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Nurse pics?

I hope this isn't to OT, but... I'm wondering if anyone here can help me find pictures of nurses outfit from the Victorian era to WWI?

While that question in and of its self isn't steampunk, I'm hoping that, if I can get enough reference material, the results will be. Not to give to much away till I get everything ironed out, but I'll be making a steampunk nurses outfit, an Google is failing me mostly (More then like it's me, and I'm not to sure on what word combos to use that won't pull up weird little fetish nurses or Silent hill nurses..Not what I'm going for.)




( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks, much appreciated!
Feb. 22nd, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
victorian to wwI nurses
i believe if you look up the beginnings of the american red cross and disaster response fotos...you should find the ladies dressed to care for the wounded and the sick...that was the impetus for nursing being a respected field for women in this country so you might see something.
al through that time until i believe after WWI the standard was a white hair covering(look at the movie,the english patient, the did pretty well) and apron or pinned apron sometimes even a plain pinafore over a high collared dress, often with an attached white collar, of appropriate shape and legnth for the time, of a dull color,,,grey, brown,blue , khaki (the volunteer force of older red cross hospital helpers were called the grey ladies because of their clothig...not their hair)
hope this helps
Feb. 22nd, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)
Re: victorian to wwI nurses
Oh! Your comment reminds me that in the American Civil War, pretty young women were strongly discouraged from becoming nurses, because the hospital administrators didn't want them forming "attachments" with the soldiers and/or being "taken advantage of". The ads/regulations basically asked for ugly old women to be nurses, though it was phrased more diplomatically.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Re: victorian to wwI nurses
there you go!!!you are on a roll!!!
Feb. 22nd, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Re: victorian to wwI nurses
Ha! Well, makes seance, but still... Kinda the opposite of sexism, eh? lol
Feb. 22nd, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
Re: victorian to wwI nurses
AH, thanks, that's just the type of info I'm looking for (Now why did I forget about the Red Cross?)
Feb. 22nd, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
There are a couple of really detailed pictures of c.1900 nurses in the "Medicine" gallery at shorpy.com:

Feb. 22nd, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Shorpy
Thanks, any pic are a big help; :D
Feb. 22nd, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
Check out the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.


I haven't actually taken the time to look for you, but you can sort by subject and by date, I think, as well as perform a straight search. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that there's a "nurses" subject heading, or at least "doctors".

There's lots and lots of other images that might be inspirational for steampunk stuff, too.

You might also want to look for WWI propaganda posters. I know there's a gallery out there somewhere, I just can't remember where at the moment.

ETA: Here's the nurses subject and here's Nurses -- New York (State) -- New York -- To 1899.

ETA2: Now that I am bound and determined to fill up your inbox, I want to add that a lot of nurses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were nuns, so obviously that would effect their dress a little. One of them is the Daughters of Charity, which is a Catholic order founded in the 17th century in France.

Edited at 2009-02-22 04:32 am (UTC)
Feb. 22nd, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
hahha, well it's a big help. :D

I'm hoping to go less nuns look as possible, but still recognizable as a nurse. We'll see if I can pull that off. :D Thanks!
Feb. 22nd, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)

in the civil war a lot of nurses started wearing a lot of reform stuff because the hoop dresses would catch on fire in camp. if you scroll down there's a nurse picture. to wear under it wear a corded liberty vest or corsetwaist instead of a corset
Feb. 22nd, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
AH, now that' good to know.. Now I feel a bit better with the idea of playing around with the skirt size/length. Thanks a heap!
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
no probs. just like WW2 in the 20th started alot of "new wave" feminism, the american civil war started a lot of trickle down american dress reform.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
"Sophia Sisters"
The Sophia sisters nursing school was founded in 1883 by the Swedish queen Sophia, and their hospital opened in 1889. The first Headmistress Alfhild Ehrenborg was trained by Florence Nightingale in the UK.
I’ve seen similar uniforms elsewhere, so presumably it was a popular look for nurses uniforms.
The first link is for a very small pic of the schools first student Ottonie Adelborg (so it's the look of a nursing student)
The second is for a everyday uniform, it's called "blue dress" (but it's grayish). The third link is a "Sophia-frack", which is the fancy uniform, suitable for everything from weddings/funerals to the Nobel dinner. This particular picture is a modern from Bo Skräddares page(the older models would have had a skirt more like the one in link two, and if I remember right be made out of that heavy shinny fabric, which name I don't know, but was popular with mourning clothes...) These are still "active uniforms"(so copying them down to the badge would be iffy), but they could perhaps give you a idea or two since they presumably is based on what Alfhild learned in the UK.

Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: "Sophia Sisters"
There is also a wartime "field uniform", which would have been great to have a pic of, but I could not find any, and has never seen one, so I can't describe it.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Check out the VAD
WW1 Volunteer Aid Detachment

Many British and Canadian (eventually some US) women were members of the VAD - they did stints as nurses specifically for soldiers brought back from the front, ran around in smocks as "Land Girls" to bring in the harvests, and eventually (~1915ish) were allowed up to the front as nurses and ambulance drivers (the British and Canadian MEN being mostly dead or wounded by that point.)

The nice thing I've discovered is a few women ambulance drivers and rescue teams wore short (about 6 inches below the knee) skirts and PANTS!! because they had to be able to repair their own ambulance, and dig men out of the muddy trenches. This wasn't official uniform, but there are some pics of these brave women and their trusty ambulances. (sadly I can't find any at the moment... my Google-fu fails.)

On the lighter side, they got to wear driving goggles, which brings us directly back to steampunk!

Feb. 24th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Re: Check out the VAD
Ah, that a good one to know, I'd never have know that with all my Googleing. :p Sounds like costuming room for some nice tough, Steampunk ladies to me. :)
Feb. 23rd, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Re: "Sophia Sisters"
Thanks! I won't be copying anything 100%, so I don't think I'll get in trouble there.
Feb. 23rd, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
Last year (iirc) there was a tv series on the BBC called Casualty 1907, about a hospital in, surprisingly, 1907. Some excellent costumes.
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1078267/

Might be worth a look if you want something to watch. :)
Feb. 23rd, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'll be sure to check that out! (helps if you can see the outfits in motion.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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