teesdale, near Geelong. Clara was also the first wife of prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastoralist Septimus Miller (1854 - 1925). Septimus Miller was the sixth child of seven children to Henry 'Money' Miller and Eliza Miller nee Mattinson. 'Money' Miller was a well known financier and politician and reputedly one of Australia's wealthiest people, the family home was Findon . Clara and Septimus married in 1888, and one daughter Gwendoline (1889 - 1902) who died at a young age of Diabetes. In 1889 the family moved to their new house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Rd Caulfield. Clara died in 1910 and Septimus remarried, Helen nee Henderson, and had a son Ronald (1915 - 1990). Upon Clara's death some of her clothes and those of Gwendoline were passed to members of Clara's family.

Significance

These gloves were owned and worn by Clara Miller nee Bell in Melbourne in circa 1900.

Inscriptions & Markings

A black ink stamp on the inside of the right glove over the wrist: 5 3/4, Made in France, Buckley and Nunn Limited, Melbourne. A black ink stamp on the inside of the left glove over the wrist: Grand Prix Exposition, 1900, Medallere D'or, Merlier, Depose (? Very faint), Made in France. A blue ink stamp on the inside of the left glove over the top side of the wrist: 797, 221'65, C51C

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A grey silk parasol with mauve stripe decoration, wooden handle and brass fittings from the late 19th century. The handle appears to be missing a decorative finish from the end.

Historical information

Clara Miller nee Bell (1867 - 1910) was the only daughter of Mr James Bell a local shire Councillor and prominent family of Woolbrook, Teesdale, near Geelong. Clara was also the first wife of prominent businessman, racehorse owner, racing identity and pastorialist Septimus Miller (1854 - 1925). Septimus Miller was the sixth child of seven children to Henry 'Money' Miller and Eliza Miller nee Mattinson. 'Money' Miller was a well known financier and politician and reputedly one of Australia's wealthiest people, the family home was Findon . Clara and Septimus married in 1888, and one daughter Gwendoline (1889 - 1902) who died at a young age of Diabetes. In 1889 the family moved to their new house 'Cantala' in Dandenong Rd Caulfield. Clara died in 1910 and Septimus remarried, Helen nee Henderson, and had a son Ronald (1915 - 1990). Upon Clara's death some of her clothes and those of Gwendoline were passed to members of Clara's family.

Significance

This parasol was owned and used by Clara Miller in Melbourne in the late 19th century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Mrs. S. Miller, Cantala, Caulfield.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two piece day dress of mulberry figured silk. The dress comprises a separate bodice and skirt. The bodice fastens centre front with fabric covered shank buttons and has twelve bones encased along the interior seams and darts. Two piece fitted sleeve and high stand collar. Bodice is backed with a caramel coloured printed cotton. The skirt has a slight train and is backed with a caramel coloured twill-woven cotton.

Historical information

Worn by Mrs Lilias Parker (nee Johnston), born 1820, died 1904.

Suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two-piece women's suit made of maroon corded silk; comprising fitted jacket and straight skirt. Jacket fastens with one large black faceted glass button. Jacket lined with pink satin; skirt unlined.

Historical information

The suit was tailor-made for the dancer Vija Vetra who lived at the Old Hall (now nos. 93-95) Bay Street, Brighton. Vetra arrived in Australia as a refugee in the late 1940s. She was a teacher of Indian and Spanish dancing. In late 1965 Vetra went to America intending to return, but crossed to Europe and never returned to Australia. Vetra was Latvian by birth. She ran a dance academy at 97 Bay Street, Brighton.

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.

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Orange bouclé wool coat woven with velvet stripes; brown fur collar and deep hem.

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream coloured raw silk dress. Lower part of skirt hand-embroidered with floral design. Black and white striped silk collar and placket at front opening with 17 black decorative buttons. Two rows of thick cording insetred into casings around waist area which control the gathering in the skirt.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two piece ivory satin evening dress. Bodice is decorated with central panel of finely pleated chiffon and embellished with ready-made strips of beading and artificial pearls. Short puffed sleeves. Russet coloured velvet band applied to waist of bodice and finished with a metal rosette. Plain gored satin skirt with cream velvet binding around hem.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed grey on cream cotton, centre back bodice waist: Bussell, Robson & Bussell / MELBOURNE.

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

J.T. Morris were a shoe store located at 306 Sturt Street, Ballarat

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Bonnet - Mourning bonnet

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Navy, silk velvet, mourning bonnet with black silk train, circa 1915. The bonnet’s shape is created by a horseshoe shaped rib that sits across the crown of the head and shapes in to cover and conceal the back of the head. Across the crown, the bonnet features a navy silk velvet bow. The veil is constructed from a very fine black corded silk and hangs to approximately just below the wearer’s bottom.

Historical information

Brighton Historical Society Records indicate this bonnet was worn at the death of Isabella Black in 1912. Other records held, place Isabella Blacks death to be in 1915. This item is from the "Barone" Collection. “Barone” was a stately Brighton home demolished in 1986. One of the former owners presumably either Mrs Cora Doris Halkyard or Mrs B Brandt donated the various goods in the “Barone” collection. Owners of “Barone” Circa 1840’s. Certainly built prior to 1859 – owners unknown. 1859 – 1872 Edward Elgin Browne (first Melboune tea merchant) 1872 – 1874 Ralph Gore Brien (Occupier 1873 The Reverand Henry G. Brien) 1874 – 1879 Edward (or Edmund) Johnson (possibly a retired military man.) 1880 – 1885 Archibald Black, formerly an Army captain from Scotland. 1886 – 1915 Isabella M. Black widow of above. 1916 – 1951 Amy Elsie (nee Black) Chalk 1951 – 1970 Cora Doris Halkyard, niece of the above and grand-daughter of Archibald and Isabella Black. 1970 – 1986 Mrs B Brandt – unconfirmed.

Significance

“Barone” (previously “Seaview”) was one of Brighton’s finest colonial homes. It’s 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.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

This c1849 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), wife of Reverend John Hamilton McLachlan.

Significance

Reverend John Hamilton McLachlan was a Minister of St Cuthberts Presbyterian Church Brighton Elizabeth and John were married at the Free Church of Ayr at Lindsaystonn, Parish of Kirkmickach, Ayrshire, Scotland on 15th October 1849. At this time his occupation was listed as Minister of Presbyterian Church and hers as Governess. They left Australia on the 1st of November 1849 and arrived in Australia 6 months later. Apparently John's hair had turned snow white during the journey due to his seasickness! John McLachlan was born in 1813 at Mayball, Scotland and Elizabeth Duncan was born in 1820. The McLachlan's first went to Geelong upon their arrival in 1850, then to the Western District, Brighton then Talbot - at the height of the gold mining era. The McLachlan's had seven children: John Campbell Duncan McLachlan, Geelong, October 1850 Mary McLachlan, Geelong, November 1851 Agnes McLachlan, Hopkins River near Wickliff, May 1853 Elizabeth and Walter (twins) McLachlan, June 1854 Elizabeth McLachlan, Hesham, June 1855 Margaret McLachlan, Brighton 1857 Elizabeth McLachlan (mother) died in 1904, Mr. McLachlan died approximately five years later and they are both buried in Amherst Cemetery.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress of white lace. V-neckline, long fitted sleeves and train. Large bow at back.

Historical information

Wedding dress worn by May Dunne who was married on 11 April 1942 at the Newtown Methodist Church in Aberdeen Street, Geelong. The lace was purchased with war-time coupons. The couple lived in Brighton and May was a member of the Brighton Historical Society when she donated the dress.

Dress - Afternoon dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A c1878 two piece dress consisting of bodice and skirt. The eau de nil (green) corded silk dress features a high round neckline that secures with hook and eye fastenings and decorative buttons through the length of the princess line bodice to the band around the hem. A watch pocket sits just below the waistline on the left hip. The three-quarter sleeves are narrow with kilted pleat trim on the lower edge and decorative buttons. At the back of the dress is asymmetric in its cut. The dress splits along the right hand side and finishes shorter with pleating and has a decorative pocket. A bow sits at the top of the split. The underskirt fastens on the left hip and features kilted pleats along the base of the skirt and train. The train features additional fullness created by a section of gathering in the centre.

Historical information

This dress is believed to have been worn on the Goldfields of Victoria. The discovery of gold in Victoria ranged between 1851-1879.

Significance

This dress is believed to have been worn on the Goldfields of Victoria. The discovery of gold in Victoria ranged between 1851-1879. There are few remaining examples of clothing worn on the Victorian goldfields.

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 Delbert 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

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.

Outfit - Three-piece woman's outfit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Three-piece woman's outfit comprising double-breasted cape, cropped sleeveless top and skirt; cream wool woven with silver lurex. Top is decorated with a centre front fabric bow and is decoarated with fake pearls. All items lined with cream polyester. .1 - cape .2 - top .3 - skirt

Historical information

Overend collection. The Overend family lived at the heritage listed 'Chevy Chase', 203 Were Street, Brighton, built in 1881.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label printed black on white acetate, centre back cape, top and skirt: DESIGNED AND HANDWOVEN / BY / Robert Maltus

Hot pants outfit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Two-piece hot pants outfit made from cream synthetic 'Estacel' (Courtaulds acetate fibre) and rayon with red dots and plain red synthetic fabric. .1 - Blouse: fastens centre front with five red plastic buttons. .2 - Hot pants: fastens centre back with zip.

Historical information

Shaw family collection. This outfit was Mrs Shaw's 'Going away' outfit for her wedding in 1972.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label woven, metallic gold on white acetate, centre back blouse and shorts: ricki reed / ALL RAYON Label printed, black on beige acetate, centre back blouse and shorts: Estacel and / RAYON / COURTAULDS ACETATE FIBRE

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sleeveless black cotton voile dress printed with large cream and apricot coloured roses. Dropped waist; bias-cut triangular draping applied to front neck; two horizontal bands of black voile inserted into skirt.

Historical information

Worn by Dame Marie Breen DBE OBE, Federal Senator for Victoria and Brighton resident. Marie Freda Breen (nee Chamberlin) was born on 3 November 1902, died 17 June 1993. Marie became the first female senator for Victoria in 1962. In 1959 she was appointed an Officer of the British Empire for her work in the role of State President of the National Council of Women (Victoria) and in 1979 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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

The dress was 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

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Sheer black silk chiffon dress with black beaded front detail and pin tucked front skirt. Long pointed beaded collar. Long sleeves with nine rows of horizontal pin tucking on lower edge.

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A silver and brown striped silk taffeta dress comprising separate bodice and skirt. The dress features a high round neckline fastening down the centre front with concealed hook and eye closures with ten (two missing) decorative brown silk velvet buttons. The front and back feature a briown silk velvet ribbon that forms a v shape from the shoulder to the centre front just below the bust and centre back below the shoulder blades. From the ribbon falls a brown and silver silk fringe approx seven cms deep. The bodice is shaped and boned into the waist and finishes in a deep v over the stomach. At the back the bodice is shaped to the body finishing in a smaller curved v over the small of the back. The sleeve attaches to the bodice at the true shoulder and falls in a pagoda sleeve to the mid forearm. The sleeve is also trimmed with brown silk velvet ribbon near the base of the sleeve. The full skirt is pleated at the waist, falling to the floor, longer at the back to accommodate the crinoline.

Historical information

A dress believed to have belonged to an ancestor of Mrs. Jessie Somerville Singer (nee Watson) 1849 – 1935. Given the dress dates from circa 1850 possibly someone from one generation previous possibly her mother Elizabeth Martin. Jessie Somerville Singer was the second wife of Mr. Edward Singer (1829 – 1904) of ‘Somerville’ New St. Brighton Beach. Mr Singer’s first wife Maria died in 1861 and their son William approximately 12 months later. In the 1861 census of North Bradley England, Mr. Singer was recorded as a carpenter journeyman. After this tragedy Edward, aged 30, left England to start a new life in Australia. He emigrated as an unassisted passenger on the steamship ‘Great Britain’ departing Liverpool and arriving in Melbourne in April 1863. Edward worked as a joiner and overseer for a timber merchant in Franklin Street Melbourne. In December 1869 he bought a property at 1115 Hoddle Street, East Melbourne, between Hotham and George Streets. At some stage he also acquired 1117 Hoddle Street. He also owned another property in Rushall Crescent, North Fitzroy. On July 10th 1873 Edward married Jessie Somerville Watson, the daughter of William Watson and Elizabeth Martin They lived at Hoddle street for some years, until they lived at Rushall Crescent, North Fitzroy then in the 1880’s Edward is recorded as a joiner in the then semi rural suburb of Brighton. The house ‘Somerville’ was built by the Singers in c1880 at 100 (now 78) New Street Brighton. The family moved there when Edward retired early, from North Fitzroy and lived there until 1941. ‘Somerville’ was sold, the house demolished and the land divided in the 1930’s. Edward and Jessie appear to have lived comfortably. Edward died on 30th July 1909. Jessie died on 11th November 1935. Mrs. A. Rodin Cook (donator) is the granddaughter of Walter Francis Newing was Jessie’s grandson. Walter Newing had a small printing business in Bay Street and from 1910 lived at Kinane Street. He was secretary of the Life Saving Club that stood at the end of Kinane st in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Significance

Many members of the Singer family have lived in and around Brighton for many years, with the first recorded domicile in the 1880’s.

Dressing gown

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Crazy patchwork dressing gown made from a patchwork beadspread. Made from irregular pieces of silk, satin, velvet and brocades and embellished with embroidered and painted motifs. Fully lined with maroon silk. Neckline trimmed with thick silk cord. Right over left fastening with two large metal press studs. One of the pieces on the back has an inscription dated 11/7/94 (1894).

Historical information

Made by the family, friends, relatives and guests of William and Polly Hodgens, owners of the Adelphi Hotel near Montague Station, South Melbourne. Later demolished by Victorian Railways.

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 1800’s.

Significance

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.

Jacket - Military jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A red and green flocked cotton Military jacket believed to be British Navy from c.1807 - 1817. The jacket features a green high stand collar secured at the throat by three brass hook and eye closures. The red jacket bodice secures down the centre front with fourteen brass buttons and finishes approximately at the navel. The bottom line sits on the waistline at the sides and back, tapering lower to the naval at the centre front. The bottom line features two substantial brass hooks one on either side of the waist to secure the jacket to the pants. The shoulder line of the jacket is a neat tight fit on the true shoulder, with a slim fitting curved sleeve with gathered fullness at the shoulder. On each shoulder is a metallic corded epaulet with North Devon XI button and second button with floral motif. At the base of the sleeve is a green cuff like detail with a curved elongated point towards the elbow. At the base of each sleeve is a further two brass regiment buttons. The cream woolen jacket lining is lightly quilted over the breast.

Historical information

A Military jacket, possibly British Navy believed to have been worn by Captain George Ward Cole. George Ward Cole joined the British Navy in 1807, serving as a midshipman stationed in the West Indies until 1810 when he transferred to the Channel Squadron. In 1814 he was promoted to lieutenant and spent a year on the North American Coast in various amphibious operations including the destruction of Washington. After further service in the West Indies he was injured by gunfire losing hearing in his left ear and retired with honorable discharge in 1817 / 18.

Significance

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.

Muff

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A hand sewn dark blue silk velvet muff from late 1800’s. 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 1800’s

Significance

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.

Sash

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream coloured Miss Young Liberal sash printed in metallic gold and with gold-coloured fringing at either end.

Historical information

Donated by Brighton resident and journalist Janifer Price.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed, metallic gold on white acetate: Miss / YOUNG LIBERAL / 1966

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Parasol with a cotton canopy printed with an Egyptian-inspired design of the Sphinx, camels, palm trees and water carriers. Painted handle with plaited cotton tassel with pink wooden bead.

Doll - Bead doll

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Painted wooden bead doll of a sailor made by Olga's cousin who gave it to her in 1937. Cream coloured body and limbs and pink head. The body is made from one long oval bead and the limbs from small round beads.

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Blue silk parasol with cream silk printed with floral design in beige, brown, turquoise and terracotta. Metal spokes tipped with horn coloured bakelite. Wooden handle with traces of iredescent paint. Dark brown twisted cotton cord hanging from handle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Cast in metal spokes: THE ARMSTRONG REGD BRITISH MAKE

Jacket

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Dior-inspired suit jacket. Unlined. Six cloth buttons with bound button holes. Inside hip pads.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven brown on cream acetate, centre back neck: Ponce De Leon. Handwritten on label in black pen:43 LANDELS

Dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Three quarter length chamois dress circa 1974. Machine stitched with a v-neck and full length sleeves and an uneven raw hem, the dress is decorated with narrow thongs of chamois embellished with red beads and blue feathers. The open-fronted bodice is laced with red ribbon and the skirt is decorated with a large blue wool cross stitch and a combination of blue wool and purple ribbon cross stitch. Made in the style of an Indian 'Wild West Dress'.

Historical information

Worn by Councillor Di Lopez when she was Mayor of Brighton to the Mayoral Ball held at Brighton Technical School c.1976.

Significance

The dress is significant because it was worn by the Mayor, Di Lopez, to the Brighton Mayoral Ball. In wearing such a radical dress Di Lopez was making a public statement, breaking away from the tradition of wearing stuffy, formal gowns and bringing the Mayor's office into the 1970s.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

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 3rd December 1837 in Stirling, Scotland. She emigrated to Australia with her family aboard the Ticonderoga arriving in Melbourne on 22nd December 1852. 100 passengers died during the journey and approximately a further 70 after arrival of typhus. Two of Margaret's siblings were among the casualties. The Bartholomew family settled in Ballarat. In circa 1861 Margaret married James Nicol Law in Ballarat. They had several children, the youngest of which was James (Lin) Lindsay Gordon Law 21st Jan 1881. James Nicol Law was killed in a train accident in Fingal Tasmania in July 1886. Lin Law married Elsie Russell in January 1915. They had four children. The eldest of these children was Pauline Margaret Law, born 15th December 1915.

Significance

Lin and business partner Jim Pearson established Pelaco, the shirt manufacturing company in 1906. The Law family moved to 'Blairgowrie', 306 St Kilda Street Brighton in 1920. Pauline and her husband Hugh McLean purchased "Blairgowrie" from the Law family in 1956 and lived there until 1965 when the house was demolished.

Dress - Visiting dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A black and yellow velvet, wool, lace and silk dress from circa 1882. The bodice features a yellow silk, black lace and black velvet collar finishing high on the neck just below the chin finished with a black lace ruffle. The collar has a flap across the front of the throat that attaches at the side with a v shaped baseline that contributes to concealing the fastenings of the bodice. The dress features a gathered central panel of black lace covered lemon silk, which falls from the neckline to the floor. At either side of this panel are matching panels of black velvet. The remainder of the dress and sleeves are made of black wool featuring a self-striped and spotted pattern. The dress fastens down the centre front with concealed black buttons hidden underneath the right velvet panel. The head of the Amadis sleeve sits on the natural shoulder line and finishes tightly at the elbow. The volume of the sleeve is created by ten pleats at the head of the shoulder, sewn to the bodice and is gathered at the elbow. The sleeve is finished with a black velvet ribbon with a bow and a black lace frill. The base of the dress is finished with a ruffle of the black dress wool. The dress features a small train. The dress is boned at the back waist and features an inset panel just below the waist of gathered fabric which forms the train.

Historical information

This gown, one of two similar items in the collection belonged to one of the Ward Cole sisters, Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole or Miss Agnes Bruce Ward Cole, daughters of George Ward Cole.

Significance

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.

Parasol

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Beige silk parasol printed with bold zig-zag design in brown, orange, yellow and turquoise. Metal spokes tipped with white bakelite. Wooden handle decorated with pokerwork design painted red. Wooden ball covered in silk thread and twisted cotton cord hanging from handle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Cast in metal spokes: THE ARMSTRONG REGD BRITISH MAKE Woven label, blue on white cotton attached to spoken: Perfection

Crinoline skirt - Crinoline

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

A cream paper silk taffeta crinoline skirt c.1862. This skirt features a flat front across the front waistband but a gathered across the back. At the front it is floor length whilst at the back it features a small train. Presumably the skirt was concealed at the sides and back at the front features decorations that do not continue around the back. The front decoration consists of three tiers of pleated pale violet to pale pink silk ribbon with a deep drop of cream lace. The final lace tier is gracing the floor.

Historical information

This skirt belonged to Miss Margaret Morison Ward Cole and was worn for her role as bridesmaid for the marriage of Miss Barkly, daughter of Sir Henry Barkly.

Significance

George Ward Cole, father of Miss Margaret Morison 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. Sir Henry Barkly was the second Governor of Victoria.

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