Staff Favorite

Rattlesnake skin jacket, 1946

Made by a Mr. Payne for Bert Wallace from rattlesnakes he trapped in 1944 on the O-Bar-o Ranch in Kent Co. He was a Trapper for the Federal Government at the time. Given to the Museum of Texas Tech University in 1963. The reason I like this coat is the fact that it is snake skin and the time and effort that went into making this jacket.

Object of the Day

Three-piece second-day dress, brick-red wool, 1882

Mary Matilda Hancock and Frederick Wm. Watkin were married in New York City in 1882. This three-piece, brick-red, wool dress – a shaped-fitted, basque bodice with pointed peplum, a long gored skirt with overlapping ruffles, and a pouffed overskirt – would have made a wonderful impression when Mr. and Mrs. Watkin embarked on their honeymoon.

This three-piece dress was part of Mary’s trousseau. The word trousseau came from the French word ‘trousse’ which means ‘bundle.’ The Trousseau originated as a bundle of clothing and personal possessions the bride brought with her to her new home. In America, a girl might begin preparing her trousseau from an early age, saving treasured items (including clothing and household linens made by herself or given to her) in a Hope Chest to be stored for her married life. Among a bride’s trousseau would be the dresses and lingerie she would wear right after the wedding and on her honeymoon.

A Second-day dress was a semi-formal dress the new bride would wear when the newlyweds were visiting relatives and friends, or receiving guests in their new home. The second-day dress or suit was usually more modest in style and ornamentation than the wedding gown. It would be worn on special occasions and Sunday church services for years to come. A bride might also wear a going-away suit when she and her husband left for their honeymoon, serving the same function as the Second-day dress.

Original metal buttons have a moon and stars motif.

Ask A Curator Day!

Today is Ask A Curator Day! In this spirit, the E&T Division curator and staff will participate by answering questions (as best we can!) about our collections here at the Museum of Texas Tech University.

To get things started, the images below display a corset and bustle hoop form dating from the 1880’s.  Because these items are no longer worn in modern fashion, they are objects of curiosity that many have never seen before.

Although the petticoats would go over the wire hoops, this is how these items would be worn together.  The corset creates and keeps a small waisted, hourglass form that was fashionable.  The bustle hoops buckle at the waist, and support a skirt with its shape; flat in the front, bustled at the back, and flared at the bottom.

The corset is tightened and tied in the back, but clasps in the front to easily dress.  The small hook shown above hooked over the petticoat waist to prevent it from riding up.

This bustle form was worn under a brown dress made for Ms. Rhoda Shields when she was 16 years old, around 1884.  Sadly, she later died three weeks apart from her sister (Mrs. Sophronia Shields Rogers) during an epidemic.

Please leave your comments about these objects, or any other inquiries about our collections!

 

Object of the Day

Texas Tech Saddle Tramp Uniform, 1936-1937

This Saturday the Texas Tech Red Raiders play at home against the University of New Mexico.  Let’s get ready for some college football!

The Saddle Tramps is the oldest student spirit organization at Texas Tech University, founded in 1936.  The founders of this organization brought about many of the University’s traditions, and it is involved in service to the school and Lubbock community.

Some Saddle Tramp projects include raising money to buy the first forty band uniforms, helping to obtain the fountain and TTU seal at the Broadway Street campus entrance, and helping restore the Tech Dairy Barn in the early 1990’s through monetary donations.

Game-day traditions include wrapping the Will Rogers & Soapsuds “Riding into the Sunset” statue in red crepe paper, and ringing the victory bells for thirty minutes after every home football, men’s basketball, and baseball win. The bells are also rung for every Tech Big 12 Championship win, and after every graduation.  They also make the Homecoming bonfire, and conduct a torchlight parade at the beginning of the bonfire for the Carol of Lights.

Saddle Tramp Jim Gaspard created the university’s costumed mascot Raider Red, based on a character by Dirk West.  During each mascot’s tenure, the identity of the person playing Raider Red is unknown to everyone but the Saddle Tramps.

This uniform is from 1936-1937, and consists of red flannel pants, a button-down over-shirt, and a tank under-shirt.  The back of the button-down shirt has a black, felt megaphone applique with “Tech” stitched on top.  The under-shirt displays a faded black “T” printed on the front.

Object of the Day

Multi-Colored Beaded Purse, 1917

The Clothing & Textiles collections contains many fashion objects other than dresses, suits and quilts.  Purses, fans, parasols and umbrellas, gloves, shoes and other accessories are a large component of these collections.

Made in France, this beaded purse has a brass frame, and a colorful geometric design on both sides with fringe and a chain strap.  It also has a small, round mirror for accessible primping.  Belonging to Mrs. Ruth Bryant, this purse was given to her by a young French Chasseur of “The Blue Devils” during World War I in 1917.

A mountain unit of the French Army, created in the late 19th century, were called the Chasseurs Alpins.  They were formed as a defense along the Alps border with Italy.  During World War I, they were called the “Blue Devils” by the Germans because of their blue uniforms, their “dashing” attacks and fierce fighting techniques.

If you have any other information about this object and Mrs. Harold (Ruth) Bryant, please contact the E&T Division or comment on this page.

Interesting Stuff

Labor Day often symbolizes the end of summer, but we aren’t quite ready for it to end just yet.  Take a look at these bathing suits and see how much styles have changed.

Black Cotton Bathing Suit, 1915

This black cotton bathing suit has built-in bloomers, a sailor collar, and a detachable skirt.  There are four buttons down the front with black and cream ribbon edging.

Green Shirred Bathing Suit, Late 1930s

This green bathing suit is made of 100% nylon lastex.  Lastex is a material with an elastic core wrapped with thread, in this case, nylon thread.  The shirred bodice has stays throughout the top, giving the suit a rigid structure.  The halter suit also includes a zipper closure up the back.

Yellow Bathing Suit with Clothes-Pin Fabric, 1953

This cotton yellow bathing suit is most noticeable for its bright color and graphic fabric featuring a repeating clothes-pin pattern. It has a sweetheart neckline, adjustable straps, a smocked back, and ruffles through the neckline and hips.

Interesting Stuff

Green and Orange Silk Shantung Pants, 1960s

Bold, bright pants are all the rage this season. Seen on the pages of fashion magazines and a mainstay favorite of many celebrities, this outrageous trend is anything but new.

Daring prints and vivid-colored trousers were first seen in the late 1950s as a women’s fashion alternative to the skirt. These two pairs from the Museum of Texas Tech University’s Clothing and Textile division are dated from the 1960s. High-waisted with a tapered ankle, they represent the typical silhouette of mid-century women’s slacks. The pants are made from shantung which is a durable, woven silk fabric. Shantung has the visual appearance of roughness but is actually very soft.

So the next time you step out in your favorite vibrant slacks, remember you are among the risk-takers of fashion’s great history.