Author Archive

Nov 4, 2017

“Take heede when ye wash”: Laundry at Poplar Forest

Karen E. McIlvoy Who does the laundry in your house? Do you have a machine? According to the most recent statistics, almost 78% of laundry in the US is done by female household members. Today’s modern conveniences allow a single load of laundry to be completely cleaned and dried in about 90 minutes, but laundry […]

Feb 4, 2016

Servant Bells at Poplar Forest

Servant bells, also called house bells, are systems of wire and pulleys that run throughout a building and allow a resident to call for a servant from the far reaches of the building without leaving the room they are in. The earliest record of mounted house bells was in a 1727 inventory of the Great […]

Oct 7, 2016

Blowing Smoke: A Presidential Campaign at Poplar Forest

Anthropomorphic clay tobacco pipes, also sometimes called figural pipes or face pipes, were a popular type of commemorative souvenir in the nineteenth century. Pipe manufacturers often made pipes depicting the faces of famous political and cultural figures including George Washington, Queen Victoria, and Charlotte Bronte among many others. One particularly collectible subset of figural tobacco […]

Nov 3, 2016

Being Fussy Never Tasted So Sweet

It’s time to admit a difficult truth…archaeologists are not perfect. We are not omniscient and the artifacts we recover during excavation are sometimes misidentified. One of the many reasons why we continually reexamine our older archaeological collections is to rectify any gaffes and to reevaluate the data from a fresh perspective. Sometimes, we end up […]