DUP Museum Bags

The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers are back in session. We meet once a month and learn about the pioneers and have a luncheon in which members take turns bringing the food. I signed up for January so I have a lot of time before I create something scrumptious with my partner.


Amelia Roberts worn this white cotton bag worn under a skirt. They were called girdle bags. Some say they had slits in their skirt so they could get to their bag without having to life all those heavy skirts.

Alice Irwin wore this detachable pocket bag on a belt under her dress.  These bags and purses were all handmade; photos and information came from the International DUP in Salt Lake City. These bags and other ones are all on display there.

This handbag was crocheted with white silk thread by Louise Roundy when she was 85 years old from a pattern called the Irish Rose and Ball. It has a cream-colored messaline (soft light weight silk) silk lining. I had to look that one up – never heard of messaline before.

1800 coin bag


Catherine Horrocks knitted a coin purse with silver bead trim and little curtain rods. They look like miniature curtain rods to me! It also looks to me like a first knitting project – am I wrong?

During the Victorian era when raw sewage filled the streets, ladies wore their girdle bags and always had a hanky to cover their noses because the smell was beyond description. They say that is why perfume was invented.

Pockets were not invented until 200 years later. They used to make both shoes to fit one side so you can imagine how uncomfortable at least one shoe was. They were definitely not walking shoes.

In the early 1900s the clutch bag was invented and is still popular today. In 1930 they had art deco clutches with Egyptian motifs. I bet they were a knockout. In 1942 when the war started, the shoulder bag came on the scene. Now, that is my favorite bag.

We all need something in which to carry our stuff! 

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4 thoughts on “DUP Museum Bags

  1. Jo

    It's wonderful how things from bygone days have been preserved. I'd never have thought that pockets weren't invented back then, ingenious how things were carried without pockets. Can't wait to see what you cook up in January.

    Reply
  2. Anne

    Some beautifully preserved items there Ruth. I prefer shoulder bags too, the bigger the better, not good for my back and neck but I always have loads of stuff in my bag.

    Reply
  3. NanaDiana

    How interesting. I know they used to carry mussie=tussies to hold next to their noses, too, because of the smell.That knitted purse was either an early project or she was just an awful knitter. lolI'll bet you love those monthly meetings- xo Diana

    Reply

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