|Description: This woman's bonnet consists of a wire frame covered with black lace. Two black velvet ties, one on either side, do up in a bow under the chin. There is a purple flower along the edge of the hat.
This bonnet belonged to Mr. Herridge Jr.'s mother or grandmother (Mrs. Coleson). Mrs. Coleson died in 1940 at the age of 90 years old.
History: A bonnet is a kind of headgear which is usually brimless. The most common kind of bonnet worn today is a soft head covering for babies. They are shaped similarly to the kind of bonnets women used to wear, that is, they cover the hair and ears, but not the forehead. In the mid-18th century, ‘house bonnets’ worn by women and girls were generally brimless head coverings which were secured by tying under the chin. They were worn indoors, to keep the hair neat, and outdoors to keep dust out of the hair. With hairstyles becoming increasingly elaborate after 1770, bonnets became more structured and larger. The wide brims of poke bonnets developed to prevent wind-chapping when taking the air out of doors in an open carriage. The effects of sun and wind on the skin had connotations of countrified rude health. Bonnets remained one of the most common types of headgear worn by women throughout the 19th century. Silk bonnets, elaborately pleated and ruched, were worn outdoors, or in public places like shops, galleries, churches, and during visits to acquaintances. Most middle class women would have had at least two bonnets, one suitable for summer weather, often made from straw, and one made from heavier fabric for winter wear. Wealthier women would have many more bonnets suitable for different occasions. REF: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnet_(headgear).