Labor Day

Labor Day is that long weekend that is the unofficial kick-off of autumn. Here are some of the real faces of Labor Day, as shot by Lewis Hine during the early 20th century.     … 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

Time to Put By Peas, Beans, Fruits Etc.

I find it interesting that Hannah Glasse specifies here that you may not use earthenware or stone crocks that have previously been used in your springhouse (“laid in water”). An edict to do the work on a fine clear day … Continue reading

Digging in the Archives: Swarthmore College’s Friends Historical Library

My time here at Winterthur is wrapping up. I took yesterday to visit two incredible local institutions, the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, and the Chester County Historical Society. I only wish I had more time, but as any … Continue reading

A Squeal of Delight at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: Miniature Dresses

I attended the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis at the end of May. The opening reception was on a steamy night at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). While the reception was welcoming, it was difficult for … 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

Vanishing History: Recording African-American Burial Grounds

On a Sunday afternoon in 1992, I was collecting fallen autumn leaves along Chapel Road outside Havre de Grace, Maryland where my grandparents lived. I no longer remember what the leaves were for. My boyfriend lifted me on his shoulders … Continue reading

I’d Prefer a Manhattan: Woodbury’s Facial Cocktail

An advertisement in the May 1942 issue of Ladies Home Companion (perhaps more popular than it’s sister Ladies Workplace Companion in that era) declares: “To Rate Romantic Dates… Try my Woodbury Facial Cocktail.” Vera Corey Henderson, Philly Deb, is shown … Continue reading

Strawberries

Why bother with those wantonly oversized pale fruits that come in the plastic boxes all winter long from California, that give barely any aroma when sniffed? They are equivalents of the rock hard, styrafoam-textured Florida tomato – a freak of … Continue reading

Fun with Fraktur – Women’s Dress in a Drawing from Winterthur Museum

I’m not a Pennsylvanian German scholar, but I love considering the depiction of 18th century dress in the ebullient art form of fraktur. What is real? What is fancy? Can we trust depictions of women when they hold gargantuan sprigs … Continue reading