Through the Lens of a Woman: Eva Chichester and Amateur Photography c.1890-1920

 

Eva Chichester was a Sunday School teacher born and raised in Newcastle, County Down c.1872 and passed away c.1955. Her life spanned the end of the 19th century and saw the advances for women from the early 20th century to her death in 1955 aged 83. Eva was born into a well-to-do middle-class family and appears from photographs to be her parents only child. Although it is worthwhile noting that little is known about Eva’s life outside of her photographs, albums and travel journals that are now deposited in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). A systematic problem that is all to common with women’s history that scant details of their lives exist and we are left to pick up the pieces from what records do survive from their lives.

View Post

It’s Vintage Darling! : The Why and How of Building a Vintage Wardrobe.

I have been obsessed with everything old from a young age. Some of my earliest memories are watching such classics as Gilda and How To Marry A Millionaire with my grandmother who grew up in the generation that those films were made in. My grandmother taught me how to pin-curl my hair, give myself a manicure with red nails, how to wear seamed stockings and most importantly for every vintage aficionado how to choose your colour of red lipstick and how to apply it properly.

View Post

Twitter and Instagram: Historians in the Digital Age

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest etc. ever thought of these digital social media platforms as a method of research or public engagement as an historian or museum professional? More and more people in 2019 have social media profiles that highlight their work to a wider, often global audience in a way that people twenty years ago could only dream off. I have and do use Twitter (and soon Instagram) daily to interact with historians across the world and to catch-up on the latest historical research and news whilst also promoting myself as an historian, blogger and curator.

View Post

The Stitches That Made It To The Moon

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s historic Apollo 11 mission to the moon. When Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon, they were wearing state of the art space suits designed by Playtex. Playtex as in the company that pioneered the use of latex in women’s undergarments including girdles and long-line bras. The spacesuits where designed by Playtex and where stitched by female seamstresses who already worked for the company such as Hazel Fellows, Anna Lee Minner, Lillie Elliott and Ruth Anna Ratledge. There is even a somewhat hilarious video of a man wearing an early version of one of the space suits to test out the limitations of the suit itself.

View Post

The Tenement House, Glasgow; A Social History Lover’s Paradise

 

In June I re-visited one of my favourite museums in Scotland; The Tenement House in the West End of Glasgow. The museum was the home of Miss. Agnes Toward (and her mother) from 1911 until 1965 when she entered long-time hospital care before dying in 1972. The Tenement House was sold to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) in the early 1980s and is a microcosm of one woman’s lifetime experiences from the early to mid-twentieth century.

View Post