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History of Costume in Pennsylvania 1600-1900

History of Costume in Pennsylvania 1600-1900

Sunday, May 6th

2:00 PM

Berks County Heritage Center

Albright Professor Dr. Damayanthie Eluwawalage will examine a new departure in the study of dress in early (c1600-1900) Pennsylvania, focusing on the rationale behind individual and collective clothing practices.

The study investigates the internal and external influences which impacted upon early inhabitants’ ways of dressing, their societal attitudes and social demeanor. It compares the influences on attire and finery in early society with the European context and examines the influences caused by world-wide dominant events, ideas and social groups, and their effect on societal and cultural attitudes.

The paper examines clothing as a symbolic indicator of status which influenced the class distinction in early Pennsylvanian society. It will also investigate the sociological aspects, such as social standing and structure, function and position of fashion and finery in Pennsylvanian socio-economical history.

The study will also examine the influences and effects of  provincial and cosmopolitan factors, the impacts of the media, tradition, practice, climatic conditions, civic and civil affairs as well as the efficient use of the clothing resources and materials utilized. This is a FREE event. Call 610-374-8839 for more information.

“History of Costume in PA” is presented by the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call 610-374-8839, visit or find us on Facebook under Berks County Parks and Recreation.  The Berks County Heritage Center is located at 1102 Red Bridge Rd., Reading, PA 19604.