The slop shop and the almshouse: ready-made menswear in Philadelphia, 1780-1820

Author(s)Putman, Tyler
Date Accessioned2011-11-22T12:35:21Z
Date Available2011-11-22T12:35:21Z
Publication Date2011
AbstractThis thesis examines the clothing of poor men in Philadelphia between 1780 and 1820, situated within the rich historiography of social and costume history. It examines two networks of clothing production and use, "slop shops" and the Philadelphia almshouse, and employs documentary evidence, visual depictions, and extant garments. "Slops " has long connoted coarse canvas garments associated with naval service. In fact, Philadelphia's merchant sailors as well as other laborers bought a colorful variety of clothing in slop shops. These purchases allowed poor men to wear meaningful and expressive clothing. Slops-sellers managed networks of outworkers and employed sales tactics that other tailors eventually adopted, enabling the spread of ready-made menswear to higher social levels. Poor men also encountered ready-made clothing in the Philadelphia almshouse, where many of them sought shelter when they could not or would not provide for themselves. Resident workers produced shoes, textiles, and ready-made garments, and in this institution poor men wore varied and evocative clothing. This thesis contributes to a historiographical discourse about the origin and adoption of clothing styles among social groups. Whether they bought their clothing in a slop shop or received it in the almshouse, the "lower sort" engaged fashions distinct from those of the social elite, and exercised their agency to express themselves through clothing.en_US
AdvisorLinda Eaton
DegreeM.A.
Department
ProgramWinterthur Program in American Material Culture
URLhttp://udspace.udel.edu/handle/19716/10156
PublisherUniversity of Delawareen_US
dc.subject.lcshPoor men -- Clothing -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 18th century
dc.subject.lcshPoor men -- Clothing -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 19th century
dc.subject.lcshMen’s clothing -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 18th century
dc.subject.lcshMen’s clothing -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 19th century
dc.subject.lcshMen’s clothing industry -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 18th century
dc.subject.lcshMen’s clothing industry -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 19th century
dc.subject.lcshClothing and dress -- Social aspects -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- 18th century
dc.subject.lcshClothing and dress -- Social aspects -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- 19th century
dc.subject.lcshReady-to-wear clothing -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 18th century
dc.subject.lcshReady-to-wear clothing -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 19th century
dc.subject.lcshReady-to-wear clothing industry -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 18th century
dc.subject.lcshReady-to-wear clothing industry -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 19th century
dc.subject.lcshAlmshouses -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 18th century
dc.subject.lcshAlmshouses -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- History -- 19th century
TitleThe slop shop and the almshouse: ready-made menswear in Philadelphia, 1780-1820en_US
TypeThesisen_US
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