The 50,000 objects in the textile collections fall into two main categories: raw fibers, yarns, and fabrics, and machines, tools, and other textile technology. Shawls, coverlets, samplers, laces, linens, synthetics, and other fabrics are part of the first group, along with the 400 quilts in the National Quilt Collection. Some of the Museum's most popular artifacts, such as the Star-Spangled Banner and the gowns of the first ladies, have an obvious textile connection.
The machinery and tools include spinning wheels, sewing machines, thimbles, needlework tools, looms, and an invention that changed the course of American agriculture and society. A model of Eli Whitney's cotton gin, made by the inventor in the early 1800s, shows the workings of a machine that helped make cotton plantations profitable in the South and encouraged the spread of slavery.
"Textiles - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Map of New York State. Most counties and county seats named; rivers shown but not named; names of neighboring states given (Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania); Erie Canal shown, but not named. Light gray guidelines under all embroidery; water damage prior to arrival at Smithsonian. Silk thread on wool ground. STITCHES: cross, crosslet, four-sided, Algerian eye, back, chain. THREAD COUNT: warp 44, weft 46/in.
- Catalina Juliana was born on June 19, 1823, to Sidney and Maria Benito Dorado Mason, in St. Johns (San Juan), Puerto Rico. Catalina's father was American consul in St. Johns from 1829 to 1835. Desiring to educate his children in his native land, Mr. Mason brought his family to the United States in one of his own sailing vessels. After arrival in Baltimore, they were taken to Gloucester, Massachusetts. His wife soon succumbed to the rigors of the climate and died on September 14, 1835. On the death of his wife, Mr. Mason gave up all business interests and set forth on an extended tour of Europe. Before departing, he traveled to Puerto Rico one more time and took Catalina with him. When they returned, he placed Catalina at Miss Emma Willard's boarding school for girls in Troy, New York. Recalled from Europe by the death of his son on Dec 25, 1839, he took up residence in New York, and Catalina finished her school days with the Misses McClennachan. It is not known where she stitched her map sampler. She married Theodorus Bailey Myers in 1847, and they had two children, Theodorus Bailey and Cassie Mason. Catalina and her husband made many trips to Europe, and she is known to have paid a visit to the famous dressmaker, Worth. Her niece admired her hands, saying "They were not ornamental only, for they could sew and embroider beautifully, and do all sorts of fine worsted work." Catalina died on August 27, 1905. See Catalina Mason's other sampler.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- Mason, Catalina Juliana
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center