The Real Thing: 19th Century Farmer’s Work Trousers

Wow. Recently published by NorfolkMuseumsCollections.org.

Rare surviving examples of early 19th century work clothes were found stuffed up a chimney in Toft monks, Norfolk.

It is uncertain whether the clothes were placed up the chimney to stop draughts or as is often the case with objects such as shoes and bottles, as a ritual protection against evil.

The light brown trousers have been heavily patched and repaired.

Although everyone except the very poorest would have had an outfit saved for their ‘Sunday best’ most labourers wouldn’t have had the spare income to buy new work clothes. Clothing was continually repaired and recycled, therefore remaining examples of this type are incredibly rare . Extra money could be earned at busy harvest time and this often supplied the money for any clothing and footwear needed over winter.

Date made:
1800 – 1830

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