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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 Society is the custodian of over 1,000 items of clothing including nightwear, bathing costumes, shoes, hats, fans, undergarments and shawls dating from the early 1800's through to the 1980's. From a Jane Austen period patterned cotton dress, through to dresses worn at the court of Queen Victoria and on the Victorian goldfields, Edwardian tea dresses, hand-beaded flapper gowns, clothes covering both wars, the fifties through to the swinging sixties and the padded 1980's shoulders.

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115 items

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.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream crepe wedding dress with short sleeves and dropped waist. Sweetheart neckline, bodice and sleeves decorated with floral design in bugle beads. Fastens with metal zip in left side seam.

Historical information

Worn by three brides in 1941, 1944 and c.1950. The dress was made for Eva Elizabeth (Bid) Harvey for her marriage to Morris Langlo West on 2 October 1941 at St James Catholic Church, North Road, Gardenvale. They had two children, Julian 1942-2005 and Sr. Elizabeth West born 1942. Bid was born in 1906 to Michael and Kitty Harvey. They lived at 51 Cole Street, Elwood. The bridesmaid was Bid's niece Jocelyn Hickey. The dress was also worn by Jocelyne Dorothy Taylor when she married John Carlisle (Carl) Harvey (Bid's brother) at James Catholic Church, Gardenvale on 30 June 1944. Jocelyne's bridesmaid was Jocelyn Hickey and the best man was Basil Robinson. The reception was held at 'Birdswood', Birdswood Avenue, Brighton. Jocelyne was born in Rangoon, Burma in 1921 and was the eldest daughter of Stanley and Dorothy Taylor. Carl was the only son of Michael and Kitty Harvey. Jocelyne and Carl lived at 15 Harwood Street, Elwood and later at 54 North Road, Brighton. They had five children, Michael, David, Jennifer, Robert and Eric.The third bride to wear the dress was Jocelyn Mary Hickey who was bridesmaid to Bid and Jocelyne. Jocelyn Hickey was born in 1929 to Daniel and Doreen Hickey (Bid's sister and Jocelyne's siter in law). Jocelyn married Gerard Leslie O'Donnell at St James Catholic Church, Gardenvale. The bride's attendants were Adita Smith, Maureen Bow and Jacqueline Connell. The groom's attendants were Jack Fallon and Con O'Donnell.The reception was held at 51 Cole Street, Elwood. Jocelyn and Gerard had three daughters, Maree, Carlene and Janine. They lived in Bunyip, Victoria. (Information provided by the donor). Photocopies of photographs of the three brides are on file at the Brighton Historical Society.

Vest

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

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

Historical information

Knitted by the donor's great 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

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

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

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

Skirt

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Blue cotton circular skirt with white cord design of men and women dancing around the hem. Fastens with a metal sip in left proper side seam.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed red on cream cotton, centre back: Milton Harding / MELBOURNE / GUARANTEED TAILORED / & HAND FINISHED (image of skirt)

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.

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.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Strapless pink organza cocktail-length dress. Finely pleated bodice and skirt laid on to a heavy vilene. Decorated around the waist with pink organza flowers and two bands of pink satin, one around the bodice and the other around the lower part of the skirt.

Historical information

Belonged to Louris White whose wedding dress from 1948 is also in the collection. Louris and her husband lived in Brighton.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: printed black on cream acetate side front bodice: Original / Margeaux / REGD. / of Melbourne / IMPORTED FABRIC

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 - 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 - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress made from silver metallic thread crepe. Fastens down front with small self-covered buttons and loops. Long fitted sleeves fastened with10 covered buttons and loops. Full bias cut skirt with train.

Historical information

Louris Larson Disney married James Percy White at Melbourne Grammar Chapel on 17 June 1948. In later years the dress was given to an opportunity shop and purchased by Mrs Landells of the Brighton Historical Society. Also in the Society's collection is a 1950s pink straples silk chiffon dress worn by Louris. The couple lived in Brighton. Wedding photo of Louris taken at 53 South Road, Brighton is in the collection of the Brighton Historical Society.

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

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.

Evening outfit - Evening dress and bag

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black full-length crepe evening dress with bronse-coloured sequins on bodice; asymmetric neckline and draping. Matching black reticule with sequins.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wedding dress made from cream silk purchased in China. The bodice is made of fine silk embroidered tulle with a vest of cream silk that floats over the top. The skirt has been permanently pleated, has has floating side panels of tulle and features a large butterfly-shaped bow at the back.

Historical information

Worn by Elizabeth Goodwin of Liverpool, England, who married Horace Book at St Andrew's Church, Brighton. The fabric was purchased by her father, who was a ship's captain when he was in China. The bride had her dress made in Liverpool and made to a Butterick's pattern. Elizabeth was very active in public life and a well-known member of the Book family.

Dress - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Ivory satin dress with train overlaid with machine made lace. High, gathered neckline, leg-of-mutton sleeves, In-built padded hip rolls. Front of dress is decorated with wax flowers.

Historical information

Worn by Edna Emily Seehusen when she married William Alexander McQuilten. Married September 1947 at Brighton Congregational Chruch, Black Street, Brighton.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven pink on cream silk, centre back neck: A / Dorothy Draper / Original / EXCLUSIVE TO / BALL & WELCH LTD. / MELBOURNE

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 - Wedding dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Beige taffeta silk dress with fine black woven stripe. Olive coloured bias satin trim and vandyked horizontal panels down front of the dress. The dress has a train.

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.

Waistcoat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black velvet waistcoat part of Greek national costume, decorated with silver cornelli work. Pale blue cotton lining. Fastens with hooks and eyes.

Historical information

Olga's family were Greek immigrants to Australia. Olga was born in Melbourne in 1930. This waistcoat is part of Greek national costume.

Evening outfit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Evening outfit comprising magenta feathered cape, full-length black velvet dress and a spray of silk flowers. Hem of dress lined with magenta and yellow silk. .1 - cape .2 - dress .3 - floral spray

Historical information

Bertha was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in c.1892. She lived at 42 Bay Street, Brighton and was married to Reginald Ambrose Dudfield.

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

The dress was worn by Mrs Dot Paroissien in the 1950s. She remembers wearing it to a ball at the Royal Exhibition Buildings for Wesley College. The black suede bag was bought in London for her by her husband David. Dot wore suede shoes with a medium heel with straps across the instep and long white kid gloves. She wore a baguette chocker 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 - 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.

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

Scarf - Victory scarf

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Victory scarf with the flags of France, the United Kingdom, USA and the USSR. 'Victory' printed in yellow in the centre surrounded by names of countries and regions.

Historical information

The scarf belonged to Olga Black who was born in Melbourne in 1930.

Skirt

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Ankle-length full cream linen skirt with multi-coloured cross stitch embroidery featuring mountains, birds and trees. Fullness is pleated into wide waist band. Left side opening. The fabric widths have been whipped together by hand probably at the time the cloth was woven in the late-nineteenth century. The skirt is machine stitched.

Historical information

Cream linen woven by donor Olga Black's great-grandmother Efstathia from flax grown on the island of Ithaca. The fabric was later made into skirt and hand embroidered by Olga in the 1950s. Olga was born in Melbourne in 1930.

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.

Dress - Child's dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

White cotton cutwork child's dress, hand stitched. Back opening with drawstring neck and waist.

Rug - Possum skin rug

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Possum skin rig made from 15 rectangular cut pelts mounted onto a brown wool felt with cut scalloped edges.

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 - 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

Cloak

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

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

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

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.

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

Pant suit

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pant suit comprising tunic and flared pants made from cream, yellow and gold lurex woven in a floral pattern. Tunic has a pair of non-functional pocket flaps at breast and two finctional pockets at front hip area. Tunic fastens with a centre back zip. Tunic lined with shell pink poyester satin; pants unlined.

Historical information

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Label woven white on black acetate centre back tunic: Stell-Ricks / OF MELBOURNE / SUITS TOPCOATS

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

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

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: JILLIAN / OF / MELBOURNE

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

Purchased in Mexico by Mary Owen OAM (1921-2017) while attending the first International Women's Conference and worn to the reception. Mary Owen was a feminist and activist. A lifelong advocate for the empowerment of women, Mary made a substantial impact on the road to achieving gender equality. Mary was a founding member of EMILY’s List, the founding Coordinator of The Working Women’s Centre Melbourne (which was later absorbed into the Australian Council of Trade Unions) and a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby for more than 40 years. She was appointed Deputy Chancellor of La Trobe University in 1989. (Information from the Victorian Women's Trust website: https://www.vwt.org.au/mary-owen-oam-memorial/)

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

Shawl

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Cream-coloured cotton bobbinet ground, hand-embroidered with flattened metal strips.

Historical information

Often referred to as Assiut shawls, where they were made.

Dress - Evening dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Full-length knit dress of blue, green and silver patterned lurex with Georges box and receipts. High neck with metal zip centre back. .1 - dress .2 a-b - Georges box with lid .3 a-c - envelope & 3 layby & alteration receipts stapled together & separate delivery invoice .4 - Receipt for dress alteration & delivery charge

Historical information

Belonged to a Mrs E. Hill of 6 Webb Street, Brighton. The dress is an excellent example of mid-1970s evening wear and comes with its original box and dockets.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white acetate, centre back: PRINTED BY HAND / Pelilla / MADE IN ITALY Label, printed black on white acetate, centre back: 65% RAYON / 35% POLYESTER / MADE IN ITALY

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.

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

Skirt

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pink floral patterned quilted polished cotton circular skirt with two patch pockets.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven grey and yellow on white acetate, centre back: A Malborough Classic

Shoes - Platform shoes

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Pair of silver holographic platform open-toed shoes.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on white: TIP toe

Hat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Wreath of mustard and grey silk velvet leaves with bow at centre front, covered with grey tulle.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, woven black on grey acetate, inside side back: PHONE 50 5347 / Mary H. Thomas, 103 WATTLETREE RD. EAST MALVERN

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

Hat - Top hat

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

Black plush silk top hat with cream silk lining and leather and padded cloth interior bands. Black wool band.

Historical information

Established in 1773, Christys' still manufactures men's hats.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label, printed in blue on crown silk lining: ENGLISH MANUFACTURE / CHRISTYS' LONDON'