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Columbian Exposition Quilt

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quilt

QUILT INDEX RECORD

12-8-6361

Object label

Columbia Exposition Quilt
Maker unknown
Malden, Massachusetts
1893
Collection of Michigan State University Museum acc.#2013:90.1

Essay about this quilt.

This is a tied quilt made from souvenir fabric from the Columbian World's Fair 1893. The top is made of three strips. The design repeats every 34". The 34" square motif has the following elements: Upper right corner is a portrait of "George Washington The Father of Our Country"; the upper center is "Chicago 1893" and "Souvenir World's Columbian Exposition"; the upper right corner is a portrait of "S.F.B. Morse Inventor of the Electric Telegraph"; in the center is a view of the fair from Lake Michigan; the lower left corner is "Robert Fulton Inventor of the first Steamboat" the lower center is "Landing of Columbus. 1492."; the lower left is a portrait of "Geo Stephenson Inventor of the Locomotive". Also printed on the panel is "Cochrane's Turkey Red Works Malden, Mass." It is tied with cotton thread.

Who documented this quilt?

Michigan Quilt Project; Michigan State University Museum Collection

Where are the records for this quilt housed?

Michigan State University Museum

Michigan Quilt Project Number:

13.0180

If this quilt is owned by a museum, enter the accession number:

2013:90.1

Quilt's title:

Columbian Exposition Quilt

When was the form filled out?

12/7/2013

If you are the quilt owner, how did you acquire this quilt?

Purchased the quilt

Where the quilt was made, country:

United States

Time period:

1876-1900

When was the quilt finished?

1893

Quilt is presently used as:

Museum collection

This is a:

Finished quilt

How wide is the quilt?

77"

How long is the quilt?

96"

Shape of edge:

Straight

Describe the corners of the quilt:

Straight

What color(s) is the quilt?

Beige or Tan; Brown; Rust

Quilt's condition:

Good/moderate use

Type of inscription:

Multiple Names

Describe the type of inscription:

Company names

What is inscribed on the quilt?

"George Washington The Father of Our Country" "Chicago 1893" "Souvenir World's Columbian Exposition" "S.F.B. Morse Inventor of the Electric Telegrah" "Robert Fulton Inventor of the first Steamboat" "Landing of Columbus. 1492." "Geo Stephenson Inventor of the Locomotive" "Cochrane's Turkey Red Works Malden, Mass."

How was the inscription made?

Printed in the fabric

Describe the quilt's layout:

Wholecloth

Explain quilt setting:

3 strips, the center is 34” wide and includes the whole motif. The left strip is 19”, the right strip is 24”. The vertical repeat is 34”. The 34" square motif has the following elements: Upper right corner is a portrait of "George Washington The Father of Our Country"; the upper center is "Chicago 1893" and "Souvenir World's Columbian Exposition"; the upper right corner is a portrait of "S.F.B. Morse Inventor of the Electric Telegrah"; in the center is a view of the fair from Lake Michigan; the lower left corner is "Robert Fulton Inventor of the first Steamboat" the lower center is "Landing of Columbus. 1492."; the lower left is a portrait of "Geo Stephenson Inventor of the Locomotive". Also printed on the panel is "Cochrane's Turkey Red Works Malden, Mass."

Fiber type(s) used to make the quilt top:

Cotton

Piecing techniques used to make the quilt top:

Machine Piecing

Embellishment used:

Cotton thread

Materials used to make the back:

Cotton

Number of pieces of fabric in the quilt back:

3, same fabric, two strips 34”, one strip 10”.

Materials used in the quilt binding:

Cotton

How wide is the binding (measure the top only)?

Straight grain, turkey red print, front only.

Quilting techniques used:

Tied or tufted

Source of the information on this quilt:

Museum employee

Ownership of this quilt is:

Public- Michigan State University Museum

Quilt owner's name:

Michigan State University Museum

Quilt owner's city:

East Lansing

Quilt owner's county:

Ingham

Quilt owner's state:

Michigan (MI)

Quilt owner's country:

United States

How was this quilt acquired?

Purchase

Access and copyright information:

Restricted

Describe anything about the design of the quilt that wasn't already recorded in a previous field.

This spectacular quilt was made as a souvenir for the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair. Both sides contain the brown and orange print depicting George Washington and 3 famous inventors, and scenes at the Fair. This print, repeated 4 times on each side, has a bird’s-eye view of the fairgrounds, looking inward from the shore of Lake Michigan, surrounded by smaller scenes and portraits of George Washington, Samuel F.B. Morse (inventor of the telegraph), George Stephenson (inventor of the locomotive), and Robert Fulton (inventor of the steamboat). This whole designed is labeled, “Souvenir World’s Columbian Exposition Chicago 1893.” Hidden in the design near Stephenson’s portrait is an advertisement for “Cochrane’s Turkey Red Works, Malden, Mass.” Founded by Alexander Cochrane in the late 1850’s, the Cochrane Chemical Works (also known as the Malden Chemical Company) produced Turkey Red dye for textiles. This quilt might have been made for the Cochrane company, which, likely had an exhibit at the Fair, as there is another quilt with a different Columbian Exposition design, which was also made for Cochrane. One side of the quilt offered here has a dark red border around the edges, no doubt colored with Turkey Red Dye.

Who photographed this quilt?

Courtesy of Early American Auctioneers

Copyright holder:

MSU Board of Trustees

Cite this Quilt

Columbian Exposition Quilt. 1893. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project; Michigan State University Museum Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, https://quiltindex.org/view/?type=fullrec&kid=12-8-6361. Accessed: 08/15/22