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"Basketweave" Bread Platter

National Museum of American History

"Battery Wagner the Morning Following the Repulse" sketch from The True Story of Glory Continues

National Museum of American History

"Battery Wagner the Morning Following the Repulse" painted sketch from artist's sketchbook used in the documentary The True Story of Glory Continues. This is part of a set of sketches from "A Swamp Angel's Sketchbook,” which contains concepts for the film Glory.

Glory was the first film to illustrate the involvement of African American soldiers in the Civil War. The film follows the story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the first African American Union regiment organized in the North during the Civil War, and culminates in the Battle at Fort Wagner.

"Battery Wagner the Morning Following the Repulse" sketch in The True Story of Glory Continues

National Museum of American History

"Battery Wagner the Morning Following the Repulse" sketch from artist's sketchbook used in the documentary The True Story of Glory Continues. This sketch depicts three soldiers talking in the foreground viewing the causalities of the battle, with Charlestown shown in the distance. This is part of a set of sketches from "A Swamp Angel's Sketchbook,” which contains concepts for the film Glory.

Glory was the first film to illustrate the involvement of African American soldiers in the Civil War. The film follows the story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the first African American Union regiment organized in the North during the Civil War, and culminates in the Battle at Fort Wagner.

"Battle of Lexington, 19th April, 1775" Engine Panel Painting

National Museum of American History
In the nineteenth century, volunteer fire companies often commissioned paintings to decorate their hand-pumped fire engines for parades, competitions, and community events. Sometimes framed with elaborate carvings, they adorned the tall air chamber located at the middle or rear of a pumper. The paintings would often feature patriotic, heroic, or allegorical images to associate the volunteer companies with these lofty ideals.

This engine panel painting came from the Lexington Fire Engine Company No. 7 of New York City. The volunteer company was active from December 26, 1849 until September 18, 1865. The painting was signed by artist M. Betsch, and was completed around 1849. The painting is the artist’s interpretation of the skirmish between the American militia and British troops on April 19, 1775 on the Lexington Green. This military engagement is characterized as the first battle of the Revolutionary War. The Lexington Fire Company used this painting to link their company to the patriotic deeds of their predecessors. This painting and its companion piece (object 2005.0233.0301) would have adorned the sides of the company’s engine.

"Be Prepared" Patch

National Museum of American History

"Be Prepared" Pin

National Museum of American History

"Beaded Acorn with Leaf Band" Spoon Holder

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Compote

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Eggcup

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Eggcup

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Eggcup

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Eggcup

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Honey Dish

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Nappy

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Spoon Holder

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Sugar Bowl

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Tumbler

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Wine Goblet

National Museum of American History

"Bellflower" Wine Goblet

National Museum of American History

"Benjamin Franklin with a Loaf of Bread" Engine Panel Painting

National Museum of American History
In the nineteenth century, volunteer fire companies often commissioned paintings to decorate their hand-pumped fire engines for parades, competitions, and community events. Sometimes framed with elaborate carvings, they adorned the tall air chamber located at the middle or rear of a pumper. The paintings would often feature patriotic, heroic, or allegorical images to associate the volunteer companies with these lofty ideals.

This fire engine panel came from the Franklin Engine Company No. 12 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that was active as a hand engine company from 1792 until 1863 when it acquired a steam fire engine. It operated as a steam fire engine company until 1871 when Philadelphia’s paid firefighting department was established. The painting “Franklin with Loaf of Bread” is attributed to David Rent Etter and dates to around 1830. The painting depicts the young Benjamin Franklin’s arrival in Philadelphia in 1723. As recounted in his autobiography, he mistakenly bought more bread than he could eat and gave the extra loaves to a poor woman and child. Benjamin Franklin was well known for organizing the first volunteer fire company in Philadelphia, and his image and his name were popular among the city’s fire companies. By invoking Franklin, volunteer firemen linked themselves to the progenitor of their trade, as well as someone who played a key role in the Revolution and securing America’s freedom. This painting and its companion piece (object 2005.0233.0307) would have adorned either side of the company’s engine.

"Benjamin Franklin" Engine Panel Painting

National Museum of American History
In the nineteenth century, volunteer fire companies often commissioned paintings to decorate their hand-pumped fire engines for parades, competitions, and community events. Sometimes framed with elaborate carvings, they adorned the tall air chamber located at the middle or rear of a pumper. The paintings would often feature patriotic, heroic, or allegorical images to associate the volunteer companies with these lofty ideals.

This fire engine panel came from the Franklin Engine Company No. 12 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that was active as a hand engine company from 1792 until 1863 when it acquired a steam fire engine. It operated as a steam fire engine company until 1871 when Philadelphia’s paid firefighting department was established. The painting “Franklin at Desk” is attributed to David Rent Etter and dates to around 1830. The painting depicts Benjamin Franklin’s dictating his memoirs to his grandson. Benjamin Franklin was well known for organizing the first volunteer fire company in Philadelphia, and his image and his name were popular among the city’s fire companies. By invoking Franklin, volunteer firemen linked themselves to the progenitor of their trade, as well as someone who played a key role in the American Revolution. This painting and its companion piece (object 2005.0233.0018) would have adorned either side of the company’s engine.

"Bennington" Pitcher

National Museum of American History

"Betsy Ross / Liberty Bell" printed dress silk, Mallinson's Early American series

National Museum of American History
Length of printed "Vagabond Crepe" (Mallinson trade name). Weft ribbed, crepe fabric woven with silk warp and doupion weft. Printed allover pattern "Betsy Ross-Liberty Bell," one of the "Early American" series. Jagged, rayed "Art Deco" or "Jazz Age" depiction of the Liberty Bell; Thirteen stars with coats of arms in them of the 13 original states; Washington inspecting Betsy Ross's flag; and Independence Hall. Colorway: Light blue ground (fading out in sections to pinkish tone) White reserves, print in black, coral, pink, red. Selvage width; selvage inscription. Judging from drawings by free-lance textile designer Walter Mitschke in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, Mitschke designed this print and several others in the Early American series.

Mallinson's 1929 "Early American" series of printed dress silks was based on historical events and figures that were perceived at the time to consitute a shared American story. It was the last of the company's line of designs based on American themes in which each design was printed in at least seven colors, in several colorways, on three or four different ground cloths. The stock market crash and economic depression that followed made the investment in this kind of design unprofitable.

"Betsy Ross" dress silk, Mallinson's George Washington Biecentennial print series

National Museum of American History
A length of printed pure dye silk crepe. Soft lustrous plain weave fabric, pattern "Betsy Ross" one of the H.R. Mallinson & Co. George Washington Bicentennial prints. All over diagonal novelty stripe: arrangement of stars and stripes of varying widths and sizes in red, beige, and white.
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