Washboards, armchairs, lamps, and pots and pans may not seem to be museum pieces. But they are invaluable evidence of how most people lived day to day, last week or three centuries ago. The Museum's collections of domestic furnishings comprise more than 40,000 artifacts from American households. Large and small, they include four houses, roughly 800 pieces of furniture, fireplace equipment, spinning wheels, ceramics and glass, family portraits, and much more.
The Arthur and Edna Greenwood Collection contains more than 2,000 objects from New England households from colonial times to mid-1800s. From kitchens of the past, the collections hold some 3,300 artifacts, ranging from refrigerators to spatulas. The lighting devices alone number roughly 3,000 lamps, candleholders, and lanterns.
"Domestic Furnishings - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This bassinet quilt with a framed center design is made of high-quality plain blue and white cotton feed sack fabrics. Dorothy Overall of Caldwell, Kansas, a contestant in many sewing events in the 1950s and 1960s, pieced and appliquéd this quilt on a Pfaff sewing machine she had won in a contest. In 1959 she won the National Cotton Bag Sewing Contest that included a vacation trip to Hollywood as part of the prize.
- According to Dorothy, cotton feed sack fabric was light enough for summer, almost as nice as percale and the colors didn’t fade. Cotton sacks for flour, animal feed and other commodities were produced in many colors and prints. Flour and feed companies found that their sales were often influenced by the popularity of their sacks which were used for clothes and household items.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Overall, Dorothy
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center