Outfitting the Civil War: Jewish Contributions to the Garment Industry
Last week we launched our series 37 Weeks which looks back on Sherman's march to the sea in Georgia. As you watch those videos, you and your studios may notice the uniforms the soldiers war to identify whether they were Union or Confederate soldiers. Many of those uniforms were made by Jewish merchants.
Jeremy Katz from the Breman Museum shares the history of Jewish involvement in the war as uniform makers.
The “Shmatta” Trade
Jewish Suppliers in the North
Jewish Suppliers in the South
The efforts of Jewish owned clothing firms to outfit soldiers during the Civil War speeded the expansion of the ready-made clothing industry after the war. Before the conflict, few Jews were manufacturers on a substantial scale. After the war, Jews found themselves at the forefront of many key sectors of the industry. Further, the measurements taken of the millions of soldiers who served during the war provided enough data to accurately predict standardized sizes for the mass manufacturing of uniforms and civilian clothes. Hence today we have small, medium, and large clothes.
“Outfitting the Civil War” Lecture
Join the Breman Museum on Sunday, May 4th, 2014, at 2 pm. for a tour of our exhibit, Return to Rich’s: The Story Behind the Store, followed by a thought-provoking presentation at 3 p.m. on Jewish involvement in the garment industry during the Civil War by Dr. Adam Mendelsohn, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at College of Charleston. Admission: Members free, Adults $12, Seniors $8, Educators/Students $6, Children (4-6) $4, Children (under 4) Free. Free parking. This event is presented in partnership with the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum.