Object Record

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Catalog Number 2014.006.007a-f
Object Name Pattern, Clothes
Description McDowell Garment Drafting Machine used to create garments. Used by Alwine (nee Mensching) Mueller. This particular kit is listed with a patent date of May 18, 1886. The Drafting Machine itself consists of four pattern pieces (accessioned as a-d). Each pattern piece is an interlocking grid of calibrated brass bars joined with screws. Each bar is inscribed with markings corresponding to various measurements. Each brass peice can be expanded or contracted according to height and girth.

a: Brass template for "The Front." To be set fourth
b: Brass template for "The Underarm." To be set third
c: Brass template for "The Side Body." To be set second
d: Brass template for "The Back." To be set first
e: Cardboard, black box container for McDowell Garment Drafting Machine. Inspirational product advertisement label included on the inside, bottom of the box.
f: Single sided diagram on how to set the McDowell Garment Drafting Machine. Includes diagrams for each of the four machine pieces: The front, The Underarm, The Side Body, The Back. Originally included as part of the McDowell Garment System.
Collection Elk Grove Historical Museum
Search Terms Mueller
Notes Originally used by Alwine (nee Mensching) Mueller. Alwine was born on December 23, 1881, likely on her parent's farm in Elk Grove Township. Her parents were Henry Mensching (born in 1856, Elk Grove) and Sophia (nee Henjes. Born in 1861, Elk Grove). Alwine married Henry Mueller on November 3, 1912. Alwine died on February 20, 1957.

Source: Cutting a Fashionable Fit by Claudia Kidwell:
The McDowell Garment Drafting Machine was a tool for the professional dress maker, not the home sewer. The McDowell Garment Drafting Machine was promoted as a tool that benefitted both customer and dress maker as it eliminated the need for dress forms and fitting sessions.

The McDowell Garment Drafting Machine was first patented March 18, 1879. Subsequent patents were received on January 6, 1885; August 10, 1885; and May 18, 1886.

Source Mildred Mueller