Rainwear 1912

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MacRobin
Posts: 24
Joined: October 16th, 2017, 4:37 pm

Rainwear 1912

Post by MacRobin » June 6th, 2018, 10:58 am

I live and work in several parallel universes, all connected by wormholes, so what I find in one universe, but cannot fully exploit there, I transfer to another.

Working on a project, I stumbled across these pictures of Julia James, an actor who graced the stage over 100 years ago. She was noted for her dancing, singing, acting, vivacity, beauty and auburn hair. Virtually all the photos of her, and there are many, show her wearing costume, so there is every reason to think that there must have been some play where she had the part of a fisherman's daughter. I have found some of her roles, but not one that matches this.

The fineness of the fabric and the quality of photograph is remarkable, as also is her pose. She did not need to pout or stick out a bare leg from beneath the fabric; she just put the raincoat on and let the photographer do the rest.

One of my hobbies in another universe is to re-colour monochrome photos using the most advanced techniques. The skin tones are done according to a mathematical transformation of the grey scale 256 valued vector, into three (RGB) vectors. The transformation is different for M and F and for different racial types. Sometimes you can find the exact clothes they were wearing and get the colour from there. In this case, her hair was so oft described, that was easy. There are a few colours that go with auburn, mainly avoid yellow and for best results, lavender and olive green do nicely. etc etc. I shall show the colour results in the follow up post here.

I have had to take a crash course in Flickr to post the url below and if it doesn't work, will someone kindly offer me advice.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/162377476 ... 5993764081

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MacRobin
Posts: 24
Joined: October 16th, 2017, 4:37 pm

Re: Rainwear 1912

Post by MacRobin » June 6th, 2018, 10:59 am

decided to use olive green and lavender as the main theme colours. Firstly, I came across a professor of textiles in the US who wrote her thesis on the remarkable subject of "waterproof clothing". In her summary, she mentioned her passion for the subject, having grown up in Ekron, the heart of the US rubber industry. I asked her (without passion) what she thought about the item being worn by Julia James and what colour it would be. She agreed with me that it was most likely an oilskin and she sent me some adverts from the period. There was a faint chance it might have been a "gossamer" made. from finest fabric coated with an outer layer of very thin rubber. But if oilskin, I could choose any colour I liked provided it was a dingy yellow or black. Yellow was out, on account of the hair so I chose black. The secret then is, as the retro fit photographer, to choose a suitable colour of lighting to illuminate the highlights of the fabulous coat. I therefore put a lavender gel on the brute. This set the background to be illuminated with olive green.

I also asked my guru-ess without whom I achieve nothing, what about the lipstick and I was sent a few (restricted) shades to choose from. In addition, I was told to add a blush layer by hand (not mathematics) because in those days (apparently) the cheeks would be emphasised with a circle of rouge each. But I decided not to overdo it.

I welcome any comments and reactions, positive or negative. I learn from all criticism. And any suggestions for different colours to try are very welcome as it is very easy to change the colour curve for a specific layer or mask.

The black and white versions are in the public domain. The colour versions are my IP ;).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/162377476 ... 7136144694

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spitfire617
Posts: 1482
Joined: August 26th, 2013, 9:20 am
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Re: Rainwear 1912

Post by spitfire617 » June 6th, 2018, 2:15 pm

Would the coat and sou'wester be blue or black due to it appearing to be oilskin?
Nice job indeed.

Shiny
Posts: 14
Joined: December 5th, 2017, 2:12 pm

Re: Rainwear 1912

Post by Shiny » June 7th, 2018, 8:32 am

Lovely, amazing, photos, quite beautiful and evocative.

MacRobin
Posts: 24
Joined: October 16th, 2017, 4:37 pm

Re: Rainwear 1912

Post by MacRobin » June 7th, 2018, 4:55 pm

Hi Spitfire617
The question of colour is one that naturally concerns me.
I think the best thing is that I copy here, the email I got from the Professor of Waterproof Clothing, which I can do without betraying personal data. She is good.

Dear MacRobin,
I appreciate your interest in my research. I have slowly continued to work on my exploration of waterproof dress. I have come across limited resources for waterproof apparel, so I have recently been focusing on the waterproof/rubber shoe industry in the United States. I would love to visit Manchester someday, however, to conduct research in the birthplace of the Mackintosh.

Thank you for sharing the beautiful images. Based on the knowledge I have to date, I believe you are on the right track. The drape of the coat suggests either oiled clothing which typically had a duck or twill weave lining fabric or a lightweight rubber coat. It is likely an oiled garment and to my knowledge, oil clothing only came in yellow (golden-tan/brown color), brown, or black. The lightweight rubber coats were called by many names over time including gossamer and consisted of a light weight fabric coated with a thin layer of rubber (commonly black). This was unlike the traditional Mackintosh which was two layers of fabric with a rubber layer in the middle. As far as colors go, it was limited in regards to the rubber coating. A catalog I examined from Syracuse Rubber Company in 1912 most commonly mentions black, but also mentions tan, "dead grass" green (commonly used for hip waders), and white (commonly used for police or firemen). Also, another publication mentioned a "terra cotta" "auto shirt" (a red color).

In further analyzing the image, she appears to be wearing a hat typically described for fishermen or miners which has the long brim in the back (called a Cape Ann style by the New England manufacturer). This was typically depicted as an oiled hat, but could have been made in rubber as well. The values of the black and white image suggests that her coat is dark, so your coloring seems appropriate to the typical color of waterproof coats. The other color possibility would be brown as I came across an illusration in a 1910 Bailey's Rubber Store Catalog from Boston Massachusetts which looks similar to your image. I have attached an image for your reference. They describe a ladies' oiled suit with a Cape Ann Hat and the option of a long coat for yachting or boating.


For those who never get e-mails like this, I can assure you it is close to orgasmic.

But back to the point at issue Spitfire617,
my own technical knowledge is that around 1912, there were only a few pigment additives that worked with either rubber or oilskins (linseed) without cocking up the molecular structure and wrecking the vulcanisation or linseed drying. So I had no option but to go along with the Rubber Professor.

MacRobin
Posts: 24
Joined: October 16th, 2017, 4:37 pm

Re: Rainwear 1912

Post by MacRobin » June 7th, 2018, 5:02 pm

Hiya Shiny.

I am with you every word and every step of the way.

I did think that your name might ensure that you might appreciate those images.

They look like Klepper, but Klepper was at leat a decade in the future.

Not surprisingly, a very wealthy French stock-broker snapped her up and whisked her off to live with him in France. She never went on the stage again anywhere and I have searched high and low for what she did after her marriage. They crop up on trans-Atlantic passenger lists and Embassy guest lists but all I can say is, if he also read London Life 1920 et seq, I just hope that raincoat hung in their bedroom.

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