Thoughts, musings, events, conservation treatments, fundraising updates, and all else that the staff experiences! Including behind-the-scenes observations from interns and photographs from the Museum's collection.
|Posted by Ashley Beal on August 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
This week has been filled with information but it is also bittersweet. My internship is almost over. But the least I can say is I got a significant amount of work done. I am almost done and should be done by the time everything is all over.
The topic of discussion this week is going to a customer party and dressing up in clothing from the 19th century. There were some pretty looking dresses back then that I would love to wear to a party or ball. The fashion back in the days were so much different than today, but it was cute.
The echo students presented today and it was great. They out together an activity backpack that will engage both kids and parents. I thought it was a great idea to have. They also did a great job presenting to the audience and then channel 12 news. I am extremely proud of the work they were able to do in six weeks.
Until next time, come visit the Barnum Museum and check out the Imagination Station to do all the fun activities.
|Posted by Ashley Beal on August 8, 2014 at 2:05 PM||comments (0)|
This week was filled with excitement. I gave my first tour with an echo student, to two gentlemen. One came to the museum when he was a child and the other never been here before. At the end of the tour, they told us we did a good job. I felt proud that I was able to give a tour to someone and they learn something from it. It was kind of freaky how much information I actually knew on the collection. I guess I am retaining the information I am giving about Barnum and the others. Another exciting thing I did was take photographs of some of the items in the collection. Lavinia’s calling card was the most fascinating thing because it was like the size of a dime. Adrienne, the curator, told me a lot of useful information, which was interesting in itself.
Yesterday was an informative day on fashion and what women would wear during the day, evening, in the house and outside. We, meaning Adrienne, Tova, Melissa and I sat and talked about fashion in the 19th century. It is amazing how fashion went from one thing to another then bounced back to the original. It is as if fashion is a never ending circle.
Until next time fashion is a great topic to talk about, you can learn more than you think from one piece of clothing.
|Posted by Ashley Beal on August 7, 2014 at 10:15 AM||comments (0)|
I’m back and with great news. Well first, my rant about the see through shirts was based off a book I was reading. It doesn’t pertain to Barnum at all. Lol. But to the real news, History Pin is up and running. I think everyone should trek on over and see what Bridgeport used to like look. It was an awesome project to work on and it shall only get better from here. Check out History Pin today!!
In other great news, I have started my research on the miniature circus, so the excitement is shining down on me. Before I can do my own research, I need to search through two huge (and I mean huge) files and take notes on what is already there. This will be my biggest and most time consuming project yet, but I am ready. I have grown fond of research since I started my internship here, so this project will just be another game of fun.
Until next time, research is actually fun. You learn more than you think.
|Posted by Ashley Beal on July 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
The way Barnum advertises is one of a kind. I have found some interesting advertising he had done in old Bridgeport newspapers. I actually like the way in which he advertised. I mean at times he was extending the truth, but for the most part he was using vivid and action words to lure the people in going. And to what we all know he must have done a very good job if he could build three houses. Barnum was a business man. He was about his money.
Now to jump to another topic, I have been looking through this book about clothing in each era and I stumbled upon an era that wore see through shirts. I thought this was quite obscene, because the older generation talks about the way kids dress today, but in the 60s (I believe that was the era) they were wearing SEE THROUGH shirts. Granted clothing today is skimpy, but anyone wouldn’t dare wear a see through shirt. Well I can’t speak for all, but I wouldn’t wear a see through shirt, even if it was a fashion trend. The older generation can’t really say anything about the younger generation’s attire because a lot of it comes from their generations. Clothing is clothing I guess.
Another topic I’m jumping to is the miniature circus. I didn’t get a chance to start any work on it, but the time will surely come. I want to finish the work I have then start on that. The anticipation I am building up, is exciting. I can’t wait till I pull the pieces out and get an understanding of it all.
Until next time, see through shirts were a fashion trend.
|Posted by Ashley Beal on July 23, 2014 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
I’m back and with some awesome news, but first a review of my internship so far. It has been quite awesome. I’ve been able to interact with the collection, learn more about Bridgeport and more about Barnum and his humbugs. I also learned some museum ways, like how to hold and clean off an item. Also, I learned how to catalog an item based off the museum system. There has been a lot to take in, but it is all worth it. I’m happy I am able to intern here because I was able to figure out what I want to do for my career. It was hard for me to chose between forensics and a curator but I ultimately chose curator and as I work up to become a curator I wanted to do museum education, because I notice that if no one is giving the information out to people, then no one will get it. I like talking about things I take pride in; I like telling people about a place they grew up in and my friends appreciate the information because they understand their surrounds that much better. As an overall, the internship has been great and I just can’t wait to learn more.
The good news is that, the website History Pin, I been working on is going great. It is my new thing to do. I put off other work just to research pictures and their backgrounds. I never knew it was so fun. Along the way, I learn more than what the picture offers. Check it out; I have posted a lot of awesome pictures to see what they looked like back in the day and how it looks now.
Until next time, researching information is actually fun and not boring or tedious.
|Posted by Jenny Dressel on July 11, 2014 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
Okay, everyone! This is the moment I'm sure everyone has been waiting for with bated breath. Here are some amazing photographs of some of the young ladies who graduated with the Bridgeport High School class of 1889. The fashion is truly something to behold and would hardly be seen today, especially considering the heat. High collars and perfectly coifed hair was popular. Apparently poofy bangs are a popular fad that skips from century to century. Most of these girls (women?) are unsmiling as was appropriate for a photograph. These truly give a window to the past as we imagine what was going through their heads 125 years ago. Were they planning to go onto more school or settle down and start a family? Were they excited for graudation or dreading it? These are questions you can answer with your own imagination.
Edith Burr Palmer
Phebe Anderson Le Count
Lucy Bettie Josephine (Sunshine) Lockwood
These three young women were prominent in the graduation ceremony. Miss Palmer was the recipient of the Barnum Prize, a prestigious award that was granted as an award for essay writing.
In the 25 June 1889 Bridgeport Daily Standard, the two-column coverage of the graduation went into serious detail. Luckily for us, this means that the program we have can be interpreted. The orations and essays are narrated by the journalist with a play-by-play of each speaker, fully illustrating that night at the Opera House. The Valedictory by Miss Jenny Howe is written word for word. She ends her speech saying,
"If we forgive any little injuries we may think we have received and resolve to persevere in using for the right, the powers which have been developed and trained for our use, remembering where to look for unfailing help, we may hope to look back upon our school days as the happy beginning of lives neither entirely useless nor unhapppy, and God grant us strength to keep our resolves."
With these parting words came an address from the superintendent, Mr. H. M. Harrington, who told the graduating class to learn to think for themselves in order to become successful. "Thinking is hard work, taxing the mind, wearying the mind, wearying the brain and tiring the body, but it yields an abundant fruitage of power."
With the conclusion of the tale of the ceremony came the Graduation Gossip.
"Anything remarkable about your class?" asked a scribe of one of the 'sweet girl' graduates. "Well, I should think there was," she responded, "we have had more fights and quarrels than any other class," and the glitter that came into her eyes caused the reporter to hastily withdraw.
The rest of the column goes on to describe the scandalous events that surrounded this particular class. Seven deaths had occurred since the class entered high school. Three ladies were "unable to withstand the attractions of matrimonial bliss." Thirty had become employed, leading them to leave the school before graduation. One of the biggest points of gossip was what kind of celebration the graduating class would have and they decided on a promenade, of which Edith Palmer and Sunshine Lockwood were some of the hosts. Miss Palmer and Lockwood were both accomplished equestrians and frequented the Barnum boulevard. These shocking tidbits seem hardly shocking today but were apparently serious points of interest back in 1889.
The end of the article reports what each graduate's plans were after school. Many of the young ladies were going to become teachers, stenographers, and one was lucky enough that a "cavalier stands ready to carry her off." The majority of the boys, on the other hand, were ready to enter Yale, Wesleyan, Sterling, or join their father with the family business. While the young men and women were graduating from the same school, their future goals and plans were drastically different.
With the end of the article comes the end of a story. Looking back over a century, we see these lives as simpler while at the time they were being sent into a brand new world with modern technology, views, and expectations.
|Posted by Ashley Beal on July 10, 2014 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
Well hello. Hope everyone’s Fourth of July was awesome despite the rain.
My new favorite thing to do right now is History Pin. History Pin is a site where one can post pictures, videos and audio to the location it came from. Looking at all the other pins and videos gave me a great idea to put together a small video of the Barnum museum and its exhibits to give people a closer look at what they may find. Lately, I been looking up pictures on postcards from the past and posting them up in the location they used to be in. A lot of my attention has been focused on doing this because I love the changes that happened from then to now. My favorite past and present picture is the Barnum Museum. The building looks the same but has its differences.
We welcomed the two new Echo interns this week, on Thursday, which was exciting. They are from my alma mater, Kolbe Cathedral, so it is pretty cool to see kids from my old school doing something. Plus it’s a great opportunity to see how the school is doing and to catch up on how the teachers are now.
Some exciting news for the upcoming weeks is I get to start my research on the mini circus. I can’t wait. I hope I find some interesting things with that.
Until next time, visit our History Pin and see the great pins I posted.
|Posted by Ashley Beal on July 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
My week was cut short because I was ill for numerous days. I am well and ready to get back into my research. I miss the dedication of the stamp that occurred yesterday, but I heard it was a successful event and that everyone loved it.
I am proud to announce my first pin has been pinned on HistoryPin. It is a picture of the inside of the Pleasure Beach Ballroom. It was a tedious yet fun experience. There were a lot of little details to figure out, but the research was quite awesome and I learned more about the Ballroom, then I would if I didn’t research it and just described the picture. All the pictures and postcards I have collected will be up there soon and filled with information on what Bridgeport used to be like and how it is today. Some of the changes are the same in structure and some of the changes one may be astonished.
Now you’re probably wondering what my pet artifact is. Well it’s the miniature circus. Ever since I was a kid and would visit the Museum, the first thing I would talk about is the circus. I knew exactly where it was and I always seem to find something new with it when I saw it. It was like an antique to me. I would make up stories that I thought was happening when I would visit it. Today, it is still my favorite artifact. It gives life when everything is put together and it speaks different stories whenever interpreted by different people. I can’t wait to get started with the mini circus. Hopefully I will find something interesting to tell you all.
Until next time, Happy Birthday Barnum (Saturday, July 5th). How does it feel to be 204 years old?
|Posted by Ashley Beal on July 2, 2014 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
So I am a little late on this post, but the past week has been filled with so much excitement. I know I’m suppose to tell you about my pet artifact, but I have to put that on hold so I can tell you want happen. Pleasure Beach was reopened; so much of my attention was on that and finding more information. I started History Pin up and my first pin was the Steeplechase ballroom on Pleasure Beach. The hard part about the ballroom is that there is absolutely no information on the ballroom. I was able to round up a few details but not much, so I think I have to ask people about their personal experience with the ballroom. The next thing that was amazing was when we went over to the Bridgeport Library and looked through the Microfilm. I was so amazed at all the old newspapers and ads in them. I even found an ad by Mr. Barnum himself. But the key thing I was looking for wasn’t there. That was any type of information on the opening of Pleasure Beach. Jenny and I found one thing that might be an ad for it, but I have to do more research on it. The trip to the library opened my eyes to more resources I can use when researching something. I never knew there was a third floor in the library.
Until next time, just know the Bridgeport library has a third floor.
|Posted by Jenny Dressel on June 27, 2014 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
Yesterday we trekked to the Brigeport Library to look at old newspapers on the microfiches. Ashley and I found some amazing ads and articles but I was mostly concerned with any news about the Bridgeport High School graduation on 24 June 1889. The Bridgeport Daily Standard advertised the graduation on 22 June in the Entertainment section. Tickets were only 25 cents and open to anyone.
The day after the graduation, there was a two-column segment in the paper. This article gives us insight into what graduations 125 years ago were like. While we have the entire program from that night, we could never be completely sure exactly what had happened. Luckily, the article goes into incredible detail about every single moment from the graduation. One of the first paragraphs I found relatively hilarious while insightful.
"The young ladies of the class appeared to good advantage in tasteful white gowns, out in the latest fashion. They seemed easy and self-possessed, though realizing the importance of the occasion. It is a beautiful and inspiring sight to see, year after year, a band of young women and young men stand forth as conquerers of difficulties and tasks that would put a Napoleon to flight. By the training and experiences gained at the Bridgeport High School they are well fitted to comence life's battle in earnest."
What I found most interesting about that paragraph is how the author made graduating high school seem like a heroic feat, whereas now it is seen as a gateway to more school. The differences between how these graduates are perceived and how high school graduates are perceived today is drastic. College was not necessarily an option whereas today almost 70% of high school graduates go onto further education. Ignoring statistics, however, the language of the article is poetic enough to romanticise a high school graduation.