Lydia’s Picks August 2020

Club Minutes: The Home Interest Club, July 14, 1913

Club minutes, 2011.0035.00010-Bk 10
During their mid-summer meeting in 1913, The Home Interest Club heard a committee report regarding the efficacy of a new gadget intended to lessen the drudgery of laundry day. The gadget was called a “vacuum clothes washer”, something with which I was not familiar. A member had been appointed the task of trying the gadget and reporting back to the group at the following meeting, eventually giving a favorable review. I find it wonderful that The Home Interest Club organized their own consumer critiques a century before the days of Amazon reviews! While we do not have an example of this kind of washer in our Museum’s collection, a successful internet search for a picture initially left scratching my head and then suddenly realizing this was the forerunner of the modern agitator machine. In fact, it can still be purchased today!

Club Minutes: Enterprise Farmers’ Club, May 11, 1867 

Club minutes, 2005.0016.0001

When the Enterprise Farmers’ Club met at Falling Green on May 11, 1867 the farm inspection portion of the meeting took quite a turn upon visiting the pigs’ pen. The meeting’s secretary wrote “… members have witnessed many curiosities and agricultural monstrosities, but nothing of the kind has caused their dignity to be more absolutely laid aside and their mirth to be more intensely excited than when our host with a few ears of corn in a basket led us to the pig field.” Apparently a raucous display ensued as the pigs went joyously wild for the corn, running here, there, and everywhere. Though quiet now due to quarantine, when I used to drive by Falling Green and see its fields full of the young athletes of the Olney Boys and Girls Club running every which way, I couldn’t help but think of Falling Green as being a continuous steward of joyous activity as much today as it was in the past.

Poster: From the Scrapbook of Mary Magruder, 1887

Scrapbook, 1983.0007.0006

This 1887 poster for a recital at the Sandy Spring Lyceum offers it its own visual performance with as many as a dozen different fonts! The rise of advertising in the 19th century stimulated a demand for typography that really caught the eye and packed a punch. The promoters of this production certainly got the memo using variety to full advantage in communicating a whimsy to match the spirit of the event. Late 19th century innovations in the printing industry made low-cost reproduction accessible to a wider population and I have to wonder whether this specific poster was produced locally or in the city.

Diary: Ellen Stabler, 1920

Diary, 2001.0019.0042

Given how many Sandy Springers were active in the suffrage movement, the recent centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment had me digging curiously through the archives for a personal impression of this victory. In 86 year-old Ellen Stabler’s diary entry for Tuesday, November 3rd, 1920, she first records and comments on the weather (72’ and cloudy), then notes a trip for the day to Olney by Frank and Edward and finally casually mentions “Elsie went in the morning and voted.” Oh my goodness, how and why is this so casually mentioned? Why did she not vote? Did she have strong feelings about it or was merely ambivalent? Never has an entry in the archives made me desperate to converse with its author to learn more!