Lolita Dresses – WTF?

I was minding my own business on Facebook (hardy har), and all of a sudden – an ad for Lolita dresses popped up. Always a fan of Nabakov and a costume historian (and a healthy interest in the foibles of … Continue reading

Patterns of Thought in Early America

In three short chapters, the small gem of a book Circles and Lines; The Shape of Life in Early America (2004) explores the shift from a traditional, circular path of thought to the evolution of a linear experience brought on by … Continue reading

Following Eleanor Ferrell: A Runaway Indentured Servant

New: see the full article online here. If it doesn’t come up, go to the home page and search again. Abraham Emmit labeled her “an ill natured, scolding, cursing, swearing, thieving servant Woman. I’ve been following Eleanor Ferrell began during my … Continue reading

Hike up your woolen undies: A Treatise on the Propagation of Sheep

Baa. Cool it, already. John Wily wrote the motivational pamphlet A Treatise on the Propagation of Sheep, the Manufacture of Wool, and the Cultivation and Manufacture of Flax, with Directions for making several Utensils for the Business in Williamsburg, VA, … Continue reading

Rational Chit Chat About Birth Control, from 1855

Daniel Winder wrote and published Reproductive control, or, A rational guide to matrimonial happiness: the right and duty of parents to limit the number of their offspring according to their circumstances demonstrated : a brief account of all known modes … Continue reading

The Act of Research – London Metropolitan Archives Edition

The National Archives, the DAR Library in Washington, the Maryland State Archives, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the London Metropolitan Archives, Library of Congress, and so forth. I love the click of the microfilm drawer, the smell of old paper, the … Continue reading

A Tip for Spring Cleaning – The Servant’s Directory, Improved, 1762

  For those of you who are scrubbing floors this weekend and taking down cobwebs from those hard to reach places, a morsel of knowledge from Hannah Glasse’s The Servants Directory, Improved, 1762: PART II. The House-Maid. Be up very early … Continue reading

Thoughts on the Winter Garden

I come from a gardening family, and at this time of year, I’m biding my time until garden season. My great grandfather was listed in the 1930 Census as “Superintendent” for an “Orchard Farm.” This was Mt. Pleasant Orchard on … Continue reading

Downton Abbey is Hot – Now for some real servants.

I fully expect Masterpiece Classic’s Downton Abbey to inspire the costume choices of many next Halloween (see my post on Downton Halloween costumes). Dr. V and I clung to the compelling story lines from above and below stairs every Sunday evening. … Continue reading