GETTING CURIOUS | What’s The History Of Pockets? with Dr. Hannah Carlson


You know the feeling when you try on a dress and realize—it has pockets? Those pockets were more than 500 years in the making! Dr. Hannah Carlson joins us this week to discuss why pockets are still not a staple for womenswear, and how people throughout history—from Queen Elizabeth I to suffragettes to a first grader in Arkansas—have taken up pockets as a political cause.

Hannah Carlson teaches dress history and material culture at the Rhode Island School of Design. After training as a conservator of costume and textiles at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she received a PhD in material culture from Boston University. She has contributed articles to Commonplace: the journal of early American life; Dress: the Journal of the Costume Society of America; and MacGuffin: The Life of Things.

She’s also the author of the new book Pockets: An Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close.

Still curious? Check out these resources from the episode:

Abraham Lincoln’s pockets

Jan Diehm and Amber Thomas on women’s pockets

First assassination of a head of state by handgun

Pocket tool kits of the eighteenth century

The Macaroni Boys


Women’s Army Corps uniforms

One Year’s Dungaree Debris

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