Thomas Bewick, Newcastle Wood Engraver (1753-1828)

In digging through the British Museum online collection database this week for a project, I tripped over the wood engravings of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Operating mostly in Newcastle for his entire career, Bewick’s rural upbringing led to an interest in … Continue reading

New Year’s Day – A Great Day to Run Away

Many of us choose some aspect of life to rejuvenate on the 1st of January. On a whim, I decided to reference my runaway servant research database to see how popular a day New Year’s Day was for running away. … Continue reading

Crossing Wright’s Ferry on the Susquehanna, 1787

If this post already sounds familiar, see my post on the 1811-13 watercolor by Secretary to the Russian Consul-General Pavel Petrovich Svinin (MMA 42.95.37) of crossing Wright’s Ferry, near Columbia, Pennsylvania. While at Winterthur this summer for a research fellowship, I … Continue reading

A Philadelphia Servant, 1787

  A pie lays broken in the street, a distraught servant teased by the chimney sweeps who caused her to drop it. She’s likely on her way back from the bakery to which her mistress sent the pie to be … Continue reading

Catering to Clients in an 18th Century Philadelphia Shop

I spent July at a Research Fellowship at Winterthur Museum, Library, and Garden. This mainly meant identifying manuscripts and object collections that might have something to tell me about my research topic: working women’s dress, as illuminated through the study … Continue reading

Digging in the Archives: Philadelphia City Archives

Nothing like a little research day on my birthday. During my stay at Winterthur, I popped up to the Philadelphia City Archives. This is made super simple from Wilmington by taking SEPTA. The archives are located a block from 30th … Continue reading

Historic Philadelphia Mapping Resources

My research on indentured and enslaved servants’ lives has led me to mapping out their existence on historic maps of Philadelphia. I’m hoping to better understand their relation to the community, merchants, and manufacturers in their environment. I’ve found some … Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading: Buying Into A World of Goods by Ann Smart Martin

Read this great book on 18th century commerce in the backwoods of Virginia. Ann Smart Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods: Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia is incredibly readable (and available on Kindle to boot! Or in full at … Continue reading

Happy Rainy Saturday: Get Yer Banyan on – John Farr by Francois Xavier Vispre

I first experienced this image in Eighteenth Century Decoration by Charles Saumarez Smith, a book about interiors but full of wonderful images of dress. John Farr relaxes in his red slippers and riotously checked and striped banyan, lined with a spill … Continue reading

Working with the Dixon Ledgers, Port Royal, Virginia

My personal research focuses on the dress of indentured and enslaved servant women from 1750-1790. While I was in DC for work recently, I was able to slip over to the Library of Congress for a couple of hours and … Continue reading