Browse Exhibits (2 total)

Campus Fashion: 150 Years of College Style

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The Ohio State University is celebrating its Sesquicentennial Anniversary this academic year so we thought we’d take a look at what students have been wearing around campus for the past 150 years. Being located within a university, we thought for sure there would be some artifacts with documented history of having been worn to college, and we were not disappointed. Throughout this exhibition, you will find clothing with history of having been worn to not only OSU, but other colleges as well. When we could not find something having college history to represent a particular time period or decade we wanted to highlight, we filled in with items from the Collection that would have been similar to what students would have worn. Our choices were based on research among the photographs of OSU’s Archives, many of which we included here. This exhibition could not have been possible without the access and assistance we were given by OSU Archives staff:Tamar Chute, Kevlin Haire, Michelle Drobik and Tyler Osborne.

Among the artifacts we found in the Collection were items made and/or worn by former students and faculty in the School of Home Economics. I suspected there were more out there, so we sent out a notice to our alumni and received several responses. We are highlighting those student projects along with a look back at the early days of Domestic Science and its evolution into Human Sciences as we are known today. We were aided in gathering alumni information with the help of Sean Thompson, Director of Alumni Relations, and the Internet stalking skills of Marlise Schoeny when we could not talk to the alums themselves.I hope you enjoy the exhibition half as much as we did in pulling it together.

--Gayle Strege, Curator

Please visit the exhibition gallery page to view images from inside the gallery of each section of the exhibit.

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The Columbus Fashion Story


This virtual exhibit examines the founding clothing manufacturers of Columbus, Ohio, throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the circumstances of the time period that allowed them to be successful in an era of innovations in both clothing and its large-scale production. Following the U.S. Civil War, Columbus, along with the rest of the United States, experienced tremendous growth and rapid industrialization. By the 1890s, Columbus' population had almost quadrupled, and improvements in communication and rail transportation created a national marketplace that could be fed not only by agricultural products, but by the factory-produced goods made in the thriving city. Having a central location within the United States at the time, Columbus had the advantage of being a prime distribution and manufacturing center for these goods.

All images courtesy of the Historic Costume & Textiles Collection unless otherwise noted.


Content- Gayle Strege, Marlise Schoeny, Nick Crockett, Isabella Burton, and Emily Glassmeyer

Online Exhibit Creator Manufacturers, Columbus Tailors and African-American Manufacturers and Tailors - Nick Crockett

Online Exhibit Creator Dry Goods and Department Stores, and Specialty Boutiques - Isabella Burton

Online Exhibit Creator Columbus Dressmakers - Emily Glassmeyer