A perk of collecting buttons is that they can be found everywhere, from garage sales to flea markets and trade shows. They are relatively inexpensive historic artifacts, combining artistic merit and quotidian use.
Picture a romantic, snowy evening: fireside, burning logs, shining brass firedogs and a hot iron trivet on the hearth. But, you may ask, what, exactly, is the trivet in that picture? Simply put, a trivet is a metal stand that stood in the fireplace or on the hearth, upon which a kettle or a pot […]
Wherever the first Windsor chair came from, in the 18th-century American colonies it became known as the “democratic chair” of the independent American nation. The legend about its beginnings has it that King George II, seeking shelter from a storm, arrived at a peasant cottage and was given a multi-spindled chair to sit on. Its […]
In 18th- and 19th-century America, samplers were used as an educational tool for girls from all social backgrounds, but the function of the finished product would differ. The proud parents of a girl from an affluent family might put her sampler in a wooden frame and hang it on the wall to show her skill […]
From around the 1830s through the 1920s, almost everyone carried the newfangled “strike anywhere” matches to light lanterns, stoves and candles. Proceeded by old-fashioned wood splints — which were dipped into melted sulphur and primarily used to light candles after being ignited from burning tinder — these novel friction matches burst into flame when rubbed […]
Peddlers hold a special place in early American culture. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, when there were few stores around, the peddler, with his horse and buggy, became a common sight across the United States. Most rural towns had a single general store that typically carried a very limited variety of merchandise. Since many farm […]