A Deeper Dive in to the Clothing Collection

The museum holds an extensive collection of articles of clothing, hats, shoes, and accessories. Clothing can be used to infer the social status of the owner, the cultural values of the time, and how the owner wished to be perceived. While most clothing serves a practical need, it can also be used to convey certain values and ideas. Think about the Suffragists wearing white, or the first time a woman dared to wear trousers in public. 

Advertisements for clothing and fashion items can tell us just as much as the clothing itself.

Enna Jetticks were a line of affordable and fashionable shoes from the Dunn & McCarthy Shoe Co. Dunn & McCarthy was formed in 1886 by John Dunn and Charles McCarthy. Dunn had been in the shoe manufacturing business in Auburn since 1821, when he oversaw the J.E. Fenton Company’s prison shoe shop contracts. In 1886, he partnered with McCarthy, a Newport NY native who had entered into the shoe business after he graduated high school. Together, they formed Dunn & McCarthy to manufacture womens shoes.

The Enna Jettick line was conceived by Fred Light Emerson in 1926. The catchy play on words (Enna Jettick = energetic) and a sophisticated marketing campaign which brought advertisements to every national women’s magazine helped make the Enna Jetticks an extremely popular shoe.

Check out these original paintings used in Enna Jettick shoe advertisements

Roy Spreter Illustration for Enna Jettick Advertisement
in Harper’s Bazaar, March 1937

This painting was used in an advertisement for Enna Jettick Sports and Spectators shoes. The ad read; “The very colors you want–in the styles you like–plus the extra comfort you must have for outdoor fun! That’s what Enna Jettick Sports and Spectators offer to all you active young moderns.

Clark Agnew Illustration for Enna Jetticks Advertisement
Woman’s Home Companion, May 1937

Agnew’s painting was used for the Enna Jettick line of white shoes designed “to match any outfit.

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