Mittens and Galoshes - standard wear for kids in snowy and wet winters back East in the 1950s.

The word "mitten" comes from the Old French mitten, referring to a sort of glove with two coverings, one for the thumb and another larger one for the other four fingers. Mittens were standard equipment for elementary and junior high school students in areas with cold, snowy winters. Even more embarrassing than having to wear mittens instead of gloves, was to wear mittens with the clips that attached them to the coat sleeve (to prevent loss).

Galoshes, from the Old French galoche, meaning clog or heavy shoe, were rubber over-shoes which fit over our regular leather shoes. Ours were black and had about half a dozen of metal snaps that flipped open and shut. In winter we also had heavy jackets and a cap with a brow. After arriving at school, we went to the cloak-room and shed our winter outerwear. When we returned home, our house had a side door with a little landing area where we hung these same winter garments. With three growing children, it must have been a fair expense to keep us kids in the right-sized clothes. Of course, by the time high school started (9th grade for me), I began to have my own opinions of the style and cut of shirts and sweaters that I wore to school. ("keeping up appearances").




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