Author Archives: alhfam

The Asiatic Cholera Pandemic of 1832

In many ways the 1830s is a distant mirror of today. A time of promise but also unsettling social, political and technological changes, it, too, faced and survived its own pandemic: the Asiatic cholera, which appeared in the United States in 1832. Continue reading

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Working From Home

Working from home seems like a new challenge, but until about 1850, over half of all families farmed and worked where they lived. In city and countryside alike, the homes of shopkeepers and tradesmen typically corresponded with their places of business as well. More defined gender roles focused the work of most women on the home: gardening, cooking, cleaning, rearing children and a host of other chores, regardless of how male members of the household earned a living. The accelerating industrial and commercial revolutions of the early 19th century did draw more labor outside of the home, but it also increased the economic output of households. People sought ways to earn money to buy the myriad of luxuries-becoming-necessities that flooded the expanding marketplace. Some households sewed ready-made clothing or turned out parts for chairs. Others, like the real-life Freeman and Bixby families, saw farm wives and their daughters make surplus butter and cheese for distant markets, braid straw or weave palm leaves for hats, and sew shoe uppers, while their menfolk farmed, made shoes, and followed traditional trades within sight of home, all contributing to an expanding economy. Working from home was just everyday life. Continue reading

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Yellow Fever: Savannah’s Dreadful Pestilence

With the concerns today over Covid 19 what can we learn about past epidemics? Read excerpts from a past proceedings over yellow fever epidemics. What will the future think of this pandemic? Continue reading

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The Challenges of Portraying a Famous Person

First person interpretation can be very challenging, but portraying a famous person can be a minefield. Learn more about Ron Carnegie’s approach to portraying George Washington Continue reading

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Skills Training: Plowing Workshop

Since I began working for the Oklahoma Historical Society, Tillers International has been on my bucket list of places to visit. When ALHFAM announced the first STP (Skills, Training, and Preservation) plowing workshop was going to be held at Tillers … Continue reading

Posted in Agricultural Museum, Education, Historic Farming, Skill Training and Preservation, Uncategorized, Workshops | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

I was told if you want to attract a crowd, make some noise.

The pfut-pfut-pfut of the tractor engine, the slapping belt, the clacks and rattles of the thresher did draw some people to the fence of the show ring at the fairgrounds. The public, ready for the sensory appeal of carnival rides, … Continue reading

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It Takes A Village

Hopefully by now word of ALHFAM’s Skill Training and Preservation initiative (STP) has permeated the living history community, arousing interest. For some it may also have raised questions. What is being preserved and why? What infrastructure is needed at our … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Living History, Material Culture, Skill Training and Preservation, Uncategorized | 1 Comment