Saturday, September 22, 2007


I'm often struck, when I'm at a local history museum, how many fascinating stories, of all types, linger there, unknown and unappreciated, because no one has the time to consider them fully. Recently, at the Walter Elwood Museum in Amsterdam, I came across two boxes related to glovemaking (although not as important as in nearby Gloversville, it was an important city despite Amsterdam being known as Rug City, for all its carpet manufacturing).

In the boxes were beautiful drawings of possible gloves, detailing stitching and cutting, several little journals accounting various ways to make gloves, dozens of patterns for cutting, time sheets, order forms and other materials.

Those two boxes represented a life to me...and what does that have to do with matchmaking? I just wish there was a way to match all those budding historians in graduate school with the great materials in local history collections, so that more of these stories can be fleshed out, and their creators given space in our collective memories (or at least in history journals or other publications.)

Above: glove pattern from

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