Dionne Quintuplet Dresses – Canadian Museum of Civilization

Dionne Quintuplet Dresses – Canadian Museum of Civilization


The Dionne Quintuplets,
the first identical quintuplets to survive infancy, wore these dresses for a CBC radio interview
in 1940, when they were only six years old. These pretty pink dresses feature
generous smocking on the bodice, embroidered collars, puffy sleeves and piped seams. Born to a humble French-Canadian farm family
in rural Ontario, the girls garnered massive amounts of media attention
during the Great Depression. Four months after their birth,
Ontario made them wards of the state, and built a nursery called ‘Quintland,’
with an observation gallery for millions of tourists
to see the quintuplets at play. The delicate dresses remind us
of the rags-to-riches story of the family,
but also, the frailty of the Quints’ legacy. In 1998, after a long period of negotiation,
the remaining sisters received a monetary settlement from the Ontario government
for what they justifiably perceived as the exploitation of their rights
as individuals for material gain. 

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