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

Shifting Garment Styles, 1750-1790: What Research and Sketching Have in Common

Historical research is like sketching. You begin with a few pieces of data, allowing you to make some bold strokes on a piece of white paper. You identify what sorts of primary resources will improve that image, and it redirects … Continue reading

Costume Moment: Black Silk Bonnet at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

When I was a Collection Care Specialist at the MFA boston, I was beginning the study of late eighteenth century dress. I knew that this black silk bonnet was later than that period, but integrated aspects of ¬†bonnets of the … Continue reading

Names of the Forgotten – Runaway Clothing Database Project

The Runaway Clothing Database project uses newspaper runaway advertisements to catalog the garments of¬†indentured and enslaved women in the American colonies from 1750-1790. These advertisements are often the only glimpse of these women in the documentary record. Personal information, such … Continue reading