Interpreting Women’s Employments through the Millinery Industry

For several years now, I have wanted to take a deeper look at what the millinery industry meant for women. Behind each of the beautiful confections for the head, are an assortment of women; some earning a little extra money, some supporting their families, some exhausting themselves for the spring fashion season.

This past weekend, the Genesee Country Village and Museum provided the platform for this approach as their latest event focused on the lives of the women, children, and men of Western New York during the Civil War. This living history format invited visitors to take more time with each of the interpretations and presentations, while interpreters and reenactors were able to get more in depth with their topics. Based on our experiences in the millinery and what I could see from my porch steps on the square, visitors embraced the opportunity.

Today’s video starts with a rainy wet Saturday morning, then takes a look at the two interpretive approaches used with most visitors.

Notes for the Video:

Images in the Straw Plait Box: Left – Three milliners CDV, Anna’s Collection. Center Top – “The Milliner” Stereoview, Anna’s Collection. Center Bottom – Plait School Illustration Right – Corning Milliners CDV, Ron Coddington’s collection.
The flowers in the box are from M&S Schmalberg in NYC. The Leaf die is one of a trio of leaf dies I was lucky enough to find at a price I could afford. The smaller ones are harder to see and sharper, so left out. The silk petals were free cut as I don’t yet have a petal die.

This is the recommended reading list set out for visitors to photograph: PDF

Published in: on July 19, 2021 at 1:18 pm  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank you. So glad that it was a good program, in spite of the rain.

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