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.

Interesting Stuff

USMC Uniforms Worn During WWI & WWII

The E&T Division has a large military uniform collection with representation from all military branches, men and women, from the mid-19th century through today. The two uniforms featured below are United States Marine Corps uniforms from the 6th Marine Regiment.

The 5th and 6th Marine Regiments were awarded the French Croix de Guerre for their bravery and sacrifice in France at the Battle of Belleau Wood, fought from June 1-26, 1918 in World War I. To this day, members of the 5th and 6th are allowed to wear a Croix de guerre Fourragère, the red and green cording shown below, over their left shoulder with their service and dress uniforms.

Fourragère worn with WWI USMC service uniform.

The Marine that wore this WWI uniform was a Sergeant with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, and has three service stripes on the lower left sleeve, and two wound stripes on the lower right sleeve. The Fourragère shown above would be worn over the left shoulder of this uniform.

WWI USMC, 6th Marine Regiment service uniform.

WWI Arm Patch Insignia for the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines.

WWI USMC campaign hat.

During World War II, the 6th Marines fought in the Pacific Theater. They fought in notable battles such as Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Okinawa.

The Marine that wore the uniform below was a Private First Class, and served in the 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Division during WWII. He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon, and WWII Victory Ribbon. Above the right breast pocket is an Honorable Discharge badge, allowing military service men and women to wear their uniforms after WWII when they were discharged from military service.

WWII USMC, 6th Marine Regiment service uniform.

This uniform is on display now in Gallery 1 as a part of the collaborative exhibition Celebrating Our Heroes, from now until November at the Museum of TTU. Come and see the exhibits honoring our men and women at home and abroad during WWII.

Interesting Stuff

Image courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

In honor of Black History Month and the upcoming World War II exhibit at the Museum of Texas Tech University, we have chosen to highlight the life achievements of Dr. Charles Drew, a leading innovator of the 20th century in blood plasma processing and storage.

Born on June 3rd 1904 in Washington D.C., Drew stood out as a talented athlete. He graduated as a four-year letterman from Dunbar High School showing potential for a career in sports coaching and administration. He attended Amherst University both running track and playing football.

Image Courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

 While a professor of chemistry and biology at Morgan State College, Drew decided to pursue a life-long dream of attending medical school. He enrolled in the Medical School of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, graduating in 1933 second in his class with both his doctorate of medicine and masters in surgery. Drew then pursued multiple internships at hospitals in Montreal, Howard University and Columbia University, where he earned a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1938. This opportunity allowed him the resources to pursue his research of blood composition and storage. With World War II burgeoning in Europe, Drew developed a process in which plasma could be dried and preserved in mass quantities, making it easily accessible on the battlefield. Drew was chosen as the medical supervisor for the plasma collection effort for the American Red Cross in both Great Britain and the United States. In 1942, a controversial ruling regarding the segregation of blood by ethnicity caused Drew to resign from his position. He then accepted simultaneous offers for a position as a surgeon at Freedmen’s Hospital and a professor of medicine at Howard University.

Image Courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Dr. Charles Drew died in a car accident on April 1st 1950 at the age of 45. He will always be remembered for his significant contributions to the wartime effort, as well as racial equality in the medical field.

Interesting Stuff

From the Huntley Film Archives, this video shows many examples of women fashion from the 1890s to the 1920s. It is very interesting to see how many of the clothes worn during these time periods move with the person in them. Many times when we see garments in our collection, we wonder how an actual person would look wearing the garment or how the garment moved with a person in them. This video shows a rare glimpse in how a woman would walk in a hobble skirt or how a woman would pose or style her hair. Also toward the end of the film, there is rare color footage from the turn of the century. Check it out!