Friday, May 23, 2014

Historical Fashion Friday - Elizabeth

Here in the US, we're celebrating Memorial Day.  As a kid, I didn't think much about it.  There were parades and that was it, really.  I didn't know about the military history of my own family!  My grandfather was a Marine during Korea and I had no clue until I was a teenager, when I started my family tree project!  I've since discovered that one of my great-grandfathers was part of the last cavalry to serve during World War I and that my fourth great-grandfather fought in the Civil War.

To my knowledge, there aren't any women in my family who served in the military.  I may find some eventually.  Something to keep in mind, though, is that women have often served in military support positions.  This paper doll honors those individuals.

2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and I wanted to make a doll that represents that era.  This paper doll is Elizabeth, based on Elizabeth Remsen Thompson.  The costume can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's fantastic costume collection.  The only information I could find about Elizabeth comes from a PDF the museum issued.  This costume was donated by Thompson's daughter and the museum assumed it was an early nurse's uniform.  Thompson's daughter later corrected the musuem writing that "Mother never was a nurse, but knew all about automobile engines [...] and was known as Lightening Liz."  Apparently, she was a driver during the war!

As fascinating as that tid-bit is, that's all I've found about this woman.  Hers is just one of many stories, including those of so many support professionals, spouses, and all of the unsung individuals who assist our military even now.  Regardless of politics, I think these are all people who deserve to be recognized.

Enough about history... Here's the doll!

Download Historical Fashion Friday - Elizabeth pdf here

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