In the summers of 1767 and 1769, Martha Washington ventured to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia to take its famed mineral waters. Her daughter, Patsy, suffered from epileptic seizures and accompanied her mother and step-father on the second trip to the springs in the ultimately vain hope that the waters might heal her. To protect her modesty, Mrs. Washington wore a bathing gown. Constructed in the same manner as a shift, the traditional undergarment worn by women, it was additionally fitted with lead weights at its hem to ensure the gown did not rise up improperly. The gown is a rare surviving example of Mrs. Washington's clothing and eighteenth-century bathing garments. More


c. 1767-1769



Linen, lead


Overall (H x W x D): 52 in. x 52 1/4 in. x 1/4 in. (132.08 cm x 132.72 cm x 0.64 cm)


Gift of Mrs. George R. Goldsborough, Vice Regent for Maryland 1894

Object Number



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