This Brownie uniform was given to us by Rose Ladd Bender. It was made for her by her mother around 1941.
“In 1941 when I was about 6 years old, I went to visit my mother who was a patient in Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover, New Hampshire. One of the nurse’s aides was Henrietta Bartlett, a kindly, soft-spoken woman with a distinct southern accent, a little younger than my mother. I believe she was from Virginia originally. She started talking to me and of course asked how old I was. She said she was a Brownie leader in Norwich, told me a little about it and asked if I would be interested in becoming a Brownie. In the shy way of most 6-year-olds, I said I would like to do it.
Once my mother was out of the hospital, I started attending meetings. I was the first one in my grade to become a Brownie because my birthday is in January, so I was mostly amongst girls in the next higher grades. We met at Mrs. Bartlett’s home on Elm Street some of the time, perhaps all the time.
One day not too long before Christmas, toward the end of my first year, I came home from school a little earlier than I usually got home and discovered my mother at her sewing machine. She was all in a fluster to see me home so soon and tried to hide the garment that she was working on, but not before I saw that the fabric was the same as what Brownie dresses are made of. She was making me a Brownie uniform! But she wouldn’t let me inspect it, saying that I had to wait until Christmas… ”
“I have kept the Brownie uniform for nearly seventy years, and am now passing it on to the Norwich (Vermont) Historical Society for safekeeping and interest. My mother would be astonished to know that a creation of hers found its way to a museum.”
Here are the Girl Scouts marching in the Memorial Day parade in the 1940s.
The Boy Scouts were also active during the 1940s. Here they are in 1943-44 collecting paper for the war effort. They are riding in Jim Southworth’s delivery wagon and being pulled by his horse named Betsy.