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This ecru silk woman’s shirtwaist was made from a wedding dress worn by Mary Collson for her marriage to Eli Whitney Brigham on Nov. 20, 1842, in Dundee, Ill.
Mary Collson was born on July 16, 1810, in Cheshire, Mass. By 1850 the couple lived in Hebron. Mary’s husband was a farmer and she was “keeping house” She died on March 28, 1891, in Hebron and is buried in the Linn-Hebron Cemetery.
The left sleeve of the shirtwaist was removed prior to donating the artifact to the Historical Society. The unattached sleeve and ribbon trim were part of the donation. The stitching and pleating has been ripped out of the sleeve, but the fabric is intact.
The adoption of this artifact will ensure the sleeve has been properly sewn back on to the shirtwaist according to 1840s sleeve styles. The donation will also support the cost of an archival storage box to house the shirtwaist.
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