Toys, Farm Tools And The Rest

Child's Shirt      Exhibit 1

      This shirt can be definitely dated to between 1920 and 1923. My surety as to the article's date stems from the fact that it is a shirt that my father, Bernard Smith, wore when he was between one and four years of age. He was born in the year 1919, and like all children of that time, he wore shirts that looked more like little girl dresses. They were, as the photos on this page show, large enough for the child to 'grow into'. One photo below shows my father at about the age of three, wearing a 'shirt' very similar to the one exhibited here. To the right of that photo is another of my father at about the age of six, wearing what looks like the same shirt, only tucked inside his pants/knickers.
     This child's shirt is made of undyed muslin, a cotton fabric that was rugged and sturdy for extended use. The collar is formed by a hand-process called tatting. Tatting was a form of crocheting that resembled lacework. Tatting was not as difficult to master as making lace, and so a housewife could learn to produce pieces of it somewhat easily. This shirt was probably made by my father's mother, Jennie; the sewing looks hand done.