There was a time in this country when the woman of the house would get up in the morning and put on her house dress for the day. It would be worn to do the laundry, scrub the floors, wash the windows, and care for a flock of kids. She would change out of her house-dress before hubby came home form a long hard day at work when he would expect a nice three course meal on the table upon his arrival and the kids with clean faces.
We aren't sure how the dresses were marketed but we have a collection of what could be referred to as "salesman samples." We would like to contact someone who actually sold the dresses to explain their marketing strategy. We speculate that a salesperson would show-off the latest fashion using the smaller samples and take orders for the real thing at a prescribed size.
The large version would have the same detailing as the small sample.
We have a nice collection of the small sample dresses. They were bought in an antique shop in Tennessee around 2006. They were hanging on a clothes line and the dealer thought they were doll dresses.
Some of dresses in our collection had pages of a day calendar with the size and the price of the dress written on them.
The small samples and full-size dresses often appear for sale on internet sites.
The Vintage Fashion Guild had this to say about Princess Peggy: "Princess Peggy was a line of day and housedresses produced starting in 1929 and through the 1950s by Chic Manufacturing Co. of Peoria, Illinois."
This site has a nice picture postcard and current photograph of Chic Manufacturing Company in Peoria, Illinois. The following quote is from their site: 'An article published on April 22, 1996 in Peoria Journal Star, written by columnist Bill Adams includes this: "1975: April 25 * Princess Peggy Inc., a women’s dress manufacturer at 1001 SW Adams St., was declared bankrupt in U.S. District Court.”'
For the photographs, we grouped them based on the label such as 50th year, and then by what the tag looked like.
All dresses have a Princess Peggy tag in them except the lower-right dress which has no tag. That dress has a tiny zipper.