Last year, EHF staff worked on a couple of exhibits in the Anderson Store Museum, including the shoe section and the Ladies’ Wing. This winter, our goal was to work with the Store’s garments and fabrics. When it operated as a general store, customers could find a variety of clothes and textiles on the shelves, and other materials could be ordered by catalog for delivery to the Anderson Dock.
If you’ve ever taken a tour of the Anderson Store, you’ve probably heard the story of Miss Lizzie Anderson’s policy on sales. If something didn’t sell in the store, she put it upstairs in the attic rather than sell it at a discount. Years later, when the Ephraim Historical Foundation began operating the Anderson Store Museum, a wide variety of original merchandise in the attic, including clothes, was brought downstairs, allowing for the Store to look much the same today as it did 100 years ago.
One section of the Anderson Store Museum is devoted to garments, fabrics, sewing materials, and accessories like hair pins and gloves. After being washed, we selected some materials to go back on display and others to be safely stored in archival boxes. Limiting the amount on fabric on display minimizes both sun damage and the amount of dust which can become trapped between layers.
One of our more creative challenges was cleaning and determining how to display bolts of fabric. After much experimentation, we created mock bolts with archival materials and a minimal amount of fabric. The fabric on these “bolts” will be much easier to clean than a full bolt, and there is no longer a cardboard core, which would eventually damage the material.
After much cleaning and organizing, the garment section is almost complete, so be sure to stop by the Anderson Store Museum when we open for the season on Friday, June 15, 2018!
-Guest Blogger Emily Irwin