1888 Prohibition Amendment Parlor Throw

“Memorial to the Constitutional Prohibition Amendment 1888” is this quilt's painted inscription, found on a red satin triangle on a corner of the lining. In 1888 the Prohibition Party was beginning to achieve national strength in the presidential elections.
Founded in 1869, for the purpose of prohibiting the sale and manufacture of liquor, the Prohibition Party finally achieved the goal in 1919 with the ratification of the 18th Amendment. The 18th Amendment was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment. Although the party still exists, it does not have the following it had in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This parlor throw was made at the height of the Prohibition Party’s popularity.
A 14-inch center block of red velvet with painted water lilies is framed by two rows of painted or embroidered 7-inch satin blocks. The use of three colors (amber, blue and black), set alternately, provides a balanced overall aesthetic. An 8 ¼-inch red velvet border completes the throw. The lining is red satin, machine-quilted in a triple diagonal grid. Five of the black satin squares have painted religious inscriptions: “Hope;” a Bible with “Tried and Proved;” “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;” Be of the same mind one toward another;” and, a cross with “Et Teneo et Teneor.” The last, meaning "I hold and am held," may have referred to the motto of a Baptist college founded by Charles Haddon Spurgeon in the 1860s. The floral and bird motifs, the spider web, and others are similar to those found on crazy patchwork of the late 19th century.
Although the maker is not known, the sentiments expressed are indicative of the types of inscriptions on decorative items that might be found in many homes during that era.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
fabric, satin, velvet, ribbon (overall material)
thread, silk, chenille, metallic (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 59 in x 60 in; 149 cm x 152 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Domestic Furnishings
Government, Politics, and Reform
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Samuel Arthur Devan and Miss Elizabeth E. Richards
Additional Media

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