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Period Appropriate Historic Miller's Clothing

Yukon Miller a football team's mascot.
The miller man was born from the "Flour Milling"industry
which strongly influenced Yukon's Community. 
The original costume was made from a Yukon flour sack.
The Millers are "Yukon's Best!
What does the sketch (1966) reveal about people's idea of what a miller looks like.

Outside of the front of Wright's Grist Mill, Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts.
The mill represents a typical New England grist mill of 1840.

Period Appropriate Historic Miller's Clothing
by Theodore R. Hazen

Why is the miller clothed the way he is? What is authentic period clothing for a miller to wear and would the clothing of a miller be different that of another trades person of the same time period? Finally, where do you draw the line on authenticity? Generally an historic miller would only wear reproduction clothing unless you were interpreting a recent period where you could find some old clothing hang in a abandoned mill. How Important is accurate reproduction clothing? It depends upon the type of demonstration the interpreter is doing. Many millers wear their street cloths or what would be considered non-historic clothing. If they are demonstrating flour milling they would want to wear reproduction clothing, but if they are servicing or repairing the machinery, then they would want to wear modern protective clothing. They might have several sets of period clothing to keep one set just for operating the mill and the other for maintenance to maintain health standards.

Accurate clothing is most important for interpreters who are doing costume interpretation. The visitor's mental images of the past are largely formed by motion pictures and television. One might say, if you are doing third person interpretation you could wear clothing that comes basically off the rack. If they are doing first person interpretation, and are portraying a particular person from the past, then the clothing becomes more important. Clothing used in third person interpretation becomes a prop. Period clothing is expensive and some institutions have strict employee policies about its cleaning and use. Some tend to repair or replace period clothing as soon as it shows any signs of wear or repair. I think this does more harm that good if everyone's clothing looks like it just came off the rack looking brand new. I know when the late Charles Howell traveled outside of his work, he would roll his clothing up into ball and place it in the trunk of his car. Then he would put it on for lectures and demonstrations, women were always wanting to sew and patch his torn poor millers clothing. Charlie would always be gracious, and thank them, but this was part of the authenticity of his costume. The torn, frayed ragged look of worn and used, and not a carbon copy of all the other identical interpreters. What you wear is a way of connecting with the visitor. Millers wore clothing that became dirty, dusty, torn, repaired and showed signs of wear. This is another form of interpretive trash.

I have only ever found mention it in one book, that showed the clothing of the miller. The miller's clothing is thankfully mentioned in folklore and sayings. Without going into every example that I can think of, the old sayings talk of the miller's waist coat, his neckerchief, and other other articles of clothing. Charles Howell noted in his book, "The Mill at Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills and A Brief History of Milling," with Allan Keller, Sleepy Hollow Restorations, 1977, "Literature has given us many description of millers - man of them jolly, warmhearted men, important members of their communities, perhaps a little wide of girth compared to farmers, blacksmiths, and sawyers, but generally well content with their lot."

Generally in mill you have to think about safety, then and now. A miller would not wear loose fitting clothing that would tend to catch itself in the machinery. There are numbers of stories of women who caught their dresses in the machinery while working in a grain mill. Anyone with any sense would not wear loose fitting clothing around moving machinery. In the 1980's there was an article in Readers Digest about a man working alone one day in the Tomahawk Mill near Chatham, Virginia, in Pittsylvania County. A bearing was causing problems and rather than shut down the machinery, he slowed it down. Then he climbed a ladder and reached over a turning pulley to oil a troublesome bearing. While he was doing this the machinery grabbed his clothing and wind him into it. In time he managed to get out of the machinery and craw with his torn broken legs to a doorway, and wait for someone to pass the mill who could help him. That event may have contributed to the closing of the mill and it subsequential use as a winery.

For centuries the miller wore white clothing. The millers did not have a means of cleaning grains until the end of the 1700's so. Then if the miller maintained a general white clean appearance perhaps his product was the same way, relatively free from dirt and contamination. I think it was Peter Abelard (1079-1142) who made the observation in his writings that the baker was observed to take on the costume of the miller during his time. This is why for centuries the miller resembles the baker in attire from the white apron to the cap. The baker borrowed the costume of the miller rather than the miller taking his. Charles Howell noted in his book, "The Mill at Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills and A Brief History of Milling," with Allan Keller, Sleepy Hollow Restorations, 1977, "Across the span of centuries the miller changed but little. His character, it seems, was influenced by the sober nature of the milling process itself."

The miller would either keep his shirt sleeves buttoned or tightly rowed up and never hanging loose because of safety. His waist coat would be buttoned and closed. The the miller generally also kept the top buttons of his shirt closed. Any miller can tell you once pieces of grain get into your clothing because it is open, how it can become uncomfortable and itchy in the warm weather. This is perhaps another reason why a miller wore his neckerchief tied around under his collar of his shirt to keep the small particles out. The same reason for wearing the miller's cap, to keep the flour dust, flour and grain particles out of his hair, and not for any modern implications of health regulations.

The miller often wore an apron. Sometimes a half apron tied around the waist but generally a full apron that would have a bib that covered the chest. The miller could quickly take it off to attend to the machinery or greet an important customer if need be. The miller would not have a leather apron like other craftsman who wore leather to protect themselves from hot particles. A leather apron in a mill would become heavy and hot, and the flour dust would tend to dry it out. The miller would wear an apron made of the same canvas or cotton duck that the flour sacks would be made of. Often these were made by the miller's wife. The miller's wife also in sewing his shirts would sometimes embroider things below the split of the neck opening. This might be the miller's initials, and a symbol of his industry, a sheave of wheat; a millstone; or related item. They would generally be embroidered in the same color thread as his shirt and most often go unnoticed by others.

The miller would have no turned up cuffs to his pant legs that could catch grain and flour particles, besides having no extra material that could catch in machinery. The miller would keep his spenders up over his shoulders and avoid dropping them down around his waist when it got warm to keep them out of machinery as well. The miller had his neckerchief around his neck but had a separate handkerchief for cleaning his glasses or wiping of sweat. The miller also had a separate rag for wiping off grease off of his hands or excess off machinery. The miller would want to wear shoes with soles that would not slip on the smoothly polished floors of a mill from the flour, and in wet areas inside and outside of the mill.

Oliver Evans made the observation that it was not uncommon for a miller to come into a mill with mud laden boots and jump into a barrel of flour to compress it so the correct amount could be placed in it before it was closed. At this time the storage of grain and flour on floors was part of the process of flour milling, and anything could walk; craw across it,; drop into it or be born into it. Perhaps it was the miller who first realized that corn cobs could be used for scrubbers. They could be made into corn cob pipes, but clay pipes were cheap enough. I should note that a special brand of corn is raised that it cobs are used only in making corn cob pipes. Large numbers of clay pipe fragments are found in many archaeological digging of early America.

One of the things that I keep raising the issue of in mill interpretation, is that there are two types of mills, the custom or grist mill, and the merchant mill. For the most part, the miller in any type of mill would wear clothing was similar. In some cases, the custom miller wore clothing that he would wear in his other (or sometime main) occupation while working in the mill. This is perhaps were the idea of the miller wearing bib overhauls came into existence. The bib overhauls served the same purpose as wearing an apron, and were worn by the farmer and other workers. Often millers in a custom mill would take the brim off of an old straw hat that would become worn. You can separate the millers from the farmers by the size or lack of their brims. The brim became a problem in the mill because it caught cobwebs, grease, flour and grain particles, not to mention could be easily knocked off around the close fitting quarters of beams and machinery. This was the custom millers equivalent to a work cap. The round band generally flat top work caps worn by working class men when other hats would be in the way or were just too hot. These hats were similar to the folded paper hats worn by printers. They served as sweat bands and kept grain and flour out of the hair. In earlier medieval drawings sometimes the miller is seen wearing a knitted cap made out of yarn with its floppy top hanging to one side.

Perhaps one reason that the millers often wore white was that the miller's wife may have been the first to discover the other uses for old flour sacks like making clothing. Millers tended to wear beards because mills were cold places to work, and the beard protected their faces against stone chips in dressing millstones. It was the modern flour mill that has the standard policy of placing one finger on one ear, and drawing a line across the face to the other ear with no facial hair below that line. During the colonial period a miller would either be clean shaven or have a full beard with never just a mustache. Wearing a mustache alone during the colonial period was not an accepted practice of the day.

The merchant mill perhaps made the miller's clothing into a uniform. They perhaps wanted to standardize all of their workers. The photo A Class of Milling Students at K.S.A.S. Mill, Manhattan, Kansas, was taken in the 1920's. The students as well as the instruction is wearing the typical white miller's uniform.

I should mention the Yukon Miller that is found on the top of this page and is a football team's mascot. The miller man was born from the "Flour Milling"industry which strongly influenced Yukon's Community. The original costume was made from a Yukon flour sack. The Millers are "Yukon's Best! What does the above sketch (1966) reveal about people's idea of what a miller looks like. This is surprisingly the millers uniform of a merchant miller form around 1900 to 1910 up until the 1960's, when the drawing was done. I would almost bet anything that the school colors are red and white, otherwise the Yukon Miller would be wearing a white cap and bib overhauls. The photo taken in November of 1939 of the miller of a mill in Taylor, Texas, it is not unusual for a miller in a custom mill to wear white clothing but what is unusual, is the style of cap. This style of cap was worn by only persons working in a service industry such as a milkman, bakery delivery man, military officers and policeman, etc.

It was cold in the mills during the winter months and generally the millers would bundle up with a lot of clothes. The mills that I worked in northwestern Pennsylvania, during the winter (our average winter snowfall was 230 inches because of the lake effect snows) it was usually 10 degrees colder inside the mill than the temperature outside. Usually mills remained relatively cool in the warm summer months perhaps with the exception of the upper floors. A stone flour mill would remain cooler in the summer months than a structure built of other materials as long as the windows and doors remained shut. This should hold true for what miller wore in historical time periods as well to wear more clothing during the winter months. In the modern era flour milling companies, grain and feed dealers would supply the miller with clothing, baseball caps, shirts, jackets and even warm insulated coveralls. It was not uncommon to find a mill with a baseball cap that was made with the mill's name sewn into a patch or silkscreened across the front.

The National Park Service restored mills of Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Meadows of Dan, Virginia, John P. Cable Mill, Cades Cove and Mingus Mill, Oconalufee, both in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the millers wear blue chambray shirts, bib overalls, a denim work jacket and a denim ball cap. It reminds me of prison convict clothing more so than what a miller would wear. This clothing may be period appropriate for Mabry Mill which was built in 1910 and later, but Cable and Mingus Mills were constructed around 1870. So millers working in the Smoky Mountains would be wearing pants and spenders.

The Colvin Run Mill, Great Falls, Virginia, was constructed circa 1810, and when the mill was restored the miller and the staff wore colonial period clothing. It looked great but they decided that colonial period clothing was earlier than their time period, and went for wearing just modern street clothing. Some purest would say that no clothing is better than inappropriate clothing. I remember the mill when it was first restored and I think it really lost something. From what I remember was that they were not trying to fool visitors or do character interpretation, someone just donated all of the period clothing for them to wear and they simply did not know it was out of their time period. Even though the mill may have been constructed in 1810, it still contains technology that was developed in the 1780's. The mill was restored with pressed glass windows panes which is something that I think Colonial Williamsburg does not have. The mill also has gearing that was in fashion prior to 1780's, and a gear driven flour bolter which would be out-of-date by the 1810 period. Then there is the basic problem with the mill restoration is that it has been restored with church level of craftsmanship. It is great for winning restoration awards but not the way actual mills were constructed. It is finely restored even down to the level of architectural embellishments on each wooden wedge that holds everything together. It is something that one could not even say is period appropriate for any historical time period, it is a modern restoration misconception like Colonial Williamsburg with its idea of freshly painted white buildings, white fences and white faces.
I know of only one mill that was ever constructed using this level of architectural craftsmanship, the demonstration mill in front of the Wolf Company works in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. This mill is still standing but now converted into a feed mill. The Wolf Company placed all of their newest machinery in the mill and invited potential customers to come and see it in full operation for themselves. Even though the mill has been cleaned out of its flour making machinery the basic fabric of the mill remains with its church or institutional level of craftsmanship.

Amish pants do also come in just white canvas duck cloth, unhemmed and with without buttons and button holes. The Amish mail order supply company does sell some period appropriate fabrics. I grew up ordering clothes from their catalog. Because of the winters where I came from, they were the best source for union suits. Not every site has the budget to by period appropriate hand sewn clothing. They order things from the Amish and so-called historical costume dealers. If you make less than ten thousand dollars a year working as an interpreter you can't afford to spend more than several hundreds of dollars on just one article of clothing. Individuals and organizations are trying to operate within their budgets, and present a reasonable quality programs. They do not cater to the fussbudgets reenactors who just aren't pleased with anything you try and do. These folks complained at Colonial Williamsburg in the 1970's because they bought costumes off the rack. I understand the costume factor at Williamsburg has now shut down. The National Park Service has shut down their costume factory in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, because their workers spent all of their time working on clothing they were selling outside of the National Park Service while working on government time. The National Park Service period clothing looked to me like clothing that came just off the racks. The National Park Service clothing made the theatrical much more interesting.

The reason that Ellen J. Gehert's "Rural Pennsylvania Clothing," became my clothing bible while I worked at Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., was that Isaac Pearce was born in southeastern Pennsylvania during the time period of 1750 and 1820. They would have worn the clothing that they wore in Pennsylvania for the most part because this was the region of the country he came from. There was also some overlap in styles and time periods of what people wore. You can't set one particular date for when men and boys stopped wearing knee breeches or tricorn hats. There is are different styles of waistcoats for the 1750's, 1770's, early 19th century, 1830's, etc., and craftsman and others made their own adaptations to these styles. Sometimes simple changes were made in clothing such as putting sleeves onto a waist coat or by removing them and or the pockets. Clothing got handed down to others and was worn until it was worn out. Great coats were such valuable items that they were mentioned in people's wills. Sometimes you can read ads in newspapers that mention a runaway slave or apprentice who also happened to run off with the master's great coat. The ad sometimes states I don't care what you do with them, but please return the great coat.

What items would be in a miller's pockets? A folding knife. Perhaps a key or two, but they could be more easily hung on hooks or nails in the mill's office so the miller would not loose them. One might keep a keep a key on a chain or cord, but cords can catch in the machinery would become a problem like anything hung around the neck or jewelry worn elsewhere. A pocket watch the miller might have, it would need to be a pocket watch with its works having a double case to keep the flour dust out of it. A standard modern pocket watch even keep in a miller's pocket would last no more than a year before the flour dust flour found its way into it, and the watch died. I have taken several pockets watches to jewelers who opened them up from the back, and surprisingly said, there is flour dust inside of them. The same was true for the miller's pipe and tobacco. Many millers would not think it did any hard to drop pipe tobacco into the grain or flour products but they would not want to loose their pipes. Until matches were invented, the only way one could light a pipe was from an already burning fire. People did not have this habit of chain smoking or smoking while they worked, or traveled until the modern era. The miller would have no need for a wallet or papers, or coins in his pockets a custom miller worked by a system of barter. The miller could place these and other important items in his desk for safe keeping. I don't know if any one has made a study of writher miller's had pockets in their aprons or when they started putting pockets in aprons. Pockets are useful in aprons but in a mill they would catch grain and other junk. You would want a loop around the neck that you could easily slide out of in case the apron got caught in machinery. Aprons were a method of keeping your clothes clean underneath and the same size apron could be worn by different size people. You just made a fold where it gathers around the waist to make it fit a younger person. The miller might stick a sack sewing needle temporarily in the fabric of an apron but they are better store elsewhere. The miller might pick up and place in his pocket a screw, a nut or washer from the machinery, a small wooden wedge, or a leather punch that he used in lacing leather belting. For years I have kept a coin in my wallet from the first mill race that I found when I was cleaning it out by hand. Something like this may have some sentimental value to a miller. The miller would keep any writing instruments at his desk. If the time period was when wooden pencils were available, the miller might keep one in a shirt pocket, apron pocket or over one ear. The miller also might have a cord, piece of leather or string in his pocket that could be come handy while working in a mill. A miller that loves his kitty cats might keep something handy that could make a quick cat toy.

Isaac Bickerstaff (1735-1787) was really the first one to try and give the miller some respect. The miller's image did not fair too well in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales." Someone still needs to write the definitive book called, "The Miller and His Trade." The pamphlet published by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, "The Miller in Eighteenth Century Virginia, by Henry Magee, Williamsburg, Virginia 1958, was a good attempt but only a beginning. Isaac Bickerstaff tired to put the dishonest miller of Canterbury Tales into a better light. The following is the Miller of Dee. It is based upon a real miller who rented a mill from the King. A Mr. Howell of Fayvall who the King of England awarded the lease on the Dee Mills in Chester in the year 1375.

The Miller of Dee -The Jolly Miller
From the Convivial Songster, 1782. Melody - "The Budgeon it is a Delicate Trade."
There was a jolly miller once
Lived on the river Dee;
He danced and he sang from morn till night,
No lark so blithe as he.
And this the burden of his song
For ever used to be
I care for nobody, no, not I,
If nobody cares for me.

I live by my mill, God bless her!
She's kindred, child, and wife;
I would not change my station
For any other in life.
No lawyer, surgeon, or doctor,
Ever had a groat from me
I care for nobody, no, not I,
If nobody cares for me.

When Spring begins its merry career,
Oh! how his heart grows gay;
No summer drought alarms his fears,
Nor winter's sad decay;
No foresight mars the miller's joy,
Who's wont to sing and say-
Let others toil from year to year,
I live from day to day.

Thus like the miller, bold and free,
Let us rejoice and sing;
The days of youth are made for glee,
And time is on the wing.
This song shall pass from me to thee,
Along this jovial ring
Let heart and voice and all agree to say,
"Long live the King."
If I had to sum up Charlie Howell and some other miller that I have known in a few short sentences, I simply would say the poem by A. C. Hoffman, The Miller:

The Miller His shoes are never shiny,
Yet his pants' seat mostly is
And if you see a stiff white collar
It's not likely to be his:
Oh no in dress he is no killer- The Miller.

His job's not in the limelight
And you do not see his name
In the famous hall of fame
Yet in life's structure:
He's a pillar- The Miller.

The Miller's Cap:

Millers in the 18th century would not wear the tricorn or round bring straw or felt caps inside of the mill. The brims would collect flour dust and cobwebs, and they would hit the brims of machinery and beams. They would have removed the brims and made them into work caps as seen below.

Ted Hazen on the left wearing the white miller's cap and on the right a natural color linen work cap.
Caps like these are found in 18th century paintings. They were worn into the 19th centuries with often brims or other changes like seen below in the Washburn-Crosby flour miller's cap. The miller's cap is basically the cap worn by the Yukon Miller above. These low straight side caps can look like early baseball caps when a brim is added, or like the painter's cap. These sort of caps with brims were worn by millers into the 20th century.

Blacksmith Ted Hazen, wearing a similar craftsman hat in a different color.

Henry Crosby dons his Washburn-Crosby flour miller's cap to show a tiny pincushion and an old
medallion. The Gold Medal Flour miller's cotton cap similar to a chef's hat. His ancestors built the biggest flour-milling company in the country. The city is Minneapolis and the flour-miller was
Washburn-Crosby Co., now known as General Mills, purveyor of Gold Medal Flour along with hundreds of other products. I have a similar hat with no label and with a small floppy front brim.

The proprietor of a mill filling sack with freshly-ground corn meal. Taylor, Texas. The photo was taken in November of 1939. The miller in his typical white clothing and apron is wearing a official looking cap of authority similar to that of a baker delivery man of the same time period. The same sort of cap is found in flour milling ads for mills, flour and machinery that often use young boys dressed in the white miller's outfits.

The Welsh miller practicing his ancient trade. The miller of Dolwen, near Colwyn Bay, at work among the gearing of his workplace as he bags the flour in this photograph taken in the mid-1960's. This costume worn by millers on both sides of the Atlantic in small rural mills is typical of the time period of the 1940's and into the 1960. Found in many mills long after the miller went home one day and never returned is the miller's long coat worn to keep himself warm in the cold interior spaces of the mill. These wool coats often because covered with grease spots and flour dust. Notice the cap of the miller that hides the brim from catching flour and being knocked of by hitting the brim.

Links to images for suggestions of Miller's clothing found in this web site:

The Miller:

Charles Howell and Ted Hazen,
Millers, at the doorway of Pierce Mill in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
Charles Howell, Master Miller and Mill Cat Dusty.
Charles Howell, the late Master Miller is shown testing the texture of the ground meal.
Charles Howell, the Master Miller explains his craft to visitors.
Charles Howell, standing by fence at Pierce Mill in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.
Colonial Miller Mac McGrane, keeps his nose to the grindstone. Wye Mill, Wye Mills, Maryland. Date of original construction is 1671.
The Dusty Miller, French Canadian, Monsieur Felix Fortin, Miller.
The Flour Room in a Mill, where flour was bagged and stored.
The Grist Mill at Keremeos, Keremeos, British Columbia, Canada.
The Grist Mill at Waterloo Village, Stanhope, New Jersey.
The Jolly Miller, Brian the Miller in the United Kingdom.
The Last Miller of The Linchester Mill, Captain Frank Langrell.
Master Miller Ivans L. Smith, III, demonstrates the operation of the Cooper Mill.
Master Miller Ted Hazen demonstrating bagging of cloth flour sacks.
Master Miller Ted Hazen demonstrating one step in the Miller's Touch.
A Miller's Stand Up Desk, a 1970's Canadian mill photo.
The Old Miller that has Time to Kill? John P. Cable Mill, Cades Cove, Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.
On a Field Trip to an Old Mill, Graue Mill and Museum, Oak Brook, Illinois.
Ted Hazen, standing in the doorway of Pierce Mill holding a Mill Trift.
Wright's Grist Mill, a period restored grist mill, an interior view of the millstones.
The Upper Mills at Philipsburg Manor is restored to the 1680-1725 period.
Peirce Mill, Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., is an Oliver Evans mill of 1820.

The Miller (historical images):

Army of Millers, an advertisement for Gold Medal Flour from a 1910 magazine.
Barrels were used in Packaging the Flour in the Washburn A Mill, 1875.
W. H. Blakeslee, and miller's helper at the Wye Mill, Wye Mills, Maryland.
English Farm Windmill Toy Set, circa 1920's, the miller and his helper.
Enraged Miller, cover drawing, published in the 1890's.
Enraged Miller, inside drawing, published in the 1890's.
The first (gear driven) roller mills used in Washburn "A" Mill, Minneapolis, Minnesota, howing the white costume of the miller. No date.
Flour Miller Lorenzo Recanzone, Northern Nevada Flour Mill, circa 1922.
(Miller) Grinding the Wheat into Flour, from a Steroview Slide Card, with text from the card's back.
Grist Mill, Falco, Florida,
June 1942.
Grist Miller, Grist Mill, Falco, Florida, June 1942.
Inside Kenyon's Johnnycake Flour Mill, in Usquepaugh, Rhode Island, December 1940.
Interior of a Small Country Mill, no date.
Interior of a Roller Mill, showing the white costume of the miller, no date.
Interior of grist mill with the old miller, Head Tide, Maine, no date.
Interior of the Old Watertown Mill, torn down in 1898.
Interior View of Grist Mill, "The Practical American Millwright & Miller," by David Craik, 1870.
In the Old Grist Mill, from a Stereoview Slide Card, with text from the card's back.
The Miller at Nethers Mill, Nethers, Virginia.
The Miller, from"Canterbury Tales," by Chaucer.
Mill owner Benjamin F. (B. F.) Heishman, and two miller brothers at the Heishman's Mill, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
The Old Grist Miller, from a Steroview Slide Card.
The Old (English) Miller, standing at the doorway of his mill, holding his thrift with its bill.
Sacking and Weighing Flour by Automatic Machinery, Minneapolis, Minnesota. From a Steroview Slide Card, with text from the card's back. Russell - Miller, Occident Milling Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Miller (modern images):

Colonial Smock Windmill at Vineyard Haven.
Drawing of Miller Ted Hazen Carrying a Sack of Grain.
Drawing of Miller Ted Hazen Filling cloth Flour Sacks.
Drawing of Miller Ted Hazen Standing next to a Millstone.
The Miller is Subjects of Stories, Folklore, Legend, Songs,
and Stuffed Dolls?

The Millstone Dresser:

Charles Howell,
Colonial Millstone Dresser, a watercolor painting by T.R. Hazen, 1993.
Colonial Millstone Dresser, a black & white drawing of a millstone dresser.
Furrowing Stick, an image of Charlie Howell.
Miller Dressing a Millstone, Miller Charles Howell uses a mill bill set in a bill thrift to dress a runner stone.
Millstone Dresser, a black & white drawing of a millstone dresser.
Paint Staff, image of Charlie Howell using a pait staff on a French bedstone.
Paint Staff, image of Charlie Howell using a pait staff on a French runner stone.
Quill Stick, image of Charlie Howing using a quil stick.
Ted Hazen, dressing a millstone.
Ted Hazen, dressing a conglomerate millstone from Berks County, Pennsylvania.
Trift and Mill Bill, image of Charlie Howell dressing a French bedstone.

The Millstone Dresser (historical images):

The Millstone Dresser, a color drawing from a piece of French ceramic pottery.
Refinishing Old-Fashioned Millstones, in the Pillsbury Flour Mills Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, published in 1931.
Tools used in Millstone Dressing, an illustration of the dresser and his tools.

Sources for additional information historical clothing:

1. Ellen J. Gehert, "Rural Pennsylvania Clothing. Being a Study of the Wearing Apparel of the German and English Inhabitants. Both Men and Women Who Refided in Southeastern Pennsylvania in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century. Also Including Sewing Instructions." Liberty Cap Books, York, Pennsylvania, 1976, Hard Cover, 309 pp. out-of print. reprinted Geo. Shumway, York, Pennsylvania, 1990, softcover, 309 pp. out-of print.

A source book to be used when making reproduction everyday rural clothing of the type worn in southeastern Penna, between 1750 and 1820 by the farmer, the day laborere, the tradesman, their women folk and children, over 300 photos, line dawings with accurate patterns of clothing, also recently made garments sewin in the early tradition. Besides the 315 illustrations there is an extensive bibliography, and a glossary of early apparel and textile terms.

2. Merideth Wright, Nancy Rexford (illustrator), "Everyday Dress of Rural America 1783-1800: With Instructions and Patterns," Dover Publishers, 1992 paperback, 128 pages updated edition. ISBN: 0486273202

Good descriptions of the common clothing worn in New England.

Beginner Clothing Suppliers:

Jas. Townsend & Son, Inc.
133 North First Street, Post Office Box 415, Pierceton, IN 46562 USA

Gohn Brothers (Amish clothing,19th century-Very Reasonable-sorry the Amish are not online)
105 S. Main
Middlebury, IN 46540 USA

Amazon Drygoods (no online catalogs, they sell their catalogs)
411 Brady Street
Davenport, IA 52801-1518 USA
Phone: 1-800-798-7979

Costume Bibliography (Source:Interpretive Skills III-B, NPS):

Janet Arnold,"Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860. Vol. 1," Drama Book, New York, 1972.

Janet Arnold, "Patterns of Fashion: 1860-1940. Vol. 2," Drama Book, New York, 1972.

Janet Arnold, "Patterns of Fashion: 1560-1620," Drama Book, New York, 1985.

Linda Baumgarten, "Eighteenth Century Clothing at Williamsburg," The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1986.

Stella Blum, "Eighteenth-Century French Fashion Plates in Full Color," Dover Publications, New York, 1982.

Stella Blum, "Fashions and Costumes from Godey's Lady's Book," Dover Publications, New York, 1985.

Nancy Bradfield, "Costume in Detail, 1730-1930," Plays, Boston, 1968.

Nancy Bradfield, "900 Years of English Costume," Crescent Books, New York, 1987.

Anne Buck, "Dress in Eighteenth Century England," Holmes & Meiers Publishers, Inc., New York, 1979.

Peter F. Copeland, "Working Dress in Colonial and Revolutionary America," Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1977.

Cyrill Willett & Phillis Cunnington, "Handbook of English Costume in the 18th Century," Plays, Boston, 1972.

Cyrill Willett & Phillis Cunnington, "History of Underclothes," Michael Joseph, London, 1951.

Phillis Cunnington, "Occupational Clothing in England," Barnes & Noble, New York, 1967.

Phillis Cunnington, "Costume in Pictures," The Herbert Press Ltd., London, 1981.

Phillis Cunnington & Anne Buck, "Children's Costume in England, 1300-1900," Barnes & Noble, New York, 1965.

R. I. Davis, "Men's Garments 1830-1900," Drama Book, New York, 1989.

Diana de Marly, F"ashion for Men," Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc., New York, 1985.

Alice Morse Earle, "Two Centuries of Costume in America, 1620-1820," C. E. Tuttle, Rutland, Vermont, 1903.

Ellen J. Gehret, "Rural Pennsylvania Clothing," Liberty Cap Books, York, Pennsylvania, 1976.

Alison Gernsheim, "Victorian and Edwardian Fashion: A Photographic Survey," Dover Pub., New York, 1981.

Phillip Katcher, "Encyclopedia of British, Provincial, and German Army Units 1775-1783," Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1973.

Phillip Katcher, "Uniforms of the Continental Army," George Shumway Publisher, York, Pennsylvania, 1981.

Claudia Kidwell, "Short Gowns," Dress. Vol.4. Costume Society of America, New York, 1978.

Robert Kunciov, "Mr. Godey's Ladies: Being a Mosaic of Fashions and Fancies," Bonanza Books, New York, 1979.

Lady, "A Workwomen's Guide," Opus Publications, Inc., Guilford, Connecticut, 1986, reprint of 1836 edition.

Lewis Miller, "Sketches and Chronicles," The Historical Society of York County, York, Pennsylvania, 1966.

John Mollo, "Uniforms of the American Revolution 1775-1781," Blankford Press, Dorset, England, 1975.

John Mollo, "Uniforms of the Seven Years War 1756-1763," New York.

Osprey's Men-At-Arms Series, "Over 200 issues dealing with Ancient to Modern Uniforms," Osprey Publishing Ltd., London.

Eleanor Hasbrouck Rawlings, "Godey Costume Plates in Color," Dover Publications, New York, 1979.

Natalie Rothstein, "A Lady of Fashion, Barbara Johnson's Album of Styles and Fabrics," Thames and Hudson, London, 1987.

Norah Waugh, "Corsets and Crinolines," Theatre Arts, New York, 1954.

Norah Waugh, "The Cut of Men's Clothes 1600-1900.," Theatre Arts, New York, 1964.

Norah Waugh, "The Cut of Women's Clothes 1600-1930," Theatre Arts, New York, 1969.

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Copyright 2001 by T.R. Hazen.