The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (METC) in Madison, New Jersey is currently planning its spring/summer 2013 exhibit tentatively titled “The Work of Play.” The exhibit seeks to examine the relationship between trades and leisure time. Historians of early American economics already understand the interdependency of various trades for example the farmer needed the distiller to turn his apples into hard cider so he can transport them to market, the distiller needed the cooper to make the barrels for holding the cider, the cooper required the blacksmith to forge his tools and so on. But rarely do economic historians examine the trades that flourished do to the leisure time of early Americans. For example musical instrument makers were able to support themselves producing instruments for use by the working class at social gatherings, and the middle and upper classes for use at social gatherings and for daughters to demonstrate proper social graces. Ultimately these uses would help to support not only the makers but poet-composers, music teachers and musicians. Taking a topical approach “The Work of Play” will demonstrate these multi-layered connections between the leisure activities of early Americans and the trades they helped to support. While there are many topics which could be covered in such a discussion due to space limitations we have chosen to focus on Toys and Games, Print Culture, Music, Fashion and Taverns. We are looking for articles to include in the accompanying catalog for this exhibit.
Possible Topic Include:
-Early Children’s Board Games
-Children’s Material Culture with a focus on toys and games
-Games played by adults
-American Literature through the Early National Period
-Different uses of music by class, religious sect, geographic region etc.
-Development of American musical instrument manufacturers
-How changes in fashion affected the working classes
-Changing role of the tavern
The METC’s mission is to preserve and educate the public concerning the lives of trades and craftsmen from the colonial period through the nineteenth century with an emphasis on events and personalities in New Jersey. With an extensive collection that includes a variety of nineteenth century children’s games, musical instrument makers’ tools, archival material and more, we are able to offer visitors a variety of interpretations for life in New Jersey prior to the second industrial revolution.
To submit please send an abstract, of no more than 500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1, 2012.
Final selections will be made by the end of October. Articles will be due January 11, 2013. Articles should be approximately 15-20 pages.
Siobhan R. Fitzpatrick
Curator of Collections and Exhibits
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
9 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940
Phone: 973-377-2982 ext. 13
Fax: 973-377-7358 Email: email@example.com
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