Museum Monday: Skansen Poster

A great poster advertising the first living history museum: Skansen in Stockholm Sweden, founded 1891. Skansen is part Swedish heritage museum, part regional zoo. It sits on a steeply pitched hill at the center of one of the fourteen islands … Continue reading

Set Your Shift Sleeves in the Wrong Way? A Runaway Advertisement

Ever get that lovely hand-stitched shift near completion, and then realize: “Crap. I put the shift sleeves in the wrong way.” Out comes the seam ripper and it feels like your best-looking stitches ever are screaming as the blade slices … Continue reading

Trans. Tuesday: We Survived The Parade of Trains

Just barely. Dr. V. indulged my whim to visit the assemblage of historic trains at New York’s Grand Central Terminal last weekend, May 11, 2013: National Train Day. For a moment there, I felt like we were part of a … Continue reading

18th Century Stewed Cheese Recipe? Why, Yes! Cookbook Blog from the Westminster City Archives

Does the title sound too Anthony Bourdain? The Westminster City Archives has established a blog for a cookbook in its collection of compiled recipes. The handwritten volume compiles recipes with roots in the late 17th century up until the first … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Crinolines and Omnibuses

It was the 1850s. Skirts were big. Transportation, not so much. Prior to elevated railways, streetcars, and subways, mass transit meant the omnibus, a horse-drawn wagon, often enclosed. Crinolines (hoop skirts) gave lampoonists of the mid-19th century ample tongue-wagging material. … Continue reading

A Concise Ethnography of Reenactors

Reenacting draws a diverse crowd. Generally, those who participate in living history interpretation enjoy history and spending time outdoors (to varying degrees). But that’s where the similarity of motivation and degree of participation ends. Some are more interested in military … Continue reading

Other Families’ Photo Albums – What Am I Doing in There?

As living history interpreters, our role is to talk to the public about the past. We fill in the gaps in most schools’ history curriculums. Whereas they learned places, dates, and military maneuvers, I’m interested in filling in the details … Continue reading

Living History: The Befuddlement of Historic Costuming

You may have been to Old Sturbridge Village, Colonial Williamsburg, or Plimouth Plantation. Staff at these sites use authentic costuming in order to educate the public about the past. Clothing is the first thing visitors notice; they know when they … Continue reading