The Age of Homespun

Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307416860

Category: Social Science

Page: 512

View: 6616

They began their existence as everyday objects, but in the hands of award-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, fourteen domestic items from preindustrial America–ranging from a linen tablecloth to an unfinished sock–relinquish their stories and offer profound insights into our history. In an age when even meals are rarely made from scratch, homespun easily acquires the glow of nostalgia. The objects Ulrich investigates unravel those simplified illusions, revealing important clues to the culture and people who made them. Ulrich uses an Indian basket to explore the uneasy coexistence of native and colonial Americans. A piece of silk embroidery reveals racial and class distinctions, and two old spinning wheels illuminate the connections between colonial cloth-making and war. Pulling these divergent threads together, Ulrich demonstrates how early Americans made, used, sold, and saved textiles in order to assert their identities, shape relationships, and create history. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Age of Homespun

Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth

Author: Laurel Ulrich

Publisher: Knopf


Category: History

Page: 501

View: 1180

A portrait of early industrialization in America chronicles the production of cloth and its influence on the cultural, economic, social, and political world of early America.

The Age of Homespun

Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth

Author: Laurel Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0679766448

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 501

View: 8475

A portrait of early industrialization in America chronicles the production of cloth and its influence on the cultural, economic, social, and political world of early America.

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1400075270

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 284

View: 5982

Examines three key works by women--the fifteenth-century "Book of the City of Ladies" by Christine de Pizan, Elizabeth Cady Stanton's memoirs, and Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own," to explore the making of history from a woman's perspective.

Tangible Things

Making History through Objects

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich,Ivan Gaskell,Sara Schechner,Sarah Anne Carter,Samantha van Gerbig

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199382298

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 6609

In a world obsessed with the virtual, tangible things are once again making history. Tangible Things invites readers to look closely at the things around them, ordinary things like the food on their plate and extraordinary things like the transit of planets across the sky. It argues that almost any material thing, when examined closely, can be a link between present and past. The authors of this book pulled an astonishing array of materials out of storage--from a pencil manufactured by Henry David Thoreau to a bracelet made from iridescent beetles--in a wide range of Harvard University collections to mount an innovative exhibition alongside a new general education course. The exhibition challenged the rigid distinctions between history, anthropology, science, and the arts. It showed that object-centered inquiry inevitably leads to a questioning of categories within and beyond history. Tangible Things is both an introduction to the range and scope of Harvard's remarkable collections and an invitation to reassess collections of all sorts, including those that reside in the bottom drawers or attics of people's houses. It interrogates the nineteenth-century categories that still divide art museums from science museums and historical collections from anthropological displays and that assume history is made only from written documents. Although it builds on a larger discussion among specialists, it makes its arguments through case studies, hoping to simultaneously entertain and inspire. The twenty case studies take us from the Galapagos Islands to India and from a third-century Egyptian papyrus fragment to a board game based on the twentieth-century comic strip "Dagwood and Blondie." A companion website catalogs the more than two hundred objects in the original exhibition and suggests ways in which the principles outlined in the book might change the way people understand the tangible things that surround them.

Good Wives

Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307772977

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 2837

This enthralling work of scholarship strips away abstractions to reveal the hidden--and not always stoic--face of the "goodwives" of colonial America. In these pages we encounter the awesome burdens--and the considerable power--of a New England housewife's domestic life and witness her occasional forays into the world of men. We see her borrowing from her neighbors, loving her husband, raising--and, all too often, mourning--her children, and even attaining fame as a heroine of frontier conflicts or notoriety as a murderess. Painstakingly researched, lively with scandal and homely detail, Good Wives is history at its best. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Buying Into the World of Goods

Early Consumers in Backcountry Virginia

Author: Ann Smart Martin

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801887277

Category: Antiques & Collectibles

Page: 260

View: 7036

How did people living on the early American frontier discover and then become a part of the market economy? How do their purchases and their choices revise our understanding of the market revolution and the emerging consumer ethos? Ann Smart Martin provides answers to these questions by examining the texture of trade on the edge of the upper Shenandoah Valley between 1760 and 1810. Reconstructing the world of one country merchant, John Hook, Martin reveals how the acquisition of consumer goods created and validated a set of ideas about taste, fashion, and lifestyle in a particular place at a particular time. Her analysis of Hook's account ledger illuminates the everyday wants, transactions, and tensions recorded within and brings some of Hook's customers to life: a planter looking for just the right clock, a farmer in search of nails, a young woman and her friends out shopping on their own, and a slave woman choosing a looking glass. This innovative approach melds fascinating narratives with sophisticated analysis of material culture to distill large abstract social and economic systems into intimate triangulations among merchants, customers, and objects. Martin finds that objects not only reflect culture, they are the means to create it.

Art in a Season of Revolution

Painters, Artisans, and Patrons in Early America

Author: Margaretta M. Lovell

Publisher: N.A


Category: Art

Page: 341

View: 9956

"Lovell delights, astonishes, and challenges us with her insightful new readings of early American paintings and material culture objects."--"Journal of the Early Republic"

The Weaver's Craft

Cloth, Commerce, and Industry in Early Pennsylvania

Author: Adrienne Hood

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 9780812203240

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 240

View: 1717

"If American studies scholars needed an example of how local history can be writ large, they can effectively point to this study of weavers in Chester County, Pennsylvania."—American Studies

Hands to the Spindle

Texas Women and Home Textile Production, 1822-1880

Author: Paula Mitchell Marks

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

ISBN: 9780890966990

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 133

View: 3264

In nineteenth-century Texas women's hands often created the fabrics their families wore, the blankets used to cover their tired bodies, and the textiles that furnished their homes. Through spinning, weaving, dyeing, and knitting of clothing and linens, women displayed their abilities and their dreams of a better future. These day-to-day activities of Texas women spinners and weavers come to life in award-winning author Paula Mitchell Marks's Hands to the Spindle. The hum of the spinning wheel and the clatter of the loom provided regular accompaniment to the lives of many Texas women immigrants and their families. Producing much-needed garments and cloth also provided an escape from the worries and isolation of frontier life. One early chronicler, Mary Crownover Rabb, kept her spinning wheel whistling all day and most of the night because the spinning kept her "from hearing the Indians walking around hunting mischief." Through the stories of real women and an overview of their textile crafts, Paula Mitchell Marks introduces readers to a functional art rarely practiced in our more hurried times. Photographs of some of their actual handiwork and evocative pen sketches of women at work and the tools and dye plants they used, delicately drawn by artist Walle Conoly, bring the words to life.

Uncommon Ground

Archaeology and Early African America, 1650-1800

Author: Leland Ferguson

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution

ISBN: 1588343588

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 2187

Winner of the Southern Anthropological Society's prestigious James Mooney Award, Uncommon Ground takes a unique archaeological approach to examining early African American life. Ferguson shows how black pioneers worked within the bars of bondage to shape their distinct identity and lay a rich foundation for the multicultural adjustments that became colonial America.Through pre-Revolutionary period artifacts gathered from plantations and urban slave communities, Ferguson integrates folklore, history, and research to reveal how these enslaved people actually lived. Impeccably researched and beautifully written. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Here, George Washington Was Born

Memory, Material Culture, and the Public History of a National Monument

Author: Seth C. Bruggeman

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 9780820342726

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 9396

In Here, George Washington Was Born, Seth C. Bruggeman examines the history of commemoration in the United States by focusing on the George Washington Birthplace National Monument in Virginia's Northern Neck, where contests of public memory have unfolded with particular vigor for nearly eighty years. Washington left the birthplace with his family at a young age and rarely returned. The house burned in 1779 and would likely have passed from memory but for George Washington Parke Custis, who erected a stone marker on the site in 1815, creating the first birthplace monument in America. Both Virginia and the U.S. War Department later commemorated the site, but neither matched the work of a Virginia ladies association that in 1923 resolved to build a replica of the home. The National Park Service permitted construction of the "replica house" until a shocking archeological discovery sparked protracted battles between the two organizations over the building's appearance, purpose, and claims to historical authenticity. Bruggeman sifts through years of correspondence, superintendent logs, and other park records to reconstruct delicate negotiations of power among a host of often unexpected claimants on Washington's memory. By paying close attention to costumes, furnishings, and other material culture, he reveals the centrality of race and gender in the construction of Washington's public memory and reminds us that national parks have not always welcomed all Americans. What's more, Bruggeman offers the story of Washington's birthplace as a cautionary tale about the perils and possibilities of public history by asking why we care about famous birthplaces at all.

A Midwife's Tale

The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307772985

Category: Social Science

Page: 464

View: 552

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE Drawing on the diaries of one woman in eighteenth-century Maine, this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier. Between 1785 and 1812 a midwife and healer named Martha Ballard kept a diary that recorded her arduous work (in 27 years she attended 816 births) as well as her domestic life in Hallowell, Maine. On the basis of that diary, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich gives us an intimate and densely imagined portrait, not only of the industrious and reticent Martha Ballard but of her society. At once lively and impeccably scholarly, A Midwife's Tale is a triumph of history on a human scale. From the Trade Paperback edition.

A House Full of Females

Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101947977

Category: Religion

Page: 528

View: 4126

From the author of A Midwife's Tale, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize for History, and The Age of Homespun--a revelatory, nuanced, and deeply intimate look at the world of early Mormon women whose seemingly ordinary lives belied an astonishingly revolutionary spirit, drive, and determination. A stunning and sure-to-be controversial book that pieces together, through more than two dozen nineteenth-century diaries, letters, albums, minute-books, and quilts left by first-generation Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, the never-before-told story of the earliest days of the women of Mormon "plural marriage," whose right to vote in the state of Utah was given to them by a Mormon-dominated legislature as an outgrowth of polygamy in 1870, fifty years ahead of the vote nationally ratified by Congress, and who became political actors in spite of, or because of, their marital arrangements. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, writing of this small group of Mormon women who've previously been seen as mere names and dates, has brilliantly reconstructed these textured, complex lives to give us a fulsome portrait of who these women were and of their "sex radicalism"--the idea that a woman should choose when and with whom to bear children. From the Hardcover edition.

Trading Identities

The Souvenir in Native North American Art from the Northeast, 1700-1900

Author: Ruth Bliss Phillips

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 9780295976488

Category: Art

Page: 334

View: 5383

Indians in northeastern North America produced a variety of art objects for sale to travelers and tourists during the 18th and 19th centuries. This art is of high quality and great aesthetic interest, but has been largely ignored by scholars. This study combines fieldwork, art historical analysis,


Author: Sonia Ashmore

Publisher: Victoria & Albert Museum

ISBN: 9781851777143

Category: Design

Page: 160

View: 1318

Charts the history of muslin from India to Europe (England, Scotland, France and Switzerland) to America.

The Early American Table

Food and Society in the New World

Author: Trudy Eden

Publisher: N.A


Category: Cooking

Page: 193

View: 6453

An exploration in the history of biopolitics, The Early American Table offers a unique study of the ways in which English colonists in North America incorporated the "you are what you eat" philosophy into their conception of themselves and their proper place in society. Eden aptly demonstrates that ideas about the body--ideas that may seem irrelevant or even laughable today--not only guided day-to-day personal behavior but also influenced society and politics. According to the 17th- and 18th-century understanding of the body, food affected the blood, bones, mind, and spirit in ways other social markers (e.g. clothes, manners, speech) did not because food was directly assimilated by the consumer. A plentiful, varied diet of high-quality refined foods created virtuous, refined individuals fit to govern society. In contrast, a more restricted diet of poor quality, coarse foods made an individual coarse, even beastly, and unfit to lead. In the Old World, especially before 1600, poverty, legal restrictions, and the scarcity of land prohibited most individuals from purchasing or raising foods believed to produce refinement and virtue. Only the wealthy were able to enjoy such a diet. In turn, this elite diet marked their social status and reaffirmed their entitlement to power. The English men and women who colonized North America throughout the colonial period held the idea that diet shaped character. After only a few decades of settlement, many of them enjoyed the unprecedented prosperity enabled by the fertile environment. Lower and middling families could set their tables with a greater variety and higher quality of food than their social counterparts in England. As a result, in contrast to England where an aristocrat's dinner was far different than a laborer's, in America, the differences between the diets of artisans and urban laborers, of plantation owners and small farmers, were not as great. In short, the American diet was a democratic diet that had social and political consequences.

Twice Upon a Time

Women Writers and the History of the Fairy Tale

Author: Elizabeth Wanning Harries

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691115672

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 216

View: 3746

Grounded in social history, this text refocuses the lens through which we look at fairy tales. It examines the tales told by the "conteuses" (French story-telling women in the 1690s) and the late 20th-century tales by women writers that derive in part from this centuries-old tradition.

Handbook of Material Culture

Author: Chris Tilley,Webb Keane,Susanne Kuechler,Mike Rowlands,Patricia Spyer

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1446206432

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 6012

The study of material culture is concerned with the relationship between persons and things in the past and in the present, in urban and industrialized and in small-scale societies across the globe. The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of things. It is cutting-edge: rather than simply reviewing the field as it currently exists. It also attempts to chart the future: the manner in which material culture studies may be extended and developed. The Handbook of Material Culture is divided into five sections. • Section I maps material culture studies as a theoretical and conceptual field. • Section II examines the relationship between material forms, the human body and the senses. • Section III focuses on subject-object relations. • Section IV considers things in terms of processes and transformations in terms of production, exchange and consumption, performance and the significance of things over the long-term. • Section V considers the contemporary politics and poetics of displaying, representing and conserving material and the manner in which this impacts on notions of heritage, tradition and identity. The Handbook charts an interdisciplinary field of studies that makes an unique and fundamental contribution to an understanding of what it means to be human. It will be of interest to all who work in the social and historical sciences, from anthropologists and archaeologists to human geographers to scholars working in heritage, design and cultural studies.

Material Culture

A Research Guide

Author: Kenneth L. Ames,Thomas J. Schlereth

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780700602759

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 7911

This collection of essays brings together six distinguished scholars to examine the progress, problems, and potential of material culture studies in America. From the perspective of their respective disciplines—cultural geography, vernacular architecture, American studies, the history of technology, the decorative arts, and folklife studies—these widely respected authorities survey the major material culture research of the past two decades and assess the most creative and innovative work-in-progress. Thomas J. Schlereth's introductory chapter provides a critical analysis of material culture evidence, articulating the distinctive quality of such data and focusing on the problematic nature of doing research with objects rather than with written records. The chapters that follow, five of which originally appeared in 1983 in a special issue of American Quarterly, represent a succinct summary of those fields and subfields of material culture scholarship that are at the cutting edge of current research. The volume includes an expanded, up-to-date bibliography that will be of use to a wide range of scholars. Today American material culture studies remains a field where the most innovative work is occurring at the local or regional level. The essays in this volume suggest, however, that such work will be part of the wider evidential base and broader interpretive strategy out of which a new synthesis may develop.