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Historic N E W E NG L A N D

FALL 2012

COMPETITIONS IN ARCHITECTURE


FROM THE PRESIDENT

At a recent advisory council meeting, we asked those present—who come from all six New England states, many walks of life, and diverse family backgrounds—what the phrase everyone’s history meant to them. Some had emotional reactions, recalling something that had made them feel excluded, whether it was ethnicity or national origin, economic level, or political or sexual orientation. Others, working in academia or in cultural organizations, spoke about organizational goals, affirmative action, and underserved audiences. Nearly everyone mentioned stories, which indeed is what Historic New England staff had in mind when we proposed everyone’s history as the focus of our outreach and programs. In these pages, you can read about immigrant workers making couture wedding gowns and about an intrepid young woman investigating a scandal in the late nineteenth century. You will find a survey of our vast collection of ephemera—items once thought to be disposable components of everyday life—and an article about competitions to design landmark buildings. We discuss the recent acquisition of the Jewett-Eastman House in South Berwick, Maine, where author Sarah Orne Jewett passed much of her youth. Historic New England ensures that the houses, stories, and artifacts of New Englanders past and present are preserved for future generations. There is drama, excitement, fascination, and wonder to be found all around us.

Historic N E W E NG L A N D Fall 2012 Vol. 13, No. 2

Competitions in Architecture 16

Priscilla of Boston 24 1

OBJECT LESSON

Pincushions

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A DAY IN THE LIFE

Conservator

OPEN HOUSE

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MEMBER SHIP

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One Family, Two Homes A Perfect Fit

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PR ESERVATION

Commitment to Preservation SPOTLIG HT

—Carl R. Nold

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Jane Armstrong Tucker, Girl Spy MAKING LEAR NING FUN

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“Terms-Cash,” Nineteenth-century Billheads Historic New England 141 Cambridge Street Boston MA 02114-2702 617-227-3956

PER SPECTIVE

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New Life for an Old Building 1 0 0 YEAR S, 1 0 0 COMMUNITIES

HISTORIC NEW ENGLAND magazine is a benefit of membership. To become a member, visit our website, HistoricNewEngland.org, or call 617-994-5910. Comments? Please call Nancy Curtis, editor. Historic ­­­ New England is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Executive Editor: Diane Viera Editor: Nancy Curtis Editorial Review Team: Nancy Carlisle, Senior Curator of Collections; Lorna Condon, Senior Curator of Library and Archives; Jennifer Pustz, Museum Historian; Sally Zimmerman, Manager of Historic Preservation Services Design: DeFrancis Carbone

The Way We Worked COLLECTIONS

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ACQUISITIONS

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History on Paper

Miss Beach and the Useful and Ornamental Arts

Perspective drawing by Michael McKinnell of Boston City Hall, from the first stage of the 1961 nationwide design competition. COVER

Except where noted, all historic photographs and ephemera are from Historic New England’s Library and Archives.


O B J E C T

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Pincushions The design on this satin pincushion is worked in steel straight pins. BELOW The dark velvet background, raised beadwork, looped fringe, and small rows of beads that outline the shape of the pincushion all point to its being of Native American design and construction. ABOVE

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incushions run the gamut from utilitarian sewing accessories to intricately decorated pieces that show off a woman’s talents with needlework and other fancy work. These two examples from Historic New England’s collection of pincushions were clearly made for decorative purposes. The satin pincushion bears the words “Welcome Little Stranger,” a phrase commonly applied in the eighteenth century to decorative items made by new mothers or given as gifts. The motto seems to suggest not only the joy that a baby’s birth brought to a household but also the emotional distance a parent might retain given the high rate of infant mortality at that time. Pincushions such as this one were often hung on the door of a house to announce the birth of a new baby. On the reverse side, the woman has documented the births of eight children in the eighteen-year period between 1777 and 1795. We do not know how many of her children survived the first year, but the repetition of the initials H and I suggests that perhaps two of them did not. In the Victorian era, owning elaborate sewing accessories became almost as important as having the ability to make fancy goods themselves. A woman might keep several pincushions on her dressing table, both for display and to hold sewing pins, jewelry, or hat pins. Decorative pincushions showed off skills in embroidery, lace making, and beadwork. They also were popular mementos to bring back from trips to places like Niagara Falls or the Adirondack Mountains. Ornamental pincushions in traditional shapes and motifs were among the wares made by Native American women for sale as souvenirs to tourists. The one pictured here was made in the 1880s by a Tuscarora or Haudenosuanee artist. While other women sometimes copied Native American designs, the imitations vary significantly from the originals in the choice of fabrics, beads, colors, and motifs. —Nicole Chalfant Collection Manager Fall 2012 Historic New England

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Rob Shelley, National Gallery of Art

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Conservator Watching a staff member at work

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Historic New England Fall 2012

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f all the jobs in a museum, I think the conservator’s is the best. Not only do we get to study the objects closely, but as we conserve them, we often improve their appearance to make it easier for people to appreciate them. My most recent completed project was the treatment of this wonderful rocking horse from Marrett

D AY

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House in Standish, Maine, in preparation for display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where it was the only three-dimensional object in an exhibition of nine portraits of children called Deacon Peckham’s Hobby Horse. When I first examined the rocking horse, I could see that it had clearly had a lot of use, causing breaks in the tack and the loss of one of the stirrups. Only a few threads of the saddle blanket survived, and a good part of the mane was missing. I knew that preparing the object to be placed on view in the National Gallery would be a challenge but also immensely satisfying. I began my treatment by photographing the horse on all sides to document its condition. Next, I studied it to determine how it was constructed, identify what it was made of, note condition issues, and outline the methods and materials I would use to stabilize it and improve its condition. I discussed these steps with Nancy Carlisle, our senior curator, who gave me the green light to proceed. The horse was very dirty, especially the mane and the tail. I cleaned the hair to reveal its true color, bought new horsehair and dyed it to match, then made mini hair “plugs” and inserted them into the holes where the original hair had been. Once the new hair was in place, I curled it to match what remained of the original. (Curling hair is not a typical job for a conservator, but every object presents new challenges, and problem-solving is perhaps a conservator’s most important skill.) To replace a lost stirrup, I made a mold of the one remaining, cast a replica in epoxy putty, and painted it to match. I made a new saddle blanket out


of a fabric close to the original without damaging the remnants or allowing the replacement to look too new. One of the biggest challenges was to treat new leather to make it appear worn so it would match missing sections of the reins and tack. Working with half-inch-wide strips of new leather, I used a special leather-working instrument called a skiving tool to get the strips to the proper thickness. I experimented with several methods of distressing the leather to approximate the years of play this favorite toy had endured. Applying a mixture of dyes, stains, oils, and shellac, alternating with abrading the leather with sandpaper, files, and knives, resulted in a convincing imitation. To attach the new sections to the torn ends of the original leather, I used thin strips of polyester material toned to match the leather and a heat-sensitive adhesive. These polyester “band-aids” did no damage to the original material. The process is completely reversible.

I take great satisfaction in having returned this muchloved object to good condition and in knowing that it continues to bring delight to all who see it. —Michaela Neiro Objects Conservator

An online version of the exhibition may be found at http:// www.nga.gov/hobbyhorse/. Visit HistoricNewEngland.org to view the rocking horse and thousands of other objects in the Collections Access database.

This rocking horse from Historic New England’s collection was displayed at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in front of a c. 1840 painting by Robert Peckham. FACING PAGE

The author at work cleaning the mane (above), attaching horsehair “plugs” (below right), and securing and humidifying leather elements (below left). THIS PAGE

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H O U S E

Sandy Agrafiotis Photography

O P E N

One Family, Two Homes

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arah Orne Jewett is one of New England’s most beloved regional authors. Her circle of literary acquaintances included Oliver Wendell Holmes, Willa Cather, John Greenleaf Whittier, Rudyard Kipling, and Julia Ward Howe. She traveled abroad and frequently spent time in Boston, but Sarah always called Maine home. In one essay about her hometown Sarah wrote, “I am proud to have been made of Berwick dust.” Theodora Sarah Orne Jewett was born on September 3, 1849, in her grandparents’ eighteenth-century house in Berwick (now South Berwick), Maine. Named after her merchant grandfather Captain Theodore F. Jewett, and her physician father Dr. Theodore H. Jewett, she soon became known as Sarah. Sarah, together with

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her mother, Caroline, her father, and her older sister, Mary, lived with her grandparents until 1854, when a Greek Revival house was built next door for the growing family. Shortly after they moved in, a third daughter, Caroline, was born. Educated within walking distance of home at Miss Olive Rayne’s school and at Berwick Academy, Sarah found success early, publishing her first significant piece in the Atlantic Monthly at age nineteen. By the end of her career, she had published more than 140 pieces, including not only fiction but also a collection of poetry and children’s books. Sarah’s most notable works include the novels A Country Doctor and The Country of the Pointed Firs, and a collection of short stories titled A

White Heron, all depicting the local color and character of rural Maine that were quickly disappearing. As Sarah gained national and, indeed, international attention, her family continued to live in the two Portland Street homes in the center of South Berwick, while around them the town was changing from a quiet village to a growing commercial and industrial area. William Jewett, Sarah’s uncle, inherited her grandfather’s home in 1860 and continued to live there until his death in 1887. At that time, Sarah, Mary, and their widowed mother were still living in the Greek Revival home next door. When William died, the three women moved into the older family home, while Caroline, Sarah’s younger sister, and her husband, Edwin


partnerships through collaborative use of the site. Sarah Orne Jewett committed her life to preserving and sharing the stories of her region, and Historic New England looks forward to expanding outreach in the two buildings she called home. —Diane Viera Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Eastman, took ownership of the Greek Revival house. Sarah and Mary decorated their grandfather’s old house for their own use, expressing both a pride in their family’s past and their own independent, sophisticated tastes. While they retained earlier wallpapers in four rooms, the sisters made a dramatic statement in the front hall, choosing a bold Arts and Crafts pattern of tulips for wallpaper and a William Morris carpet for the stairs. Sarah died at only fifty-nine. On her birthday in 1903, she was seriously injured in a carriage accident. On June 24, 1909, a stroke, her second that year, ended her life. Mary died in 1930, leaving the house to Caroline’s son, Theodore Jewett Eastman. Just one year later, Eastman died, bequeathing both the old Jewett house and the newer Greek Revival one, which he also owned, to Historic New England. In 1931, the older family home— now called the Sarah Orne Jewett House—became a historic house museum, where today visitors still discover the life of Sarah and her family. The Greek Revival house next door—the Jewett-Eastman House—was named the Eastman Community House and served the community that Sarah held so dear. In 1971, it became home to the South Berwick Public Library. In 1984, Historic New England sold the

building, with preservation easements, to the Jewett-Eastman Memorial Committee. Last spring, after forty years at the Jewett-Eastman House, the South Berwick Public Library moved to a larger facility, and members of the Jewett-Eastman Memorial Committee sought a new owner who would ensure that the house continued serving the community. On June 12, Historic New England re-acquired the Jewett-Eastman House. Reuniting the two family properties provides exceptional opportunities for Historic New England to expand its local and regional impact through increased programming, presenting traveling exhibitions, and growing

Sarah Orne Jewett House (left) and Jewett-Eastman House (right) stand side by side in the heart of South Berwick, Maine. LEFT Books by and about Jewett available FACING PAGE

from Historic New England. Orne Jewett, c. 1890.

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Sarah

Explore Jewett’s life and writings in these books, available online at HistoricNewEngland.org or by calling 617-227-3956. Sarah Orne Jewett: A Country Doctor, $15 Sarah Orne Jewett: Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories, $6.95 Paula Blanchard: Sarah Orne Jewett: Her Work and Her World, $25

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M E M B E R S H I P

A Perfect Fit

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id you know that Historic New England offers many different specialty membership categories? Like a good pair of shoes, your Historic New England membership should fit you well, according to your interests and lifestyle. Upgrade to one of these memberships, and you will not only receive great benefits and access to programming tailored to your interests but you will also provide critical funding in support of Historic New England’s mission. Discover a specialty membership that’s a perfect fit for you­—

Pierce Harman

Ogden Codman Design Group Design professionals and enthusiasts experience the depth of architectural and interior design by exploring Historic New England’s vast collections and visiting private houses. Members are invited to at least two designfocused programs each year that provide ideal opportunities for professional and social networking.

Appleton Circle Members enjoy the highest level of access to New England art and history through behind-the-scenes tours, lectures, receptions, and invitations to the homes and gardens of private collectors. Through their annual membership, Appleton Circle members further Historic New England’s commitment to preserve the region’s rich cultural heritage and share it with the public. • Upgrade your membership by visiting HistoricNewEngland.org or calling 617-994-5935. • Learn more about all our membership categories. Return the enclosed postcard, and we will send you detailed information about the memberships that suit your interests. • Refer a friend. Use the second postcard to send us names of friends. We will send them a copy of Historic New England magazine and a free pass to one of our historic properties with your compliments.

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Garden and Landscape Members support the care and protection of gardens and landscapes ranging from the Victorian and Colonial Revival periods to organic farms. They also enjoy access to special hands-on workshops, private garden tours, talks, and early admission to popular plant sales, plus full Household level member benefits.


P R E S E R V AT I O N

Carpenters install the Langdon House portico balustrade after careful conservation and preservation work. LEFT

Commitment to Preservation

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he Preservation Maintenance Fund, established in 2009 by a three-year challenge grant, continues to support maintenance work at our historic properties, thanks to grants and generous contributions from individuals. This year, we are focusing our preservation priorities on Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and southern Maine, and have hired project managers to supervise the work. In Rhode Island, our physical efforts have been concentrated on Croade Tavern, adjacent to Arnold House, our regional office in Lincoln. The tavern received a new roof; its plank-frame windows were conserved; and the exterior trim and siding were replaced. Meanwhile, intensive planning is underway for future proj-

ects at Casey and Watson farms, in Saunderstown and Jamestown, respectively, and at Clemence-Irons House in Johnston. In the Piscataqua region, repairs were undertaken on the portico balustrade, fences, and the two brick outbuildings at Governor John Langdon House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Sayward-Wheeler House in York Harbor, Maine, benefited from structural work, roof replacement, and repairs to the porch overlooking the harbor. We are also replacing the roof of the Barrett House barn in New Ipswich, New Hampshire. Planning for future work includes a preservation assessment at the newly acquired Jewett-Eastman House, South Berwick, Maine, and a review of preservation issues at Rundlet-May and Jackson

houses in Portsmouth and Hamilton House in South Berwick. Following up on the success of our energy efficiency and weatherization projects at the Lyman Estate in Waltham and Pierce House in Dorchester, both in Massachusetts, we will analyze and implement energy conservation measures at Arnold and Langdon houses to cut energy costs at these two regional locations. Significant maintenance efforts are also being carried out in Massachusetts: replacing the roof at Browne House in Watertown and initiating archaeology work at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury to help determine the best solution to a drainage issue. These projects, however, only scratch the surface of the work that needs to be completed. Your contributions to the Preservation Maintenance Fund help us maintain our historic sites to the highest standards. It is what we believe in, what our supporters expect, what our preservation philosophy demands, and the most visible way we can serve the public. Historic New England’s Preservation Maintenance Fund provides the highest standard of care for our thirtysix properties so that we may address maintenance needs proactively. Please consider making a gift to the Preservation Maintenance Fund to help us provide the proper care for our historic buildings and landscapes. —Ben Haavik Team Leader, Property Care Visit HistoricNewEngland.org/PMF or call 617-994-5951.

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Jane Armstrong Tucker,

Girl Spy


S P O T L I G H T

Jane Armstrong Tucker, 1893. RIGHT AND LEFT Correspondence, including a glowing letter of reference that Tucker had earned for her hard work. BELOW Catalogue for Hickox’s School of Shorthand. FACING PAGE

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n February 1894, a young woman who called herself Agnes Parker made her way to the House of Mercy, a home (or hiding place) for fallen women. Parker was on a secret mission—to locate, befriend, and spy on Madeline Pollard. Pollard, the twenty-eight-year-old mistress of Kentucky congressman William C. P. Breckinridge, had recently revealed their ten-year affair. Seven months earlier, in August 1893, Pollard had sued the congressman for breach of promise, alleging that he had seduced her, stolen her youth, and ruined her life with his false promises of marriage. At first, Breckinridge dismissed the allegation, confident that no woman would endure the humiliation of appearing in court. But he had underestimated Pollard—and her legal team—and as 1893 became 1894, Breckinridge was desperate for information that would give him an edge in the rapidly approaching trial. His longtime close friend, attorney and businessman Charles Stoll, suggested a daring plan: hire a girl spy to seek out

Pollard and gain her confidence. And Stoll knew just the self-assured, skilled young woman to do it: Jane Armstrong Tucker, of Castle Tucker, Wiscasset, Maine. Of the many stories that house can tell, one of its bestkept secrets has been that of Jane Tucker’s days as a girl spy. Born in Wiscasset in 1866, Tucker grew up a self-described tomboy. She was ambitious and active, modern and outspoken. In her early twenties, Tucker settled in Boston in a period of growing economic opportunity for single young women and seemed to revel in the excitement of urban living. She performed in plays, gave sewing lessons, painted decorative china, and studied typewriting and stenography at Hickox’s School in Fall 2012 Historic New England

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Copley Square. With these new skills, Tucker found a job with the West End Street Railroad Company, taking statements from victims of and witnesses to the frequent collisions between rail cars, horse-drawn carriages, and pedestrians in Boston’s crowded streets. A restless nature, economic instability, and difficult bosses led Tucker to move to New York City. There she took a position as an office temp, providing stenography and typewriting services to a variety of businesses. In November 1892, she was called to the luxurious Park Avenue Hotel to assist a Kentucky businessman, Charles Stoll. Tucker so impressed Stoll that he offered her a permanent job as his New York City office manager. It was a good job, and Stoll was a kind employer. But a few months later, Stoll closed his New York office and reluctantly let Jane go. After a visit to the Chicago World’s Fair and a brief stint back in Boston, by year’s end Tucker had returned to Wiscasset to care for her aging parents. Tucker had resigned herself to a long Maine winter when increasingly urgent 10

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letters and telegrams began to arrive from her old employer. Stoll had a job for her. He offered no details but promised Tucker that if she was successful, she would be set economically. She could even name her price, which she did: $15.00 per week plus expenses, good wages for the day. Tucker made a new dress, gathered a few supplies, and headed to Washington, D.C. Her first task was to find Madeline Pollard. Once in Washington, Tucker made her way to the House of Mercy, where it was suspected Pollard was in seclusion. Adopting an alias, Tucker approached the imposing door. She later wrote that at that moment she needed to tell a “whopper of a lie.” And she did. Tucker told the mother superior that despite her apparent good breeding she was, in fact, a fallen woman who needed a place to contemplate her sin. With Tucker’s ready tears, the tale was convincing, and she was permitted to stay one week as a trial period. She exchanged her stylish dress for the plain blue shift of her fellow penitents. Tucker ate bland


Portraits of W. C. P. Breckinridge and Madeline Pollard, from The Celebrated Trial, 1894, an anonymous publication. FACING PAGE, BELOW Boston street scene, about 1908. LEFT Tucker’s report, 1894. FACING PAGE, TOP

food and slept in a cell-like room. She cautiously engaged in conversation, hoping to identify which of these women might be Madeline Pollard, like herself, hiding behind an alias. The days passed, and Tucker feared her mission a failure. But Madeline Pollard was indeed in residence, and she carefully approached Tucker. Pollard was desperate for a confidante, and Tucker appeared a sympathetic friend. The two young women had quite a bit in common. Both were born in 1866, and both were ambitious, embracing the many opportunities available to women in the 1890s. Pollard dreamed of a literary life and had attended college.

In Washington, she had worked briefly for the Census Office and later became a favorite among the D.C. elite, who knew nothing of Pollard’s secret affair. Pollard—now rejected by the society that had once welcomed her—was very much alone, and she and Tucker grew close. Tucker gained Pollard’s trust, but the two were closely watched. The nuns feared that Pollard would sully Tucker, little realizing that Jane was the duplicitous spy in their midst. By a special arrangement, Pollard could come and go as she pleased to prepare for her trial, and Tucker quickly realized she could complete her mission better living beyond the convent walls. At the conclusion of her probationary week, Tucker announced herself redeemed and prepared to leave, but cleverly offered her typing skills to the nuns to thank them for their courtesy, an offer they were only too happy to accept and that gave Tucker an excuse to return often and see Pollard. Jane Tucker had a knack for spying. It was all very cloak and dagger. Tucker would receive instructions to meet at a particular statue and to come veiled, or to knock at a particular residence and ask for a man, using a code name. She sent daily reports to Breckinridge’s legal team. Tucker feared detection, so she took notes in stenography and hid them in a money bag worn around her neck. In letters home, she provided no details of her special task, promising that when it was all done she would reveal an incredible story. Pollard and Tucker’s friendship deepened. The trial began in March 1894 and lasted several weeks. Except for Pollard and a few witnesses, women were prohibited from attending the indelicate hearings, but Tucker made sure to visit Pollard almost nightly at the convent. They had long conversations about court proceedings, went for rides in the Fall 2012 Historic New England

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RIGHT

Madeline Pollard, c. 1884, from The Celebrated Trial.

country, and went shopping together. Tucker learned that Pollard would talk more freely when presented with a gift. Pollard’s brother came to Washington, and Tucker generously offered to show him the sights, all the time digging for more information. Not unlike twenty-first-century political scandals, the Breckinridge-Pollard trial captured national attention. Newspapers were filled daily with the latest revelations and opinions. In private, Breckinridge’s team praised Tucker’s success but often neglected her savvy advice on how to interrogate Pollard on the stand. Perhaps the lawyers should have listened: Pollard won and was awarded $15,000, equal to three years of a congressman’s salary (about half a million dollars today). The victory was bittersweet: Pollard’s new friend, whom she knew as Agnes Parker, had disappeared. As Breckinridge prepared an appeal, Charles Stoll concocted a strategy to win public support. With Stoll’s assistance and sequestered at his Kentucky home, Tucker wrote a tell-all account of her days as a girl spy. The Real Madeleine Pollard exposed the heart-to-heart conversations and private moments of Tucker and Pollard’s faux friendship. Produced by a publisher of sensationalized tales and authored under an alias, Tucker’s book garnered unenthusiastic reviews. She had hoped for financial success, but sales were slow. The trial had faded from public memory as new scandals grabbed headlines. Pollard had disappeared. And back in Wiscasset, Tucker’s family, especially her mother and her conservative brother Richard, were not in the least impressed with her adventures. Tucker made nothing from the book, and Breckinridge never paid her for her days as a girl spy. The congressman, who lost his appeal and his re-election bid, was broke. After her Washington adventure, Tucker continued her struggle to achieve economic stability. Although the late nineteenth century brought many new opportunities for women in the work force, the salaries paid to women did not provide a living wage, and Tucker, like many young, single women, struggled to make ends meet, a quest made all the more difficult in the wildly fluctuating economy of the 1890s. In these tough financial times, and especially after the death of her father, she helped her widowed mother with the challenge of keeping the aging Castle Tucker repaired. They took in summer boarders, advertising Wiscasset’s picturesque charm and their rustic Maine home to entice potential tourists. In the off-season, Jane Tucker continued to work in Boston, New York, and beyond. For a while she ran her own cosmetics business, Rose Leaf Balm, and tested her creations on her own skin. One of her preparations so burned her face that she walked around Boston veiled, remarking to her mother 12

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that it reminded her of her D.C. days. Entrepreneurial and always on the watch for economic opportunity, Tucker took on many jobs. She worked for an important Boston reformer, sold corsets, and traveled for the pattern-maker McCalls, covering the western territories as a saleswoman. She contemplated buying land in Montana. She never married, and after her mother’s death in 1922, inherited Castle Tucker, where she lived and worked for the rest of her very long life. Jane Armstrong Tucker died in 1964, and with her passing, so too did the story of the congressman, the mistress, and the girl spy. —Elizabeth De Wolfe, Ph.D. Dr. De Wolfe is Chair of the Department of History at the University of New England. She is writing a book about the Breckinridge-Pollard scandal.


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“Terms–Cash” Nineteenth-century Billheads When we buy something in a store today, the receipt is usually a flimsy slip of paper. Most of these scraps will end up in the recycling bin and will not survive long enough for future historians to study. In the nineteenth century, receipts were handwritten on a sheet of paper with the business’s name printed at the top. Often, they featured pictures of the kinds of items the store carried—hardware, dry goods, plumbing supplies, farm equipment—or the building in which the business was located. Customers kept these receipts along with their other financial records. Before advertising became widespread in newspapers and on radio and television, receipts were one of the ways that a business could make itself known. A great deal of effort went into designing the top of the receipt, or billhead. Pictures and fancy lettering were intended to catch the customer’s eye, dem-

onstrate the reliability of the business, and display the wares on sale. Looking at billheads can tell us a great deal about daily life in the past—what people wore, what types of items were available, and how much things cost. —Carolin Collins Education Program Manager

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P E R S P E C T I V E

New Life for an Old Building

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factory buildings being converted to apartments and condominiums, the acquisition has been a sound investment. In addition to addressing its own collections care needs, Historic New England rents space to colleague institutions for the care and preservation of their collections. Today, Haverhill continues its renaissance, and Historic New England’s facility celebrates its one hundredth anniversary. Historically known as the Lang Building, this eight-story poured concrete factory is a contributing structure to the L. H. Hamel Leather Company Historic District and a vibrant example of how through adaptation, buildings that were the center of Haverhill’s economy in the

early twentieth century are spurring its renewal in the twenty-first. The building offers ample storage space for the collections. BELOW Historic New England’s century-old factory building in Haverhill, Massachusetts. ABOVE

Andrew Davis

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etermined to find affordable storage for its museum collections, in 1988 Historic New England began leasing space in a factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Located just over thirty miles north of Boston, the facility is convenient to Historic New England’s many sites on the Massachusetts North Shore and in southern New Hampshire and Maine. Over time, use of the space expanded to include curatorial offices, a conservation lab, and photography studio. When Historic New England purchased the building in 2006, Haverhill was at the beginning of revitalization. With a new garage for commuters across the street, and neighboring


Slipper City Reporting in 1919, the vice president of the city’s Chamber of Commerce wrote, “Haverhill may justly be proud of its factories,—they are the foundation of its industries and prosperity.” Historic New England’s building and its companion next door were among several fireproof factories built during the 1910s to house the booming shoe industry. As a major manufacturer of women’s shoes, Haverhill claimed the title of Slipper City. In 1912, one newspaper reported that Haverhill’s factories produced 22 million pairs of shoes, with a total value of $40 million. Historic New England’s building housed many small businesses, ranging from shoe manufacturers to businesses that made shoe components or ornamental parts. When styles turned to lighter footwear with higher heels, manufacturers were in a favorable position to respond quickly due

to Haverhill’s wooden heel industry, because wooden heels could be made higher and still be lightweight. However, when World War I disrupted the U.S. economy, Haverhill was slow to adapt. It took some time before businesses benefitted from military footwear orders. An economic slump followed as war work dried up, but by the mid-1920s, business rebounded somewhat. Occupancy of the building peaked in 1926–27, with

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at least ten firms doing business there and very little vacancy. Manufacturers and the shoe workers’ union regularly battled over wages, driving several companies to relocate, and strikes disrupted production. By 1930, the number of tenants in Historic New England’s building declined as the shoe industry contracted. Some companies remained to manufacture shoes or their components, but by the late 1970s the building was largely vacant. More than a century later, the building and many others that established the Slipper City have new lives as residential, commercial, and non-profit spaces serving the growing number of people who live in, work in, and visit this revitalized industrial hub. Once again, Haverhill’s factories are providing the foundation for prosperity. —Diane Viera Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer —Jennifer Pustz, Museum Historian

The state-of-the-art photography studio. Postcard, about 1915.

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Advertisement detail

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P O R T F O L I O

Competitions in Architecture

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Competition designs for the Chapel at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1844, by Ammi B. Young (facing page) and Gridley J. F. Bryant (right).

In the large collection of architectural drawings housed in Historic New England’s Library and Archives, there are several works that stem from design competitions for local buildings. To study them is to recall important moments in the region’s architectural history.

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esign competitions, with rewards ranging from an ego trip to a cash prize and a commission, have been around as long as the second oldest profession itself. One hears that there was a contest among architects to design the Parthenon. A competition might be open, international, and huge—the contest for the design of the Paris Opera House in 1861, won by Charles Garnier, drew 171 entries. The Chicago Tribune Tower competition in 1922, won by Hood and Howells (although Walter Gropius’s entry gained the most praise from Modernist critics), fetched 260 aspirants. Or, the entries might be local and limited—Brunelleschi in 1416 needed to out-engineer only ten Florentine rivals, although one, Ghiberti, was formidable, to direct the building of the dome of the Duomo in Florence. H. H. Richardson in 1872 had only to best five other invited competitors to gain the prize at Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston.

Winners are not always guaranteed to find their creations erected, however. Funding might not materialize. The design might be altered, combined with parts of other entries to create a pastiche, or largely ignored, as was Daniel Libeskind’s for the World Trade Center in 2002. To level the playing field, there may be restrictions on the kind of presentations that are acceptable (with the winner often ignoring them as well as the program outlining the overall concept for the project). Usually, the designers’ names are altered or hidden until selection is made. The best artist, rather than the best planner, frequently takes the prize. And often, the result sends the losers to expressions of bitterness, or the general public to grumbling. The lobbying in Washington, D.C., among the contestants for the design of the Smithsonian Institution in 1846, a competition won by a young James Renwick, Jr., set off what one historian called “a tempest among architects.”

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BELOW

Two elevations by Richard Bond.

Mount Auburn Cemetery Chapel, 1844 In 1844, the trustees of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, held a competition for the design of its nonsectarian burial chapel. Participants were given a directive that strongly suggested a neo-Gothic solution, for it stated that it would “constitute the Nave or part of the Nave of a future Church which will become with its future transept a Latin or Greek cross.” All the entries surviving at Historic New England are neo-Gothic in style. G. J. F. Bryant, Richard Bond, an unknown entrant, and Ammi B. Young, with a strip of paper pasted over their names, entered similar one-room solutions, but Young also demonstrated how his might be incorporated into the cross-shaped church foreseen by the directive. All were ignored. Dr. Jacob Bigelow, an amateur architect and the designer of the cemetery’s Egyptian-style gateway, probably wrote the directive. His design for the naively Gothic chapel won the competition, and the building has graced the “garden of graves” since 1845. The larger church never materialized.

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Historic New England Fall 2012

A stereo view of the completed chapel, designed by Dr. Jacob Bigelow. ABOVE


LEFT AND BELOW

Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr.,’s designs for stations of the Boston Elevated Rail Company, 1897–98. RIGHT

Boston Elevated Railway Company Stations, 1897–98 In 1897, the Boston Elevated Railway Company “retained all of the prominent firms of architects in the city” in a competition for the best study of a “typical island station” for the new Main Line El stretching from Sullivan Square to Roxbury. The proposed budget called for $10,000 for each station, to be constructed of copper with wooden floors and platforms. Evidently the early French Renaissance style was expected, because the directive mentioned “pilasters and ornamentation may prevent large, monotonous surfaces of metal and may give better light and shade effects.” At the March 1898 judgment, Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr., calling himself “Excelsior” on his drawings, a graduate of MIT and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, received the $1,000 prize for his extraordinarily beautiful set of drawings. He bested ten other competitors, all of whom remained anonymous. The resulting stations were, alas, destroyed in the 1980s, when the Orange Line was relocated underground.

Postcard depicting the station in Charlestown, Massachusetts. RIGHT

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ABOVE

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Detail of the west elevation of Boston City Hall. Photograph by Steve Rosenthal.

Historic New England Fall 2012


Boston City Hall, 1961–62 Open public competitions do more than produce a winning design. They discover new talent and generate a feeling of anticipation among architects and the public. Boston after the Second World War was in a somnolent phase. In the 1950s and ‘60s, two mayors, John Hynes and John Collins, inaugurated a program of urban renewal, which was capped in 1961 by a national competition for the design of a new City Hall as part of restructuring the city center. Two hundred and fifty-six entries were judged by a committee of local businessmen and architects, who chose eight finalists, each of whom received $5,000 and instructions to develop their schemes. Out of that grinder, in the spring of 1962, emerged the winning entry by a pair of relatively young and largely unknown designers named Michael McKinnell and Gerhard Kallmann. Their reinforced concrete building, a canonical example of the aggressive New Brutalism unveiled in large, dynamic drawings that seem to race away from the viewer or zoom off the surface of the paper, caught the

world’s attention. Boston’s 1960s effort at renewal could have acquired no better publicity than it got from this competition. —James F. O’Gorman, architectural historian and author, is Professor Emeritus at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Interior of Boston City Hall’s south hall by Michael McKinnell. BELOW McKinnell’s final presentation drawing of the east elevation. RIGHT

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1 0 0

Y E A R S ,

1 0 0

C O M M U N I T I E S

National Archives, Records of the Children’s Bureau

“Ladies wonder how their girls can complain of loneliness in a house full of people, but oh! it is the worst kind of loneliness—their share is but the work of the house, they do not share in the pleasures and delights of a home.” —Anonymous domestic in response to a survey conducted by Vassar professor Lucy Maynard Salmon, c. 1890.

The Way We Worked

T

hrough a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), Historic New England is coordinating the regional tour of The Way We Worked, an exhibition developed by the National Archives that explores work as a vital element of American life over the past 150 years. We invite you to come see it as it travels through the region (see our tour schedule on facing page). Photographs, objects, and archival film footage depict field hands weeding beets for two dollars an hour, construction workers placing explosives to build the Hoover Dam, assembly line meat-packers processing thousands of pounds of meat. Stories lie at the heart of The Way We Worked. There are videos and recordings of people like a coal miner

who didn’t see sunlight for three weeks, a construction worker describing his days perched on a narrow beam high above the city, and a lab technician talking about testing the staff lounge for radioactivity every week. Taken together, the exhibition addresses societal themes of immigration, migration, changing technology, workers’ rights, and the struggle for workplace equality. Many of the images were commissioned by federal entities like the Works Progress Administration to document public projects, military operations, or home front workers during wartime. SITES oversees an initiative called Museums on Main Street, which brings exhibitions to audiences at local museums, historical societies, schools, galleries, and libraries. In addition to coordinating the New England tour, Historic

“The pleasure we found in making new acquaintances among our workmates arose…from their having come from great distances, regions unknown to us…” —Lucy Larcom, author and poet, who as a girl worked in the Boott cotton mill in Lowell, Massachusetts. 22

Historic New England Fall 2012


“I worked at heat-treat and forge as laborer and moved up to hooker, which meant you hooked up steel and put it in the furnace [which was] around 2,000 degrees. You put your hand in front of your face, that’s all; that was your protection.” —Robert Buday, steelworker, Homestead, Pennsylvania.

The Way We Worked consists of five free-standing sections with video, audio, interactive components, artifacts, exhibition banners, and a cell phone tour. Tour schedule through January 2013 October 27, 2012 – December 9, 2012 White Mountains Community College, Berlin, New Hampshire December 15, 2012 – January 27, 2013 AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire

National Archives, Records of the Women’s Bureau

To rent the exhibition, please contact KTurino@ HistoricNewEngland.org. For additional information, visit HistoricNewEngland.org .

New England is supplementing the show with material about domestic service. Each exhibition venue may add its own photographs and objects related to local businesses and industries. The host site might show a film about work issues and family or arrange an oral history day, inviting the public to drop by and record their stories. For a showing at Langdon House, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Historic New England added an interpretive panel about the commercial fishing industry in the Piscataqua region. Additional work-related photographs and oral histories are accessible on our website. At all sites, visitors are welcome to upload stories and photographs to a central online exhibition through Museums on Main Street.

Young loom workers at Bibb Mill No. 1 in Macon, Georgia, Photo by Lewis W. Hine, January 1909. FACING PAGE, RIGHT A view of the exhibition. LEFT Switchboard operators direct overseas calls, December 1943. FACING PAGE, LEFT

Since 2010, Historic New England’s 100 Years, 100 Communities initiative has collaborated with numerous historical societies, schools, social service organizations, and other groups across the region, gathering and sharing twentieth-century stories through oral history, documentary films, and exhibitions. Work—including dairy farming, trap fishing, and clam digging—has been the focus of several of these collaborations. Partnering with SITES on The Way We Worked aligns perfectly with our efforts in the 100 Years, 100 Communities initiative to record and celebrate New England’s recent heritage. —Brooke Steinhauser Community Engagement Assistant

“You had this feeling of being extremely patriotic….You felt real good that you were doing this big thing for Uncle Sam.” —Gloria Stover, shipyard worker in South Portland, Maine, during World War II.

Fall 2012 Historic New England

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C E L E B R AT I O N S

Priscilla of Boston


F

The factory floor at Priscilla of Boston, 2011. RIGHT Maria Gonçalves, a seamstress. ABOVE

or several years, I have been documenting people and places in old Boston neighborhoods, using photography as my medium. One day last year, I came across a brick factory building in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Curious to see what was inside, I knocked on the door, introduced myself, and was invited in. As I climbed the stairs, a half-open door revealed long rows of white dresses and work tables piled with delicate fabric, surrounded by women carefully sewing. I learned that this was the iconic wedding dress manufacturer, Priscilla of Boston, which had been in business for sixty-five years. Mike Kelly, vice president and general manager, gave me access to the factory floor. After a number of visits, I was on friendly terms with the seamstresses, who gave me permission to take photographs of them at work. Kelly recalled his first encounter with the business: “When I walked into the Priscilla of Boston Charlestown facility, it was as though I stepped into the past. The women were making exquisite, heirloom-quality wedding gowns. The care, attention to detail, and fine craftsmanship was like nothing I had ever seen. The production floor was comparatively quiet, with cutters, seamstresses, sewers, and handworkers intently focused on their respective tasks. Elizabeth Dirico, sewing floor supervisor, and Terri McGonical, production manager, had worked there for fifty and forty-five years, respectively. They had learned directly from founder Priscilla Kidder that there was no compromising when it comes to making a bride the dress of her dreams.” The workers were the foundation for the Priscilla of Boston brand. These skilled women from all parts of the globe often stayed with the company for decades. Dirico, responsible for all of the operations that went into each custom and manufactured line, told me, “I came from Italy when I was sixteen years old. I started working on my school vacation and on Saturdays. Then the part-time job became a full-time job, because I said to my father, ‘Let’s get a better life, I’ll go to school at night, and so we move up the ladder.’ The opportunity that America gave, I’ll always be thankful. Fall 2012 Historic New England

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Elizabeth Dirico model gowns. RIGHT

BELOW

Pages from a binder illustrating

“For other people factory work might be a demeaning job, menial, but I look at it as a challenge every day, and also like social working, you know, having to deal with people. We had all these wonderful seamstresses from Italy, Portugal, Poland, Russia, and Spain. I learned a little Spanish, a little Portuguese, I met a lot of people. I didn’t make a lot of money, but I’m not unhappy.” McGonical has fond memories of Priscilla Kidder and how she created a family atmosphere within the factory walls. “She was a boss, but we respected her. She had her office [upstairs], but she used to, you know, hang down here with us. She wasn’t someone who stayed away from her employees. She would go in the sink and wash the dishes, because she didn’t like dirty dishes in the sink. You know, she was good people, very good people. She believed in giving people opportunities to work—we all had family members that worked there. And then in the summertime—she had children in school­they and their friends used to come and work part time. So it was fun. “It was my job to make sure that I had all of the components that went on the dresses, and that they were cut and stitched and delivered on time. My job was mostly to make sure that everything that was needed was there and ran smoothly. I don’t know what the world is like out there today. I think it’s very corporate and sometimes not so friendly. We always got along with one another, and there was no competition between one another, we had a job to do, and we did it.” —Justin Goodstein-Aue Digital Photographer

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Historic New England Fall 2012

Priscilla of Boston Priscilla of Boston, nationally recognized as a premier designer and producer of wedding gowns, flourished for sixty-five years. Company founder Priscilla Kidder, born in Quincy, Massachusetts, studied fashion design at the New England School of Art. In 1946, she opened The Bride’s Shop on Newbury Street in Boston and sold from her salon as well as into the wholesale marketplace to stores such as Neiman Marcus and Macy’s. Several years later, she opened the factory in Charlestown, and produced bridal gowns, veils, and gowns for formal occasions. Priscilla received a great deal of publicity for designing wedding gowns for Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of Lyndon Johnson; Julie and Tricia Nixon, daughters of Richard Nixon; and the bridesmaids’ dresses for Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. She was the first recipient of the Brides magazine Designer Award; in 1988, she received the Brides magazine Hall of Fame Award. In 1993, after having run the company for more than forty years, Priscilla sold it and retired, dying in 2003. The business subsequently passed through the hands of several owners and finally closed its doors in 2011. —Michael Kelly, Vice President and General Manager, Priscilla of Boston, 2008–12.


The Priscilla Style As the business was closing, Priscilla of Boston donated three wedding gowns and an assortment of photographs, posters, and other ephemera to Historic New England.

Dress with high neck and long sleeves, c. 1970.

LEFT

I

n the 1930s and ’40s, most women in America wore relatively simple gowns to their weddings, often white or off-white satin. When Priscilla Kidder established her business in the post-war era, she initially served the carriage trade clientele who patronized Newbury Street’s fashionable shops. Her designs for the weddings of Grace Kelly and the daughters of two presidents won her national attention. She was one of the first designers to embellish her gowns, characteristically using clipped pieces of French or Belgian lace appliquéd onto English net. Her fame coincided with a rising economy that brought high-society style within the reach of middle class brides. The dress at right, probably made in the 1970s, exemplifies the design aesthetic for which Kidder was best known. This very simple white sheath with a net and lace overlay represents not only her style but also the craftsmanship and hand skills of the seamstresses who worked for her.

Strapless dress with beaded embroidery, 2011. RIGHT

After Kidder sold the company, subsequent owners sought to build on that legacy. The most expensive new line introduced was the Platinum, like the example shown at left. Brides magazine described Platinum as “a gown line that always reflects opulence and romantic fantasy, working to give every bride that ‘red carpet’ moment.” This dress, with its hand-stitched beaded embellishment reflects Kidder’s love of ornament, along with another Priscilla signature, the sleeveless gown. In 1971, Priscilla’s design of a sleeveless dress for Tricia Nixon was considered daringly informal for a White House wedding. By 2011, when this dress was designed, the strapless wedding dress was ubiquitous. —Nancy Carlisle Senior Curator Andrew Davis

Fall 2012 Historic New England

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This charming image, in the characteristically rich colors of the chromolithograph, features a stock bakery scene that has been customized by ABOVE

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Historic New England Fall 2012

imprinting the bakery’s name on it. The 1918 calendar attached to the print is in pristine condition with the pages for each month intact.


C O L L E C T I O N S

Decorative boxes attracted consumers to utilitarian products like hooks and eyes, collars, and tacks. An 1876 advertisement described the Elmwood Collar as the only collar with folded edges and “points [that] never turn up.” Visit HistoricNewEngland.org to view more of our large collection of nineteenth-century boxes. RIGHT

History on Paper

E

phemera­—printed or handwritten paper items in a variety of shapes and sizes—provide insights into a myriad of topics, including commerce, religion, war, domestic life, education, transportation, health and medicine, politics, agriculture, architecture, preservation, printing technology, design, and many others. Historic New England’s extensive collection of ephemera, numbering more than 20,000 pieces, includes broadsides, trade cards, product catalogues, tickets, menus, theater programs, advertisements, rewards of merit, pamphlets, greeting cards, billheads, posters, sheet music, bookplates, invitations, paint color charts, and calling cards, among others. The collection delights the general public and has particular appeal for historians and collectors researching a range of subjects. Historic New England’s founder, William Sumner Appleton, had the foresight to recognize the value that ephemera would have for future historians and encour-

aged their collection. Significantly, he himself filled large scrapbooks with ephemera documenting both mundane and significant occurrences of his life—a ticket from his ride on the Boston subway on its opening day in 1897, invitations to dances and other social events, records of contributions to social, cultural, and environmental agencies, obituaries of friends and family members, and items documenting his passion for architecture and preservation. Historic New England continues to collect contemporary ephemera, including catalogues for home furnishings and garden supplies, which document present-day taste and parallel similar historic catalogues in the collection. The assortment illustrated here reflects only a few of the many fascinating categories of ephemera in the collection. —Lorna Condon Senior Curator of Library and Archives

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This advertisement for the Marmon Brougham reflects the trend toward beautifully designed promotional material for luxury items aimed at an affluent clientele, in this case the readers of the December 1925 issue of Vanity Fair. The striking ad was one of a series depicting brilliantly colored motor cars against black backgrounds. Despite the fact that William Sumner Appleton never learned to drive, he recognized the automobile’s significance and collected many ads for them. ABOVE In 1899, noted artist, type designer, and printer Will Bradley produced this catalogue for an entirely new model of the Victor bicycle. His Art Nouveau illustrations and typography are as elegant as might be found in an art book of that period. LEFT

Rewards of merit were given in approbation of a child’s studiousness and good behavior. The one at bottom right, engraved to look like currency and depicting the Massachusetts State House, was published by Henry Bowen, a notable Boston printer. The recipient, Susannah Lewis, grew up to become an accomplished watercolorist whose works are in our collection. In 1925, Appleton published an article on rewards of merit in the journal Old-Time New England, requesting donations, after which our collection of these charming items mushroomed. LEFT AND BELOW

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Historic New England Fall 2012


These trade cards span roughly a century, illustrate different processes from engraving to chromolithography, and reflect a range of styles from the Neoclassical to the Aesthetic. Each one informs the buyer about the goods being offered for sale, touts the products’ unique qualities, and provides information on where the items may be found. THIS PAGE

Ephemera scholar Maurice Rickards defined items of ephemera as “minor transient documents of everyday life.” Graham Hudson, another authority, writes that ephemera were “produced to meet the needs of the passing day,” and “in content and form…are wholly part of the culture within which they are created.” Rickards’s Encyclopedia of Ephemera lists hundreds of different types of items, ranging from chimney sweep certificates to seed packets. To learn more about ephemera, visit the website for the The Ephemera Society of America (www.ephemerasociety.org), an organization formed in 1980 to encourage interest in, understanding of, and appreciation for ephemera. The society sponsors an annual convention that includes seminars, exhibitions, a show and sale, and workshops; publishes a monthly newsletter and a journal three times a year; and through its website connects thousands of visitors seeking information about ephemera.

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A ticket to a series of twelve lectures by Arthur Gilman, designer of Boston’s Arlington Street Church. The Lowell Institute was endowed in 1836 by John Lowell, Jr., to support public lectures. The 1844 series included lectures on geology, natural religion, and botany. ABOVE A ticket to a centennial celebration of the Boston Tea Party, printed on a card shaped to look like a tea box. ABOVE RIGHT A rare poster, printed in red and a variety of types, urges Bostonians to save the John Hancock House, which was threatened with demolition due to development. Although the house was demolished in 1863, its loss added momentum to the cause of preservation. RIGHT An 1883 card, printed by Louis Prang (often described as “the father of the American Christmas card”) illustrates Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Children’s Hour.” It shows the poet as an elderly man, which he was in 1883, but portrays his three daughters, who were adults by that time, as young children. The fireplace tiles depict some of Longfellow’s subjects—Paul Revere, Priscilla Alden, and Evangeline, among others. ABOVE TOP

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Make your special day historic

© Zev Fisher Photography

Host an elegant event at Historic New England’s newly restored Lyman Estate. Open year round

185 Lyman Street • Waltham, Massachusetts Contact us at 617-994-6672 or LymanEstate.org


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Boston, Massachusetts Permit No. 58621

141 Cambridge Street Boston MA 02114-2702

A C Q U I S I T I O N S

Miss Beach

and the Useful and Ornamental Arts

A

round 1797, Clementina Beach emigrated from Bristol, England, to Gloucester, Massachusetts, with her father and sister. There she met Judith Foster Saunders, a teacher of needlework. At the suggestion of Mrs. Saunders’s friend, the writer Judith Sargeant Murray, the two women decided to set up a school for young ladies. Murray helped them find a suitable house for the establishment in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and encouraged local families to send their daughters there. From 1804 to 1841, the school enrolled between fifteen and forty young ladies each year. Beach and Saunders taught the “useful and ornamental arts” of reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geometry, the use of maps and globes, botany, French, painting in oils, chalks, and watercolors on silk, velvet, and other surfaces, and plain and fancy needlework. An artist, Miss Beach, or the student herself

would paint the embroidery pattern, with details such as faces and backgrounds typically painted in after the stitching was done. Gilbert Stuart, a native of Saunderstown, Rhode Island, was one of America’s most acclaimed portraitists, best known for his depictions of George Washington. Miss Beach purportedly studied painting with him sometime between his arrival in Boston in 1805 and his death in 1828. This acquisition complements other portraits by Stuart in Historic New England’s collection: of Harrison Gray Otis, Thomas Dawes, and Lydia Pickering Willaims.

Clementina Beach (1774–1855) by Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828). Oil on panel, Boston, c. 1824. BELOW

—Laura Johnson Associate Curator

The award-winning Historic New England magazine is a benefit of membership. To join, please visit HistoricNewEngland.org

Historic New England Fall 2012  

Meet Jane Armstrong Tucker, girl spy; dressmaker Priscilla of Boston; and Historic New England objects conservator Michaela Neiro in this is...

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