Warm and durable, duffel fabric has a remarkable history, reaching back from Europe’s Age of Exploration to the sale of Staten Island (and possibly Manhattan) at the beginnings of America’s modern history. [Read more…] about Duffel Cloth, Beaver Hats and Native Americans
Fiber Arts - Textiles
In August 2020, a celebration took place in New York City to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote. A giant field of sunflowers surrounding the text of the article was displayed on the monumental staircase at Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms State Park.
On January 22, 2023, the city celebrated Ukraine’s Day of Unity by honoring the bravery of its citizens and soldiers. It was a day of “reflection and hope for a free tomorrow.” For the occasion Manhattan’s 23rd Street at Flatiron Plaza was adorned with a bed of sunflowers symbolizing New York City’s support for and solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
What was the meaning behind these floral displays? [Read more…] about The Iconic Sunflower: A Transatlantic Exchange
This summer, the Vermont Historical Society installed “A Stitch in Time,” an ongoing exhibit examining the garments in their collections and comparing them to modern-day versions.
Waterpower was the top priority in the development and location of the abundant textile mills in New York State. In places like Utica or Cohoes, the Mohawk River; in Troy, the Hudson River; and in Waterford, the King Canal (built about 1828 by John Fuller King), provided plenty of rushing water. [Read more…] about Balbriggans, Long-Johns and Union Suits: New York Underwear Makers
If you are writing a historical novel, be sure to dress your characters in the fashion of the period. One 19th century fashion writer advised to be courageous and wear a violet tux – or just about any color except for black. [Read more…] about 19th Century Fashion Tips From Northern New York Newspapers
Don’t throw away your worn-out linen napkins and pillow cases. “For grease and milk and acid spots upon furniture, rub the place with cold water, then polish with soft linen,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls suggested on Aug. 19, 1890. “Save old napkins and pillow cases for such work.”
Following are more 19th century household hints collected from historic Northern New York newspapers. I cannot vouch for the veracity of any of these suggestions, as I am only a collector, not an experimenter. [Read more…] about 19th Century Household Hints
Warriors from the Zouaoua Berbers who inhabited the coastal mountain Djurdjura region of North Africa had served the Dey (ruler) of Algeria for centuries. In 1830, the French army under command of Marshal Louis de Bourmont conquered Algiers. The latter recruited local Berber fighters for support in the conquest of the rest of the country.
These colonial troops were called Zouaves. [Read more…] about New York’s Zouave Regiments: The Romance of War
In her new book Revolutionary Things: Material Culture & Politics in the Late Eighteenth- Century Atlantic World (Yale University Press, 2023), Ashli White of the University of Miami, explores the circulation of material culture during the America, French, and Haitian revolutions.
[Read more…] about Revolutionary Things: Material Culture & Politics in the Atlantic World
Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont, will host Jen Ellis to celebrate the release of her new book, Bernie’s Mitten Maker (Green Writers Press, 2023), the story behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ infamous inaugural mittens, on Tuesday, May 2nd.