University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 6, No. 1/1996
All the brides wore grandmother's gown

     "The Bride Wore Her Grandmother's Gown," an exhibition this
fall in the University's Department of Textiles, Design and
Consumer Economics, featured a gown worn over a 100-year period
by several members of the same family on their wedding days. The
gown was donated to the department by one of its wearers,
Charlotte Halloran, Delaware '43. In addition to the original
bride, six of her granddaughters and one cousin have worn the
dress. Wedding photos of all the brides were on display, along
with the gown, in Alison Hall, and a reception to honor the
brides was held in September.
     The dress was constructed originally by Elva Markley Shaw,
to be worn when she was a bridesmaid for a close friend in 1892.
She added a second sleeve puff and restyled the skirt back to
include a train for her own wedding in 1893. The gown is
constructed of two coordinating silk fabrics, probably pure white
when new, now mellowed to a creamy ivory. 

     These brides of yesterday carried on a family tradition when
they all wore the same 1892 family heirloom wedding gown on their
respective wedding days. Honored at a September reception were
(front) Barbara Sunday, Delaware '45; (second row, from left)
Charlotte Halloran, Delaware '43, and Elizabeth Roderick; (third
row, from left) Gloria Saberin, Carol Chambers and Susan Shaw.