Sunday, May 12, 2024

Samantha at the World's Fair in 1893

Samantha and husband Josiah Allen at the 1893 
Columbian Exposition in Chicago. 

Next year we are going to piece a Block-of-the-Month based on women journalists who covered the Civil War and I've been reading about "The Petticoat Press." Marietta Holley was of a younger generation so I am not including her in the group of 12 female newspaper reporters. She wasn't a reporter but a successful feature writer who did humorous pieces, collected into books.

I was pleased to find her book-length account of country bumpkin Samantha, "Josiah Allen's Wife's"  visit to the 1893 World's Fair. For years Merikay Waldvogel and I have been studying the displays at that influential fair and have concluded that although many family tales and newspaper accounts mention a quilt hung there----very few were.

You had to be royalty as Samantha reported.

The most remarked upon textile was attributed to Mary Queen of Scots. See a post here on this elusive artifact: https://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2021/10/1893-columbian-exposition-quilts-2-16th.html

The illustrations are by Baron Constantin De Grimm who
did a great job imagining Queen Victoria packing up a few things.

 Like everyone else the Allens were impressed by the new Ferris wheel,
which was the inspiration for a name for these popular name quilts arranged
in wheel fashion....

Quilt dated 1909, Nebraska Project & the Quilt Index

...Perhaps the most significant quilt-related piece of history to come from that fair.

Quilt with many dates, probably from 1907.
Massachusetts project & the Quilt Index.

More posts on the 1893 fair:

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