Pyjamas, boys, cotton, made by Crystal, Australia, 1948-1963
This pair of boy's pyjamas is part of a collection of Australian made children's clothing dating from 1948 to 1963. The fabric's design, a repeated pattern depicting an atom in the form of electrons circling a nucleus, gives the pyjamas significance as a visual representation of the atomic age and its fascination for children in the post-World War II era.
Originating in a children's wear shop at North Sydney, this collection typifies the type of clothing worn by middle class children in New South Wales during this period. Although it is not known why the shop closed down, a possible factor could have been the decline in independent retailers from the 1960s, with the rise of suburban department stores, shopping malls and chain stores.
The clothing in this collection illustrates the prevalence of Australian-made garments at a time when high tariffs were placed on imported goods and the local product was therefore competitive. This began to change in the early 1970s when tariffs on imported goods were reduced and cheaper clothing from overseas came onto the Australian market. The result was a decline in Australian manufacturing in the textile, clothing and footwear industries.
Made in Australia by Crystal.
This pair of pyjamas is part of a collection of clothing from a small North Sydney children's wear shop that closed down in the early 1960s and is thought to have been demolished. The shop's unsold contents were packed in a garage until Lorraine Foster of The Vintage Clothing Shop purchased the whole collection around 2000. The clothing dates from 1948 to 1963 and includes many brands, probably all Australian made. Most items retain their labels and some are still in their original packaging. None had been sold or worn.