The other day I was looking for knickers when I came upon these strange, worm-like creatures. This is not entirely true. I was indeed looking for knickers as I was preparing for a visit by a student who is researching 1930s underwear. But I found the worms in a box, which was supposed to hold two chemisettes. These are like double-bibs, made up of the upper front and back part of a blouse to cover a low décolletage. I presume in the 1930s chemisettes would have been worn underneath suits, but that needs a bit more research on my part […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
A starring role for the Suffragette collection
As curator of the museum’s wonderful Suffragette collection I often welcome ‘important’ visitors to the archive, captivated by the story of the women who endured imprisonment, hunger-strike and even force-feeding in their battle to win the vote.
I Love You…I Love You Not: Victorian Valentine’s Day cards
When the Uniform penny post rocked up in 1840, it completely revolutionised the way in which people communicated. Sending letters and cards, such as those celebrating Valentine’s Day, became easier and cheaper and as a result a thriving business developed in central London.