By Karen Meador, for the Auburn Reporter
Two landmark anniversaries were honored at Neely Mansion on Saturday.
In tribute to 100 years of National Women’s Suffrage, as well as the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, historian Alice Miller delivered a presentation, Beauty and Duty: Women’s Uniforms at Work and at War. Her program included a display of women’s work wear and military uniforms dating back more than 120 years.
The program was at the historic mansion, 12303 SE Auburn-Black Diamond Road, Auburn.
All pieces are from Miller’s personal collection and included an 1898 teacher’s ensemble as well as a 1918 uniform worn by a Hello Girl, as World War I telephone switchboard operators were known. World War II-era nurses’ uniforms and a 1943 Rosie the Riveter outfit worn by a Boeing assembly line worker will be exhibited. Work-related attire from subsequent decades were on display and a firefighter’s uniform from the early 2000s completed the presentation, showcasing the evolution of women’s careers and roles in society.
Miller has been an avid collector of women’s military and work wear for more than 20 years. She spoke about the history behind each uniform and the lives and times of the women, most of whom were local residents, who proudly wore them.
See neelymansion.org for more information.