Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

The start of the summer for many. Living in Florida...we have already had over 20 days in the 90's. That is OK as I'm heat tolerant :)
My vegetable garden is quite productive...we have been eating green beans, yellow squash and zucchini..the peppers and tomatoes are getting bigger but not ready yet...hoping for some watermelons and pie pumpkins in the fall. Oh, and I planted some spaghetti squash and corn. I kinda like this gardening.

We will be hitting the beach today, purchased a "sun shelter" at the sport we can spend the whole day...packing drinks, chips, sub sandwiches and apples. I love waking on the beach and collecting seashells. Will also be bringing a book to read. I picked up a used book published in 1975...few citations...about every day antebellum life. Citations were used less then and it was written by a guy...women's social history is sorely lacking!
I read that term recently..."social history" which differs from "great men/great deed" history as it is about the common man and life.

Well off to make lunch and on to the beach...sun and sand...grilling tonight and tomorrow for dinner.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Carded together" google search

I am slowly discovering new search terms relating to admixed/intermixed plant and animal fibres. One thing I am learning is to keep an open mind towards research, there are new discoveries around every corner. Technology has created an open classroom on the WWW where we can share information and discoveries.

Knowledge for the people: or, the plain why and because. 1832 (Boston) & (1831 London)
Pg. 213
Why are Angola hose preferred for their superior warmth?
Because they combine worsted and cotton in the closest intermixture of the fibre. the separate materials are first passed through a machine called a picker and blower, to clean and lighten the wool or cotton, so that half an ounce will fill a bushel measure. These are then carded together, by which the intermixture is effected, part of each material being dyed blue and black. It is then spun of various fineness by throstles and mules.

The new American cyclopaedia 1862
Pg. 105
Stockings (2nd col.)
The materials used are woollen yarns, lamb’s wool, cotton, silk, and mixed cotton and wool or Angola.

Fiction but interesting use of what appears to be a common practice.

Tell tale rag, By G.W. Henry 1861
(Moral stories)
Pg. 8
The third master of Tell Tale was a cotton manufacturer at the Pemberton Mills, Mass. By him Tell Tale exposes many fashionable sins of the day, by mixing religion with the world, spiritual and political adultery. This master was a fusionist, a compromiser, as he would card together cotton and wool, give it a beautiful color; weave it into a web, then swear it off upon his customers as all wool.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Heavy Yarns?

Treatise on the art of knitting: with a history of the knitting loom, 1861

"I have used on of your Machines for several months, and in that time have done some very fine worked, and made some very heavy and choice hose."

"I have knit hundreds of pairs of socks and stockings, from the very heavy yarn for the field hand down to the infant's stocking,"

I wonder how heavy "heavy yarn" is? Could it between sport/ DK weight? Hmmmm

Mixing of spun fibres

Reports by the juries on the subjects in the thirty classes into which the Exhibition was divided

In yarns made from a mixture of silk and wool (mixed in the carding and preparation), there were samples shown both white and coloured, which, so far as wee were competent to form a judgment, were very good: but as this branch of the worsted trade is comparatively new [1851] (at all events to us). the Jury could not venture to give an opinions as to the relative merits of the different yarns of this class.


While doing some research on Vicki Betts website, about knitting for the soldiers I came across the word "admixture"

Memphis Daily Appeal, August 8, 1861
"Exertions should be made to gather up all the wool that can possibly be obtained, and if necessary, with a little admixture of cotton which will be plentiful—let it be knit into socks and woven into a stout and durable material, suitable for warm and comfortable clothing.

The OED defines admixture as:

admixture, n.
The action or process of mingling one substance with another, or of adding as an ingredient; the fact of being so mingled. 

Savannah Republican, November 14, 1862, also makes mention of mixing fibres.
"to say nothing of the wool locked up in mattresses—were picked to pieces, and carded with cotton, they would probably suffice to furnish more than half the socks now needed by our soldiers.  True, the staple will be found short and crisp, and probably the barbs of the wool would be worn smooth, but these defects will be met and remedied, in part, by mixing the wool with cotton"  


The Repertory of patent inventions: and other discoveries and improvements in arts, manufactures, and agriculture; being a continuation, on an enlarged plan, of the Repertory of arts & manufactures 1862

Specification of the Patent granted to Charles Samuel Henry Hartog, of Norfolk-street, Strand, in the County of Middlesex, Merchant, for Improvements in the Preparation and Treatment of Vegetable Fibres, the better to Adapt them for Combing, Working up, and Dyeing with Different Fibres, such as Silk, Wool, Cotton, and others, and in Apparatus used in such Treatment or Preparation.-Dated December 4, 1861.

[notice it says “Improvements in the Preparation…”, improvements in means this is not a “new” concept]

“These improvements consist, first, in producing and preparing vegetable fibres of a silky and woolly nature suitable for admixing, spinning, and working up with animal wool and hair, shoddy and mungo wools, silk, cotton, or other different fibres,…”

and YES there is more to come...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ladies' Reading-room...New York

Ballou's Monthly Magazine 1856
Ladies' Reading-room
In the New York Society Library a ladies' reading-room has been opened, and it is hoped the advantages for mental improvement it presents will be eagerly embraced."

The Home: a fireside monthly companion 1857
"A Ladies' reading room has been established in New York, and among other things furnished by the polite librarian is a "Suggestion Book," in which the fair visitors are expected to write their requests. The most unanimous suggestion recorded, thus far, is one which asks for a "looking glass in the ladies room."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Current reading

Currently reading:
Grander in Her Daughters: Florida's Women During the Civil War by Tracy J. Revels

Women's History

Woman's history is rich and fascinating yet women know so little about their own history. This is our heritage, learn about it and represent it with knowledge and pride.

Effect of Wearing Silk Dresses

I love searching Google Books for books/magazines in the public domain. I found this article the other day, it is quite humorous.

The Harbinger of Health by Andrew Jackson Davis, 1861
Pg. 218-9
Effect of Wearing Silk Dresses.
A lady correspondent propounds the following question:
"How does the wearing of silk dresses affect us ladies?"
Answer.-The wearing of "silk dresses" exerts a variety of wonderful influences
upon both body and soul. We have seen examples of intense chronic suffering
occasioned by the habitual wearing of "silk dresses" too tight over the region
of the diaphragm. Instances are on record, also, where the length of "silk
dresses" has inveigled the wearer into divers and sundry difficulties.
Deplorable cases are known where the price of "silk dresses" has disturbed the
financial equilibrium of very respectable progenitors. That alarming and
epidemical phenomenon of the age, known as the trailing of "silk dresses" over
tobacco-stained pavements, is rabidly developing among sensible classes a
psychological disease called "disgust." In young female minds we have observed,
with some beautiful exceptions, that the wearing of very fine "silk dresses"
produces an enlargement of certain cerebral organs-developing the symptoms of
insulation, superiority to poor folks, pride, approbation, and temporary
shallow-mindedness. the physiological effect of "silk dresses" is not much,
however, unless the wearer is nervously-diseased and dreamful. Then the fabric
is too electrical for health.

Susan Patricia

I found a letter that my grandfather wrote to my parents when I was born.
With your new baby doll
We hope she grows up like a pricess
Blond, curley and two dimples
And not so short, and not so tall
We love her name-Susan Patricia
A name like from a fairy book
You could not find a better name
From Alaska to Sandy hook
May God will always bless you
With the things for which you strife
And keep you all together
To enjoy a perfect life
Opa and Oma Tand

Welcome to my reading room.

I enjoy reading and learning about women during the 19th century. As a reenactor I use books to research topics on the material culture of the period.