1903 Wool Tweed 3-piece Suit


A three-piece men's tweed suit in a multicolored wool (blue, brown, tan and rose) closes down the front with 4 tortoise shell buttons (top button missing) in the conservative sack style coat of the early 1900's - a hip length coat with a straight back. This is a very traditional suit with all of the standard shapes of the time including a slanted welt breast pocket on the right side and two double welt hip pockets with flaps. It also features a two piece sleeve with two buttons over a closed vent at the cuff.
The inside of the sack coat has two double welt pockets, one on either side of the body, with the right at inside breast height and the left slated and at a natural waist height. The body of the coat is lined in a silk twill, while the sleeves are lined in a white and green striped silk. There are two rectangular pieces in the lining coming from the sleeve out two inches and about one inch wide. The collar is faced with a brown felt with both machine and hand pad-stitching.
Tag reads "Burns Columbus, Oh"
The waistcoat or vest is double breasted with two columns of four tortoise shell buttons that run down either side of the center front seam. The buttons begin wide at the top, approximately 6 inches apart, and taper inward to the bottom two buttons which are approximately 2.5 inches apart. The waistcoat has four single welt pockets, two at the breast and two at the waist and 1.5 inch vents at the bottom of the side seams. There is also a single welt pocket in the lining at the right breast.
The waistcoat is faced in a black silk and lined in a white polka dot jacquard with black pinstripes. There are two horizontal pleats in the front lining pieces (half an inch deep) for ease over the stomach. The back of the waistcoat is made in a taupe and gold plaid with a center back seam and a belt at the waist (tab and two prong fastener). There is a small inverted scallop at the center back hem of the vest.
The matching trousers have slightly tapered legs and a plain angled hem with heel guards hand stitched to the inside back of the hem. The waistband is on the cross-grain and has a V shaped notch at the center back. Just below the notch there is a tab and prong style belt for fit adjustment. The waistband also features 6 brace buttons (suspender buttons) in light brown Bakelite engraved with "+ Burns + Columbus, OH."
The fly is 11 inches long (including the waistband) and closes with four dark brown buttons (also Bakelite) and tab and button at the waistband.
There are five pockets; two inseam pockets, two double welt curved back pockets and one coin pocket in the seam between the waistband and the front pant leg on the right side. Side seams are sewn in a flat felled seam. The waistband facing is made of a bias cut white and brown stripe fabric with a "skirt" under that in a white and brown check. All interior edges have been hand over cast.






This suit belonged to Dr. Joseph E. Barricklow who was born 7/1/1855 in Cadiz, Ohio. The son of a farmer, Dr. Barricklow graduated from a school of dentistry in Cincinnati, Ohio and began a practice in Columbus, Ohio. His business is listed as Barricklow & Dobell in the 1904 Columbus city directory. Dobell was actually a female dentist. The suit was made by Burns Tailors on December 24, 1903, as known by a label sewn in the jacket. James Henry Burns, the son of a tailor, was born in Zanesville, Ohio. He managed Burns tailoring with his father, Michael Burns. This suit is in such good condition due to its limited wear as Dr. Barricklow passed away in 1905.

Design Elements

Tailored, Double-Breasted Jacket, Notched Lapel

Fiber/Fabric Information

fiber content=Wool




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“1903 Wool Tweed 3-piece Suit,” Fashion2Fiber, accessed March 5, 2024,

Item Relations

Item: The Columbus Fashion Story depicts This Item