Caledonia Homecoming 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 10:00am until Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 4:00pm

Location: Linwood Park, State Hwy 38 and 5 Mile Road, Caledonia, WI (just south of Milwaukee)

This will be a two day event at a historical society in Caledonia, WI. This will be a first time event for us. We will most likely be bringing the museum set-up, once again focusing on the pre-industrial era of coal mining (roughly 1890 to 1940s).

Contact M. Michna – or 262-758-2131 for details and registration

Published in: on February 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm  Comments Off on Caledonia Homecoming 2012  



Footwear is pretty straight forward when it comes to the 1920s. Any sort of leather round toed ankle boot is the norm, black and browns were the most common. Many examples have toe-caps on them. The uppers of the boots were leather. Rubber was used sparingly, mostly seen on the heel. The work boots worn into the coal mines had to be as tough as the demanding conditions. These boots were built with a top cap over the toe to provide the miners an extra measure of safety.

Socks were made made out of cotton, wool, and other materials that were strong enough to survive the harsh working conditions in mines.

Many of these socks were created in mills in the upper Midwest. John Nelson, a Swedish immigrant to the United States, patented the sock-knitting machine in 1869, and began manufacturing work socks in Rockford, Illinois in 1890. Nelson Knitting was an innovator in the mass market work sock field, creating a loom that enabled socks to be manufactured without seams in the heel. These seamless work socks were so popular that the market was soon flooded with imitators, and socks of this type were known under the generic term “Rockfords”.1

  1.  Robinson, Mike; Silverman, Helaine (2015). Encounters with Popular Pasts: Cultural Heritage and Popular Culture. New York: Springer. pp. 109–111. ISBN 978-3-319-13183-2.
Published in: on February 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm  Comments Off on Footwear  

1920s Shirts

Shirts came in a variety of shapes and styles by this point in history. The most common type of shirt appears to be a “pullover” design with three or four buttons reaching down to the mid chest; though full placket shirts were starting to come into fashion. Shirts with or without collars are the standard for the working man. However, high detachable shirt collars were starting to get out of style by the early 1920s, and most shirts had attached collars, with the neckline lowering through the decade. Collars were generally medium-sized in length and either set close to the tie or flared slightly away from the tie. Cottons, linens, and wools would have been the most common material with blends also being in use. c.

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Denim Trousers



By the late 19th century, weavers in America were making twills in the same fashion as the European denim, adapting to use cotton, instead of a cotton/linen blend (often called “jean wool”). The solely cotton material had a reputation for being very strong and not wearing out quickly. Levis Strauss became famous in the late 1840s creating clothing of various materials to the Gold Rush miners. However, these trousers were not the same material as the denim we know today.

In 1873, Levis and Davis created the first true “blue” jeans as we know them. By adding metal rivets to the highly stressed seams.  Proper denims of the 1920s were still high waisted, going up to the navel. At this period in time, many men still wore suspenders to keep their trousers up, so stud buttons were often used to hold them up.. However, many laborers opted to not wear suspenders because they can be restrictive while working and thus the waist belt and belt loops became more common. Most work wear was still button flied, as the zipper didn’t see the height of popularity until the advent of WW2.  They also started to be called blue jeans around the start of the 1950s.

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Overall Coat

In the early 1900s there were several different types of work jackets in use. The most common term for them was an overall jacket. Serviceable and accommodating, the Overall Jacket had a turn down collar and had four to five pockets. Many were made from denim and cotton duct, both very sturdy for the rough and tumble life of working in the mines, logging, and other industries.

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