Category Archives: Library

The Custom of New Year’s Calling

Looking to kick the New Year off right? Why not skip the bacchanalian revelry of New Year’s Eve and re-create the centuries-old custom of calling on friends on New Year’s Day? Popular in the 1800s, calling evolved from a Dutch … Continue reading

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Strawbridge and Clothier’s Game of Consumerism

The youth demographic—the golden ticket in marketing. Every retailer looks to target this market to ensure future business success. It’s never more apparent than during the holidays when shopping and consumerism crescendo to an all-time high. Before social media, online … Continue reading

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Back of the House and Beyond: The Millionaire’s Household, 1900–1942

For a number of years, Maggie Lidz, Winterthur’s recently retired estate historian, and I have been working on a book that takes an in-depth look at the rarely explored spaces in large American houses and estates.  It has taken a … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Programs, Architecture, Behind-the-Scenes, Design, Du Pont Family, House, Library, Life at Winterthur, Members, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


Playing with Fire

“Fire engines gave us the same thrill that children have felt in all times at the sight of running horses accompanied by the clanging of bells.” –Samuel Canby Rumford  Samuel Canby Rumford grew up in a house on the corner … Continue reading

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The Adventures of Archibald Hamilton Rowan: Textile Manufacturer on the Banks of the Brandywine

In the summer of 1795, exiled Irishman Archibald Hamilton Rowan arrived in Philadelphia, his journey to America quite an extraordinary one. Born in 1751 into an Irish family of privilege, he was raised by his wealthy English grandfather and educated … Continue reading

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French Fashions on Paper: Advertising the Coiffure in 18th-Century Paris

Among the numerous items in the library’s Maxine Waldron Collection of Children’s Books and Paper Toys is a gorgeously hand-painted French set of paper cards from the late 1780s not intended as a children’s plaything but rather as an advertisement … Continue reading

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Letters from Jackie: A Personal Piece of Camelot

Last week dozens of handwritten letters by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sold at auction in Palm Beach, Florida, for a total of $28,400. The letters were personal correspondence and thank you notes by the former First Lady to her interior designer, … Continue reading

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Watercolor Drawings from Paris

In the early 1800s, an artist or a group of artists created at least four volumes of watercolor catalogues depicting personal goods that were for sale in Paris. Two of the volumes, labeled numbers one and four on their spines, … Continue reading

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The Fowler Family’s Field of Phrenology

On a March day in 1848, James Terry, grandson of famous clockmaker Eli Terry, stepped into Orson and Lorenzo Fowler’s New York City office to have his head examined. He walked away, $3 poorer, armed with a detailed analysis describing … Continue reading

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90,000 and Counting! Fraktur Collection Acquired

The Winterthur collection of 90,000 objects has grown with the acquisition from the estate of Pastor Frederick Sheely Weiser. The acquisition, one of the largest in museum history, includes 121 fraktur and nearly 200 textiles and other items from Pastor … Continue reading

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