A Coffee Chat

A few years ago I ran into a mention of coffee in Bedford County, Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War. Other than visiting the Williamsburg coffeehouse I knew little about the subject. Coffeehouses are not one of my “things”, but the cultures of the counties that are carved out of Bedford County are an interest of mine.

Dutch Blanket Imports

Dutch Blanket Ads Dutch blankets are currently the focus of a lot of research and discussion. I am sharing what I have. It will take a while to get them all sorted and up. These are images that I will continually add to so that the information is easily accessible. Feel free to take the images and […]

Draper – Copying Ads Using Merchants

Paul and Paul

What is this all about? My goal is to take an ad, artwork, or account from the 18th century and use an 18th century merchant, or several merchants to make the look come to life. Making it happen is the focus of this section of articles. I will try to post them periodically. This post highlights […]

Yokes Made from Hoops in the Colonies

Until 2015 I believed that the yokes shown here were only found in Europe. Reading the following article about hoop yokes I realized my mistake. Once again memories of one’s youth during the late 18th century have gave me new insights. In the 18th century, and throughout history, water carrier was a necessary job. Yokes […]

Runaway Thoughts

I decided to write down my reading of a runaway this morning. I decided I wanted to re check a runaway where I knew a wrapper was mentioned. I think every time I read this ad I get more confused on things. It confuses even things I thought I kind of had sorted out. This […]

Military Wash Slideshow

The Military Wash Slideshow How to do the wash, whether you are a patriot or a loyalist changes little in the time 18th century. If you would like to see one about civilian wash techniques please view the other slideshow on this site. It goes into greater depth on some of the subject touched upon […]

Poem – The Woman’s Labor

Mary Collier A few years ago I stumbled into a poem. At the time I did not realize that Mary Collier, the woman who wrote this poem was, herself, a poor washer woman. An early self taught woman with a voice, and a hard life. It was done as a rebuttal. She felt that Stephen […]

Wash – Laundry Slideshow

Wash Slideshow How to do the wash, as a civilian in the 18th century. If you would like to learn more about military wash techniques please view the other slideshow on this site. It details laundry being done in a military setting. Slideshow by Cat Tannenbaum Schirf

Laundress Day: Bon Fête des Blanchisseuses!

A Celebration for Women This French celebration has celebrated the laundress since the 18th century. The holiday originally run by a laundresses guild. I made a slideshow, in recognition of this special day, highlighting laundresses in history. It focuses on the 18th century, but touches upon heroic women through history. In recent years this has […]

The Stealing of a Shirt

Assumptions One of my biggest pet peeves in the hobby is the ideas we have about stealing things. I often hear people stating that someone in the time period is likely to be stealing items. “Where are their clothes from?” “Oh they stole it.” With the myriad of options, why would the most likely option […]

Getting Stains Out of Linen

My goal is to regularly update this page with processes that were used to clean linen in the 18th century. To Make Linen That is Turned Yellow Very White To make Linen that is turned yellow very white. Heat Milk over the Fire, and add to a Gallon a Pound of Cake Soap scraped in, […]

Stain Removal in Wool

Stain removal in wools of the 18th century from EWHOH. To Take Spots Out of Woolen Cloth Take some of the best fullers earth that can be got; then lay it before the fire till it is quite hard, and beat it in a morter till it is as fine as powder, then mix it […]

The Laundrymaid – Clear Starching

A transcription from John Perkins “Laundry Maid -Every Woman Her Own House-keeper; Or, The Ladies’ Library, Containing the Cheapest and Most Extensive System of Cookery Ever Offered to the Public. … Also, The Family Physician; Or, A Complete Body of Domestic Medicine.” 1796 This we conceive to be an article of so much use in female economy, […]

Pattern Grading. Links and Notes.

My mom is an artist, and I have been lucky enough to have been exposed to all kinds of random knowledge because of it.   She explained to me how to blow up a pattern using the grid system.  A lot of art books use the same technique when making murals, but done on paper rather […]

Forget the Wash Board

Washboards With Ridges The old timey ridged washboard was not used to do laundry until the 19th century. Bucking, clapping and heating laundry is very effective when laundering linens.   Wash boards with ridges are something that came to the United States long after the Revolutionary War. In France and Italy there are painting’s of women […]