FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History Research: The Chicago History Museum Research Center January 30, 2011

Filed under: Bes Ben,Chicago Millinery History,millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 5:32 pm
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Spending a few hours at the CHM Research Center digging for more joyful finds is the greatest way to get back into the groove to locate millinery places long gone.

Becoming a member of the museum gives you the opportunity for unlimited use of these collections, tho for only $5 you can spend the day upstairs for any path your heart leads you. $15 gives you this privilege for a year.

A couple of years ago the need for more information brought me here after looking up online for what their collections held. The collection has greatly expanded and the online search of their collection for millinery yielded 4 pages of items. I have previously spent many hours going thru the Bes Ben:
“13 linear ft. (18 boxes & 13 card file boxes)
Summary: Ledgers, customer card index files, state time inspection records; plus sundry correspondence, sales slips, passports, personal account books, and other materials relating to Mr. Green-Field’s millinery business, the Bes-Ben shop in Chicago, and to his world travels. Bes-Ben was known for its flamboyant hats designed for a clientele of prominent women. Mr. Green-Field was known for his personal style as well as the hats and pillows he designed.”

IF you would like the full breakdown, known as the “finding aid” go to

The last time I had pulled myself away from that collection I visited the one file folder from Gage, and looked at a few pictures. Now there are many other things to review, and in due course, report back some tidbit highlights.

The Jan. 29 visit only touched the tip of the three parts of history icebergs:

The Millinery Herald was published by the Millinery Herald Co. The bound copy has Spring 1907 through Winter 1910-11.

The Monitor of Fashion For The Millinery Trade published by D.B. Fish. The bound copy is in a tender state with the loose hard cover held together with cord. It has issues from March 1896 through October 1900.

The Keith family papers, 1840- 1905.

Watch for more blogs with highlights of each of these CHM treasures.
Happy 30th day of 2011!


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