Button Patterns - Hospital Gowns

This research supposes that individuals that died at the hospital, and were subsequently buried in the adjacent cemetery, were interred in hospital provided clothing.  Other hospital documentation and similar cemeteries indicate that individuals that died while in the hospitals care had their personal effects removed and returned directly to family members, while they were buried in hospital provided clothing or shrouds (Richards 1997).  Based on contemporary hospital literature, this would result in a repeated pattern of the same, or similar buttons used on the hospital clothing.  Specifically, a linear row of three to four white milk glass buttons located along the vertebral column, and possibly one additional white milk glass buttons located at each wrist.  The presence of a metal clasp or safety pin is also possible.  Available literature and advertisements from 1914-1917 indicate that adult females wore loose dresses, and adult male hospital clothing consisted of nightshifts with three to four buttons, and day time wear consisting of a button down shirt and pant combinations also with three to four buttons (The Modern Hospital Publishing Inc. 1919; Peek 1917; PatternVault 2014)

Hospital gown historic

Image source: The Modern Hospital 1919

Presence of any other burial goods, be it clothing related or otherwise would suggest that the individual was wearing their own personal clothing when interred and thus either was not a patient at the hospital at the time of their death, or were removed by others and culturally treated in a different fashion prior to burial. Please note that the first time you zoom in it will automatically zoom several levels in. After the first click, the zoom in and out will move only one level.

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