Online Encyclopedia

CHARLES FREDERICK WORTH (1825-1895)

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 834 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHARLES FREDERICK WORTH (1825-1895), the famous dressmaker, was born at Bourne, Lincolnshire, in 1825. His father, a country solicitor, having lost his money in speculation. Charles was sent to London as an apprentice to Swan & Edgar, drapers. Thence, in 1846, he went to Paris, without capital or friends, and after twelve years in a wholesale silk house he began business as a dressmaker in partnership with a Swede named Dobergh. His originality and skill in design won the patronage of the empress Eugenie, and, through her, of fashionable Paris. After the Franco-German War, during which he turned his house into a military hospital, his partner retired, and Worth continued the business, which employed 1200 hands, with his two sons John and Gaston—both naturalized Frenchmen. For more than thirty years he set the taste and ordained the fashions of Paris, and extended his sway over all the civilized and much of the uncivilized world. He died on the loth of March 1895.
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