Posted on by drjennyrichardson
Published by drjennyrichardson
I am a dress historian who is fascinated by objects and clothing that tells the stories of lives lived. My Phd focussed on the workwear worn by female munition workers during the First World War. I now have a large collection of original postcard photographs and ephemera from the period on which my research is based. View all posts by drjennyrichardson
4 thoughts on “Contact”
Dear Dr Richardson,
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you and that you had a nice Christmas.
I am currently studying towards my A levels and as part of this I am completing an Extended Protect Qualification (EPQ) on how the first world war changed women’s fashion. My aim is to recreate a munitionettes uniform as well as a blouse and skirt to go underneath. Dr Susan Rowland recommend I contact you, saying were an expert on munition uniforms.
Would It please be ok If I ask a few questions?
I am struggling to find out what sort of buttons would have been used on the uniforms. I was wondering if you knew or could direct me to a source that might help?
Would the same style of buttons been used on the clothing they wore beneath? Or Were there any specific regulations (apart from avoiding metal) about what they wore beneath the portective overalls?
I was also wondering if there were any specific details of uniforms that I should include to make my recreation as historically accurate as possible.
Thank you so much for your time,
From Matilda Gray
Thank you for contacting me. I’m very interested in your work it sounds so fascinating.
Munitionettes wore a variety of garments both as workwear and underneath. It depended on which part of the manufacturing process they were involved. For example, those who worked in the forging and filing of bullets and shells could wear everyday blouses and skirts under overalls. Those who worked in the filling sections with the dangerous explosives were not allowed any form of clothing (including corsets) with any metal parts.
So again, depending on the job, buttons could be a form of plastic (I’m not sure of the exact material) and were either sewn on or had brass ‘stems’ that could be removed to allow the garments to be boil washed. Others had fabric fastenings and some had woven leather buttons.
If you send me your email address I can send you a picture. But do look at pictures on the internet, the Imperial War Museum. Also I have written an article on Munitionette’s clothing in an online publication: https://journals.openedition.org/apparences/1355.
And most importantly please let me see your finished project.
Dear Dr Richardson.
Thank you so much for your response and for recording your article. I have been making notes on your article for the last few weeks! I didn’t make the connection with you being the author when Dr Rowland recommended I contact you. It is a really interesting article that has helped answer lots of my questions (particularly about wages).
Some photos would really be useful. Thank you so much for offering to send them. Would there be any way of me sending my email more privately, as I am meant to be using my school email for all EPQ related messages so I can’t post it directly on your blog.
I was wondering if you still had access to one of the sources used in your article. I have been struggling to access one of the images you use (figure two “how to dress for munition making”, as it is no longer available on the imperial war museum website, I emailed the museum but I have not had a response. I was wondering if you still had a digital copy and if it would please be possible for you to share it with me. Don’t worry if it is not.
As part of my EPQ I need to try and get an expert to review my project for authenticity I was wondering if it would be possible for me to send you a few photos once I have finished making it (my aim is to have finished sewing by the end of march)? Don’t worry if this won’t be possible,
Thank you so much,
Dear Matilda, thank you for your kind comments. My email address is dr.Jenny.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you copy and paste this comment in an email to me I can then send you the information through to your school email address. Kind regards, Jenny