Family & Social Life
Donations to the Museum have preserved irreplaceable evidence about generations of ordinary Americans. Objects from the Copp household of Stonington, Connecticut, include many items used by a single family from 1740 to 1850. Other donations have brought treasured family artifacts from jewelry to prom gowns. These gifts and many others are all part of the Museum's family and social life collections.
Children's books and Sunday school lessons, tea sets and family portraits also mark the connections between members of a family and between families and the larger society. Prints, advertisements, and artifacts offer nostalgic or idealized images of family life and society in times past. And the collections include a few modern conveniences that have had profound effects on American families and social life, such as televisions, video games, and personal computers.
"Family & Social Life - Overview" showing 11 items.
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- Hulda Larson and her daughter Ellen made this quilt to commemorate the 1901 Pan-American Exposition held in Buffalo, N. Y. Souvenir stamped muslin squares were sold at the Exposition and later in stores to be embroidered and assembled for a quilt. Referred to as “penny squares” because they were often sold in packets of 50 for 50 cents, they became popular reminders of events and sights at the Exposition. Dated “May 1, 1905” this quilt incorporates many of those souvenir blocks.
- Fifty-six 7 ½-inch white blocks were outline-embroidered in red, many depicting buildings of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Hulda and Ellen used over 30 of these motifs for their quilt. A block labeled, “Wm McKinley Our Martyred President,” was designed after his assassination at the Exposition on September 6, 1901.
- The blocks also included embroidered portraits of Mrs. McKinley, , President Theodore Roosevelt, his daughter, Alice, and Mrs. Roosevelt, Edith Caro, who married the widowed president in 1886.
- In the center is the official logo of the Exposition. Blocks with an American eagle, flag, and shield add a patriotic element. Two blocks with buffalo motifs, “Put Me Off at Buffalo” and “I Am A,” and other animal and floral motif blocks were used to complete the quilt. When the fair ended its buildings were demolished, except for the New York State building that later became the Buffalo and Erie Canal Historical Society.
- Using a grid system of the numbers 1 to 7 across the top and A thru G along the left side the following blocks were connected to the Pan-American Exposition. The inscriptions on each block are embroidered in red.
- A2 – “Indian Congress and Village”; A5 – “Stadium”; A6 – “Ohio Building”
- B1 – “Trained Wild Animals”; B2 – “Ethnology Building”; B6 – “Service Building”; B7 – “Infant Incubator”
- C1 – “Fair Japan”; C3 – “Johnstown Flood”; C5 – “Darkness & Dawn - Fall of Babylon”; C7 – “Government Building”
- D1 – “Agriculture Building”; D2 – “Mrs. McKinley”; D3 – “President Roosevelt”; D4 (seal) “Pan-American Exposition. 1901. Buffalo. N.Y. U.S.A.” D5 – “Mrs. Roosevelt”; D6 – “Wm. McKinley-Our Martyred President” D7 – “Alaskan Building”
- E2 – “Electric Tower”; E3 – “New England Building”; E5 – “Old Plantation”; E6 – “Temple of Music Where President McKinley was shot”; E7 – “Cleopatra's Temple”
- F1 – “Horticulture Building”; F2 – “Aerio Cycle”; F3 – “Machinery and Transportation Building”; F4 – “Panopticon”; F5 - “Phillipine Village”; F6 – “Triumphal Bridge”; F7 – “Beautiful Orient”
- G2 – “Louisiana Purchase Building”; G3 – “House Upside Down”; G4 – “Hawaiian Village & Kileaua Volcano”; G5 – “A Trip to the Moon”; G6 – “Wisconsin Building”; G7 – “Darkest Africa”
- This machine-quilted example of redwork has a 3-inch white ruffle, edged with red embroidery. It has a white cotton lining and cotton filling. The blocks are machine-joined, and the lining is machine-stitched. Stem and feather stitches were used for the embroidery.
- Hulda Fredricka ParsDotter was born April 21, 1858, in Vimmerby, Sweden, and married Anders James Larson on June 23, 1877. In 1882 they came to Jamestown, N. Y. Their daughter Ellen Sophia Cecilia was born in Vimmerby, Sweden, on August 11, 1879. Other daughters born in the United States were Dora (about 1889), Della (about 1891) and Arlene (about 1896). Ellen married C. Emil Swanson in 1903 in Jamestown. Ellen died on January 1, 1925. Hulda died October 4, 1949, at the age of 91. Daughter Dora married Arthur Anderson and their daughter, Alberta,married Russell Weise. It was their daughter, Judith Anderson Weise, who donated her great-grandmother and great-aunt’s Pan-American Exposition Commemorative quilt to the Museum in 1985.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Larson, Hulda Fredricka
- Larson, Ellen Sophia Cecilia
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center