Curators from the RISD Museum were amazed and fascinated when they discovered the contents of the house at 514 Broadway in Providence, Rhode Island in 1989. Rooms shut forty-two years earlier were filled with some of the finest textiles and clothing from the first half of the century.

The house had served as the place of business for A. & L. Tirocchi Gowns from 1915 until 1947, and in addition to the garments and fabrics, still contained ledgers, photographs, correspondence, and other ephemera. This remarkable discovery provides a thorough and unique record of the evolution of clothing in the first half of the century, and of the lives of those who entered the house - the high society women who shopped there, the Italian immigrant women who worked there, and most of all, Anna and Laura Tirocchi, the sisters who ran the shop.

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