The Winterthur Library

 The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE  19735

302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883





Title:               Swatch Book Collection

Dates:             ca.1700-ca.1925

Call No.:         Col. 50

Acc. No.:        [various – see detailed description]

Quantity:        6 linear feet

Location:        39 A-C, map case 2, drawer 8






This artificial and still open collection includes both bound and unbound items containing textile fabric samples.


The collection contains swatch books representing a multiplicity of historical backgrounds and purposes.  For instance, some books were created as salesmen's sample books; others as a record of the dyeing process.  Still others were assembled by young women as a record of their own needlework or of local textiles.


As more relevant items are acquired, the swatch book collection continues to expand.  However, it does not include textile fabric swatches that already belong to another identifiable collection.  Nor does the collection contain bound volumes with some swatches that are incidental to the primary reason for the creation of said volume.  Additional materials may be located by searching the catalog using the terms Textile fabrics – Sample books or Textile fabrics – Specimens.  Ads and trade cards related to the textile trade are filed in Collections 214 and 9.  (One trade card, 61x6, includes some lace samples.)





The swatch books are shelved in accession number order, except that the oversized materials are shelved below the others.  The finding aid lists the items in accession number order.


Each volume is also individually cataloged in the on-line catalog.






Most of the materials are in English.





Collection is open to the public.  Copyright restrictions may apply.





Gifts and purchases from various sources.



ACCESS POINTS (for collection as a whole, not for the individual accessions, each of which also has its own entry in the on-line catalog)



            Textile fabrics – Sample books.

            Yarn – Sample books.

            Needlework – Sample books.



            Textile workers.


            Swatch books.





Location: 39 A-C



58 x 34

Weaving instruction manual, in French, ca. 1829.


This manual consists of diagrams and written instructions for setting up looms in order to weave a wide variety of patterns upon many different textiles.  Many sets of instructions are accompanied by sample swatches of the finished textile.  Certain headings include "Principes de fabrique d'etoffes de Soie," "Disposition d'un Taffetas raye Satin sur un peigne de 22 portees," "Maniere de travailler un taffetas pour la main," and  "Maniere de compter le prix d'une etoffe."




62 x 31.1-.4

Timmich, Georg Friedrich.  Farbe Buch.

Dyeing book, 1754-1758.


Georg Friedrich Timmich was a dyer in a German-speaking area during the mid-eighteenth century. 


The volume (62x31.1) and the accompanying loose sheets (62 x 31.2-.4) compose Georg Timmich's collection of dye recipes for yarn and textile fabrics.  Many of the recipes are accompanied by a swatch dyed to show the results.  Toward the back of the volume, entries are made in a different handwriting of a more recent, probably 19th-century, style and spelling.  The first page contains an ornate calligraphic verse "Alles mit Gott, So hat es keine Noth.  Soli Deo Gloria" and the date 1754.  Text in old German script.




62 x 32                                

Codecasa, Benedict.  Muster Karte Von Iermesut, Scalli, Cettari, Cutni und Scamalagia nach Ostindischer Art.

Viennese swatch book.


Benedict Codecasa was an authorized silk manufacturer in Vienna.


This volume consists of twelve panels of 22 numbered swatches of colored woven silk and cotton.  On the first and fourteenth panels are copies of a trade label in German summarizing Codecasa's business and giving his address.  Identified by Florence Montgomery (Textiles in America, 1650-1870) as "a late eighteenth-century sample book of 272 swatches of striped silk and cotton materials patterned after Indian goods."  Labels on the cover and slipcase indicate that this was the second in a series of sample books.




65 x 662.1-.7

Yarn sample books, 1847-1854(?)


This group consists of seven small paper bound volumes containing recipes for dyeing yarn, most of which are accompanied by a yarn sample in the finished color.  Four of the volumes have printed covers indicating that they were manufactured in Boston or Waltham, Massachusetts, as savings account passbooks in 1847, 1853, and 1854.  Presumably, the dye recipes come from that area and time period as well.  The writing appears to have been done by at least two different people.  One of the following names or sets of initials appears at the end of a few recipes or on the inside front cover:  H. Coan; Wm. Adams; J. Lehany; W.B.; L.C. 




65 x 693

Japanese textile sample book, 1840-1900.

(museum no. 65.94)


This volume begins with one page of Japanese calligraphy, which has been translated as reading, "Collection of samples of thick- striped cloths which is called 'Ome-jima';" or "Collection of samples of thick-striped 'Ome-jima.'"  This first page is followed by fifteen pages of approximately 350 wool fabric samples.




65 x 695.1

Norwich worsted pattern book, ca. 1786-1793, 1831.

(museum no. 60.241.1)


This leather-bound book consists of approximately 500 swatches of various textile fabrics, including fine examples of "camelots," "sattins," "tabourets," "fleurets," "callemandres," "camelottines," "harlequins," and "grandines."  Some facing pages contain manuscript notes in French, which provide specific names for the corresponding fabrics.  Nothing indicates the manufacturer of the fabrics.


A faint manuscript inscription on the front free endpaper indicates a British origin, reading, "September 8, 1831.  The Coronation of his Majesty King Willm. 4th took place with that of his Consort Queen Adelaide."  A faint pencil sketch of a house also appears on this page.


Florence Montgomery, in Textiles in America, 1650-1870, identifies these swatches as Norwich worsteds and supplies a date of 1785.  However, a researcher suggests 1786-1793, the period between the Eden Treaty of 1786, a commercial agreement between Great Britain and France, and the outbreak of war between those counties  in 1793.


[copy of finding aid at repository includes index to this volume; look under the Index tab]




65 x 695.2

Hampp, John Christopher, 1750-1825.

Norwich worsted pattern book, ca. 1794.

(museum no. 60.241.2)


Ninety-one pages contain some 2,000 numbered swatches of variously colored and patterned worsteds, many described as “camelotts”, “ladines’, ”sattins" and as "satinets."  A few captions in German appear, but the numeration is written in an English hand. 


The original top board contains a torn paper label that reads "Copy of a Pattn. Book Sent to C O & [illegible, partially torn, partially worn]." The original back board has "ICH" stamped upon it in gold.  Both boards are preserved separately from the pattern book. 


“ICH” has been identified as John Christopher Hampp, a native of Germany (born in Marbach in 1750) who moved to Norwich and was involved in the textile trade as a master weaver, manufacturer, and merchant.  He also imported medieval stained glass windows from the continent for use in English churches.  He died in Norwich in 1825 and is buried at St. Giles Church.


[copy of finding aid at repository includes index to this volume; look under the Index tab]




65 x 695.3

J. Tuthill & Son(s) (Norwich, Eng.)

Norwich worsted pattern book, circa 1790-1797.

(museum no. 60.241.3)


Consists of 685 small, numbered swatches of variously colored worsteds, including callimancoes, camlettes, taboratts, and fine lastings or everlastings.     Contains two price lists, only one of which belongs to the volume; the other includes such addressees as D. Callaghan, chez Louis Preiswerk a Bale (April 19th, 1794); Mr. Collins (June 30th, 1794); Messrs. Wm. Fox and Sons, Cheapside, London (1795); and Nethropp [i.e. Nelthropp] & Harris, Copenhagen (17 Feb, 1797).  A small note reads as follows:  "Engrained colors in proportion to the goodrip [?].  These goods can be made of any length or breadth in proportion to the foregoing prices.  April 19th 1794, J. T & S."   It is evident that the latter price list does not belong with this volume.


A researcher in England compared images of this volume with an identical one in Norwich; however, it is not clear whether the volumes were produced by the firm James Tuthill & Son, by John Tuthill & Sons, or by John Tuthill & Son.  James Tuthill & Son (the son was John) was in business 1777-November 1792, when the manufactory’s name changed to John Tuthill & Sons.  John Tuthill’s sons involved with the business were John Scarlin and Charles.   In November 1794, John Scarlin Tuthill left his father’s firm, and the name changed to John Tuthill & Son.  On November 1, 1799, John Tuthill retired , and Charles Tuthill continued to operate under his own name until his bankruptcy in 1809.


John Tuthill was born around 1736 and died July 13, 1801.  He married Rachel Scarlin (died March 1818, age 74).  They had 4 daughers and 3 sons.  John Scarlin Tuthill (1768-1841) was a merchant.  Charles Tuthill (born 1769) carried on the family worsted business until he declared bankruptcy.


The same researcher noted that the Tuthills were engated in the Russian trade.  British striped callimancoes were popular in Russia, but Catherine the Great banned their import in December 1793.  This ban was a blow to the Norwich callimanco trade.   Because of the number of striped callimancoes in this volume, it was probably produced before Dec. 1793.  (A pattern book produced by the Tuthills in 1794 has many fewer callimancoes than are present in this volume.)


[copy of finding aid at repository includes index to this volume; look under the Index tab]




65 x 695.4

Norwich worsted pattern book, 1788.

Cover title: "Counter, 1788"

(Dispatch book, 1788)

(museum no. 60.241.4)


Ninety-four pages consist of some 4,240 small swatches of variously colored and patterned worsteds.  Notes between groups of swatches indicate that this volume was originally a record of fabrics ordered by different customers during the course of one year.  Examples of such notes read "order DF sent 18 Jany. 1788" and order HVV sent 15 Novr. 1788." 


Nothing indicates whose dispatch or order book this was.  None of the customers have been identified.


[copy of finding aid at repository includes index to this volume; look under the Index tab]



65 x 695.5

Tuthill, Charles.

Norwich worsted pattern book, ca. 1800-1808.

(museum no. 60.241.5)


This book, which includes some 850 small, numbered swatches of variously colored and patterned worsteds, was initially put together by Charles Tuthill, a fabric merchant in Norwich.  He declared bankruptcy in 1809, and it is likely that this volume was then acquired  by Booth and Theobald of Norwich, which name is written inside the closing flap. 


Florence Montgomery, in Textiles in America, 1650-1870, notes that "the arrangement and numbering of swatches corresponds exactly to a book inscribed “Charles Tuthill Norwich” which is in Castle Museum, Norwich" (p. 403).  The Downs Collection copy has the identical information stamped in gilt, but a slip of paper pasted over this stamp means only a part of it can be read. 


Charles Tuthill was the son of John Tuthill and grandson of James Tuthill, both worsted manufacturers in Norwich.  In 1805, Charles moved to London and established himself as a merchant, but he continued producing textiles in Norwich. He was declared bankrupt on April 12, 1809. It is most likely that Booth & Theobald acquired the pattern book at the auction of Tuthill’s stock and then added their name and covered over Tuthill’s name. The partnership of Booth & Theobald (Edward Temple Booth and Thomas Theobald) was established in August 1803 and continued until the firm declared bankruptcy in 1838.   (In early 1819, Booth’s son Edward entered the business, which became known as Booth, Theobald & Booth.) 


At some point, the all these Norwich worsted volumes found their way into the archive of Willet, Nephew & Co., manufacturers in Norwich.  In 1904, the archive was sold to the Aberfoyle Mills of Chester, Pennsylvania.  William T. Galey, the president of Galey & Lord, owners of the mills, donated these volumes to the Pennsylvania  Museum and School of Industrial Art.  Winterthur Library eventually acquired the volumes from the Philadelphia institution.


[copy of finding aid at repository includes index to this volume; look under the Index tab]




65 x 695.6

Hampp, John Christopher, 1750-1825.

Norwich worsted pattern book, ca. 1794.

(museum no. 60.241.6)


Eight-nine pages present some 1,500 small, numbered swatches of various worsteds.  Two pages include notes on the specific kinds of textile, such as "camelots" and "clouded calles (callimancoes)." 


The name or initials of John Christopher Hampp do not appear in this volume, nor is the original binding extant.  However, the format of the volume is identical to that of acc. 65x695.2, which is a Hampp volume.  Furthermore, many of the samples in both volumes are identical.  Thus, this volume is being attributed to Hampp.


[copy of finding aid at repository includes index to this volume; look under the Index tab]




65 x 696

Ribbon sample book, ca. 1826-1864.


This volume contains 345 of originally 354 samples of woven ribbons, each measuring 6.5 x 15.5 cm.  Notes on the first page read "French.  Recd. from Mr. Dresser, 10 Sept. 1864, E.D.."  Below that:  "James Dudden Dresser."  And to the sides:  "From the firm Dresser in Coventry" and "(Coventry)."  The paper to which the ribbons are attached is watermarked "J. Green & Son, 1826," which firm may have been in Maidstone, Kent, England.  A small inscription on the second page reads "Henry Dresser."



65 x 697  (flat on shelf)

Printed challis sample book, ca. 1830 (perhaps from Alsace, ca.1845-1850).


This book consists of 304 "tissus d'habillement," colorful swatches of challis, a soft wool or wool-cotton cloth, in varying sizes up to 25 x 18 cm.  The swatches are included in no apparent order.  The inside front cover contains a printed label from a French papermaker/blank book binder in Paris.


See under Index tab in copy of finding aid at this repository for additional comments about this volume.




65 x 698

Manchester pattern book, 1783.

(museum no. 65.2134)


This book consists of 432 samples, divided into 16 panels of 27 numbered swatches.  The textiles include various kinds of Manchester, England printed cotton velvets, dimities, quiltings, cords, diapers, etc.  The panels unfold in such a way as to allow the subdued colors of all 432 samples to be viewed simultaneously.  On the reverse side of an inner panel is the inscription "Thomas Smith, Manchester, 23 August 1783."


Note: The museum has a pair of breeches made of fabric similar to that of swatches numbered 6179 and 6186.




65 x 699

Gould, Nathl. (Nathaniel)

Manchester pattern book, ca. 1780-1790.

(museum no. 65.2135)


This volume consists of 12 panels of 12 numbered swatches each, numbered 2209-2352 (three swatches are presently missing).  The textiles represent a variety of Manchester, England, cottons, including corduroy and velveteen, mostly drab in color.  The panels unfold from the center so that the subdued olive-browns of all 141 swatches can be viewed together.  Inscriptions indicate that this swatch book came from Nathaniel and Josh. [Joseph] Gould in Manchester. 


A seventeen cm length of a gauzy ribbon is laid into the volume.  It might have migrated to this volume from another, but if that is so, the original location of the ribbon is unknown.  A previous owner of the volume had given it the number Sf812.


Nathaniel Gould (1756-1820) and his brother Joseph (1754-1821) were cloth merchants in Manchester, England.  Nathaniel was also well-known for his philanthropy.




65 x 700

Manchester pattern book, ca. 1775-1815.

(museum no. 65.2136)


This volume contains 30 panels of numbered swatches, most with 14 swatches per panel.  The textiles are various kinds of Manchester, England cotton dimities.  The panels unfold so that all 412 swatches can be viewed simultaneously. 






66 x 141

Rowan, Archibald Hamilton.

Sample book of designs for printed cotton, ca. 1795-1799.


Archibald Hamilton Rowan, a member of the Society of United Irishmen, was exiled from Ireland before coming to America and settling on the Brandywine River near Wilmington, De.  After peddling birch beer and garden produce in the streets of Wilmington, Rowan purchased a calico-printing firm from the Jordan family in late 1796 or early 1797.  Rowan continued the business until May 29, 1799.  Unable to compete with British merchants, he sold his inventory to James Lea and offered the manufactory for sale.  Ultimately, he returned to Ireland.


This book consists of over 140 numbered block impressions on paper, many brightened by watercolors, that provide examples of eighteenth-century calico-printed textiles.  Many of the designs bear a resemblance to contemporary English work.  Six of the patterns have dark plum backgrounds, similar to an English dark-ground style for ladies' dresses.  Three- or four-inch borders of a rich, dense style harmonize with more widely spaced flowers in other patterns, suggesting their intended use as furnishing chintzes.  Patterns with sprigs were used for dress-goods.  Small, stylized figures appearing in fields of several patterns are typical of contemporary shawl chintzes.  Other designs include geometrical and stylized striped lining materials.  Although a note on the front wrapper indicates that these are wallpaper designs, Rowan's career suggests otherwise.  The papers on which the patterns are printed bear the watermark of the Gilpin paper mills, also located along the Brandywine River.

A map that shows the location of Rowan's mill is available in the collection.


Publications:  Montgomery, Florence.  Printed Textiles.  New York: Viking Press, 1970. 

            Kiefer, Kathleen, “Archibald Hamilton Rowan’s Pattern Book: A Preliminary Technical and Stylistic Analysis,” (student paper), 1994.  (filed with this finding aid)




69 x 78  (flat on shelf)

Print sample book, 1795.


A sample book containing colored woodblock prints.  Although all but one of the samples are printed on paper, Florence Montgomery believed the patterns were for textiles, not for wallpaper.  The one sample which is not on paper is indeed printed on fabric; furthermore, some of the patterns do give the illusion of including lace or broderie anglaise.  Although most of the patterns were designed to be borders, a few could be overall designs.   The smaller patterns may have been intended to be borders for handkerchiefs or neckerchiefs.  The patterns are numbered but are not in consecutive order.  The country of origin is not known, but the samples are possibly from France.  


The samples are mounted on dark paper.  If there were a back cover, it is now missing.  Some of the samples are loose, but none are completely detached.  The string binding the pages together may be new.  (Trex 3255)




69 x 210  (flat on shelf)

Gibard, G.  Cours de Fabrique par Theorie.

French textbook with illustrations and fabric swatches, 1829.


This volume includes approximately 185 pages of handwritten text, dealing primarily with the fabrication of silk cloths.  It consists of diagrams and written instructions for setting up looms in order to weave a wide variety of textile fabrics.  Weaving instructions correspond to 59 actual fabric swatches.  Most swatches are discussed, in increasing complexity, in terms of "remettage," "ourdissage,"(warping) "lissage,"(glossing) and "armure"(loom patterns).  Text in French.




69 x 211  (flat on shelf)

Textile sample book, 1858-1859.


This book contains a brief title page reading only "Colloring Book."  This is followed by approximately 200 sample swatches of printed cotton textile fabrics.  The swatches are pasted onto the versos, while the rectos contain pieces, dates and color names, apparently recording the printing of the various patterns.  Colors include black, red, brown, lilac, drab, chocolate.  The names repeated throughout the volume indicate a New England origin, probably Rhode Island, Massachusetts (possibly even Essex County), or Maine.  The personal names recorded are A. Maitland, A. Sutherland, Tim Driscoll, and Henry Ham(p)son.  




69 x 216

Swatch book, ca. 1800-1825.


This book contains about 350 remarkable samples of a wide variety of textile fabrics.  Written remarks next to each swatch seem to indicate the producer and the available supply of fabric, perhaps establishing the book as an inventory or order book for a dry goods store.  What are assumed to be producers appear as "W. & C.," "S. & N.A.," or "R.R. & Co.," etc. 


Florence Montgomery, in Textiles in America, 1650-1870, identifies the following types of fabric in this volume:  printed cottons, woven linens, silk ribbons, net, baize, wool, velvet, gauze, vestings, nankeen, florentine, moreen, broadcloth, coating, cassimere, sinchaw, chambray, cambric, and leno.  






70 x 76  (flat on shelf)

Bartsch, I.G.

Sample book of silk weaving.


This book consists of 100 swatches of woven silk, lithographed plates depicting looms, weaving patterns, diagrams, etc.  Many of the illustrations show how the fabric was woven.  Weaver's drafts in the volume are both lithographed and in pen-and-pencil.  Some drafts contain handwritten notations about the quantity of thread needed.  Several of the patterns are numbered and correspond with swatches located in the front of the volume.  Floral and geometric patterns predominate, although a few crests were woven into the fabric.  All lithographs bear the name I.G. Bartsch and Al. Leykum, lithographer.  Captions and handwritten notations in German.




70 x 78 (in box, 39 B 2)

Textile samples, 1809-1845.


This collection consists of 27 sheets with numerous small, numbered fabric swatches on each.  Such fabric types as calico prints, denim, broad cloth, woven fabrics, cashmere, wool, and felt are represented.  Some sheets contain text, perhaps ordering information.  Several sheets are addressed to B. Schier.  The last page bears the label "Bloc de 25 Feuilluts pour Etudes et Croques, Papier Pur Chiffon."  Text in French.


The text on 70x78.8 has been translated as follows:

“Tissue made by the inhabitants of the island of Hawaii one of the Sandwich where Cook was killed.  The tissue is made by beating under water the bark of the tapa tree.  Brought back by the Captain who escorted on the islands the bodies of him and of the Queen of the Sandwich Islands who died in England.  Donated by M.[illegible], October 4, 1813.”


(piece on back): “On one of the Sandwich Islands where Cook was killed, this material was made.”





71 x 62 (in miscellaneous box 3; see also 08x76)

Carquillat, François (1803-1884).

Woven portrait of J. M. Jacquard, ca.1839


A portrait woven out of black and grey silk, captioned “A la Mémoir de J.M. Jacquard,” woven by Carquillat, and manufactured by Didier Petit et Cie, perhaps in 1839.  The image, woven on a Jacquard loom, is based on a portrait by Jean-Claude Bonnefond (1796-1860).  

(The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a more detailed version of this portrait, which they attribute to Michel-Marie Carquillat.  The Art Institute of Chicago has a copy of this portrait.    See also acc. 08x76 in this collection.)  

(Trex no. 3552)




71 x 132

Swatch book, possibly 1830's.


Consists of nine large swatches of floral-printed calicos and dimities, each measuring approximately 22 x 26 cm.  The back cover contains the handwritten name "Mrs. R. Rolles."  No direct evidence of date or manufacturer.


[See under Index tab in copy of finding aid at this repository for additional comments about this volume.]




72 x 55.1  (flat on shelf)

French printed silks, Spring 1841.


This volume contains 502 examples of flowered and patterned silks that are French in origin.  The swatches are pasted within hand ruled borders and probably represent new dress fabrics for 1841.  Some feature printed designs, while others have patterns woven into the fabric, including stripes and fleurettes, most on a light background.  A few have a silk warp and cotton weft and might have been used for handkerchiefs.  Several of the swatches are numbered.  Patterns are shown in a variety of color schemes.




72 x 55.2  (flat on shelf)

Album of printed silks, ca. 1830-1850.


This volume, from the same firm as 72 x 55.1, contains approximately 890 swatches of lightweight printed French silks, displaying a huge variety of patterns and colors in excellent condition.  Un bel album, tres caracteristique de son epoque."  No text.



72 x 55.3  (flat on shelf)

Album of dress silks, spring 1849.


This album, from the same firm as 72 x 55.1-.2, contains 490 pieces of exquisite dress silks, including taffetas, tone-on-tone or multicolored brocades, floral patterns in multicolored bouquets, lace, etc.  All is in excellent condition.




72 x 55.4  (flat on shelf)

Collection of silks and velvets, 1856.


This collection, from the same firm as 72 x 55.1-.3, consists of 94 large swatches intended for dressmaking.  The samples are in a variety of patterns and colors and are found to be in excellent condition.




72 x 55.5  (flat on shelf)

Livre d'Echantillons, 1857.


This book, from the same firm as 72 x 55.1-.4, contains 1,400 samples of Indian cottons.  Enormous variety of styles and colors.




72 x 56  (flat on shelf)

Silk samples, ca. 1840-1850.


Over 600 variously sized swatches of silk are pasted within hand-ruled borders.  The especially bright and colorful swatches are probably of French origin.  On the cover, which may not be original to the leaves, is written "Stoffmuster."




72 x 57

D. & J. Anderson.

Pattern book of cottons, 1887-1909.


D. and J. Anderson manufactured a wide variety of cotton fabrics in Glasgow, Scotland, at the turn of the century.


This pattern book from the firm contains hundreds of small swatches of colored cotton textile fabrics.  Identification numbers are written next to the swatches, along with weaving information and dates.  On the inside front cover an inscription reads "J. Anderson, her Husband, Deceased was the head of D. & J. Anderson of Glasgow Scotland.  This pattern book was from his firm.  Gift Myra Service 4-70."




73 x 164

Dye sample book, 1858.


This small volume contains 292 swatches of printed cotton textiles, most in shades of pink, purple, maroon, or brick red.  It also includes manuscript dye recipes for most swatches.  On verso of the fourth leaf is a note that reads "Robes dyed Novr. 17th/58"; on verso of the third leaf from the back, another inscription reads "Oct. 27th/58."  Together, these two notes have been taken to indicate a creation date of 1858.  The volume is assumed to be of English origin, although a previous owner noted of the swatches, "Many of French origin." 




75 x 9.1-.4  (flat on shelf)

Harris, Kate S. (Catherine Smith), 1857-1940.

Harris, Sarah Bradway (Sallie), 1832-1909.

Johnson, Sarah Marion Harris, 1859-1929.

Fabric scrapbooks, ca. 1880-1890.


These scrapbooks were assembled by Sarah Bradway (Sallie) Harris and her daughters Catherine Smith (Kate) Harris and Sarah Marion Harris Johnson of Salem County, New Jersey.  Sarah Bradway’s family were Quakers, although her husband’s family were not.  The fabrics date from ca.1770 to1890, but most date 1820s-1880s.  For more about the Harrises and the scrapbooks see the thesis of Sarah Suzanne Woodman, The Fabric of Their Lives: A Commemoration of Family, Friends, and Community by Three Women in Salem County, New Jersey (University of Delaware, 2003).  Shelved with the scrapbooks is an index to the fabrics, also compiled by Sarah Woodman.


Each one of this four-volume set consists of fabric swatches sewn to the pages of a scrapbook album, over 700 swatches in all, with some duplication between the scrapbooks.  The scrapbooks were most likely assembled between 1880 and 1890.  The set features many wedding dress swatches; fabrics for household furnishings are also included.  The origin and approximate age of many of the swatches are given in handwritten legends, such as "Painted Muslin from Mary Griscom about 75 years old"; "Homemade Linen check belonged to Lydia Harris who died in 1843"; "Bought at auction 40 years ago by Susan Denn for 7 cents a yard"; "Anna Powell's wedding dress, married Waddington B. Ridgway 2nd month 8th 1859"; and "Border of a shawl found in a bundle of clothes which floated up on the Penns Neck shore over 25 years ago."  75x009.4 features a number of toiles and ribbons from the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans, 1884-1885.  The collection includes silk, wool, cotton, and linen from China, England, France, India, and the United States.  Most of the swatches were collected from the Harris women’s friends and relatives in Salem County.




75 x 130  (flat on shelf)

Old Southampton Odds and Ends, not completed before 1898.

Swatch book.


The bulk of this volume consists of large fabric swatches pasted to card stock.  The collection includes examples of wool, linen, and cotton, demonstrating their application to various items such as tablecloths, pillowcases, ribbons, wedding dresses, chintz, paisleys, embroideries, calicoes, and imported examples from India.  Most swatches have handwritten legends relating the origin or use of the fabric, such as "Pillow case linen, Eliza Halsey," or "Merrimac calico, Civil War," or "Linens from Long Springs Farm, now Hampton Park, ancestral home of Mrs. Mary A. Herrick."  One page contains a large hand-stitched quilt square; another contains a small sketch of a "windmill at the corner of Windmill Lane and Hill St."  Also included are ten pages of typed verbatim extracts of essays by Alice Morse Earle, originally published in her Home Life in Colonial Days (New York: Macmillan, 1898).  The title is inspired by the handwritten inscription on the first leaf.




76 x 98.1016 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Pennsylvania ribbon

[late 19th century?]


A pale tan ribbon with the word “Pennsylvania” printed on it.  Nothing indicates the age or the purpose of the ribbon.  Both ends are frayed.




76 x 98.1017 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Washington Bicentennial Bookmark, 1932

Woven by J. & J. Cash, Inc., South Norwalk, Connecticut


 A peach-colored ribbon woven with a portrait of George Washington, a decorative border, and the words: “Washington Bicentennial Book Mark, 1732-1932, All Good Wishes from Hotel Commodore, New York City, Come Again.”  The woven designs are in blue and red.  Some of the thread ends are loose.




76 x 98.1018 (in miscellaneous box 3)

McKinley calendar ribbon


A blue ribbon made after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901.  The ribbon includes the words “McKinley Calendar,” a portrait of McKinley, a summary of his life and career, words of farewell, and a calendar for the year 1902.  The ends are decorated with fringe.  A bad stain mars the portrait.




76 x 98.1019 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Rosser-Gibbons Camp of Confederate Veterans.

Ribbon for Grand rally and picnic, 1898.


A pale blue ribbon decorated with the seal of Virginia and printed with the words “1861-65, Grand Rally and Picnic by Rosser-Gibbons Camp of Confederate Veterans, Luray, Va., August 25th, 1898.”  Pin holes are easily discernable in the upper edge.  The long edges of the ribbon are beginning to fray. 




77 x 46 (in miscellaneous box 3)



Bookmark embroidered in cross-stitch on card stock, not on fabric, but the card is attached to silk ribbon.  The bookmark bears the initials C. E. L. and the number 73 (probably a reference to the year 1873).




77 x 60.3 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Erie Canal ribbon, ca. 1825


A white ribbon, 5.5 cm wide and 23 cm. long, in the middle of which is a round picture, printed in black, bearing the inscription “Alliance of Neptune and Pan, Union of Erie with the Atlantic.”  The picture shows Neptune in a shell with his arm around the shoulders of Pan, who is in a small canoe being paddled by an Indian.  In the background can be seen a cherub(?) blowing a seashell and a lighthouse. 


The ribbon was purchased at the same time as a letter from Nathan S. Roberts, civil engineer in charge of construction of the canal, and may have belonged to him.  Furthermore, Col. 243 contains a watch paper which was cut out of an identical ribbon (acc. no. 76x69.9).



77 x 110

Manchester pattern book, 1783.


The inscription "Manchester, 2nd October. 1783" is the only identification in this volume which consists of 16 panels each with 27 small swatches of colored, patterned textiles, though three swatches are now missing.  Many of these textiles have been identified as corduroys.  Each of the swatches has a numbered label affixed to it.  The book is bound so that the panels unfold from the center, eventually exposing all 16 sets of swatches at one time.


Identified by Florence Montgomery (Textiles in America, 1650-1870) as "identical to a book at Colonial Williamsburg."




77 x 199 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Washington Beneficial Society.

Ribbon, ca. 1819


An off-white ribbon, 7 cm. wide by 30 cm. long, issued by the Washington Beneficial Society, which was instituted on April 19 and incorporated on August 3, 1819.  The inscription does not give the city or state of incorporation, but it is believed to have been in Philadelphia.  In the middle of the ribbon is a picture, with a bust of George Washington at the top.  Under him appears an image of a physician attending a sick man, who is lying in a canopied bed; off to one side is another man sitting at a small table covered with a cloth.  This may be an image of Washington on his death bed.  The picture is printed in black ink.




77 x 515 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Ames Manufacturing Company.

Benjamin Franklin statue commemorative ribbon, 1856.


An off-white ribbon, 6 cm. wide by 22 cm. long, issued by the Ames’ Manuf’g Co. at the inauguration (or dedication) of a statue to Benjamin Franklin in Boston on September 17, 1856.  The ribbon is decorated with a portrait of Benjamin Franklin, and vignettes showing a printing press, Franklin flying a kite during a thunder storm, Franklin at the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and Franklin as a peace commissioner in France.


The statue was placed in front of City Hall on School Street.  It was erected to commemorate the sesquicentennial of Franklin’s birth.  The money was raised by public subscription.  The sculptor was Richard Saltonstall Greenough.  Bronze panels on the base of the statue depict Franklin as a printer, as an experimenter with electricity, and as a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution.   The Ames Manufacturing Company cast the statue.  The employees who attended the dedication ceremony (which was a holiday celebration) wore ribbons such as this one.




78 x 100

Lace-making instructions, ca. 1885-1900.


This volume consists of a pocket-sized book, into which instructions for making a variety of knitted lace patterns have been both written and pasted, along with small samples of actual lace corresponding to each set of instructions.  Many of the sets of instructions are newspaper clippings.  As well, there is an example of drawn-thread work and an example of cross stitch.  The first three pages contain what appear to be milk production records for four months of 1885.  The previous owner has related that the volume came from Virginia.




78 x 178

Le Gueult & Dulongraix.

Letters, ca. 1800.


This volume contains four letters with wool felt and calico samples, written to the firm Le Gueult & Dulongraix at Vire from the firm Cattres & Martin.  The letters involve crediting accounts and filling orders.  Samples show the types of fabrics in which the firms were dealing.  The felt samples have numbers, possibly for orders, associated with them.  The dates used in the letters are from the French Republican calendar.  Text in French.  




78 x 221 (in miscellaneous box 3)

A. O. Crane & Co.

Battle of Bunker Hill centennial commemorative ribbon, 1875.


A white ribbon, 7 cm. wide by 16 cm. long, copyrighted by A.O. Crane & Co. of 98 Kingston St., Boston, in 1875, to commemorate the centennial of the Battle of Bunker Hill.  On the ribbon is printed 1775, The Battle, 1875, Centennial, a picture of the Bunker Hill Monument, with a note that the cornerstone was laid in 1825, pictures of George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette (although he was not present at the battle), and  phrase “They both still live in the heart of every true lover of liberty.”  All this is followed by a picture of Washington’s coach, which according to the inscription on the ribbon, was presented to him after his first inauguration as president, and in which Washington and Lafayette rode.  At the bottom of the ribbon is the copyright statement and an ad for a heliotype picture of the Battle of Bunker Hill which could be ordered from Crane & Co.


The ribbon has some brown stains on it.




78 x 246 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.

Ribbon, 1828.


A decorative ribbon, 10 cm. wide by 14 cm. long with two pictures printed on it: one of a neoclassical building (which resembles a bank or a government building), and the other picture shows a train crossing a bridge, beneath which is the date July 4, 1828.  The train consists of an engine, a coal (or wood) car, a baggage wagon, and a passenger coach.  Several figures are depicted riding the train.  A sailboat and a steamship are on the river over which the bridge crosses. 


The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad began construction on July 4, 1828.  Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, turned over the first spade of soil.  Undoubtedly, the ribbon was issued to commemorate that event.  It is not known what building is supposed to be represented.





79 x 251 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Beneficial Society of Journeymen Tin Plate and Sheet-Iron Workers.

Ribbon, 1832.


A ribbon, 6 cm. wide by 17.5 cm. long, on which is printed the phrase Beneficial Society of Journeymen Tin Plate & Sheet-Iron Workers.  A hammer and a mallet are also depicted, and the printer’s name, Johnson, is present.  Handwritten on the ribbon is the name John Smack Aimes and the date 1832.  Nothing gives a clue as to where this society was located.




80 x 91 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Croton Aqueduct (N.Y.)

Ribbon, 1842


A ribbon, 8 cm wide by 20 cm. long, printed to commemorate the “Completion of the Croton Aqueduct” in New York on October 14, 1842.  A picture shows an Indian talking to an engineer (as evidenced by his holding a surveying instrument); a bald eagle appears between them.  In the background are seen a part of the aqueduct, a tower (probably part of the reservoir), and a large fountain.  Under the picture is printed a history of the aqueduct, and lists of members of the engineer corps and of the New York Common Council.  The ribbon was printed by W. L. Ormsby; the letters were engraved on a machine invented by Ormsby.




80 x 135.8 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Silk needlepoint bookmark



A design wrought with silk thread on green card stock, which is in turn mounted on a silk ribbon with fringe.  The stitch used is the tent stitch commonly found in needlepoint.  The design on the bookmark is of two(?) animals (perhaps a ewe and lamb) under a tree (there are too many legs for one animal, but only one head is visible).




80 x 251  (flat on shelf)

White goods sample book, 1855-1860.


This book consists of over 2,000 numbered swatches of variously patterned white goods pasted into a very thick volume.  Manuscript notes on each page give the name and price of the textiles.  A notation on verso of the front, free-end paper reads, "15.9.55, White Book No. 8803, In giving orders please give Book as well as pattern Nos."  These swatches only occupy the first half of the volume, as those originally in the second half have been removed.  Some documents laid in at front suggest that this volume may have been kept by one Samuel R. Shipley while working for Charles W. Churchman in the dry goods business in Philadelphia, PA and before beginning his own firm in January 1858 (Shipley & Hazard).  The second half of the volume has been re-used as a scrapbook to house engravings and other illustrations of buildings in and around London, England, as well as long columns of newspaper descriptions of the sights.  A few clippings from a Philadelphia newspaper with similar descriptive commentary are laid in.  This scrapbook section runs from the back cover towards the center.  The book is bound in leather with extensive hand-tooling on all surfaces.

[see back of folder for indexes to this volume, one index for the illustrations and another for the names of the fabric patterns]




81 x 48 (in miscellaneous box 2)

Cotton swatch


Plain swatch of cotton pinned to a note stating that is was “woven by the manufacturing machinery from Maryland in the procession at the inauguration of Genl. [William Henry] Harrison, Washington, March 4th 1841.”

(Trex no. 8545)




81 x 49 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Carquillat, Françcois.

Woven portrait of George Washington, 1876?


French woven silk, a portrait of George Washington, with leaves and an eagle.  Marked  Carquillat tex, Allardet del.  Woven on a Jacquard loom.  Based on portrait by Gilbert Stuart; reported to have been made for Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876.

The textile has been mounted on cloth-covered mat board.

(The Louisiana State Museum has an example of this item.)

(Trex no. 8546)




81 x 85 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Woodcarvers Association (Cincinnati, Ohio)



Green ribbon with gold-stamped letters reading "Woodcarvers Association of Cincinnati, O."

(Trex no. 8567)




81 x 299 (in miscellaneous box 3)

African Benevolent Society



Ribbon printed with the words "African Benevolent Society," 1840's.  There were organizations with that name in several cities in the United States.



81 x 461

Jordan, Marsh & Co., 450 to 456 Washington St., Boston, Mass.

Swatch book, 186-.


This book contains 198 small swatches of cloth sold through Jordan, Marsh & Co.  The notice facing the first leaf states, "In submitting to your attention the accompanying samples of the very latest Foreign Fabrics in the newest designs and colorings, we would call your attention to the fact that each style is designated by its own number, and the width and price plainly marked."  The swatches are grouped, six to a page, in families of similar textile, e.g., "Cashmeres," "Drap d'Alma," and "Brocade."  Interestingly and in spite of the claim of the introductory notice, the only color available in this volume is black. 




83 x 140.1 (in miscellaneous Box 3)

Hudson-Fulton Handkerchief



Handkerchief, probably cotton, about 17 ¾” square, with designs printed in black.  In the middle is a view of the Statue of Liberty with the skyline of New York in the background.  In the corners are pictures of Henry Hudson, his ship the Half-Moon, Robert Fulton, and his steamboat Clermont.  These corner vignettes are connected with leaf-like scrolls.  In the middle of each side is a shield decorated with stars at the top and stripes beneath.  The handkerchief was probably made as a souvenir for the Hudson-Fulton Celebration held September 25 to October 9, 1909, in New York, which commemorated Hudson’s exploration of the area in 1609, and Fulton’s launching of his steamboat Clermont in 1807.




84 x 055

Chintz samples, 1840.


There are five colorful pieces of chintz, cut for use as fabric samples.  Each has a label affixed to the fabric with what might have been its price. 




84 x 88 (in Miscellaneous Box 2)

Silk samples, ca.1816.


A sample of black, blue, and cream plaid silk; a length of maroon ribbon, 6.5 cm. wide, with a brown and cream pattern and picots running down both sides; and two hanks of silk filament that have not been spun into thread.  One hank is cream colored, and the other is a pale yellow.  Unfortunately, there is no documentation to indicate the origins of any of these items or to verify the date.




85 x 129

Cloth sample book, 1836.


The book consists of fifty-one pieces of woven and printed cotton fabric, probably available through J.W. Gibb's dry goods store.  Patterns are calico in style with shades of brown and tan predominating.  Originally a gift from J.W. Gibbs, a Philadelphia dry goods merchant, to Mrs. Catherine Hillegas on August 4, 1836, this volume was later purchased by Parke Edwards for his personal library. 


A paper about this volume is filed with the finding aid at this repository.



85 x 164 (flat on shelf)

“The Poor Slave” broadside printed on fabric, ca.1834.


An abolitionist broadside printed on fabric headed “The Poor Slave: Dedicated to the Friends of Humanity.”  Across the top are four pictures: two are seals of abolitionist groups, both of which bear the date 1834.  The other two pictures share the caption “Which of these systems of education shall we hand down to posterity?”  One picture shows a white man whipping slave children chained together; the other shows a white man teaching African-American children in a school.  But most of the broadside is text, including passages from the Bible, a story about the Liberty Bell, and stories of children learning about the evils of slavery.  The fabric was printed by the Boston Chemical Printing Company.




85 x 175  (flat on shelf)

Needlework sample album, 1600-1899?


This album contains 26 individual pieces of needlework samples dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries in a wide variety of styles and fabrics.  Most are of English origin, although some are French or Italian.




86 x 35 (in miscellaneous box 2)

Chair Makers.

Evacuation Day commemorative ribbon, 1830.


A ribbon, almost 7 cm wide by 22 cm. long, apparently printed by chair makers to be worn as part of Evacuation Day festivities in New York City in 1830.  The ribbon bears the words “Chair Makers. Evacuation. Nov. 25th, 1783. La Fayette Discipulus Washingtonis Galliae Insignis Liberator. 27th, 28th, 29th, July, 1830.”  In addition the ribbon depicts two chairs and an allegorical picture of a woman (in classical dress and holding a staff on which is placed a liberty cap) freeing a man from his chains; over them appear clouds, an eagle, an American shield, and a French shield.  Under them are sprays of flowers and leaves tied with a ribbon.


During the early 19th century, New York City commemorated the day British troops evacuated the city following the end of the American Revolution, which event took place on November 25, 1783.  In 1830, it was decided to add a celebration of the French revolution which had occurred on July 27-29 of that year to the Evacuation Day festivities.  As a result of that revolution, Lafayette had been named as the new head of the French National Guard. 




86 x 166

Hautmann, Heinrich.  Calculationsbuch.

Book of weaving instructions, ca. 1800-1849.


This book contains instructions for setting up looms to weave 33 different patterns of textiles.  Calculations of costs are also included.  Small swatches of 33 textiles are pasted into the volume; fourteen larger swatches are laid in.  Written in German fraktur script.  Both fabric swatches and text are in good condition.




87 x 47.1-.5 (in miscellaneous box 1)



Five pieces of silk ribbon, including one floral, one red grosgrain with checkerboard border, one black and gold floral, one roman striped, and one plain salmon (plain, but very wide).  All date to the 1890's.




87 x 49 (in miscellaneous box 3)

A “housewife” (a fabric case which could be rolled up) showing samples of fabrics, with silk edging.




87 x 50 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Doll quilt


Doll quilt showing samples of variously printed cotton.






87 x 193 (in miscellaneous box 1)

Floral ribbon


Piece of silk ribbon, woven with a pattern of flowers, 33" long, 1890's.




88 x 91  (in Miscellaneous Box 2)

Card of fabric samples, ca. 1820.


This card consists of twelve small samples of woven fabrics of English origin.  The patterns are all floral; some are sculpted.  Each sample has a number associated with it that was probably used for ordering the fabric.  The word Cassimeres, the name "Henry Lee," and the number "594" are written in ink on the outside of the card.  Lee may have been an agent for the firm selling these patterns.  A woodcut engraving depicting a boy on an island surrounded by boxes, trees, tools, and an anchor is also present.



88 x 230.1 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Silk ribbon – “Christmas Greetings”


An ivory silk ribbon with a poem printed on it in purple ink: “I send to you, dear friend today/ A Christmas gift so fair/ That monarchs oft have failed to find/ It ‘mong their jewels rare./ ‘Twas sent to earth long ages since,/ It came from Heaven above,/ A gift the poorest may bestow,/ The Christmas Gift of Love.”  The ribbon could have been given as a Christmas present or a Christmas card.  The author of the poem is identified by the initials M.E.S.  The ribbon is about 8 inches long and 2 3/8 inches wide.




88 x 230.2-.3 (in miscellaneous box 3)



Two bookmarks embroidered in cross-stitch on card stock, not on fabric. One design shows a lamb sitting on the ground beneath a cross decorated with a floral wreath; it is attached to a silk ribbon.  The other bookmark was not completed and is now damaged.  The pattern is stamped onto the card and reads “Christ is Risen.”




89 x 43  (flat on shelf)

Ribbon sample book, 19th century.


Although anonymous, the creator of this book has been identified as a large French firm of the nineteenth century. 


The volume contains hundreds of samples of colorfully decorated silk and ribbons.  The original bright colors of these exceptional samples have been well preserved.  Though without any text whatsoever, the arrangement suggests that the book was either a sample book to show to prospective customers, or a record of work completed by the manufacturer. 




90 x 29  (flat on shelf)

Lace samples, ca.1830-1870


This volume consists of some 500 variously-sized samples of machine-made lace in a wide variety of patterns.  Each sample contains a small paper label on which are written item numbers and prices as well as the printed initials “A.L.L.”  The samples may have come from Nottingham, England.


[Similar sample book may be found in the Grossman Collection, Col. 838.]




90 x 033

Geser, Albert.

Thread sample book, 1862-1863.


Albert Geser's name appears on the inside front cover of this volume with an address in the Swiss canton Saint Gallen.  He is presumed to have been a cloth or thread manufacturer as well as the owner of this volume. 


The book consists of a large number of thread samples, and a very few fabric swatches, with accompanying notes in German indicating kinds of fabric woven and names of color.  The end of the volume contains a price index; a table of weavers' salaries; a list of names (perhaps customers) from London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Liverpool; and a handwritten copy of a note from a Basel newspaper suggesting how to apply for a loan in England.  Text in French, German, and English.




93 x 69  (flat on shelf)

Swatchbook, ca. 1830-1850.


This book contains over 800 numbered cotton fabric swatches produced by a roller printing process from an unidentified mill, probably located in Manchester, England.  A wide array of colors and patterns are represented, including calico flower prints in pinks, blues, and yellows; stripes of stylized flowers and leaves; geometric figures; and Rococo designs.


See under Index tab in copy of finding aid at this repository for additional comments about this volume.




93 x 135

Tatting sample book, ca. 1850-1900


This book consists of 34 samples of tatting, representing examples of different stitches.  The hand-done lace has been dyed in a variety of pastel colors.




93 x 136

Ribbon sample book, possibly of French origin, 18--?


This book consists of ten panels, all with samples of ribbon woven in a brocade design.  Each panel has four sets of designs, with three samples of varying colors in each set.  Colors include red, blue, lavender, gold, and light blue.  Geometric leaves and flowers predominate. 




94 x 10  (flat on shelf, in own box)

Cocheco Manufacturing Company, New Hampshire.

Fabric samples, ca. 1880-1890.


The Cocheco Manufacturing Company produced printed textiles in Dover, New Hampshire.  The company evolved from the Dover Cotton Factory, which was started in 1812.  During the 1820s, the company became one of the first to mass-produce printed cottons.  Throughout the century, Cocheco expanded its printing operation.  In 1909, Cocheco became part of the Pacific Mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Printing operations moved to Lawrence, but cotton fabrics were manufactured at the Dover plant until the mill was closed in the 1940s.  Cocheco produced both dress and furnishing prints as well as novelty items.  Beginning in the 1840s, Lawrence & Co. acted as the selling agent for Cocheco.  In 1843, Lawrence assumed agency for Cocheco, including its print works.  The firm helped Cocheco overcome financial losses, exerted influence over the mill's product line, and served as quality control inspector.  Lawrence provided Cocheco with paper sheets and cardboard folders to which the mill attached fabric samples.  These were used by salesmen of Lawrence.  Lawrence served in the aforementioned capacity until 1929, when it was liquidated.


The volume consists of four folders featuring 22 samples from the Cocheco Manufacturing Co. and sold by Lawrence & Co.  Three contain samples of printed cottons; the fourth is larger and has samples of extra-heavy twilled creton in a pattern named "Vouchers."  The three smaller cardboard sheets include an engraving of the print works and surrounding buildings in Dover by E.A. Fowle.  Information concerning the amount of fabric produced and the date shipped is written in pencil on these three.  Patterns are identified as Waggish, Avidity, and Audubon.  All four patterns are represented in three to seven different color schemes.  Geometric and floral motifs predominate.


Publications:  Affleck, Diane L. Fagan.  Just New from the Mills: Printed Cottons in America. North Andover, MA:  Museum of American Textile History, 1987.


Additional records of the Cocheco Manufacturing Co. can be found at the Museum of American Textile History, North Andover, MA.




94 x 69

Mercer, John.

Letter, 1844, with samples


This letter was written by Mercer to his son about the kind of fabric that customers were buying in London in the autumn of 1844.  Twelve fabric samples are affixed to the stationery.  Mercer critiqued the appearance of the swatches, writing about unnecessary blotches and spotting.  He also included brief words about his health, the tiresomeness of London, and his own notoriety.




94 x 113  (in Miscellaneous Box 3)

Samples of Londrins Seconde de la Gravette


One sheet containing twelve samples of brightly colored wool felt.




94 x 114  (in Miscellaneous Box 2)

Letter to Citizen Vitte from Monsieur Siguiere, 1801


The letter was written to Citizen Vitte at Arles, France, from M. Siguiere of Nimes, France, to convey information about the ordering and prices of textiles.  Eighteen samples of velour, striped twill, cashmere, and Siberian Kalmuck felt are included.




95 x 28  (in its own box)

National Tailoring Co.

Fabric samples, 1936


Consists of 44 wool fabric samples available from the National Tailoring Co. for men's suits in the Fall and Winter of 1936.  Fabrics were from a number of makers including the American Woolen Co., Uxbridge Mills, Dunn Worsted Mills, and Cleveland Mills.  Each of the samples is numbered and mounted on a cardboard backing with information describing the nature of the fabric and its class.




95 x 93 (in miscellaneous box 3)      

Botany Worsted Mills, Passaic, N.J.

Fabric samples, [not after 1924]


This item is an accordion-type folder featuring 64 fabric samples of worsted wool from the Botany Worsted Company of Passaic, NJ.  Each sample is in a different, numbered, solid shade of color.


(Botany Worsted Mills of Passaic, NJ was incorporated in May 1889.  It was organized by foreign investors, mainly Kammgarn Spinnerei Stoehr & Company of Leipzig, Germany as a way to avoid textile tariffs.  From 1919 until 1923, the company was operated by the U.S. government Office of the Alien Property Custodian.  In 1924, it became one of several companies owned by Botany Consiolodated Mills, Inc.  Later, its name was changed to Botany Mills, under which it operated until at least 1945.)




97 x 23.17 (in miscellaneous box 3)

Ribbon honoring Frances Cleveland, ca.1886.


A ribbon, 6.5 cm. wide and 14 cm. long (including fringe), woven with a black and white portrait of Frances F. Cleveland.  The ribbon is also decorated with purple violets.  Frances Folsom married President Grover Cleveland in the White House on June 2, 1886, when she was not quite 22 years old.  Because of her youth, she became very popular, and her image was widely used in advertising.  Nothing about the ribbon suggests the purpose for which it was created.



97 x 145

Garner & Co.

Swatch book, 1896-1897


A record book containing swatches of fabrics, with notes about dyes,  washing, starching, weights, measurements, finishings, and other writings on the production of a variety of cotton fabrics.  These writings are dated.  The fabrics include bandana and handkerchief prints, shirting, moire skirting, sateens, drills, taffeta silk finish, sheetings, ducks, percales, etc.  On pages 14 and 15 are patterns for portraits of William McKinley and Garret A. Hobart, the Republican Party nominees for president and vice-president in 1896.  At the beginning of the volume are prints for bandanas and what are probably prints for handkerchiefs, several featuring images of children.  One set of prints illustrates the story of "Who Killed Cock Robin."  Other fabrics show a variety of prints, stripes, plaids, and solids.  Printed labels appear with some of the swatches, and many bear the name Garner & Co., New York, suggesting that the cloth was manufactured for the firm to sell in its shop.

[note: this was formerly cataloged as Doc. 1097]



99 x 87

Silk swatch book and weaving instructions, from France, 1835-1836


A notebook from the Department de Rhône, France, dated 1835-1836, containing swatches of silk fabrics, design drawings, and weaving instructions.  This manuscript appears to have been kept by someone who made fabric for men’s vests.  Among other things, the notebook includes descriptions of the different colors and textiles to be used for vests; contains a price list of different weights of fiber used to produce cloth; indicates colors and hues for Paris customers; summarizes merchandise in the writer’s store as of September 1835; includes the times to see American and Parisians to show them the new fabrics; and mentions a payment from a government agency for products.  Most of the swatches are dark colors;  many have floral patterns.



00 x 51 (flat on shelf)

Lace samples book

18th-20th centuries.


Notebook containing samples of laces, almost all of which are labeled as being from the Fayen collection.  The kinds of lace represented are Slav or Arabian lace, Mechlin, lacis, Irish point crochet, Binche, Valenciennes, rose point, Devonia, net brodé (or hollie point), tatting, knitted, Saxony guipure (also called Maltese), Chantilly, and appliqué or Youghal lace.  A few machine made laces are included for comparison purposes.  Many of the laces are from the 18th and 19th centuries, but some are from the early 20th.   The notebook also contains photos and photocopies of samples of other kinds of laces.



01x58.2 (flat on shelf)

Ladies’ linen cambric handkerchiefs box

Late 19th century.


A box which once held a half dozen ladies’ linen cambric handkerchiefs, style no. 111, of superior quality.  The box has been decorated with a picture of a vase of flowers, decorative paper, and two strips of woven ribbon, with a round design on it and picot edges.   No names are associated with this item.



04 x 21 (flat on shelf)

Brown, Ella C. Jenkins,

Geraldine’s scrapbook of dresses, 1889-1904.


Biographical note: Geraldine Fay Brown was the daughter of Ella C. Jenkins and J. Merrill Brown.  Geraldine was born August 11, 1887, in Newton, Massachusetts.  Her father was an architect.  Geraldine had an older brother named Clarence, who also became an architect.   Geraldine may have gone to high school in New York City. 


Description of scrapbook: A scrapbook with fabric swatches, pictures of dresses, notes about the dresses, and a photo of Geraldine Brown, kept by her mother in Massachusetts, 1889-1904.  The items are arranged in chronological order, so one can see a progression in changes in styles.  Typically, each entry includes swatches of fabric and trim, a picture of the dress made from the fabric, the date the dress was made, special notes about the dress (details about the design or a note about when a dress was first worn), and the price of the fabric per yard, or a note about from whom the fabric was received.  Some dresses were made of fabrics reused from other dresses.   Most of the pictures are printed, perhaps taken from pattern envelopes.  A few of the dress pictures have changes indicated in pencil, such as a change in sleeve style; one picture is hand drawn.  Wool, silk, velvet, cotton, lace, braid, and ribbon are found among the swatches.   


The earliest swatches are for the first colored dresses Geraldine wore, made when she was two years old.  No pictures accompany these swatches, but one dress had a square neck, one a low neck, and one was a Mother Hubbard style.  Her first woolen dress was made when she was three.  In November 1890, Aunt Harriet helped make the dress that was worn on Geraldine’s first trip to Boston.  The scrapbook includes a tintype of Geraldine taken at Point of Pines when she was four years old.  On the opposite page is a swatch of the fabric for the dress worn in the photo.  She received her first silk dress when she was four; it was worn to Philip Bird’s party in November 1891 and later to a G.A.R. fair in February 1892.  Other dresses were noted as being worn to dancing school, parties, a concert, an operetta, to make visits, or to attend graduation ceremonies.  One set of swatches is labeled “made by the New York girls and sent June 20, 1902.  Worn at her graduation from the Horace Mann Grammar School, June 25.”  Another dress was sent to New York for Geraldine’s sixteenth birthday in August 1903.  At the front of the scrapbook are a sample of pre-1850 silk from Grandmother Jenkins, a swatch from Mother Brown dated 1888, and a piece of ca.l850 cotton from Grandmother Brown.


A class paper about this scrapbook is filed with this finding aid.  See also Laura Walikainen, The Three Architectures of “Geraldine’s Scrapbook of Dresses” (University of Delaware thesis).





The House Carpenters’ Benevolent Society of the Village of Brooklyn.

Ribbon, ca. 1833.


A silk ribbon commemorating the House Carpenters’ Benevolent Society of the Village of Brooklyn, New York, incorporated in 1833.  The name of the organization is printed on the ribbon, along with a circular vignette depicting a mother with her two sons, one of whom plays with wood and carpentry tools.  In the background, a house is being built. 


The society was authorized by an act of the New York legislature on April 4, 1833.  The act names as members Newell Bond, Burdett Stryker, John Baldwin, Henry Moon, Nicholas B. Rhodes, and James Dezendorf.  The purpose of the society was twofold: to provide aid to unfortunate members of the society and their families, and “to diffuse knowledge and information … throughout their profession.”  The ribbon has a decorative selvage, was perhaps originally white or ecru, and is printed in black. 


[For comparison, see Col. 301, acc. 07x34, certificate of membership in the New York Benevolent Society of Journeymen Cabinet Makers.]




06 x 51  (flat on shelf)

Eagen, Mary Helen.

Graded sewing course, ca.1900.


A workbook kept by Mary Helen Eagen for a manual training course, probably during her studies at a teacher’s training school, possibly in New York City.  The lessons are for grades 1A-6B.  Each section begins with a statement of the course of study and a syllabus for the class.  Most lessons include samples.  Grade 1A begins with simple knotting of cords and introduces rattan and raffia.  Simple items are made by both girls and boys with these items.  Grade 1B introduces more complicated knot work.  Grades 2A and 2B build on these skills and introduce needle and thread, but it is not clear if boys are to be participants in the sewing drills, although basketball nets and sailor knots are among the items to be made.  Each subsequent grade adds to sewing skills, including basting, seaming, making button holes and sewing on buttons, darning, and making an apron.  A sample apron is included in the volume.  The lessons include notes on the history of weaving and looms, different kinds of scissors, and other background material.  By grade 6, students were learning to draft patterns, which utilized mathematical skills, and estimate amounts of fabric required.  Two exercises on pieces of fabric printed with Steiger’s Elementary Sewing Design, copyright 1897 are laid into the volume.  There are blank pages where additional samples could be placed.  Several small slips of paper are laid into the volume; these contain critiques of Miss Eagen’s work.



06 x 141  (flat on shelf)

Bastian, F. (Mrs.)

Crochet and tatting sample book, ca.1890-ca.1920.


A volume containing over one hundred samples of crochet and tatted lace, most mounted onto pages, but a few just laid into the book.  Several samples include rick-rack or ribbon as part of the design.  Most samples would have been suitable for edging or insertion lace, but some samples could have been made into doilies or mats, and one piece is a small basket.  Also laid into the volume are pictures of designs available from DMC, J. & P. Coats, and Bucilla, companies which made crochet and tatting thread.


Nothing is known about Mrs. Bastian.



07 x 81 (in Miscellaneous Box 2)

Mallatrat, Frederick.

Letter to Robert Thorpe, with samples, 1816.


A letter from Frederick Mallatrat, York, to Robert Thorpe, Alnwick, Northumberland, June 11, 1816, enclosing 30 samples of wool and cotton textile fabrics.  Mallatrat offered Thorpe good terms on any order placed because of the current depressed conditions in the market. 


Frederick Mallatrat was listed as a woolen draper and tailor in the 1823 York, England, directory, with his shop located at 45 Coney Street.



07 x 5  (flat on shelf)

Henry Remsen, Jr., and Company

Pattern book [of textiles], 1767.


Swatch book inscribed inside front cover: Henry Remsen Junr. & Company, their pattern book, received from Messrs. Benjamin & John Bower, merchts. in Manchester, New York, October 20th, 1767.  The book contains 41 pages of fabric swatches, containing from one to twenty examples of textile fabrics per page.  Some additional pages of swatches have been torn out.  Each swatch has an order or sample number.  The first examples are of fustian (cotton and linen blend), mostly checks, simple plaids, stripes, and one basket-weave sample.  Some of the striped fabrics may contain silk or woolen threads.  As well, the book contains examples of moleskin, cotton velvets (called Manchester velvets), cotton corduroys, and dimities woven in various patterns.  A few of the fabrics are labeled barragon, rib, or dyed jeans.  There are no prices.  Henry Rutgers Remsen wrote his name on one page.  An inscription appears on the inside back cover: from Mary L. Ogden to Cornelia(?) [illegible].


Henry Remsen, Jr., was one of the largest importers of dry goods and prints in New York City, with his store located in Hanover Square.  He was the son of Hendrick (1708-1771) and Catalina Remsen and was born on or about April 5, 1736.  In 1761, he married Cornelia Dickenson.  They had at least two sons, Joris and Henry (also known as Henry, Jr., lived 1762-1843).  Remsen was elected a member of the New York Chamber of Commerce on August 2, 1768.  He died on March 13, 1792.  One of Remsen’s grandsons was Henry Rutgers Remsen (1809-1874), a noted New York City attorney.  Nothing is known about Benjamin and John Bower of Manchester, England.


Note: The Metropolitan Museum of Art has another Remsen volume, dated 1769.  It also holds a volume related to the Bowers. 




07 x 147 (in Miscellaneous Box 2)

Alex. P. Mende & Co. (New York)

Dyed thread sample book, 1896.


A sample card of dyed threads, showing the various shades available from different strengths of the dyes and different ways of dyeing.  The dyes only came in yellow, blue, and red, but could also be mixed to form other colors.  The dyes were for use on cotton, union, linen, jute, silk, and paper. 


Alex. P. Mende & Co. was located at 536-540 West 14th Street, North River, New York City.  It manufactured fast colors, black dyes, and chemicals for dyeing, direct printing, and finishing of cotton, wool, unions, jute, and flax.




08 x 50  (flat on shelf)

Oak Hall (Firm)

Custom samples, 1890.


A book containing approximately 110 samples of fabric, mostly wools, intended to be used for men’s, youth’s, and boy’s ulsters, overcoats, suits, other coats, pants, and vests.  The book was originally issued with fabric samples for spring and summer 1890, although the cover of the volume is labeled as samples for fall and winter 1890.  Inside, a letter dated June 28, 1890, instructed the owner to remove certain samples (which was done) and stated that samples for fall and winter were to be sent later and could be added to the book.  A price list for the clothing is glued inside the back cover.  Additional instructions on how to place orders are inside the front and back covers, with the admonition that large spring-bottom pants were considered to be in poor taste.  Oak Hall was also prepared to furnish sports clothing, G.A.R. goods, and military and firemen’s uniforms.  This particular copy of the sample book includes a letter from Wile, Brickner & Co. of Rochester, N.Y., to a customer in New Hampshire.


G.W. Simmons & Co. of Boston ran a clothing store called Oak Hall.  This particular sample book was used by Wile, Brickner & Co. of Rochester, N.Y., to solicit business from Jas. W. Garvin of Wakefield, N.H.




08 x 76 (in miscellaneous box 3; see also 71 x 62)

Woven portrait of J. M. Jacquard, ca.1839?.


A portrait woven out of black and grey silk, captioned “J.M. Jacquard, né a Lyon le 7 Juillet 1752, mort le 7 Aout 1834.”  Two captions appear below the portrait, but they are difficult to read.  One appears to read Fque [fabrique?] de Passetat F.C. St.(?) Etienne, and the other Balangard Romier dld.  The portrait is very similar to that found in acc. 71x62, although this one has less detail. 




08x122 (flat on shelf)

Catering Collection, Potters Diary, 1827-1841, No. 5 [letter book with textile samples], 1827-1841.


Bound volume of extracts of letters, accompanied by about 1200 textile samples, from British firms operating in Brazil.  These letters deal with the importation of textiles into Brazil.  The firms in Brazil write to an unknown person or firm in England reporting on what textiles sell and at what price, and they enclose samples of the English printed cotton fabrics which are most desired for the Brazilian market.  They also report which textiles do not sell, whether because of price or color, or because of downturns in the local economy.  Sometimes textiles were mildewed when they arrived in Brazil, and thus could not be sold.  The firms in Brazil are Townley & Jackson in Bahia, James Cockshott & Co. in Pernambuco, Stewart Brothers in Pernambuco and Bahia, Bradshaw Wanklyn & Sons in Rio de Janiero, and Harrison Latham Co. in Bahia. 


Several Potters were involved in the textile trade in Manchester, and the letters may have been sent to them.


Color photocopy is available, but the images do not capture the entire page.  Nevertheless, researchers are requested to look at the copy first.


Information from a researcher:

In the letterbook, measurements for calculating duty are in covados [Covs].  G. D. Urquhart, in his 1872 book Dues and Charges on Shipping in Foreign Ports: a manual of reference for shipowners, shipbrokers & shipmasters (2nd edition, p.711) gives length measurements of Brazil as the covado and the vara.  One covado = 26.24 inches; 4 covados = 3 yards.  The discrepancy between 26.24 inches and ¾ yard is not explained.  William Gordon  in his 1765 book The Universal Account and Complete Merchant ( 2nd edition, p.63) explains Surat measures have a greater and lesser covid.  Most piece goods are sold by the lesser covid of 27 inches. Indeed, the figure of 27 inches matches the quantities found in the letterbook: a piece of printed calico of 28 yards would equal 371/3 covados; 50 pieces would contain 18662/3 covados (rounded down as 1866 in the letterbook).


A researcher has identified the binding as being of a later date than the pages.  “Catering collection” is a term used to refer to a collection of samples of competitor’s designs and was applied to this volume later in the 19th century.  Also written on the spine is the number 130 (this number is flaking off.)  This number was apparently assigned to the volume when it was in the collection of the Levenshulme Engraving Works.


Related material:  Parks, Sarah.  Britain, Brazil, and the Trade in Printed Cottons, 1827-1841.  (Thesis, University of Delaware, 2010)






08x150.2  (flat on shelf)

Box with embroidery designs inside.

Late 19th century


A box with a lid which has been decorated with a Christmas card with a picture of fruit.  Inside the box is a design for the letter B which could be worked in cross stitch or Berlin work.  Also in the box are two pieces worked on perforated cardboard: a cross in two shades of blue, and a basket of flowers. 




08x150.3a-g  (in Miscellaneous box 1)

Windows with curtains.



A collection of seven curtained windows made from calling cards, probably intended for use in a collage album or possibly a doll house.  The curtains are made from machine-woven lace and ribbon and are mounted on the backs of invitations and at home cards.  Two curtains have pink ribbon trim, four have turquoise green ribbon trim, and one has no ribbon trim.  The cards are for addresses in the Philadelphia area, New York City, Baltimore, and Vermont.  One card is from the Republican Women of Pennsylvania. 




Harris, Clarissa Van Camp, 1900-1963.

Embroidery silks holder.

Ca. 1920


A narrow volume designed to hold embroidery thread.  It has suede covers; the front cover is decorated with a pine cone (formed by cutting out part of the cover and attaching a piece of orange fabric underneath), pine needles (painted on), and the words Embroidery Silks (stamped, or perhaps burned, onto the suede), with front and back covers tied together.  Stamped on the back cover: Del. Water Gap Pa.  The individual pages, of different colored paper, are folded  to make sections for holding different colored threads.   Skeins of thread are laid into the volume and a few of the skeins still have labels attached.


Condition: many of the pages are starting to part along the fold lines.  Great care must be used if attempting to open these pages.  The volume is overstuffed and must be held gently to avoid stress on the spine.



12x23 – oversize, in map case 2, drawer 8

La Lena, Constance.

“A Sampler of Early American Fabrics”

Grand Junction, Colo.: Sunflower Studio, 1978.


One broadside with descriptions and 24 attached samples of a variety of different kinds of fabrics woven by Constance La Lena and available from the Sunflower Studio.  Included are towcloth, linen, fustian, linsey-woolsey, kersey, ticking, frieze, drill, dimity, baize, serge, corded cotton, shalloon, janes, threaded druggett, calico, dowlas, and others.  These fabrics were the type “imported or woven by Early Americans for their own use.”  The separate price list is missing.


Constance La Lena was a weaver and dyer living in Colorado.  She has written several books about weaving.



12x129.1 (in miscellaneous box 1)


Circa 1850-1900


Bookmark, made from white silk ribbon with green border.  Attached to the ribbon is a piece of perforated paper on which the phrase “Remember Me” has been rendered in cross stitch.




12x129.2a-b (in miscellaneous box 1)

Fabric swatches.

Circa 1887


Two silk fabric swatches found in a Bardwell Anderson & Co. furniture trade catalog of 1887.  One swatch, a black and grey pattern with stripes, is from N.H. Skinner & Co. of Taunton, Mass.  The other swatch, a damask patterned with leaves, is from R.H. White & Co. of Boston.  Both swatches include a tag giving the width and price per yard of the fabrics.




12x129.3 (in miscellaneous box 1)

United Steam Fire Engine Co., No. 3 (Frederick, Md.)


Circa 1878-1900.

Ribbon, printed with the words United S.F.E. Co., No. 3, Frederick, Md.  The ribbon is white silk with red printing, and has gold tassels and braid across the bottom. 


The United Steam Fire Engine Company was formed in 1845, first called the Mechanics Hose Company, and shortly thereafter the United Hose Company.  The fire company, mostly staffed by volunteers, is still in existence.




12x129.4a-b (in miscellaneous box 1)

Wheeler & Wilson Manufacturing Company.

Embroidered butterflies.

Circa 1870-1905.


Wheeler & Wilson was a sewing machine manufacturer. 


Two embroidered butterflies, made from silver, copper, and gold metallic threads on blue fabric, with paper backing, evidently made as advertisements for the Wheeler and Wilson Company.  Embroidered above one butterfly are the names Wheeler and Wilson; an inscription is stamped on the other; it is difficult to read, but the following has been discerned: “This has been done on the new [name of model, difficult to read, perhaps High Aria] Wheeler and Wilson with Automatic Tension.”



12x129.5 (in miscellaneous box 1)


Textile samples.

19th century.


Four brown striped textile samples, numbers 463, 451, 454, 448, on 1 sheet of paper.  “Asst A.G.” is written at the top.



14x11 (in miscellaneous box 4)

F.F. Perret Johannot & Comp.

Manuscripts about silk and satin trade in Lyon, France,



A group of manuscripts about the silk and satin trade, mostly from Lyon, France, 1775- 1782, and undated.  Small fabric samples are attached to the documents, although a number of the samples are now detached.  Many of the samples are solid colors, but there are also woven stripes and floral designs.  Several letters mention the firms F.F. Perret Johannot & Comp. and Johannot & Vallard [or Pallard].   Most of the documents are in French, with one or two in German. 





Wilkinson Upholstery Shop (York, Pa.)

Upholstery fabrics.

1650-1940, bulk 1890-1940.


A collection of old upholstery fabrics and leather collected by Ralph E. Dermota at the Wilkinson Upholstery Shop.  These were removed from seating furniture which had been brought to the shop for repairs or re-upholstering.  Some of the pieces are dated, most from 1890-1940, but one piece is dated 1650, a couple are dated from the 18th century, and others are from the 19th century.  One group of fabrics which was stitched together was noted as being “150 years of fabric choice,” taken from the arm of one piece of furniture.  Another group of fabrics was noted as having been removed from an Empire sofa.  A third group of fabrics was noted as being for the Governor’s Mansion, but these are not dated.  As well as the fabric, there are a few pieces of leather, trim, and upholstery tacks and nails still attached to fabric.


The pieces were stapled onto paper and placed in three-ring binders.  The binders were arbitrarily assigned volume numbers (1, 2, 3), the pages given numbers, and then the fabrics were removed and placed into folders.  The little identifying information which was given, such as date, was transferred to the new folders.  One of the binders originally held “Decorative Vinyls” distributed by John K. Burch Company, and another binder had originally held Naugahyde samples from J.J. Peiger Co.


The Wilkinson Upholstery Shop is in York, Pennsylvania.  Nothing is known about its history.  It  did work for the antiques dealer Joe Kindig III.


Please use caution when handling as most fabrics are brittle.



15x56 (in miscellaneous Box 4)

Sample sheet of black and white laces.

19th century.


Sample sheet no. [1?]7395 containing 4 samples of black and white lace, probably from a French factory.  Although 4 samples, in fact there are only 2 patterns, with variations in color.  The predominate color in all samples is black.  The laces are mounted on a stiff piece of cloth.  Attached at the top is a printed form with the sample sheet number written in, and also Nouv. [printed] 21, 16910.  Because of the heavy weight of the lace, these might have been intended for upholstery use.




16x19 (in miscellaneous Box 1)

Knights Templar (Masonic Order).  Morton Commandery, No. 4 (New York, N.Y.)

Ribbon, 1874, September 1.


White ribbon printed with an emblem of the Knights Templar and the words Morton Commandery, No. 4, K.T., September 1st, 1874.  No information was found to explain this ribbon.  The Morton Commandery participated in a Grand Templar Field Day at Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Sept. 28, 1874, but nothing was found to explain the significance of Sept. 1.


The Morton Commandery of the Knights Templar was established by warrant in August 1823.  It was named after Jacob Morton, a Grand Master of the Knights Templar in the 18th century.     The first officers were William F. Piatt (Grand Commander), Richard Pennell (Generalissimo), and Jared L. Moore (Captain General).


Jacob Morton was involved in New York City government and was a major general in the New York militia during the War of 1812.  He graduated from Princeton and trained as a lawyer but served in municipal offices.  He was married to Catherine Ludlow.




16x56.1           (in miscellaneous box 3)

Differentes phases de la fabrication du “point d’Alençon”

France?, first half of 20th century?


Six steps in the production of Alençon lace, or point d’Alençon.  On a green sheet of stiff paper, the steps shown begin with a pin pricking of the design, the design outlined with thread, and then various stages in filling in the design with several kinds of needle work.  The green paper lies on top of a length of linen, to which the lace designs are adhered with thread, and both these are tacked to a piece of cardboard.


Lace and lace making.

Needlepoint lace.





Embroidery silks holders.

New York, circa 1891-circa 1905.


Two paperback volumes repurposed for use as holders for silk embroidery threads.  The books are an issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine from March 1901 (.3) and a copy of 330 Exercises for Sight-Singing Classes, by W. W. Gilchrist and published in 1891 (.2).  Nothing indicates who collected these threads, although the monogram RHK (with K being a larger letter in the middle) is penciled on the front cover of the magazine.  The threads were packaged for sale by various companies, including M. Heminway & Sons, the Brainerd & Armstrong Co., the New London Wash Silk Co., and Belding Bros. & Co.  One hank of thread has a price tag from B. Altman & Co.


Also laid into the 330 Exercises were the words to two lullabies by Eugene Field written on a sheet of paper and a length of cross stitch embroidery, using waste cloth on top of silk or rayon fabric.  Also laid into Harper’s Magazine was a round embroidered patch.









(Note: this is not an exhaustive list.  Please search the on-line catalog for other documents and collections.  Subject headings to search include Textile fabrics – Sample books; Textile fabrics – Specimens; Sewing – Amateur’s manuals; Sewing – Study and teaching.)


Col. 35

Wilson-Warner-Corbit family papers.


Included in these papers is a silk swatch, with a note that it had been removed from an old curtain hanging in the cathedral in which Christopher Columbus is buried.



Col. 54 (74 x 140)

Zindel, Auguste.

Records, 1825-1902.


The records consist of 90 notebooks, plus one published history of the 19th-century industry in Mulhouse.  The notebooks are divided into a number of distinct series.  There are 12 volumes of dye recipes, tests, and processes for the years 1825-1836; these are entitled "Journal."  There are 22 volumes supplementing the "Journal" and covering the years 1829-1850.  There are 32 volumes of textile samples with dye analyses and recipes for the years 1837-1852; these are entitled "Brouillon."  There are also 16 volumes of an originally 17-volume run entitled "Notes et Observations," dated from 1826-1850.  A one-volume price index dated 1836 is next; then one volume of dye recipes, 1838-1844; two volumes of extracts from professional journals; two volumes describing experiments and tests; and two volumes of notes on variously dated dye recipes, 1821-1831.  Altogether are included an estimated 38,000 fabric swatches.  Most are cotton, some are wool, and some are silk.  Most of the textual material is in French.  Scattered items are in German.


A more detailed description of the contents is available at the repository.



Col. 300 (62 x 14-15)

Maurepas, Jean-Frederic Phelypeaux, Comte de, 1701-1781.

Papers, 1731-1743.


The papers consist of two groups:  reports on English cloth manufacture and the Levant trade (five items) and reports on the possibility of selling cloth from Rouen in Spain and the West Indies (six items).  In the first set of reports (1731), the compiler gives details on four kinds of woolen cloth manufactured in England and how they were marketed in Turkey.  A second set of reports from 1740 discusses French woolens competing successfully with British textiles.  The report also reviews unethical practices in the trade, including underselling and using political connections to further trade.  Sales figures are present.  The fifth document is a letter to Maurepas describing a mission in Turkey by Caylus de Pardaillan.  The second group of papers relates to French efforts to sell textiles in Spain and compete with the British in the textile trade.  Included are 64 swatches of French textiles made in Rouen which closely parallel English goods.  Many were made in imitation of imported Indian silk-and-cotton goods (striped, chevron, checked, and lozenge patterns; floral patterns which required a draw loom; linen and cotton stripes; tobines; and cottons brocaded with floral sprigs in brightly colored wools).  Nine of the swatches are of West of England wools used for clothing by the Spanish.


Indexes:  translation of the report with details of woolen cloth manufacture in the Florence Montgomery Papers, collection 107, at this repository. 



Montgomery, Florence.  Textiles in America, 1650-1870.  New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1984.


Historical French documents of the eighteenth century, from the archive of Jean-Frederic Phelypeaux, Comte de Maurepas, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. (New York, 1962), entries 67 and 72.



Lamontagnue, Roland.  Textiles et documents Maurepas.  Ottawa:  Les editions Lemeac, 1970. 


Montgomery, Florence.  "Maurepas Papers."  Typescript in English of the introductory essay to the Lamontagnue volume.



Col. 325 (61 x 088, 79 x 103)

Trotter, Nathan (1787-1853). 

Papers, ca. 1805-1839.


The collection includes four sheets of samples (as well as other items, not relating to textiles), dating from 1805 to 1810.  One page contains ten textile samples of bearskins and coatings, with numbers and yardages of each.  The second contains 20 samples of fine colored leather, giving the number and name of each color.  The third sheet contains five samples of fine colored leathers, two of which have tiny patterns printed on them.  The fourth contains ten samples of variegated, colored silk with numbers.


Publications:  Tooker, Elva.  Nathan Trotter, Philadelphia Merchant.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955.




Col. 637 (01x51)

Fabric swatches and documents.


A collection containing more than one thousand textile swatches, most dated 1863 or 1872, plus some other miscellaneous documents which relate to textiles, 1833-1874.  Many of the swatches are associated with the Ancona Printing Co. of Gloucester City, New Jersey; the 1863 designs may have been from another textile mill owned by the same person.  Other items in the collection document activities as follows: the Leeds, England, firm of Titley, Tathams & Walker shipped thread to Philadelphia in 1833 and 1874.  Two shipping receipts show that table cloths and other linen fabrics were imported from Belfast, Ireland, by Philadelphia merchants.  In 1843, Eckel, Spangler, & Raiguel of Philadelphia sold a large variety of textiles and clothing accessories to Fry & Rambo.  In 1856, David S. Brown purchased goods from the American Print Works, the items being shipped from Fall River, Massachusetts.  The American Print Works was still in business in 1875, as evidenced by an advertising postcard.  A document filed by the Eddystone Manufacturing Co. of Chester, Pennsylvania, with its insurance company includes a drawing of the buildings, dated March 9, 1885.




Doc. 71 (acc. 82x272)

Swatch book, circa 1860


Consists of 61 swatches of white cloth, ca. 11 x 11 cm., 58 of which are mounted, and all of which contain a single image in reddish inks.  Most of the images are animals or flowers, and are identified (dancing goat, snow drop, anchor) in pencil.  Images may be brush drawings, or perhaps are printed or stamped onto the fabric.  A sheet of paper laid into the volume reads Phila. May 11th 1860; one drawing includes the name Thomas N. Fraiser; there are no other clues as to the origin of this volume.




Doc. 75  (acc. 77 x 152)

Pearce, Muriel.

Sewing exercise book, ca. 1880-1910.


Muriel Pearce's signature appears in pencil at the top of the front cover; she is otherwise unidentified. 


The book consists of a series of 19 different exercises in sewing and mending.  Each includes a handwritten series of instructions, with corresponding finished work attached to the facing page.  Three swatches are also laid in without accompanying instructions.  Work done in muslin and other textiles.



Doc. 100 (acc. 77 x 254)

Lichtenberger, Estella M.

Sewing exercise book, ca. 1890-1910.


Estella ("Stella") M. Lichtenberger was born on 28 February 1881, and lived at least until February 1977.  Her home was in the Decatur, Illinois, area.  She was the daughter of John and Mary Rucker Lichtenberger.


The book consists of an index with "Definitions and Rules," followed by a series of twenty-five different exercises in sewing and mending.  Each exercise includes a handwritten series of instructions and illustrative diagrams, with the corresponding finished work attached to the facing page.  Work has been done on muslin as well as other textiles.



Doc. 1081 (acc. 74 x 19)

Foyer, Rachel Darling.

Sewing exercise book, ca. 1880-1910.


Rachel Darling Foyer lived, according to the inscription on the first page, at 1350 Giel Avenue, Lakewood, [Ohio].  She was married to Albert Foyer, who in 1910 was a salesman but in 1920 was a stockbroker.  They had a son named Philip born around 1916.  Her mother Chloe lived with them for awhile.


The book, written left-handed, consists of a series of 23 graded exercises in sewing and mending.  Each includes a numbered sheet of typed instruction, with the corresponding finished work attached to the  facing page.  Some of the exercises are entitled "doll clothes."  Foyer designates Exercise VI as the "End of First Grade;" Exercise XIII is "End of Second Grade;" Exercise XVI is "End of Third Grade;" and Exercise XXII is "End of Fourth Grade."  It appears that the course was left incomplete because there is only one exercise in the Fifth Grade, and because the last 55 leaves in the volume are blank.



Doc. 1099 (acc. 99x111)

Wood, Dorothy A.

Sewing exercise book, [ca.1900?]


Nothing is known about Dorothy A. Wood.


Consists of 12 different exercises in sewing and mending.  Each exercise includes a handwritten series of instructions with the corresponding finished sample attached to the facing page.  The first three pages list some basic sewing supplies and give some general information about sewing (correct posture for sewing, needed light, how to thread needles, etc.) and fabric.  The samples have been worked on different kinds of cloth.



Doc. 1337 (acc. 03x39)

Krieg, Dorothy (Dora).

Sewing exercise book, ca.1900.


Nothing is known about Dorothy Krieg.  Ernst Steiger, the publisher of Steiger’s Elementary Sewing Designs, was born in Saxony, Germany in 1832.  He emigrated to New York in 1855 and became a book publisher; he also imported items related to the kindergarten system.  He died in 1917.


A school copy book was used for mounting the sewing samples.  The volume is bound with marbled boards and a cloth spine.  The back cover and part of the spine are loose.  The samples are stitched to the pages.  Many of the samples show a little discoloration.  Dorothy wrote her name on the front cover and inside the back cover.  Some other designs are also drawn inside the back cover.



Doc. 1366 (acc. 03x164)

Parrish, Roberta Christine Brinkley, 1924-2007.

Sewing exercise book, ca.1953.


An exercise book (on loose-leaf notebook paper) kept by Roberta Parrish during a sewing class.  The class was probably at the Watkins Institute in Nashville, and was probably taken around 1953.  The notebook contains sections on such subjects as “Contents of the Sewing Box,” “To Take Measurements,” “Block Pattern,” how to make six and eight gored skirts, “The Waist,” how to make various kinds of sleeves, collars, and buttonholes, how to make covered buttons, “Inserting the Zipper,” “Steps in Buying and Making a Dress,” “How to Place a Pattern on Stipped [sic] Material,” “How to Slip-Baste (Top Side)”,  how to do various kinds of fagoting, “Use of Sewing Machine,” “Ric-Rak [sic] Daisy,” “How to Cut a Skirt with One Seam Center Front or Back,” “How to Make a Jabot,” “Lines,” “Gibson Pleats,”  “Princess Pattern,” “The Slip,” and chapters on facings, hems, and bindings.  The chapters are probably not in the original order (for example, not all the sections on fagoting are together).



Doc. 1474 (acc. 06x93)

Baskett, Florence.

Sewing exercise book, ca.1902-1920.


Sewing exercise book includes completed exercises in patching, darning, making plackets and gussets (including gussets for trousers or drawers), gathering, pleating, crafting buttonholes, etc.  The work was done on textile fabrics and some pieces are almost miniature apparel, such as an apron and drawers or trousers.  A paper pattern for a doll size shift or dress is laid into the volume.



Fol. 7 (acc. 89x39)

Weaver’s pattern book, [1825-1860?]


Written entirely in French, this manuscript gives detailed instructions for weaving a variety of textiles.  Written as a book, with chapters and subheadings, it includes diagrams for setting up loom patterns, and well over 100 sample swatches of cloth woven according to the instructions.  A large piece of wallpaper mounted on a piece of American newspaper from 1934 is laid in at the back.



Fol. 251

Textile designs, [ca.1800-1849]


Consists of pencil, pen and ink, and color designs (some done by hand, some printed on paper) for textiles, mounted in a scrapbook.  The patterns appear to be from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, or bear a resemblance to designs of that period.  Some may be cut or traced from other sources.  Types of designs include cashmere patterns for edges of shawls, paisley patterns on tracing paper for loom-woven shawls, floral patterns for dress materials ranging from delicate to the more naturalistic, and geometric patterns in vivid purples and greens.  Although there is no identification, some of the patterns bear a number and one is labeled linen finish.