Last week two writer friends and I paid a visit to the Strawbery Banke Museum in
Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We were there to check out an exhibit of historical clothing, Thread: Stories of Fashion at Strawbery Banke, 1740-2012, about which you will hear more anon.
The clothing, rather than being displayed in one space, as is usual in such exhibitions, appeared in different houses, depending on which historical period it belonged to. At Strawbery Banke, that covers quite a stretch of time:
“The 10-acre site, with its authentically restored houses and shops,* period gardens, and costumed role players, presents the daily lives of ordinary people who lived here - from Colonial times to World War II, from the mundane to the elegant, from economic boom to war time austerity.”
En route to the 1950s, we paused at the Marden-Abbott Store, whose era is WWII . . . and stayed for a while—yes, my friends are history nerds, too—studying the goods, the signs, the packaging. It was interesting to see how many products we’d still find on grocery shelves today, and how many items have not changed their packaging at all. Though it was before my time, the environment wasn’t unfamiliar. It reminded me of the Mom & Pop stores that used to be much commoner than they are now.
*You can read more about the Heritage Houses at the Strawbery Bank Museum Heritage Houses blog.