Mark Twain's America

Education and Fashion



In the mid 1800's peoples outfits said more than you would expect about them. When someone had a well-tailored outfit it generally meant that they came from a wealthy family and could afford to see a tailor. If your outfit was not put together very well or worn out it normally said that you were poor and could not afford to see a tailor. Eventually this system was overcome due to the invention of a sewing machine which allowed people to make more elaborate designs without having to spend a lot of money.

The making of clothing

When the sewing machine was invented women's and children's clothing became nicer but mens stayed more low key. It was a big part in society especially since it helped people work at a faster pace. Not all people used sewing machine, plenty also knew how to knit. They would knit socks, blankets and other necessitates in everyday life. Fabrics such as stripes and other elaborate patterns were used throughout the making of clothing. One of the popular outfits made were dresses with a tiny waste and materialized skirt because women loved the extravagance it gave to them.

Everyday Wear

Understandably so, people during this time period did not own much clothing. Women would own about three dresses, one for Church, one for special occasions, and one for everyday use. Men would own a couple of shirts and a few pairs of pants. Shoes were even more scarce than clothes, normally men who worked outdoors had first priority and then women were given the leftovers.


The School Year

School was first establish in 1840 and the school funded by public taxes . The students were in school only around winter and summer, because the kids have to help farm crops in Fall. But the state established that every child should have at least six-month-minimum school year in 1839. In Massachusetts, kids, eight to fourteen years-old, have to take at least three months in school. But not all people went to school.

African-Americans' Education

In the beginning of school, school was only taught to white males. In the south, blacks were prohibited to have education.If caught teach black people, the teacher will be fined or arrested and the African-American would be whipped .The south didn't teach black people, because they were afraid that the blacks would learn about freedom. In the north, blacks were allowed to learn, but they were separated from the others. The black school had less supplies, which means they were less efficient than the normal school. But they still learned concepts.


School was used to prepare children from jobs and career in the future. Every student was taught by only one teacher .Normally, the students would have to memorize verses and important days in history, and recite them to the classroom. If the teacher believes that a student recites well, the student would receive a medal of merit. But also read textbooks, the first textbook was made by McGuffey, who was paid by Truman and Smith publishing, which contains 55 lessons. In 1800's, students made a good education that prepare for the real world

Chrissy Nisi and Frederic Maa- Period 5