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

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

Things That Make Me Happy: Box of Crayons at the MFA, Boston

There’s a lot to love about this sweet handmade box chock a block full of stubby crayons once owned by the Robbins family of Lexington, Massachusetts. The paper wrapping the outside of the thin paperboard is block-printed with tiny black … Continue reading

The Historic Fabric of Philadelphia: James E. Taylor’s Sketchbook

Using Winterthur’s online collections resources last night, I stumbled onto James E. Taylor’s sketchbook of historic buildings in Philadelphia. A newspaper illustrator, Taylor sketched historic buildings in Philadelphia’s Old City area in 1861, just before most of the structures in … Continue reading

Eighteenth Century for the Weekend

Last weekend, The Brigade of the American Revolution hosted an Authenticity Event at Don Carpentier’s Eastfield Village. A collection of two taverns, a store, a church, a doctor’s office, an assortment of shops, and a handful of houses were saved … Continue reading

Halloween Comes to Downton Abbey

I predicted in this post from April that people would be hot to trot for Downton Abbey influenced costumes this Halloween. True to form, a lot of readers have been finding my blog by searching on “downton abbey halloween costumes.” I’m … Continue reading

Library Find: How To Manage Without A Maid

I’ve mentioned my adoration for the New York Society Library (April 19, click here). The stack section of the library covers 12 floors – I can enter any of them and find the quirky gem. While not a find of … Continue reading

Kotex Goes to War

Some old women’s magazines from the 1940s turned up when we emptied my grandparents’ house. You would expect the articles and advertisements to address their ideal audience of conscientious housewives, transitioning from the wood stove of her mother’s generation to … Continue reading

Time for a Song: Women Should Their Time Divide

This  finger-wag at women about appropriately dividing their time between pleasure and work is fun to sing. Interesting that work is defined in the following  line as stitching – something that falls into the play category for me today. The … Continue reading

Runaway Scavenger Hunt

In researching the lives of indentured and enslaved women during the 18th century, I’m trying to rebuild their communities, to better understand their lives. See my article ‘Had on When She Went Away . . .’: Expanding the Usefulness of Garment Data in American Runaway Advertisements 1750–90 … Continue reading