The following post about gloves was written by Bay Village Historical Society member and volunteer Marie Albano, who has been a tremendous help to the museum in her knowledge and interest in historical clothing.
We have more fashion on display at the Rose Hill Museum, with an emphasis on the 1920s. The museum is open on Sundays in April through December from 2:00pm to 4:30pm and admission is free.
Also open is the Osborn Learning Center which now showcases exhibits ranging from Eliot Ness and the “Untouchables” to the Sheppard murder case. It also houses various research materials from our archives for visitors.
Fashion Diva Fun: Gloves
The word “glove” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “glof” meaning palm. The term of measurement of a glove is the word button. It starts at the base of the thumb and is equal to one French inch. A French inch is slightly larger than an American inch. Therefore, a one button glove is wrist length. Whereas a four to six button glove is half-way to the elbow. A formal length is a sixteen-button glove (this is measurement, not how many buttons are on the glove).
As an accessory to dress, royalty had them ornamented with pearls and precious stones. Many of these are in museums today.
Mitts, sometimes referred to as mittens, are characteristically a Victorian accessory. Fingerless gloves were fashionable in the 1830-40’s for day and evening. Short for the day and long for the evening. They tended to go in and out of fashion until the late 1880’s. In the 1900’s they often accessorized wedding ensembles.
Throughout the Victorian and Edwardian periods, gloves were the symbol of gentility. The social status of a lady or a gentleman could be determined by the quality of their gloves.
For men’s working gloves in the late 1800’s there were 140 separate glove factories in Gloversville, New York which manufactured 2/3 of men’s working gloves in the United States. The annual production was $20,000,000 from this one town.
After the 1970’s gloves diminished as a fashion accessory, but a gloved hand can be mysterious and alluring as well.
More fashion fun to come,
Dr. Marie A. Albano, D.D.S.
Your donations and memberships help keep these artifacts preserved and accessible to all and can be made by visiting our webpage https://www.bayhistorical.com/support-us/.
If you have any questions for us or are interested in volunteering in order to have a more hands-on experience with Bay Village history, please contact us at (440) 871-7338 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.