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Weavers at Emanuel Ettinger & Co. wove this Jacquard, tied-Beiderwand coverlet in Aaronsburg, Centre County, Pennsylvania in 1852. The coverlet features a "Double Carnation" carpet medallion centerfield and "Double Rose" borders along the sides. The top and bottom borders depict rows of urns or baskets with three flowers each. There are two inscribed lower cornerblocks that identify the manufacturer and place and date made. This coverlet was woven on a broad loom with a fly shuttle attachment and possibly even on a power loom. Structurally, this coverlet was woven in tied-Beiderwand, which is an integrated weave structure which utilizes dedicated warp threads to bind or tie two separate structures together. These binding warps alternate sides along the coverlet’s surface giving it a ribbed appearance. A combination of dark blue, medium blue, and red wool and natural cotton yarns were used for the warp and weft. The top and bottom borders depict an urn of basket with three flowers.
Emanuel Ettinger (1802-1889) was born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania and moved to Centre Co. in 1820. He appears on the Federal Census from 1830-1880. The 1850 Federal Census lists him as a weaver with two unrelated journeymen weavers living with him and a forty-two-year-old live-in laborer named Absolom Roop, who was born in Germany. It is as likely like that the other weavers, Jacob Fisher, John Folk, or the Emanuel’s neighbor, weaver David Ochre wove this coverlet as Emanuel. These men were almost certainly the employees of E. Ettinger and Co. In 1860, Emanuel Ettinger is recorded as a laborer with a 17-year-old apprentice, Daniel Harter. Emanuel Ettinger also appears in the U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists in 1865 and 1866. It is from this that we learn Ettinger had a partnership with a man named Stover and also his own independent pianoforte manufactory. Ettinger and a group of other wealthy Aaronsburg businessmen invested in the Aaronsburg Academy as a subscription school in 1865, but the venture eventually failed leading the development of public education in the town. He is listed as a retired weaver in the 1870 Federal Census and a farmer in the 1880 Federal Census. His son William Ettinger (b. 1824) first appears on the 1850 Federal Census as a “coverlid weaver” in Shrewsbury, York County, Pennsylvania. By 1860, William was living two houses from his father and presumably involved in the management of the family’s various entrepreneurial enterprises. There are extant coverlets that bear his name as well E. Ettinger and Co. The 1864 IRS Tax Assessment List indicates that besides weaving, William was also operating as a Class 3 Peddler and involved in the Ettinger and Stover partnership. There is also evidence in the tax assessment list that William was involved in leather goods and tobacco. The 1880 Federal Census recorded William living in Milton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania and working as a butcher, suggesting that William had divested himself from weaving to focus on leather goods, cattle, and supplying meat to Central Pennsylvania.
The donor of the coverlet, who was born in Iowa in 1891 reported that she received the coverlet from her mother. This coverlet presumably made the journey West with the family sometime after 1852. There is some loss along the top and toward the bottom center of the coverlet; however, this coverlet is important as material evidence of Westward migration as well as evidence of rural industry.
Currently not on view
United States: Pennsylvania, Aaronsburg
jacquard (overall production method/technique)
tied-Beiderwand (overall production method/technique)