1877 - 1878 Joseph Granger's Child's Quilt

Joseph Granger’s granddaughter donated both her grandmother’s (Caroline Granger’s) prize-winning child’s quilt and the quilt that her grandfather made. According to a family note with the quilt, “Pa quilted the other all himself by machine.”
Joseph Granger chose to machine-quilt in a triple diagonal grid pattern, similar to the background of his wife’s hand-quilted child’s quilt that won a medal at the New England Agricultural Fair in 1878. It is not known whether Joseph made the quilt as a personal challenge to equal his wife’s accomplishment, or if it was made to prove the point that what could be done by hand could also be done with a machine. After several decades of improvements, sewing machines, by the 1870s, had become popular consumer products to have in the home. Possibly the idea of mechanical sewing was intriguing to Joseph and he wished to try his proficiency with it.
Joseph H. Granger was born on October 21, 1842, in L’Acadie, Quebec, Canada. He married Marie Caroline Lamoureux (1850-1936) in N. Grosvenordale, Connecticut, on January 30, 1873. They had twelve children and lived in Worcester, Masssachusetts. Joseph died on June 16, 1934.
Claire L. Meyer, the Granger’s granddaughter wrote: “Many thanks for your letter of July 7, 1972, regarding a crib quilt made by my grandmother a hundred years ago. I am also enclosing for your consideration a quilt machine stitched by my grandfather! . . . I hope it will be worthy of the national collection.” The two quilts are worthy, and provide an interesting contrast between the precise handwork of Mrs. Caroline Granger and the equally precise machine stitching of Mr. Joseph Granger.
Currently not on view
Object Name
quilt, crib
date made
Granger, Joseph H.
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 40 in x 31 in; 103 cm x 79 cm
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Worcester
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


Add a comment about this object