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Ruth Hensinger’s parachute wedding dress

By admin on May 23rd, 2007 2 comments

Recycling is something our eco blog Hippyshopper is certainly keen on, but the trend for recycled wedding dresses was certainly evident half a century ago when there simply wasn’t enough material to go around for a fabulous white wedding dress.

But one enterprising groom had something that would not only make this dress for his bride but it comes with a charming tale too.

Major Claude Hensinger, a World War II B-29 pilot were returning from a bombing raid over Yowata, Japan, in August 1944 when their plane’s engine caught fire. The crew were forced to bail out using their parachutes. During the night, and injured, Major Hensinger used his parachute for warmth and were rescued the next day by the Chinese. He kept the parachute that had asaved his life and later proposed to Ruth in 1947, offering her the material for a gown.

Around that time Gone With The Wind was a huge hit and Ruth saw a similar dress that she and her seamstress, Hilda Buck, used as inspiration.

The couple married on July 19, 1947 and the dress was later worn by the Hensinger’s daughter and also their son’s bride at their weddings before being gifted to the Smithsonian.

[Smithsonian via Spluch Thanks Kat!]

Know of any other wedding dresses steeped in history? Drop us an email!

  • This is the most historical wedding dress I’ve ever known. Because of its rich history it’s but fitting and proper to pass it down to the next generation.

    Major Claude Hensinger is very creative and resourceful. Of all things that can be made out of the parachute, he’s so sweet that he thought of a wedding dress.

  • Pingback: 10 Wedding Dresses Made from Recycled Material « mattermore()

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