Light Me Up – The First Electric Street Lamp

One of the unexpected gems is the artistic and scientific wonderment that is the first electric street lamp, invented by Charles F. Brush of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1879. You can see it today in Public Square. Heady with Victorian ornament, … Continue reading

Happy Labor Day

Lewis Hine’s photographs will always remind us of the successes of the Labor Movement. The title of this image is Addie Card, 12 years. Spinner in North Pownal Cotton Mill. Girls in mill say she is ten years. She admitted … Continue reading

Having Dinner with Robert Jocelyn

I’ll have the Scollop of Oysters, hartychokes, cold lobster, and olive pudding! Winterthur has in their collections the Dinner Book of Robert Jocelyn, First Viscount of Jocelyn and one time Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The book includes drawings of his … 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

Feeling Swank: The Green Mill, Chicago

During our recent trip to see Jeremy W.(of Le Cafe Witteveen) and Tina S. in their Chicago stomping grounds, we got to check out some incredible local spots. One of them was The Green Mill, a nightclub paused during its … 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

Martha Washington Sells

I was looking in the mirror, thinking my hair needed a little color. Here’s what I found in the Baltimore Sun, January 19, 1866 … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday: Fred Harvey Is Your Host

I just finished Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West by Stephen Fried (visit his website here). Combine my nerdiness for railroad nostalgia with food and you have my ideal 515 … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Lunch Hour at the New York Public Library

My mother’s favorite meal of the day is lunch. Usually those with a bent towards a particular meal time choose breakfast, but for Mom, it’s lunch. So when my parents came up to visit for the day, we went to … Continue reading

Variety Among the 18th Century Lesser Sorts

As part of my research on 18thcentury working class clothing, I have been studying indentured and enslaved female servants who immigrated to the American colonies. I created a database that now houses records for 1000 women and their 6000 garments.  Runaway … Continue reading