March 13, 1851

mens_fashion_1856

1851  March 13  Thursday  This forenoon worked on an old pair of 

pants for Oliver  They needed a great deal of 

repairing and I worked on them untill two Oclock

This afternoon & evening spent at Alsons with Oliver 

& wife, Wm Reed & wife, Mrs Whitwell, A[u]gustus & J. Pool

& wife passed a very pleasant afternoon.  I knit on

Susans Angola yarn stocking.  It has stormed

quite hard all the afternoon, got there about five Oclock

Did the Ames men dress like the gentlemen in this 1850’s illustration?  Oakes Ames, as we know from stories his appalled friends told, did not dress so well. But his sons might have aspired to be fashionable. Certainly Oliver (3), whose old pants Evelina mended today, might have wished for such an outfit, one that befitted a man with his eye on college.

It’s doubtful that the pants Evelina sewed today came out looking like those in the fashion plate.  As accomplished a seamstress as she was, the men’s pants she was most familiar with were working pants, the ones her sons wore to the shovel shop everyday. It took her several hours to repair this pair. Then, not willing to let her hands be idle, she carried a knitting project to her brother Alson’s, perhaps traveling there with her brother-in-law, Oliver Jr. and his wife Sarah Lothrop Ames. The Gilmores were having a little gathering.

Alson and Henrietta Gilmore seemed to be socializing a great deal this month.  Last week they held a dance that the Ames sons attended, this week they had friends in for tea, and sometime before that they had sent their nineteen-year-old daughter, Lavinia, into town to stay with the Ames family for a week. What was going on? Did this increased social activity stem from cabin fever or was it mere coincidence? Were the Gilmores working to find a husband for Lavinia?

The Angola yarn that Evelina knitted into a stocking for little Susie is something of a mystery ingredient. Does any reader know about this yarn?

3 thoughts on “March 13, 1851

  1. Angora yarn was created by blending wool with the fur of angora rabbits. Soft and warm, somewhat of a treat!

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