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This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
Debeuhaui Freebolf
1910-1915, 20th century
85.5 cm
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum

Keys to History:

Riverboats not only carried passengers to the next village or town, but also served as connections to the world abroad. Clara E. Bridges of Sheffield, Sunbury County, was teaching at the Normal School, Fredericton, when the South African Director of Education visited in 1901. Impressed with the New Brunswick system of education and, obviously, with Miss Bridges, he invited her to join his staff in Pretoria. This she did, travelling by riverboat to Saint John and thence to South Africa in 1902. The following year, she opened Sunnyside School, which she developed from a tin shanty to the premier primary school in Pretoria by the time of her return to Canada in 1922.

Perhaps Miss Bridges wore something similar to this costume on her journey from Sheffield, New Brunswick, to South Africa in 1902.

Source : Window on the World: The Rivers of New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)


The suit was made in London of wool in a black and white houndstooth pattern.


Sheffield, Sunbury County, is located 20 kilometres south of Fredericton along the St. John River.


The tailored look illustrated in this suit is typical of the styles that women were asking for in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


The suit's label bears the maker's Royal Warrant: "By Special Appointment to the Queen."

© Musée McCord Museum