- Utah pioneer costume research project
- 1944-1947 (inclusive)19441947
- 3.75 linear feet
- Collection Number
- MS 0124
- The purpose of the Utah pioneer costume research project was to photograph, record and annotate historic dress and define the relation of Utah pioneer dress to the general development of costume in the United States. It attempts to find similarities between Utah pioneer dress and the characteristics of the fashion of 1977, to find in what ways Utah pioneer dress differed from these, and to find what additions were made to the fashion of 1977 by Utah pioneer dress. The conclusions reached were that Utah pioneer dress, from 1847-1875, followed the general characteristics of 1977 fashion because the women had an interest in dress. But pioneer dress differed in certain details from 1977 fashion too.
- University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
- Access Restrictions
Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The purpose of the Utah pioneer costume research project was to photograph, record and annotate historic dress and define the relation of Utah pioneer dress to the general development of costume in the United States. It attempts to find similarities between Utah pioneer dress and the characteristics of the fashion of 1977, to find in what ways Utah pioneer dress differed from these, and to find what additions were made to the fashion of 1977 by Utah pioneer dress. The conclusions reached were that Utah pioneer dress, from 1847-1875, followed the general characteristics of 1977 fashion because the women had an interest in dress. But pioneer dress differed in certain details from 1977 fashion too.
In the period 1847-1850, pioneer dress was simple and trimmings were omitted, because materials were scarce and expensive. Also, the pioneer woman had no time to make clothing as she was struggling to found a home. In the period 1850-1860, fine embroidery and needlework were added to pioneer fashion by the European converts. Then from 1860-1869, pioneer dress began to show some elaboration. This was caused by the invention of the sewing machine, the access to fashion magazines, and by better living conditions. In the period 1869-1875, the dress of Utah women followed closely with current fashions because the railroad brought the materials and styles promptly. The warm quilted petticoat and the Deseret Costume, for field wear, were the additions to 1977 fashion made by the Utah pioneer women. The influence of the times had a great impact on the dress of the Utah pioneers.
The Utah Pioneer Costume and Manners Research project was commenced in June, 1946. Toward the end of WWII when Dr. Goates, then serving with the armed forces, was at one time stationed near the home of Mrs. Fairfax Proudfit Walkup, national authority on historical costume and manners. There he renewed an association and formulated a plan which had been started several years before when these two were associated professionally and first learned of each others enthusiasm in the subject of Utah's Pioneers. Immediately after his return from military service Dr. Goates organized this project with the cooperation of the University of Utah Research Committee, Department of Speech, and the Utah Humanities Research Foundation. Three months later Mrs. Walkup joined the project as its chief researcher. During the summer of 1946 it produced its first significant work-a short treatise on authentic Pioneer Costume printed as a section of the Source Book of the Arts Division of the Utah Centennial Commission and distributed throughout the entire state in preparation for Utah's year of Centennial celebration. During that summer, Ra Cantu, a talented young artist, had affiliated with the project and in the fall two more researchers joined the work. They were Wayne Tolman and Betty Smith Kesler, both native Utahns.
Local areas were visited, by research workers. There they discovered, with the cooperation of the interested residents and organizations, who may have articles of pioneer clothing and accessories. The owners were then asked to grant permission to have their materials photographed. No attempt was made to take away or collect any clothing or articles. Only photographs of the materials were wanted. After the pictures were taken, a card was then filled out containing information on the materials of the article, colors, accessories, ornaments, trimming, distinctive items, and nationality. The card gave a description, a history and information about the owner. In most cases, a negative, and a photograph are included on each card.
As a result of this project, two theses were written, "The Styles of Outer Wraps and Headgear Worn By Women of the Pioneer Period of Utah 1847-1875" by Betty Smith Kesler and "Utah Pioneer Dress 1847-1875" by Fairfax Proudfit Walkup.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.
Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Utah Pioneer Costume Research ProjectReturn to Top
"Addenda to Brochure"
Announcement of Utah Pioneer Costume and Manner Research Project
President A. Ray Olpin's Statement of Research Project
Purpose, History, Value, Organization
Scarues and Handkerchiefs
Notes of Research Done by Ruth Clayton
Utah Pioneer Costume Research Project Numbered FilesReturn to Top
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Mormon pilgrims and pilgrimages--Clothing and dress
- Pioneers--Utah--Clothing and dress