Fitting Outfits

EVEN THOUGH China Inland Mission workers normally wore Chinese dress, for some occasions, they still had to have a Western wardrobe—not to mention a number of other nineteenth-century necessities. Below is a list of items two missionaries from the mid-1860s checked off as they prepared for work in China.

For Miss Jean Notman, 1864

  • 1 winter dress, 2 skirts, 1 crinoline [stiff petticoat], 3 print dresses 

  • 3 petticoats, 6 nightdresses, 3 vests, 12 pair drawers, 9 chemises, silk apron 

  • 2 doz. handkerchiefs, 9 pair stockings, 1 ps. diaper, 1 pair gauntlets, 4 pairs gloves, hat, hairnet, scarf 

  • 2 pair boots, 1 pair shoes, galoshes, umbrella 

  • 2 combs, hairpins, slide, toothbrush, pomatum, sponge bag, nailbrush, scissors, elastic, sewing—machine needles and oil, bodkins, cotton thread trimmings, crochet hook and cotton, darning cotton, darning merino [fine wool], belt ribbon, ribbons, tapes, buttons, pins, hooks, thimble 

  • 6 1/2 yards black merino, 10 yards muslin, 1 1/2 yards check muslin, 6 3/4 yards longcloth, linen, braid, 1 doz. cambric frilling [cotton ruffles], 9 1/2 yards barege [sheer fabric], 26 3/4 yards flannel, 5 yards red flannel, 6 yards huckaback [toweling], 15 3/4 yards lining, 3 yards ruching [trim] 

  • Writing desk, pen holders, pens, nibs, quills, cards, 200 envelopes, elastic bands, 1 doz. pencils, slate, slate pencil, India rubber trunk, tin-lined box, carpet bags. 

(Presumably she already had cutlery, crockery, among other things not listed)

For George Crombie, 1865

  • Frock coat, doe trousers, waistcoat, tweed trousers, coat, vest, 3 linen coats and vests, 2 pairs drill trousers4 flannel shirts, 4 calico shirts, 6 1/2 doz. collars 

  • Waterproof coat, felt hat, cloth cap 

  • 3 pairs boots, 2 pairs braces, 1 doz. pairs socks, pants 

  • 1 feather pillow, 1 counterpane [bedspread], 1 pair blankets, 3 pairs linen sheets, 4 pillowcases 

  • 1 rug, mosquito curtains, lining for same, 1 Toralium [trade name for coverlet], 1/2 doz. towels, 1 bag haberdashery 

  • Iron chair, bedstead and beds (?mattresses), 1 looking glass, walking-stick, camp stool, life-belt, 8-day alarm clock, fishing tackle, string, penknife, strop, medicines, scales

  • Writing paper, notebooks, 500 envelopes, 3 doz. pencils, 1 doz. penholders, 1 gross pens, India rubber, 1 qt. ink, writing case 

  • Coffee mill and pot, teaspoons, dessert spoons and forks, tablespoons and forks, dessert and table knives, all 3 each, groceries, shoe blacking 

  • Carpet bag, packing case, cooking stove, pipes and utensils, carpenter’s tools. 
By the Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #52 in 1996]

Next articles

Hudson Taylor and Missions to China: Recommended Resources

Resources for those interested in learning more about Hudson Taylor and Chinese missions.

Samuel Hugh Moffett

William Wilberforce and the Abolition of the Slave Trade: Did You Know?

Little-known or remarkable facts about William Wilberforce and the Century of Reform.

Richard V. Pierard

From the Editor — Fishing for Compassion

if they didn’t solve every social problem, at least Wilberforce and fellow-reformers made life bearable for millions.

Mark Galli

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

An introduction to the turbulent 19th century.

the Editors
Show more

Subscribe to magazine

Subscription to Christian History magazine is on a donation basis

Subscribe

Support us

Christian History Institute (CHI) is a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation founded in 1982. Your donations support the continuation of this ministry

Donate

Subscribe to daily emails

Containing today’s events, devotional, quote and stories