Working in collections, it is not unusual to come across an item that leaves us with many questions about its origins and story. This peach silk and lace nightgown was paired with a bonnet and slippers, and was found with a mysterious note that reads:
“Maudie Dearest– Please wear this gown so Floyd can enjoy looking at it. Love–Mim”
Who was Maudie? Was Floyd her husband? Could this have been a wedding present of some kind for a new couple? Did Maudie pair the nightgown with the slippers and bonnet right away or were those possibly later gifts from Mim? Was Mim perhaps the prying mother-in-law of Maudie or Floyd? Did Floyd ever get to see Maudie’s nightgown or did Maudie prefer, like some of us, to wear less revealing pajamas?
Unfortunately, we don’t know any of the answers to these questions, and for every item we have a backstory for in our collections, there are those that we do not. While this fact can be frustrating, it is also one of the reasons why working at a museum can be so interesting. We will leave it to you to make up your own tales of who Maudie, Floyd, and Mim may have been. Feel free to share your ideas with us below!
Written by HHM intern Caitlin Crowley. Caitlin is a current Augsburg student where she is majoring in history with a Medieval History minor. She comes to HHM through the Minnesota Historical Society’s ACTC extern program.