One of the dangers of messing with old clothes is that one is bound to run across great things about which one has no knowledge but which simply can’t be left in the store. In my most recent case, I happened to be at my local Goodwill Clearance Center one evening shortly before closing time. It usually is a vast wasteland at that point, all the bins having been picked through with no new merchandise for hours. And it is pretty much the last stop for the leftovers in the bins, and after the store closes, fresh bins are brought out and what is left in the old is bundled for the raggers.
I was surprised to find a nice old nurse’s apron, and then, in the same bin, a blue and white striped uniform for a student nurse. Now I really was not in the market for this sort of thing, but it was just too great to just leave.
My guess is that the set is late 1930s, but it might be as recent as the mid 1950s. Uniforms don’t change as quickly as street clothing, but they do mirror the fashion of the time somewhat. There is something about the puffed sleeve and the shape and length of the skirt that suggest late 30s to me, but I welcome other opinions. I also would welcome any good sites on nursing uniforms. I’ve looked but have come up empty.
Both the collar and the cuffs button on and off for laundering. The bar pin appears to be either pearlized glass or mother of pearl. Was it a part of the uniform, do you suppose?
This uniform belonged to Mary A. Kunde. Are any of her relatives out there, googling her name?
This is the back of the waist. There must have been a belt, which I did not find.
All the buttons are mother of pearl and are attached like a stud with a little metal piece on the back. Again, this was to make them removable for washing.
The label reads “American Institute of Laundering, Certified Washable.”
And finally, here is my mother, student nurse at Memorial Mission Hospital in 1950.