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Kitchen Towel, Thursday, Sewing

Object Details

linen fabric, cotton embroidery thread, thread
26 3/4 × 17 3/16 in. (68 × 43.6 cm)
Cite As
Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Theresa Allen
The embroidered design on this linen towel reserves it for kitchen décor rather than for drying dishes. Stitched in cotton thread on a white towel is a woman wearing a blue-and-white striped apron over a yellow dress. She holds fabric flecked with red starbursts unfurling from a gray dress form. The pins in her mouth and on the floor beside a pin box and black scissors also point to sewing, Thursday’s housekeeping task. Behind the dark-haired woman, green leaves grace tree boughs outside an open window trimmed with red gingham curtains. A framed bouquet of blue flowers hangs on the wall. The towel is part of a days-of-the-week set made from a needlecraft kit, a popular creative endeavor in the 1940s, when smaller, single-family homes and new appliances eased the burden of housework for middle-class women. Mary Thompson Ford (1861-1960) was both college-educated and a proud homemaker in Jersey City, NJ. Her daughter Blanche Ford Hart (1897-1992) likely embroidered these towels for use in their family kitchen. An apron and a tablecloth complete the days-of-the-week collection (2008.0002.0006a-g).
Accession Number
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
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