Collections
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, SILK, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20170003000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
COTTON, SILK, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
2
Length
51
Width
25.5
Description
IVORY AND PALE BLUE ROMPER; TWO PIECES, IVORY TOP AND BLUE SHORTS ATTACHED WITH SIX OPAQUE WHITE BUTTONS. TOP HAS FOUR IVORY BUTTONS RUNNING DOWN THE FRONT; SLEEVES HAVE A SINGLE WHITE BUTTON AT CUFFS. TOP HAS ELASTIC WAIST. BOTTOMS LINED WITH WHITE COTTON FABRIC; SEAMS ALONG LEGS AND SHOULDERS MACHINE-STITCHED WITH WHITE THREAD. FRONT HAS STITCHED WAVE-LINE PATTERN AND DOUBLE-LINE BORDERS ON LEFT AND RIGHT SIDES. FRONT IS CREASED AT TOP AND FADED ON BOTTOM; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CLOTHING-OUTERWEAR
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
ON JANUARY 31M 2017, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED TREVOR BENNETT ABOUT HIS DONATION OF A CHILD’S ROMPER. ACCORDING TO BENNETT, THE ROMPER WAS HAND-MADE BY HIS MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER IN ENGLAND AND WAS SENT TO LETHBRIDGE FOR HIS WEAR. WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE USE AND HISTORY OF THE ROMPER, BENNETT ELABORATED, “I HAVE SOME PICTURES OF ME WEARING THE SATIN SET. I DON’T REMEMBER WEARING THEM, BUT I HAVE A PICTURE OF ME WEARING THIS, AND BEING HELD, OR PUSHED…BY MY GRANDFATHER...HIS NAME WAS MICHAEL JOHN BENNETT. HE WAS A MAJOR FROM THE FIRST WORLD WAR.” “THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN [MADE] BY MY GRANDMOTHER WHO LIVED IN ENGLAND. SHE LIVED IN A LITTLE VILLAGE CALLED CURBRIDGE THAT WAS NEAR WHITNEY AND I KNOW MY PARENTS, AND MY GRANDPARENTS WERE MARRIED IN ST. MARY’S CHURCH IN WHITNEY.” “I CAN TELL [IT’S HOME-MADE] BY TURNING THE LINING OUT. THERE’S NO STITCHING ON THE BACK THAT INDICATES THAT IT CAME FROM ANY KIND OF STORE. I WOULD SAY IT WAS STITCHED ON A SEWING MACHINE THAT MY GRANDMOTHER HAD, AND I CAN JUST BARELY REMEMBER HER. WE WENT TO ENGLAND IN 1951, AND I STAYED WITH HER. SHE USED TO MAKE PLASTICINE TOYS FOR ME.” “MY GRANDMOTHER USED TO MAKE CLOTHING AND THINGS, AND SELL, AND SHE HAD A FAIR AMOUNT OF MACHINERY. I CAN REMEMBER SITTING AROUND IT, AND BEING TOLD TO KEEP MY HANDS AWAY FROM THINGS, THAT WAY I COULDN’T GET HURT BY THE MACHINERY.” “[I WORE THIS] EASILY FIFTY YEARS AGO. I REMEMBER THE SATIN SET, BECAUSE I USED TO HATE WEARING SATIN, AND I REMEMBER THE OTHER COTTON SET…I COULD WEAR THAT, AND I COULD BE IN THE GARDEN. IT DIDN’T MATTER IF IT GOT DIRTY, BECAUSE IT WAS WASHABLE. THE SATIN WASN’T WASHABLE, AND IF YOU WERE OUT IN THE GARDEN AND YOU GOT IT REALLY DIRTY, IT CAME WITH A PUNISHMENT.” “I PROBABLY WORE THESE ABOUT AGE TWO, AND I PROBABLY HAD OUTGROWN THEM BY THE TIME I WAS THREE AND A HALF.” BENNETT RECALLED HOW HE CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE ROMPER, NOTING, “MY PARENTS DIED ABOUT TWENTY YEARS AGO. THEY HAD A CONDOMINIUM THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY FULL OF STUFF – SOME OF WHICH HAS FOUND ITS WAY DOWN HERE. [I] GOT A LEATHER CASE THAT MY MOTHER HAD PUT HER NAME ON IN A BLACK PAINT, AND I JUST DIDN’T FEEL LIKE OPENING ANY MORE BOXES, SO IT SAT IN THE FURNACE ROOM FOR TWENTY YEARS.” “I JUST HAD HAD ENOUGH OF SORTING THROUGH MY PARENT’S STUFF, AND DEALING WITH ALL SORTS OF THINGS, AND FINDING WHERE SHE HAD LEFT PARTS OF THINGS, AND MEETING WITH HER FRIENDS…THIS WAS LIGHT, AND I THOUGHT I’LL IGNORE IT FOR A WHILE. A WHILE BECAME MUCH LONGER THAN I EXPECTED. MY WIFE AND I HAD THINGS TO SAY ABOUT NOT TIDYING IT UP, SO IT [WAS] TIDIED UP.” “THEY WERE IN [THAT] SUITCASE THAT HASN’T BEEN OPENED FOR DECADES. I COULDN’T GET THE LOCKS OPEN BECAUSE…THEY WERE LOCKED, AND I DON’T HAVE A KEY. I TOOK IT TO A STORE WHERE I KNOW A PERSON…AND WE CUT THE LOCKS OFF THE CASE, AND ALL THAT WAS IN THEM WAS A VERY OLD, AND TIRED PLASTIC BAG, WITH SOME LITTLE BOY’S CLOTHES, THAT WOULD HAVE FITTED ME WHEN I WAS ABOUT TWO.” “I RECOGNIZED THEM BECAUSE THE PANTS ARE BUTTONED TO THE TOPS, AND THAT JUST SORT OF PREVENTS LITTLE BOYS FROM CRAWLING OUT OF THEIR CLOTHES. I KNOW I WAS NOT THE BEST LITTLE KID. I DIDN’T LIKE CLOTHES. I WAS MUCH HAPPIER NOT BOTHERING WITH CLOTHES.” “[WHEN I WORE THE OUTFIT] I WAS LIVING IN THE FIRST HOUSE MY PARENTS HAD – 1818 5TH AVENUE NORTH – A WOODEN HOUSE THAT WAS DISTINGUISHABLE FROM THE NEIGHBORS, BECAUSE IT HAD FOUR, BIG ROUND PILLARS ON THE FRONT VERANDA. IT STILL STANDS. IT WAS BUILT ABOUT 1900…THE BACKYARD, I REMEMBER, WAS ONE GREAT BIG VEGETABLE GARDEN. MY PARENT’S GREW THEIR OWN VEGETABLES, BECAUSE IT WAS THE THING THAT WAS DONE, BUT THEY DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY IN THOSE DAYS, SO IF YOU COULD GROW YOUR THINGS, AND PICKLE THEM, YOU HAD MONEY IN THE BANK FOR OTHER THINGS.” “I REMEMBER NOT LIKING WHERE WE LIVED. I DIDN’T LIKE THE NEIGHBOR ON ONE SIDE. SHE SPOKE ONLY GERMAN, AND SHE USED TO HIT ME IF I PUT MY HANDS ON THE FENCE, AND SHE QUITE FREQUENTLY TURNED HER GARDEN HOSE ON ME. IT WAS A HOUSE THAT MY PARENTS COULD AFFORD TO BUY. I THINK THEY PAID $4000.00 FOR IT, AND THEY WERE THERE FOR ’48, ’49 – FOUR YEARS - AND MANAGED TO BUY A REALLY NICE HOUSE IN SOUTH LETHBRIDGE.” “[THE NEW HOUSE WAS] 1509 13TH STREET SOUTH. I CAN REMEMBER WHEN WE MOVED THERE. HALF WAY THROUGH THE LOT NEXT DOOR WAS A SIGN THAT SAID LETHBRIDGE CITY LIMITS. THAT CHANGED RATHER QUICKLY, AND IT BECAME A NEW SUBDIVISION. ONE OF OUR NEIGHBORS WAS A.L.H. SOMERVILLE, CITY MANAGER.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS MOTHER’S CHOICE OF CLOTHING FOR HIM AS A CHILD, BENNETT RECALLED, “SHE ALWAYS BOUGHT CLOTHES, AND SHE QUITE FREQUENTLY WOULD BUY CLOTHING FROM A SECOND-HAND STORE. SHE WAS ALL ABOUT MAKING MONEY GO AS FAR AS IT COULD GO.” “HER FAVORITE STORE WAS THE T. EATON COMPANY, AND SHE WENT THERE AS FREQUENTLY AS CONVENIENT, BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS HAD A SALE ON. YOU COULD ALWAYS DIDDLE A LITTLE BIT WITH THE SALESMAN, AND GET IT FOR A LITTLE BIT CHEAPER THAN THE SALES PRICE, IF YOU WERE GOOD AT THAT, AND SHE WAS GOOD AT THAT. SHE WAS VERY GOOD AT GETTING THE PRICE THAT SHE THOUGHT SOMETHING WAS WORTH.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE P20170003000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170003000
Acquisition Date
2017-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail