Since the 15th century, people have developed needlepoint samplers to demonstrate or practice their embroidery skills. Developed throughout Europe, the craft traveled come the brand-new World through colonists. The Hershey Story’s artifact collection consists of several samplers from the 18th and also 19th century that demonstrate the craftsmanship that Pennsylvania Germans.

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Until the rise in popular of commercially made clothing, sewing was vital and valuable skill. Not just did women should know how to darn clothing and also linens, however they also marked sheets, pillowcases, and tablecloths v their initials. Girls practiced stitches, patterns, and lettering by do samplers indigenous linen cloth and various colors of silk, wool, or cotton thread. Customary Pennsylvania German sampler motifs contained flowers, topiaries, deer, birds, hearts, houses, and stars. Due to the fact that it was crucial that girl learned and memorized spiritual and ethical verses, these were common additions to samplers as well.

Sampler made by Susan Gish, Hummelstown, PA, 1834

Pennsylvania German girls spent their adolescence perfecting your sewing an abilities for future functions as wife and also mother. They were taught one of two people at home from older, an ext experienced relatives, or in ~ school. Once the designs on samplers are an extremely similar, the is most likely they to be made by girls who had the very same instructor. Yet a sampler can also contain elements that to be very an individual to the maker. Embroidered homes sometimes looked similar to the maker’s own home or the device would incorporate necessary initials into the design, such as those of her parents or siblings.

Nine year old Susan Gish that Hummelstown, Pennsylvania operated the above sampler in 1834. There space floral and also diamond patterns, in addition to vowels stitched in all capitals.

Sampler do by Lydia Speakman, 1784

The earliest sampler in The Hershey Story’s arsenal was made by Lydia Speakman in 1784. The most most likely originates from the Philadelphia area, yet possibly Susquehanna or Chester County. It attributes a flower and also leaf motif throughout, the alphabet in ~ the top, and part of a poem created in 1712 by Joseph Addison, i m sorry says:

“The Lord, mine pasture candlestick prepare, and feed me v a shepherd<‘s>

Care His presence Shall My desires Supply

And security Me through A Watchful Eye

My noon day measures he shall attend and all mine midnight hrs defend,

when in the sultry glebe faint, or top top the thirsty mountain pant,

to abundant vales and dewy meads, my weary wandering steps”

During the 150 years before being added to the museum’s collection, exposure to light and also humidity brought about the towel to yellow and also threads come fade. Few of the discoloration is also the result of unavoidable aging.

Sampler make by Frances Hershey, 1839

Frances Hershey (later McDade) developed this sampler in 1830. Houses, trees, and also dogs were renowned motifs. The saying stitched in ~ the top, spelling below, was one of the most commonly used.

“When i am dead and in my grave

And every my bones are rotten.

When this you see remember me

Lest I should be forgotten”.

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Needlework samplers room not only proof of the importance of a helpful skill, however are tangible web links to the past and, specifically, come the individuals who make them. Each sampler includes unique identifying information about its maker: she name, age, geographic location, and even depictions of vital people and places in her life. The young girl who developed these samplers have, v a needle, thread and a item of fabric, permanently etched their lives into history.

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