Source List for 18cWoman

This page lists sources mentioned on the 18cWoman email discussion list, with bibliographic information, descriptions, and suggestions on where to find the sources. For more information about the source list and how to send me submissions, see About the 18cWoman Source List.

In my Copious Free Time, if I ever get any, I intend to reorganize the source list so that you can list and search for items by author, title, content, etc., etc. In the meantime, the organization is pretty primitive, but you can still get a lot out of it just using the search command in your Web browser.

Comments on this page and suggestions for how to improve it are welcome. Send me email at Sue Felshin <>.



Also try searching the source list for keywords such as "loyalist", draught (i.e., scale draughts of garment artifacts), etc.

Recommended for young people.
Reprint of a diary, or based on a diary, or letters.
Core costume library for the RevWar reenactor interested in producing costumes based on primary documentation. These books are mentioned again and again on the 18cWoman list. They are either seminal works and/or contain careful reproductions of original artifacts. I welcome comments on suggestions for additions to or deletions from this list.


Books and articles

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Adair, Douglass and John A. Schutz, editors. Peter Oliver's Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion: A Tory View. San Marino, Cal.: Huntington Library, 1961.
Heartily recommended for a Loyalist Boston man's view of Revolutionary politics. It's worth tracking down through libraries and used-book dealers.
Peter Oliver was the last royally appointed Chief Justice of Massachusetts. His brother Andrew was Lieutenant Governor. They were both related by marriage to Governor Thomas Hutchinson. Together the three were lambasted as a royalist cabal by the Whigs.
As a Loyalist in exile in England, Oliver was highly motivated to write down every nasty and embarrassing rumor about the New England Whigs that he could gather. As outlandish as those remarks are, many are actually very difficult to refute. And even if such a politically biased book has to be read with a grain of salt, it's a fun read, short, witty, and colorful. Most valuably, this is the record of a real Loyalist who had a front-row seat for the turmoil in Massachusetts and wrote just at the end of the war. --J. L. Bell
Some passages relate to women's political actions and inactions (homespun, pseudo-boycotts of tea).

Andrews, Evangeline Walker (editor), with Charles McLean Andrews). Journal of a Lady of Quality; Being the Narrative of a Journey from Scotland to the West Indies, North Carolina, and Portugal, in the years 1774 to 1776. Text on line at the Out-of-Print Bookshelf of the Colonial Records Project of the Department of Cultural Resources of the North Carolina Office of Archives & History.

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen's Dresses and their Construction, c. 1660-1860. New York : Drama Book Specialists, 1972, ISBN 0-89676-026-X. London : MacMillan, 1972.
Sketches and draughts of patterns for assorted lady's garments from 1660-1860, with preface on tailoring during the period and appendix on reproducing garments. Draughts are meticulously researched and drawn. One of the best, if not the best, source for patterns for 18th century lady's garments. Examples are drawn from fine garments preserved in museums and private collections; no lower class garments are included, although some draughts can be adapted to lower their class. Note that draughts are from original garments and must be scaled up and fitted to the individual before use; also draughts contain oddities peculiar to the extant garment (e.g., Arnold draws the exact placement of pleats in a petticoat, but it may be equally authentic to reproduce the garments with pleats placed slightly differently). --Sue Felshin
Note: the above review was written before the publication of Costume Close Up and Fitting and Proper which offer equally well researched draughts and cover different costumes. --Sue Felshin
Generally available for sale, e.g., from assorted sutlers,, etc. Available in some libraries.

Ashelford, Jane. The Art of Dress, Clothes and Society. A British National Trust book, published by National Trust Enterprises, Ltd., and available in the states from Harry N. Abrams, Inc., NY.
This is color photographs of period portraiture and surviving originals, with lots of commentary and documentation. Covers a rather long time span in its 320 hardbound pages, from 1500 to 1914, with a chapter on Children's Clothes and Clothes for Servants. Good pictures, good text...lots of both. I liked it! --Dianne Tidy
Contains assorted pictures of women in riding habits. See the 18cWoman archives circa Tue, 16 Nov 1999.
Contains color picture of cherry and white stripe silk sack with button front compère, also in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1.

Bailey, Colin B. Jean-Baptiste Greuze: The Laundress. Getty Museum Studies in Art, 2000. 88 pages.
About the Greuze painting The Laundress (available on line at the Getty). Contains 8 short essays about the painting including: The Maidservant's changing Role in French Genre Painting; Chardin's Cabinet Paintings and Other Influences on Greuze; Greuze's Naturalism and the Genre Poissard; The Female Domestic as Seductress and, The Brutal Business of Laundering Linen.

Bain, Priscilla. First Catch Your Hare: The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. Prospect Books, facsimile edition of Hannah Glasse's 1747 cookbook The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 19 Nov 2004, paperback, ISBN-10 1903018374, ISBN-13 978-1903018378.

Barratt, Carrie Rebora, ed., et al. John Singleton Copley in America. Metropolitan Museum of Art; ISBN 0810964929. 1995.
Many of Copley's works well-reproduced, with essays and commentary. Still available at some historical site bookshops. Also try museum and ordinary bookshops, libraries, and interlibrary loan.

Barratt, Carrie Rebora. John Singleton Copley and Margaret Kemble Gage: Turkish Fashion in 18th-Century America. 1998.
Available from the Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, CA; maybe also from Amazon.
The author writes: "On occasion, presumably with a willing and complicit, or inspirational, client, Copley dressed his sitters in bold and fantastic costumes. Prints helped him in this regard and showed him the way to dress his female sitters as if they were on their way to a masked ball: as shepherdesses, as Rubens's wife (a favorite character), as classical maidens, as Van Dykean mistresses, and as Turkish sultanas. Yet this charade was carried out only on canvas, for the sitters lived in a culture where such affairs were unavailable." (p.25)

Bartlett, Virginia K. Keeping House: Women's Lives in Western Pennsylvania 1790-1850. University of Pittsburg Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8229-3854-5.

Bassett, Lynne. 'A Dull Business Alone': Cooperative Quilting in New England, 1750-1850. In the 1999 Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (Boston University Press, 2001)

Bassett, Lynne Z. & Jack Larkin. Northern Comfort: New England's Early Quilts: 1780-1850: From the Collection of Old Sturbridge Village. 1998. ISBN 1-55853-655-8, 118 pages.

Baumgarten, Linda. Eighteenth Century Clothing at Williamsburg. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1986, ISBN 0-87935-109-8.

Baumgarten, Linda, et al. Costume Close Up. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2000. Paperback, ISBN 0896762262. Hardcover, ISBN 0879351888.
Draughts of garment artifacts in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg, accompanied by commentary on the artifacts and explanations of details of 18th century dressmaking and tailoring (fit, construction, stitches, etc., etc.).
According to, the full title of the paperback is Costume Close Up: Pattern & Construction of Antique Clothing 1750-1790; the hardback is Costume Close-Up: Clothing Construction and Pattern, 1750-1790.
On-line catalog:

Baumgarten, Linda. What clothes reveal : the language of clothing in colonial and federal America : the Colonial Williamsburg Collection. Williamsburg, Va. : Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in association with Yale University Press, New Haven, 2002.
An associated exhibit "The Language of Clothing" is on display at the DeWitt Wallace Museum in Colonial Williamsburg through, er, spring of 2004 I think. Go see it; it's wonderful! --Sue Felshin

Baumgarten, Linda. Plains, Plaid, and Cotton: Woolens for Slave Clothing. In Ars Textrina.
An excellent article ... The Latrobe sketch of 1798 in the collection of Maryland Historical Society shows 2 women field slaves in jacket/petticoat outfits with no stays -- the best visual image for this important group of society. --Sally Queen.

Beal, Joan C. English in Modern Times, 1700-1945. London: Arnold, 2004, ISBN 0340761172.
While it mainly covers England's English, the book does have some good bits on pronunciation in the 18th century, the development of Standard English, and a bibliography that had me wishing for a research library. Ms. Beal's previous book was English Pronunciation in the 18th Century: Thomas Spence's Grand Repository of the English Language (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999 ISBN 0198237812), which I have not seen (but wish I had). --Amy Coddington

Beales, Jr., Ross W. Nursing and Weaning in an Eighteenth-Century New England Household. In Families and Children, Peter Benes and Jane Montague Benes, editors. Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, Annual Proceedings 1985. Boston: Boston University, 1987.
Contrary to the reading of the same diary by an earlier scholar, Rose Lockwood (whose study I haven't read), Beales doesn't see evidence for wet nurses in this household. Rather, spinsters or widows stayed with the Parkmans as nurses for 21 to 51 days. The times between the birth and the mother's return to meeting ranged from 26 to 76 days. I don't see anything stated about the first solid foods. The great majority of recorded weanings from breast milk were between twelve and eighteen months. The earliest was the result of the mother's medical emergency, and one child was weaned so Parkman himself could have the benefit of his wife's breast milk in an illness. Weaning usually involved putting the child in the care of a neighbor woman or an older sister for a while. --J. L. Bell

Beall, Karen. Cries & Itinerant Trades : a Bibliography. Detroit Gale Research, Incorporated, 1979.
In this book you can search for street criers by country. The history of street crier images from each country is discussed from the earliest up to the 20th century. Many images are included to provide a sampling of the pictures from some sets of street criers and others are simply listed. The problem with this book is that it is very hard to find. One library in Chicago has it but it is for reference only. --Paul Dickfoss

Bean, Susan. Bandanna: On the Indian Origins of an All-American Textile. In Textiles in Early New England: Design, Production, and Consumption, The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Annual Proceedings 1997, Boston University Press, 1999.

Beck, Thomasina. Embroidered Gardens. Viking/Studio Book, NY, 1979.
[Contains instructions for knotting.] --Barbara Delorey
Contains instructions for knotting, but the instructions aren't really very good: one of the diagrams is drawn incorrectly, and the instructions aren't based on period sources. It contains almost nothing in the way of documentation of knotting in the 18th century; I find Scheuer & Maeders's annotated reproduction of Saint Aubin's Art of the Embroiderer more useful, even with what little it contains on knotting.

Beckman, Jane G. First Aid for the Corseted. Living History Magazine, Volume 2, Number 4, 1986.
Excerpt: "Removing a corset: Never suddenly unlace a corset that has been worn for some time. ... First loosen it. ... Otherwise, especially if the weather is hot the lady may get 'corset rush' and pass out. This is because the blood suddenly floods into the compressed tissues, momentarily diverting it from other uses, such as feeding the brain. If you must cut a knotted one, cut only at the knot, and loosen normally before removing. Medical emergencies involving the corseted: If a lady becomes ill and sick to her stomach while wearing a corset, take her to the restroom immediately. Remove the corset...if she is actively being ill...remove it speedily but not suddenly. Time the corset removal so that it happens between stomach contractions, lessening the danger of choking, should she gasp for air."

Belsey, Hugh. Gainsborough's beautiful Mrs. Graham. Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland, 2003, ISBN 1903278384.
A study of Gainsborough's painting The Hon. Mrs. Graham. (One painting of the Hon. Mrs. Graham may be viewed on the Web at the National Gallery of Art and at Olga's Gallery, and another painting at at CGFA and at Olga's Gallery.)

Benes, Peter, ed. Early American Probate Inventories Boston University Press, Boston, MA, 1989.
Contains Hawley's The Meaning of Absence: Household Inventories in Surrey County, Virginia, 1690-1715 and Ward's Women's Property and Family Continuity in Eighteenth Century Connecticut.

Bennett, Anna Grey. Unfolding Beauty - The Art of The Fan. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1988.

Blackburn, Roderic, and Ruth Piwonka. Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America 1609-1776. Albany, NY: Albany Institute of History & Art, 1988, ISBN 0-039072-06-8.
Documentation of sleeve links (cuff links) on pages 171, 189, 227, 228, and 231.

Blackman Callie. Walking Amazons: The Development of the Riding Habit in England During the Eighteenth Century. In Costume, Vol 35, 2001.

Blum, Stella. Eighteenth Century French Fashion Plates In Full Color, 1778-1787. Dover, New York, 1982.
At least one plate shows a polonaise jacket.

Boback, John M. Indian Warfare, Household Competency, and the Settlement of the Western Virgina Frontier, 1749 to 1794. Ph.D. dissertation, West Virginia University, 2007. PDF version.
Excerpts from abstract:
... Indian-related violence and warfare had a profound influence on the duration and nature of the frontier experience of those men and women who settled in the western Virgia backcountry between 1749 and 1794. Recurrent attacks by Shawnees, Delawares, Mingos, and Indians from the Great Lakes region caused such widespread death, destruction, and depopulation that it prolonged the period of austere and difficult living conditions for over forty years. This conclusion contradicts the assertions of some recent schoars who have argued that crude living conditions lasted for only a year or two on the Appalachian frontier, and that economic conditions improved rapidly. While this may have been the case in some sub-regions of Appalachia ..., this was not the case in trans-Allegheny "West Virginia." ... By using "competency" as a model for understanding household economics, it is demostrated that although many settlers embraced the commercial ecomony when possible, the rigors of life on the oftentimes-violent frontier frequently left them no option but to shift their focus of their household production away from commercial production in favor of subsistence activities.

Bogdonoff, Nancy Dick. Handwoven Textiles of Early New England: The Legacy of a Rural People 1640 - 1880. Stackpole, Harrisburg PA, 1975.
Great schematic diagrams of bedfurnishings and construction details. [This book and Cummings' Bed Hangings] may be hard to find, but they'll be worth it. Pursue them through interlibrary loan. --Sharon Burnston

Bowles and Carver (publs). The Catchpenny Prints: 163 Popular Engravings from the Eighteenth Century. Reprinted by Dover Books.
The engravings were originally published in London in the late 1780s and early 1790s. Now published under the name Old English Cuts and Illustrations for Artists and Craftspeople (see next entry).

Bowles and Carver. Old English Cuts and Illustrations for Artists and Craftspeople. Dover Books, ISBN: 0-486-22569-0.
Available at Dover Books.
A good source of many 'short' gowns [gowns which are shorter than full length -SF]. It is a collection of 'Catchpenny' prints offered throughout the 18c. There are numerous prints showing what looks like a 'shortened gown'. It seems to me that the rural women are wearing them, not the fashionable townies. --Deb Peterson

Boyle, Joseph Lee. From Redcoat to Rebel: the Thomas Sullivan Journal. Heritage Books, Inc., 1997, ISBN 0-7884-0744-9.
Mentions "iron boilers".

Bradfield, Nancy. Costume in Detail, 1730-1930. Harrap (1968), ISBN: 0245593209.

Bradfield, Nancy. 900 Years of English Costume. Crescent Books, 1987. ISBN 0-517-61670-X.
Originally published in 1938 under the title Historical Costumes of England 1066-1968. The 1987 copy is revised and reset, with additional illustrations. The illustrations are wonderful line drawings, the text is annotated with complete descriptions, colors, fabrics, etc. A valuable quick reference. --Barbara Delorey

Brawer, Nicholas A. British Campaign Furniture : Elegance Under Canvas, 1740-1914. ISBN: 0810957116
Mostly later, but some 18c.

Brebner, John A. (compiled by). Desertions, Elopements and Escapes, Volume 1: Personal descriptions of Scottish folk extracted from the Aberdeen Journal 1765-1800. 2003. ISBN 0-9732381-0-0. Available from

Breen, T. H. An Empire of Goods: The Anglicization of Colonial America, 1690 - 1776. Journal of British Studies, V. 25, No. 4, pp. 467-499.

Breen, T. H. Narrative of Commerical Life: Consumption, Ideology and Community on the Eve of the American Revolution. William & Mary Qtrly, 3d Ser., V. 50, No. 3, pp. 471-501.

Brilliant, Richard. Facing the New World, Jewish Portraits in Colonial and Federal America. Prestel: New York, 1997.
Produced as part of an exhibit proposed by the American Jewish Historical Society and sponsored by The Jewish Museum of New York in 1997. The exhibit also traveled to the Maryland Historical Society in 1998. The book/catalog is prefaced by essays from the author and by Ellen Smith, Curator of the American Jewish Historical Society. Portraits were gathered from both public and private collections and each is accompanied by a short biography. The book also includes a chronology of "Highlights of Early American Jewish History, 1585-1839", a map indicating Jewish communities established by 1776, population tables, genealogical charts of prominent Jewish families, and a selected bibliography of early American Jewish history. I did not view the exhibit but have enjoyed studying the protraits, many of them very familiar as having been painted by noted artists such as Duyckinck, Wollaston, Earl, Rembrandt Peale and Sully. --Joyce McDonald

Brown, Charlotte. The Journal of Charlotte Brown, Matron of the General Hospital, with the English Forces in America, 1754-1756. In Isabel M. Calder, Colonial Captivities, Marches and Journeys (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, Inc., 1935; reprinted 1967), 169-198.

Brown, Jennifer S. H. Strangers in Blood : Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country. University of British Columbia, 1980, ISBN: 0-7748-0125-5.
Social history of families in the Canadian fur trade in the 18th & 19th centuries. Available from as of March 2001 (University of Oklahoma Press).
One of the two 'must read' books for those interested in women of the fur trade. In the 18th century, all fur trade women were Native or Metis (i.e., half-breed). Lots of fascinating genealogical information. Describes the different interpretations of the validity of the "blanket marriage" to the non-European "country wives" in more depth than Van Kirk. --Angela Gottfred

Brown, Kathleen M. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, & Anxious Patriarchs. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1996.

Brown, William L., III. Thoughts on Men's Shirts in America, 1750-1900. Gettysburg, PA : Thomas Publications, 1999.
As a general resource I find the book very useful; however, only four of the 19 shirts date to the 18th C, and of those only one is dated as early as 1760. The others are 1790-1820. He also includes smocks/frocks and overshirts, (19th C) and nightshirts (one dated 1750-1800).
The construction of each item is detailed with text (including provenance if known), photos and measured pattern drawings. Most of the earlier shirts are common rather than fine. Brown divides the shirts into two groups: the square cut pattern shirt of 1750-1860 and the French pattern, or fitted shirt which dates from 1850-1900. There are short introductory chapters which discuss the evolution of each type and contemporary paintings and sketches which illustrate how the shirts were worn.
The appendix reproduces shirt construction instructions from The Workwoman's Guide. There is a bibliography which includes many standard works on clothing (at least one which has been discredited on this List) and a very short glossary (with rather elementary terms like gusset, selvage, warp and woof).
--Joyce McDonald

Browne, Clare and Jennifer Wearden. Samplers from the Victoria & Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1999, ISBN 1-85177-309-6.

Buck, Anne. Clothes and the Child: A Handbook of Children's Dress in England, 1500-1900. New York : Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc., 1996, ISBN 0-8419-1371-4.

Part of the core costume library for people who are interested in children's clothing.

Buck, Anne. Dress in Eighteenth Century England. New York : Holmes & Meier, 1979, ISBN 0-8419-0517-7.
Try used book stores.
She actually mentions my people, the poor! --Kate Johnson

Buel, Joy Day & Richard, Jr. The Way of Duty: A Woman & Her Family in Revolutionary America. ISBN 0-393-31210-0.
The correspondance of Mary Fish which illuminates her life/times as a woman of her time, lots of stuff about having babies, raising them, the heartaches therein, death and remarriages, etc. as well as how the war impacted family life. --Victoria Hathaway
Middle section made into quite a good TV movie under the title Mary Silliman's War. --Sue Felshin

Burnard, Joyce. Chintz and Cotton: India's Textile Gift to the World. Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst NSW, 1994.
Addresses development of paisley. See the 18cWoman archives circa 16 Aug 2001.

Burnham, Harold B. and Dorothy K. Keep Me Warm One Night: Early Handweaving in Eastern Canada. University of Toronto Press, 1972.
This whole book is wonderful, and was still in print about five years ago. On pages 50 and 51 are pictures of two box looms held by the Royal Ontario Museum. Unfortunately for the 18th Century Women - one dates to mid-19th century and the other merely to 19th century. Frankly, the late date is surprising to me, as I thought they went out of use with the increasing use of cotton instead of linen. --Judy McPherson

Burnston, Sharon Ann. Babies in the Well: An Underground Insight into Deviant Behavior in 18th Century Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, v. 102 #2, 1982.
Check university libraries.
The remains of two infants were interred in a sealed deposit of household trash used to fill an abandoned privy pit on the 100 block of Pine St, Phila, ca. 1760-85, which was excavated in 1973-4. The trash deposit was a rich one, with examples of some of the finest English ceramics ever made, and recovery included pins, dress hooks, fruit seeds, and over 11,000 pieces of animal bone. Fifty two bones turned out to be the remains of two neonates, one a full term and the other of about 7 months gestation. The results of this examination became the author's masters thesis; this article is a revised version. Extensive research, exploring all conceivable possible scenarios, led the author to conclude that the most likely explanation was infanticide, probably associated with illegitimacy. The research included medical, criminal and legal records, birth and death records, burial records, midwifery practices, Guardians of the Poor records, demographic questions and socio-economic issues.

Burnston, Sharon Ann. Fitting and Proper. Scurlock Publishing Co., RR 5, Box 347M, Texarkana TX 75503, 1-800-228-6389; hardback edition, 1998, ISBN 1-880655-08-X, out of print (?); paperback edition, March 2000, ISBN 1880655101.
Describes assorted costumes in the collections of the Chester County HIstorical Society, with draughts. Often referred to on 18cWoman as "F&P". --Sue Felshin
The clothing examined in it is specific to Chester County, PA and much of it is of Quaker provenance, so you'll need to take that into consideration. Do not, however, let that put you off. There's nothing tremendously outrageous or out of the ordinary (there is a beautiful gown worn believed to have been worn by a bride and two totally different and interesting banyans, as well as a boy's first breeches and coat worn by a distant relative of mine); the clothes were owned by individuals from varying socioeconomic levels and, except for those garments specifically identified as relating to the late 18th century/early 19th century withdrawal of Quakers from general society, they are representative of what average people were wearing during the 18th century. The garments are from a collection that does not often see the light of day and if for no other reason than that, it's a great reference. This is a fine book, well-researched, and worth every penny! --Karen Mullian (See also Mullian's complete book review.)

Burnston, Sharon Ann. An Analysis of A Eighteenth Century Woman's Quilted Waistcoat. In Historic Fashions by, 2001. At Sharon Ann Burnston: "At Home" in the Eighteenth Century.

Burnston, Sharon Ann. What's in a Pocket?. In Historic New England, v. 1 #4, Spring 2001, pp.6-8. Available online at SPNEA.

Bush, Nancy. Folk Socks. Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press.
Has very clear illustrations of sock heels. --Carol Kocian

Callcott, Margaret Law (editor). Mistress of Riversdale. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.
Edited and translated letters of Rosalie Stier (wife of George Calvert) to her European family. She had 9 children, 5 of whom survived to adulthood, and she lived at Riversdale from 1803 until her death in 1821. The family estate was 729 acres to start (the family bought more land through the years), in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Calloway, Colin G. The Scratch of the Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of America. Oxford Press, 2006.

Carlisle, Elizabeth Pendergast. Earthbound and Heavenbent: Elizabeth Porter Phelps and Life at Forty Acres, 1747-1817. New York: Scribner, 2004; ISBN 0-7432-4440-0.
(sort of)
Biography of a Puritan woman of prosperous family in Hadley, Massachusetts, based largely on her diary and correspondence, but with few quotations from her writings.

Carr, Lois Green and Lorena S. Walsh. The Standard of Living in the Colonia Chesapeake. William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser., Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 135-159.

Carter II, Edward C., John C. Van Horne, and Chas. E. Brownell, editors. Latrobe's View of America, 1795-1820. Yale University Press, 1985.
The Latrobe sketch of 1798 in the collection of Maryland Historical Society shows 2 women field slaves in jacket/petticoat outfits with no stays -- the best visual image for this important group of society. --Sally Queen
It's a fascinating book I've mentioned here before--a great lot of paintings of working class people of every stripe, from Philadelphia to the South to Louisiana, including several of slaves. The women are wearing matched pale blue jackets and petticoats--I believe I've read somewhere that slaves were often dressed in matching components since it was cheaper that way. I highly recommend finding this book, secondhand or through inter-library loan. --Kate Johnson

Chapman, Caroline and Jane Dormer. Elizabeth and Georgiana: the Duke of Devonshire and his two Duchesses. John Wiley & Sons, 2002.

Chapman, Suzanne E. Historic Floral and Animal Designs for Embroiderers and Craftsmen. Dover, 1978, ISBN 0486235262.

Chodowiecki, Daniel. Die Reise von Berlin nach Danzig. Das Tagebuch. Die Bilder. Langen-Müller, Mchn., 1996, ISBN 3784426190. In German.
[This book] is a pictorial journal he kept in (I think) 1773 of a trip from... natch...Berlin to Danzig. It's really interesting material-culture-wise but really low on female drawings which I found disappointing. --Nancy Watt

Clabburn, Pamela, OBE. The Needleworker's Dictionary. William Morrow & Co., Inc., New York, 1976.
Addresses development of paisley. See the 18cWoman archives circa 16 Aug 2001.

Cleary, Patricia. Elizabeth Murray: A Woman's Pursuit of Independence in Eighteenth-Century America (Amherst : U of MA Press, 2000).
Page 121 contains a quotation from Murray's letter to her friend Christian Barnes, 4 Dec 1769, describing how she changed her hairstyle on arriving in London from Boston.

Cohn, Scotti. Liberty's children: stories of eleven Revolutionary War children. Globe Pequot Press, c. 2004.

Collingwood, Peter. The Techniques of Sprang, Plaiting on Stretched Threads. Hardcover edition: New York : Watson-Guptill, 1974. Paperback edition: The Lyons Press, ISBN 1558219676.
[This book] is back in print. I just ordered it through Barnes and Nobel. Believe it or not the hard cover is cheaper than the paper back. I ordered the hard cover but will have to wait 4 weeks for it, but the savings was worth it. I think I saved about $12.00. --Cindy Gorin
Washington's sash is on illustration 67 in the back of the book. This has really good instructions on how to do it. A full gazillion diagrams of how to hold each thread and where to put them next. VERY thorough text. --Kate Henry

Cometti, Elizabeth, editor. The American Journals of Lt John Enys. The Adirondack Museum. Syracuse University Press, 1976, ISBN0-8156-0121-2.
Officer's sash shown in illus 3, across from page xxxv in the introduction. Caption: Sword presented to Lt. Col. John Enys by his fellow officers upon his retirement from the 29th Regiment of Foot. --Kate Henry

Copeland, Peter. Working Dress In Colonial and Revolutionary America. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977.

Corson, Richard. Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years. Reprint published 2001, ISBN 0720610931.
Cover quote: "The definitive text on hair fashions through the ages, now brought up to the present day by the well-known fashion historian Caroline Cox, Fashions in Hair is an essential work of reference for historians of fashion, theatrical designers, hair artists, illustrators, and anyone else interested in the changing fashions in hair."

Crowston, Clare Haru. Fabricating Women, the Seamstresses of Old Regime France, 1675–1791. Univ. Duke Press, 2001.

Cummings, Abbott Lowell. Bed Hangings: A treatise on fabrics & styles in the curtaining of beds 1650-1850. Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Boston, 1961. Second printing 1969. With essays by Nina Fletcher Little and introduction by Jane C. Nylander (second edition only?).
Good set of definitions and many photos of original bed hangings. [This book and Bogdonoff's Handwoven Textiles of Early New England] may be hard to find, but they'll be worth it. Pursue them through interlibrary loan. --Sharon Burnston
Second edition available from Historic New England (formerly SPNEA).

Cummins, Genevieve E. and Nerylla D. Taunton. Chatelaines: Utility to Glorious Extravagance. Antique Collectors' Club, October 1994, hardcover: 312 pages, ISBN-10: 1851492062 ISBN-13: 978-1851492060.
"Chatelaine" is a 19c term; the 18c term was "equipage".
Many lovely photos of examples of all types, plain and fancy. See p. 59: "During the 18th century it was not uncommon for items for daily use to be attached by a ribbon to the waist." P. 191: the fancy tools "are more likely for show and comply with the original meaning of the word 'toy'—an exquisite trifle." And, "Reels attached to a waist-hook for holding balls of thread (now known as spool knaves) were popular in the 18th century." --Sherri Saines

Cunnington, C. Willett, et al. The History of Underclothes. Reprint edition by Dover Publications, 1992, ISBN 0486271242.

Davis, Mildred J. Early American Embroidery. Crown Publishers, 1974 (second edition), copyright 1969.
This book comes pretty close to being a definitive study of 18th century American needlework. It's one of my favorites. --Barbara Delorey

Dawes, Ginny Redington with Olivia Collings. Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830. Antique Collectors' Club Ltd., 2007 ISBN 978-1-85149-539-9.
It's chock-full of eye-candy. Regrettably but not unexpectedly, the objects shown are disproportionately post 1800. Nevertheless, there are plenty of baubles from our century; one simply needs to read the captions carefully. What's more disappointing is that here is yet another jewelry book which is long on pretty pictures of the fronts of things, but has little to say on how things were made, and too few pictures of the sides and backs of the objects. The text is too-cute in tone and not overly informative. Important objects, such as sleeve-links, aren't even represented by a single example.
But what there is, is gorgeous.
So I'd say there are perhaps five or six of us on this liste for whom this book is worth the $$ (even at the Amazon pre-publication price). The rest can wait to get it through ILL, admire the pictures, and save your money. --Sharon Burnston

Dayton, Cornelia Hughes. Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an 18th Century New England Village. William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 48 (1991), 19-49.

Deetz, James. In Small Things Forgotten : An Archaeology of Early American Life. Anchor, August 1, 1996, ISBN: 0385483996.

Deetz, Patricia Scott and James. The Times of Their Lives : Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony. Anchor, October 16, 2001, ISBN: 0385721536

Derven, Daphne L.Wholesome, Toothsome, and Diverse: Eighteenth-Century Foodways in Deerfield, Massachusetts. In Foodways in the Northeast: Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, Annual Proceedings 1982, Boston University, Boston 1984.

Dexter, Elisabeth Anthony. Colonial Women of Affairs: Women in Business and the Professions in America Before 1776. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1931.
This is mostly anecdotal rather than analytic, but offers a lot of peeks at individual businesswomen. --J.L. Bell

Dillon, Clarissa. A large, an useful, and a grateful field: Eighteenth-Century Kitchen Gardens in Southeastern Pennsylvania, The Uses of the Plants, and their Place in Women's Work. Past Masters in Early American Domestic Arts.
The rewrite of her 1986 dissertation.

Doddridge, Joseph. The Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1763-1783. Heritage Books Inc., Bowie, Maryland, 1988.

Donington, Robert. Baroque Music - Style and Perfomance: A Handbook. NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 1982, ISBN 0-393-30052-8.
A most excellent and comprehensive interpretation of the primary sources, specificly written for modern musicians. After looking at all of the originals, this book helped to make sense of things. Mr. Donington's quotes are accurate and his explanations are insightful. I would highly recommend this book for any musician wanting to have a better Baroque performance. --Karen Smock

Dow, George Francis. The Arts and Crafts in New England 1704-1775 - Gleanings from Boston Newspapers relating to Painting, Engraving, Silversmiths, Pewterers, Clockmakers, Furniture, Pottery, Old Houses, Costumes, Trades and Occupations.
Contains paragraph from the Boston Gazetter, Aug. 14, 1753, describing a spinning bee.

Dow, George Francis. Everyday Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. 1935.

Dreher, Denise. From the Neck Up. ISBN 0-941082-00-8.

Dukelskaya, Larissa and Andrew Moore (eds.). A capital collection : Houghton Hall and the Hermitage. Yale U. Press for the State Hermitage Museum and Paul Mellon Centre, 2002.
[Contains a reproduction of] Charles Jervas' Mary Walpole, Viscountess Malpas c. 1730-31, [which is] a sketch of a woman in what looks like an English (rather than a sack) back gown, no visible robings, nor visible stomacher, but visible spiral lacing. The robings and stomacher may be missing simply because the artist decided not to put so much detail in a crayon sketch. The catalogue states that this sketch is one of the pieces still at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England (the book is about the collection of Sir Robert Walpole, which was divided up in 1779 and part of it sold to Catherine the Great of Russia). --Amy Coddington.

Earle, Alice Morse. Two Centuries of Costume in America, 1620-1820.
Out of print.
Contains a picture of a black silk quilted hood (very similar to the Silver Age bonnet).

Earle, Alice Morse. Home Life in Colonial Days. First edition, The MacMillan Company, New York, 1898. Many reprint editions by MacMillian and other companies.

Earle, Alice Morse. Diary of Anna Green Winslow A Boston School Girl of 1771. Applewood Books, Massachusetts 1996.
Diary, written for her parents, of a girl of approximately 11 years of age who was sent to stay with relatives in Boston for what we might call "finishing". She studied various forms of sewing and needlework, and also reading and writing. There is one mention of knitting lace, the only I have seen to date for the 18c. She makes various interesting mentions of costume and fashion, but also displays great dedication to religious thought and practice. --Sue Felshin

Einberg, Elizabeth. Manners & Morals; Hogarth and British Painting 1700-1760, London : Tate Gallery, 1987, ISBN 0-946590-84-2.

Ellis, Markman, ed. Tea and The Tea-Table in Eighteenth-Century England. Pickering and Chatto, 2010, ISBN-10: 1848930259, ISBN-13: 978-1848930254. A four-volume set:
  1. Literary representations of tea and the tea-table, edited by Markman Ellis
  2. Tea in natural history and medical writing, edited by Richard Coulton
  3. Tea, commerce and theEast India Company, edited by Matthew Mauger
  4. Tea and politics : the Boston Tea Party (1773) and the Commutation Act (1784), edited by Ben Dew; index.
This is a compendium of (parts of) primary documents and commentary upon them. Expensive ($600 +), so you'll want to interlibrary loan them!

Esteban, Javier Cuenca. British Textile Prices, 1770–1831: Are British Growth Rates Worth Revising once again?. The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 47, Issue 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 66–105.

Esteban, Javier Cuenca. Further Evidence of Falling Prices of Cotton Cloth, 1768–1816. The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 48, Issue 1 (Feb. 1995), pp. 145–150.

Fangel, Esther and Ida Winckler and Agnete Wuldern Madsen. Danish Pulled Thread Embroidery. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1977, ISBN 0-486-23474-6.
Includes a few photos of Dresden work, probably 18c.

Farnie, Douglas A. and David J. Jeremy, editors. The Fibre that Changed the World : The Cotton Industry in International Perspective. ISBN 0 19 925566.

Feild, Rachel. Irons in the Fire, A History of Cooking Equipment. Crowood, 1984.
Gives a definition for Dutch ovens.
She's writing about British cooking, and her understanding of things American is sometimes a little simplistic. Also, published in 1984, this source begins to approach the 25-year rule for a secondary source. However I've always found it a very useful reference work. --Sharon Burnston

Fifield, Rebecca L. Women's Dress During the American Revolution : an Interpretive Guide. Brigade of the American Revolution, 2006(?).

Finger, John R. Tennessee Frontiers: Three Regions in Transition. Indiana University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-253-33085-5.
Dr. Finger is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Tennessee. Roughly half of the book covers pre-1800 Tennessee, and there is frequent discussion of the native people, primarily Cherokee, and also much discussion of Tennessee during the Revolutionary War. I don't know enough about the area to offer a solid evaluation, but while I was browsing through it, it seemed pretty good to me. --Mary Svrjcek

de Finiels, Nicolas. An Account of Upper Louisiana. Edited by Carl J. Ekberg and William E. Foley, translated by Carl J. Ekberg. U. of Missouri Press, 1989.
de Finiels was a French military engineer assigned to the Louisiana Territory at the very end of our period of study, 1796 or so. He observed and noted literally EVERYTHING, from population percentages (French, Spanish, American, NA, slave, etc.) to cultural mores, homes, gardening, military matters, fortifications, social and religious life, changing fashions in clothing, etc. etc.--MARVELOUS stuff. --Kate Johnson

Finley, Gerald. George Heriot : Postmaster-Painter of the Canadas. University of Toronto : Toronto, 1983.
There's a picture of a Quebec woman in a diagonally-striped bedgown in Heriot's painting Minuets Des Canadiens, c. 1801, on p. 53. --Angela Gottfred

Fischer, David Hackett. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York : Oxford University Press, 1989 (or March 1991?). ISBN: 0195069056
Discusses four various cultures that settled the colonies: Puritan/New England, Cavalier/Virginia-Maryland, Quaker/Pennsylvania, and Scots-Irish/Frontier. Includes some discussion of mealtime protocol (who shares the table with whom).

Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride. New York : Oxford University Press, 1994.
Available on tape. Contact Books On Tape at 1-800-88-BOOKS or

Fox, Claire E. Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Infancy in Anglo-American Culture: 1675-1830. Unpublished University of Pennsylvania doctoral dissertation.

Frost, J. William. The Quaker Family in Colonial America: A Portrait of the Society of the Friends. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973.

Garrett, Elizabeth Donaghy. At Home, The American Family 1750-1870. Abrams, New York, 1990.
I don't have a copy myself--but I believe that [this] wonderful book [...] has period quotes about this housekeeping practice [of putting all the furniture up against the wall and calling it a "room at rest"]. --Laurie Kittle

Gates, Charles M. Five Fur Traders of the Northwest : Being the Narrative of Peter Pond and the Diaries of John Macdonell, Archibald N. McLeod, Hugh Faries, and Thomas Connor. Minnesota Historical Society : St. Paul, Minnesota, 1965.
The journals of five fur traders associated with the North West Company and its predecessors, who operated in Minnesota, Wisconsin, & Manitoba in the period 1770-1815. The narrative of Peter Pond is notable for its account of the F&I War and the unique 'Yankee' speech pattern captured in his very idiosyncratic spelling. --Angela Gottfred

Gehret, Ellen. Rural Pennsylvania Clothing.
[This book] is good though a lot of it is later... --Kate Johnson

George, M. Dorothy. London Life in the Eighteenth Century. Capricorn Books, New York, 1965. Has been reprinted several times.
Appendix VI, p. 427 includes a list of Occupations of Married Couples reported in Sessions Papers.

Gilpin, Thomas. Exiles in Virginia: With Observations on the Conduct of the Society of Friends during the Revolutionary War, comprising the Official Papers of the Government Relating to that Period. 1777—1778. Philadelphia: Printed for the subscribers, 1848, on the Web at Google Books. Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, LLC, July 25, 2007, ISBN-10: 054824054X, ISBN-13: 978-0548240540, as Exiles in Virginia: With Observations on the Conduct of the Society of Friends during the Revolutionary War.
See also Vining's The Virginia Exiles, a novel based on material in this text.

Gingerich, Melvin. Mennonite Attire Through Four Centuries. The Pennsylvania German Society, Breinigsville, Pennsylvania, 1970.

Gilgun, Beth. Tidings from the 18th Century. First edition, Texarkana, TX : Rebel Publishing, 1993, ISBN 1-880655-04-7. Second edition, Texarkana, TX : Scurlock Publishing, 1999.
This is your best all-around introduction to reenacting in book form. It contains simple patterns and descriptions of clothing, equipment, and activities -- almost everything you need to know to get started, short of information particular to your unit. Cautions: --Sue Felshin

Glanville, Philippa, and Jennifer Faulds Goldsborough. Women Silversmiths 1685-1845. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of Women in the Arts in association with Thames and Hudson, 1990.
... it is gorgeous. Zoffany's "Portrait of Louisa Courtauld" is on the front cover, and on the back is a photo of one of her magnificent tea caddies.
The book is not only another wondrous exploration of women doing unusual things and therefore broadening our horizons (Help Stamp Out "Women Never"...), but the photos of the collection of artifacts are an education in material culture in and of themselves. Chalices, goblets, tankards, teapots, coffee pots, flatware, baby rattles, toast keepers, sugar tongs, etc. etc. etc.
Yum... --Kate Johnson

Glasse, Hannah. The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. 1747. For facsimile edition, see First Catch Your Hare: The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. For more cookbooks, see RevList: 18th Century Cooking Resources.

Goodwin, Rutherfoord. A Briefe & True Report Concerning Williamsbug in Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg. Third edition, February 1941. Fourth edition, April 1941.
It's a charmer, done on laid paper with marbled paper end boards and a leather spine, long s's, footers, old type faces. It has maps, views of public buildings, etc.--everything, in fact, to give it the flavor of an old book. --Kate Johnson

I'll quote from the preface of the fourth edition of April, 1941:
This Appendix provides a complete Annotation of the Text, interspersed with pertinent Quotations from the Works and Sources consulted. It also contains true Copies of the Acts passed by the General Assembly of Virginia in 1699, 1701, and 1705 for directing the Building of the City of Williamsburg and the Capitol, as well as the text of the City's Charter of 1722. . . Again individual Types were employed, including the archaic Letters, Ligatures, and Ornaments of the early Printers. The Books were printed on special Paper which, though Machine-made, closely resembles the Hand-made Products of William Parks' Paper Mill . . .
The author, Rutherfoord Goodwin, was the son of the Reverend William Archer Rutherfoord Goodwin, Rector of Bruton Parish and Father of Colonial Williamsburg. Rutherfoord worked in the Research department and created the various editions of Briefe and True. It was our first guide book.
The documents are good. He was raised by a stickler. To quote the good Doctor:
If there is one firm guiding and restraining word which should be passed on to those who will be responsible for the restoration in the future, that one word is integrity. A departure from truth here and there will inevitably produce a cumulative deterioration of authenticity and consequent loss of public confidence. Loyalty demands that this principle of integrity be adhered to.
--Su Carter

Gousse, Suzanne and André. Costume in New France from 1740 to 1760, a Visual Dictionary. La Fleur de Lyse, 1999, ISBN 2980459119.
Available via the Gousses' Web site, La Fleur de Lyse.

Greenfield, Amy Butler. A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005.
According to the book jacket:
A Perfect Red recounts the colorful history of cochineal, a legendary red dye that was once one of the world's most precious commodities. Treasured by the ancient Mexicans, cochineal was sold in the great Aztec marketplaces, where it attracted the attention of the Spanish conquistadors in 1519. Shipped to Europe, the dye created a sensation, producing the brightest, strongest red the world had ever seen. Soon Spain's cochineal monopoly was worth a fortune.

Desperate to find their own sources of the elusive dye, the English, French, Dutch, and other Europeans tried to crack the enigma of cochineal. Did it come from a worm, a berry, a seed? Could it be stolen from Mexico and transplanted to their own colonies? Pirates, explorers, alchemists, scientists, and spies—all joined the chase for cochineal, a chase that lasted more than three centuries.

Guy, John. Woven Cargoes, Indian Textiles in the East. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1998.
For those interested in Indian chintz and other textiles I would recommend [this book]. While the subject is cloth produced for the Eastern (Asian) market, it has full color illustrations of gorgeous textiles and an informative text as to the locations of textile centers of production in India, and their identifying characteristics.e.g., the Coromandel Coast. Some of the textiles made their way west to Europe, particularly via the Dutch East India Company. --Joyce McDonald

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Running Out of Time. Hardcover edition: Simon & Schuster (Juv), 1995, ISBN 0689800843. Paperback edition: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2000, ISBN 0689838603.
Recommended for young people (1 recommendation).
The cleverest use of time travel into US history in a novel that I've seen is [this book]. I recommend it to anyone involved in historical reenacting, young and old, even though it starts in the 1840s. --J. L. Bell

Hagist, Don. Women of the British Army. In the Brigade Dispatch in four parts: Volume XXIV, No. 3 (Summer, 1994), p 2–10; Volume XXIV, No. 4 (Autumn, 1994), p 9–17; Volume XXV, No. 1 (Winter, 1995), p 11–16; and Volume XXV, No. 2 (Spring, 1995), p 8–14. In Minerva Quarterly Report on Women in the Military, Volume 13, No. 2. On the Web at RevWar'75.

Harvey, A.D. Sex In Georgian England. Phoenix Press. ISBN 1-84212-273-8.

Hart, Avril, et al. Fashion in Detail. Rizzoli International Publications, 1998, ISBN 084782151X.
Part of the core costume library for people who are interested in high-fashion dress.
Must-have collection of detailed photographs in luscious color of portions of fashionable 17th and 18th garments, with line drawings of the entire garment, front and back, and a short description of each item. Sections focus on sleeves, lace, buttons, etc. --Sue Felshin
Delicious [...] though I wish it also had photos of the whole garment. --Kate Johnson

Hartkamp-Jonxis, Redactie Ebeltje. SITS Oost West Relaties im Textiel. Uitgeverij Waanders-Zwolle.
This excellent book is the result of an exhibit done in the Netherlands on Dutch East India Company Textiles. A rough translation of the title would be "Chintz, Textile relations between East & West". This book covers chintz fabrics used in home furnishings and costume. Many photographs, some in color, illustrate the text as well as maps and articles. Unfortunately the latter are written in Dutch. If you know some German and some English, the catalogue section is easy to translate. I'd love someone to translate the articles -- like the one on 18th century textile/fabric definitions! That's above my reach! -- but wouldn't it be wonderful to have their fabric names and descriptions. --Kate Emerson

Hawley, Anna L. The Meaning of Absence: Household Inventories in Surrey County, Virginia, 1690-1715. In Early American Probate Inventories.

Hefford, Wendy. The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection, Designs for Printed Textiles in England from 1750 to 1850. Abbeville Press Inc, NY, 1992.
Out of print?

Hersch, Tandy and Charles Hersch. Cloth and Costume 1750-1800: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (Heritage Series). Cumberland County Historical Society, ISBN 0963892320, hardcover.
As noted in the preface... "using Cumberland County estate inventories, wills, deeds, administration papers, indictments, tax lists, newspapers and manuscripts..."
Great analysis of gowns, shortgowns, and bedgowns. --Sally Queen
Very interesting analysis of what appears to be a very complete set of probate inventories. There is lots and lots of information in this book about what ordinary people, in what must have been a pretty rural place, possessed as far as cloth and clothing is concerned. --Jean Bickal
There are chapters drawing on inventories of women's clothing, men's clothing, various lists of textiles available for sale in Cumberland County, trades related to textiles and clothing etc. It's a difficult book to find because it had a very small press run. --Peggy Jennings
According to, also by Tandy Hersch: 18th Century Quilted Petticoats in the American Quilt Study Group's journal Uncoverings. --Sue Felshin
Contains photograph of blue and white striped cotton middle or working class gown, probably 3rd quarter of 18th c., in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Description of gown posted to list in message dated Wed, 19 Sep 2001 21:56:08 -0400.

Hersh, Tandy. Quilted Petticoats in Pieced by Mother: Symposium Papers, ed. Jeanette Lasansky. Lewisburg, PA : The Oral Traditions Project of the Union County Historical Society, 1988, pp. 5-11.

Hersh, Tandy. Eighteenth Century Quilted Silk Petticoats Worn in America in Uncoverings 1984, Mill Valley, CA : American Quilt Study Group, 1985, pp 83-98.

Hersh, Tandy. Eighteenth Century Quilted Petticoats. In Women's Dress 1750-1780, Tidy's Symposium, University of Delaware, Feb. 13, 1993.

Hess, Karen, transcribed and annotated by. Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery. Columbia University Press, April, 1996, ISBN: 0-231-04931-5 (paperback).
The recipes in the book are actually 17th century and earlier and most were old-fashioned or obsolete by the 18th century, but Karen Hess's annotations are invaluable for interpreting 18th century ingredients and procedures. I use this book not as a cookbook but as a reference manual. Through it I have found the answers to such questions as "what is isinglass and how can I approximate it with modern ingredients?", "how much bread is in a penny loaf and what kind?", "how big are modern eggs compared to 18c eggs", and much, much more. (If it's a 16th/17th century cookbook, why is it "Martha Washington's"?, I hear you cry. She is the most famous person ever to have owned it—she inherited it from her first husband's family. It's somewhat doubtful that she ever used it, but that's marketing for you.) --Sue Felshin

Hill, Frances. Adam's Luxury & Eve's Cookery. 1746. Facsimile edition by Prospect Books, 1983, ISBN 0 907325 14 9.
It's a marvellous little book, the first half deals with all aspects of gardening with a month by month breakdown of jobs to do and a section on specific vegetable and fruit (and fungi) growing alphabetically from artichoke to turnip. --"Grymm"

Hilton, Wendy. Dance and Music of Court and Theatre: Selected Writings of Wendy Hilton. Pendragon Press, 1997. (Includes facsim. reprint of Dance of Court and Theatre: The French Noble Style, 1690-1725.)
This book is the bible of baroque dance. All her information comes from primary sources (and lots of it is reprints from primary sources) and I have read and practised from the primary description of women's honours (that would be a curtsey) that is in there, which is (I think) from Tomlinson, but might be Rameau. She has to interpret what is meant sometimes, but she is generally accepted by the historic dance community to be the most correct interpretation available. If you do a search on Wendy Hilton you will see. --Nancy Watt

Hood, Adrienne D. The Gender Division of Labor in the Production of Textiles in Eighteenth-Century, Rural Pennsylvania (Rethinking the New England Model). Journal of Social History, 27 (1994), pp. 537–61.
Discusses gender divisions in home textile manufacture.

Hood, Adrienne D. The Material World of Cloth: Producting and Use in Eighteenth-Century Rural Pennsylvania. The William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Series, Vo. LIII, No. 1, January 1996, pp. 45–66

Horn, Pamela. Flunkeys and Scullions: Life Below Stairs in Georgian England. Sutton Publishing, 328 pages, ISBN 0-7509-2955-3.

Horne, Field, editor. The Diary of Mary Cooper: Life On a Long Island Farm, 1768-1773, (Oyster Bay, NY : 1981).
Mrs. Cooper seems to have gone through periods of depression, as suggested by the entry of July 1769.

Howard, Bryan Paul. Had On and Took with Him: Runaway Indentured Servant Clothing in Virginia, 1774-1778. Texas A&M University PhD. Dissertation, 1996.

Hummel, Charles F. (Winterthur Museum Curator). Floor Coverings Used in 18th Century America. In Imported and Domestic Textiles in 18th Century America, proceedings of the Roundtable on Museum Textiles, The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., 1975, pp. 72 & ff.

Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women's Dress 1500-1800. Players Press (March 1, 1991), ISBN: 0887346103.

Irving, Washington. A History of New York. 1809.
Published under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker.
Contains tale describing pockets worn on the outside of a woman's clothing, apparently during the 1600s: Book III, Chapter I, explains: "It was in the year of our Lord 1629 that Mynheeer Wouter Van Twiller was appointed governor of the province of Nieuw Nederlandts" ... Chapter IV: "In which is recorded the Golden Reign of Wooter Van Twiller, Chapter IV Containing further particulars of the Golden Age, and what constituted a fine lady and gentleman" ... Paragraph 3: "These were the honest days in which every woman staid at home, read the Bible, and wore pockets - ay, and that too of a goodly size, fashioned with patchwork into many curious devices, and ostentatiously worn on the outside. [...] but we must not give too much faith to all these stories, the anecdotes of those remote periods being very subject to exaggeration.
I highly recommend reading the entire History because it is a very funny story...and I am afraid, the start of many reenacting myths. --Dianne Tidy

Ivinski, Patricia, and Harry Payne and Kathryn Calley Galitz and Richard Rand. Farewell to the Wet Nurse: Etienne Aubry and Images of Breast-Feeding in 18th C France. Guide to the 1998 exhibit at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown MA. ISBN 0-931102-41-3.

Jacobs, Wilbur R. Diplomacy and Indian Gifts, the French-English Rivalry for Indian Loyalties During the French and Indian War Years, 1748-1763. First edition: CA: Stanford, 1950. Reprint: Wennawoods, RR2, Box 529C Goodman Road, Lewisburgh, PA 17837, 2001, ISBN 1-800-796-1702.

Jarrasse, Dominique. 18th Century French Painting. Paperback edition: Terrail, October 1999, ISBN 2879392039.
Contains a good reproduction of the painting The Village Betrothal by Greuze.

Johnson, Cathy (Kate). Who Was I?: Creating a Living History Persona. Excelsior Springs, MO: Graphics/Fine Arts Press.

Johnson, Cathy (Kate). Walk Softly: Moccasins in the Context of the Primary Documents. Excelsior Springs, MO: Graphics/Fine Arts Press.

Johnson, E.D.H. Paintings of the British Social Scene: From Hogarth to Sickert. Reissue edition: Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd, 2000, ISBN 0297789090.
18 Aug 2000: According to, this book is about to be reissued and is available by special order.
Contains reproduction of Plucking the Turkey.

Johnson, Nichola. Eighteenth Century London. The Museum of London, HMSO, London, 1991.
Contains reproduction of City Shower.

Kenton, Donna Flood. Hand Knit Hose, a Knitted Stocking Pattern.
Instructions on how to hand-knit hose, with illustrations, some history of hose, and bibliography. Available at See discussion in the 18cWoman archives in early November, 1999.

Kettell, Russell Hawes, ed. Early American Rooms. New York: Dover Pub, 1967. Reprint of the 1936 edition.

Khmeleva, Galina and Carol R. Noble. Gossamer Webs, the History and Techniques of Orenburg Lace Shawls.
According to the book, Orenburg lace shawls, which are knit, date back to the 17th century as peasant wear and were popularized at least in part by Catherine the Great. About the book: "It's more interested in modern history, and keeping the art alive."

Kidwell, Claudia Brush. Short Gowns. In DRESS, the Journal of the Costume Society of America, vol. 4, 1978, pp. 30-65.
I include this book in the core costume library because it is the seminal work on "shortgowns". If you are not specifically interested in shortgowns, it is not necessary to read it.
Describes the garment sometimes known as the "short gown" or "shortgown". Report of her research, with quotes from original documents, B&W and color reproductions of artwork of the era, and B&W and color photographs of approximately-dated original garments. --Sue Felshin

Kidwell, Claudia Brush. Are Those Clothes Real? Transforming the Way Eighteenth-Century Portraits are Studied. In DRESS, the Journal of the Costume Society of America, volume 24, 1997: 3 - 15.
Art does not always depict reality.

King, Donald and Santina Levey. The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection: Embroidery in Britain from 1200 to 1750. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1993, ISBN 1-85177-126-3.

Klinger. Sketchbook '76 and Distaff Sketchbook. 1974.
Suitable as firewood. Unless the ink is toxic.
Seriously, these books may have been the cutting edge of research in their day, but they are now woefully obsolete. Some depicted items simply did not exist in the Revolutionary era. When items did exist, they are often depicted with incorrect details and/or out of scale. Avoid using these books (or use them only to research bicentennial reenacting). Many other, better resources are now available to reenactors. To replace the Distaff Sketchbook, get Whatever Shall I Wear?. If you want just a single volume to use in place of the men's '76 Sketchbook, your best bet remains Tidings. And to be fair, the '76 Sketchbook isn't as horrendous as the Distaff Sketchbook. --Sue Felshin

Kluger, Marilyn. The Joy of Spinning. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1971, ISBN 0671208594. Paperback edition ISBN 067124213X.
Page 80 discusses "wheel dollies", also known as "spinning sticks".

Koda, Harold and Andrew Bolton and Mimi Hellman. Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century. Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications, 2006, ISBN 0300107145.
Catalog from the exhibit Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, April 29, 2004–September 6, 2004.

Kopperman, Paul. The British High Command and Soldiers' Wives in American, 1755 - 1783. Originally published in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 1982.

Kraak, Deborah. Early American Silk Patchwork Quilts. In Textiles in Early New England: Design, Production, and Consumption, The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Annual Proceedings, 1997. Boston : Boston University, 1999.
An excellent article on early pieced quilts. --Deborah Pulliam

A Lady. The Lady's Guide to Plain Sewing [Book I]. ISBN 0-9640161-0-9.
Available directly from the author at Kannik's Korner: books and from assorted other merchants to reenactors.

A Lady. The Lady's Guide to Plain Sewing [Book II]. ISBN 0-9640161-2-5.
Available directly from the author at Kannik's Korner: books and from assorted other merchants to reenactors.

A Lady. The Workwoman's Guide. Opus Publishing, 1986, ISBN 0-940983001

Landon, Mary Taylor and Susan Burrows Swan. American Crewelwork. The Macmillan Company, hardcover, 1970.

Laver, James. The Age of Illusion: Manners and Morals 1750-1848. New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1972.

Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Brought to Bed: Child-bearing in America 1750–1950. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986, ISBN: 0195038436.
Review at JSTOR.

Lederer, Richard M., Jr. Colonial American English: a Glossary. Essex, Conn.: Verbatim Books, 1985, ISBN 0-930454-19-7.

Leechman, Douglas. Vegetable Dyes: How To Make Your Own Dyes From Bark, Leaves, Berries, Nuts, Fruit and Flowers From North American Plants. St. Paul : The Webb Publishing Co., 1945.

Lemay, J.A. Leo (ed). Robert Bolling Weds Anne Miller, Love and Courtship in Colonial Virginia, 1760. University Press of Virginia, 1990.
Contains some love letters.

Lemire, Beverly. Fashion's Favourite: The Cotton Trade and the Consumer in Britain, 1660-1800. Oxford, Eng : The Pasold Fund and Oxford Univ. Press, 1991, ISBN 0-19-921062-4.

Lemire, Beverly. Redressing the History of the Clothing Trade in England: Ready-made Clothing, Guilds, and Women Workers, 1650-1800. In Dress (Journal of the Costume Society of America), Vol. 21, 1994, pp. 61-74.
Contains pictures of 18th century quilted petticoats.

Lemire, Beverly. Dress, Culture and Commerce: The English Clothing Trade before the Factory, 1660-1800. 1997.
Has chapters discussing "Military Markets: dressing for war," and "Popular fashion and second-hand clothing."

Lester Joan. We Didn't Make Fancy Baskets Until We Were Discovered: Fancy Basket Making in Maine. In A Key into the Language of Woodsplint Baskets, Ann McMullen and Russell G. Handsman, editors. Washington, CT: American Indian Archeological Institute, 1987.

Levey, Santina M. Lace, A History. Victoria and Albert Museum Great Britain, Leeds. 1983. ISBN 0-901286-15-x.
Figure 392 shows 18c lace which might be called crochet. It consists solely of chain stitch going every which way.

Liles, J.N. The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use. Knoxville : U. of Tennessee Press, 1990.
The cool thing is that Liles is himself a reenactor, so he understands how completely insane we all are, and what it is we're after... --Kate Johnson
I can't recommend it enough -- he was a reenactor, and his recipes and descriptions are fairly well geared toward those of us who are trying to understand what dyes were most commonly used in the 18th century. --Mara Riley

MacTaggart, P. and R.A., Some Aspects of the Use of Non-Fashionable Stays. In Strata of Society: Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Conference of the Costume Society, April 6–8, 1973, p. 20–28. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1974.
Almost all of the examples are English, including the leather stays.

Maeder, Edward (organizer). An Elegant Art: Fashion & Fantasy in the Eighteenth Century. Los Angles County Museum of Art. New York : Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1983.
Part of the core costume library for people who are interested in high-fashion dress.
Contains reproduction of Chodowiecki print, Women's Room for Sewing, Washing, and Ironing (1770), p. 29.
Check out the engraving on page 46 by Nicholas de Launay called He Applied a Kiss to my Hand, Which I Sensed. The woman with her back to us (the one not being kissed!), appears to have a sack back gown on which has been polonaised. The engraving is 1777 and the woman appears to be upperclass. The engraver is French, so I would assume the woman in the engraving is as well. --Peggy Jennings

Main, Gloria. Probate Records as a Source for Early American History. William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 32 (1975).

Main, Gloria L., and Jackson T. Main. Economic Growth and the Standard of Living in Southern New England, 1640 - 1774. Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLVIII, No. 1 (Mar. 1988) pp. 27-46.

Main, Gloria. The Standard of Living in Colonial Massachusetts. Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLIII, No. 1 (March 1983), pp. 101-108.

Main, Gloria. Inequality in Early America: The Eficence from Probate Records of Massachusetts and Maryland. Journal of Interdisciplinary History, VII:4 (Spring, 1977) pp. 559-581.

Main, Gloria. Gender, Work and Wages in Colonial New England. William & Mary Qtrly, 3d Ser., Vol. LI, No. 1, pp. 39 - 66.

Malley, Richard C. Graven by the Fishermen Themselves: Scrimshaw in Mystic Seaport Museum. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1983.
It has many gorgeous busks in it in the chapter Functional Forms: Utilitarian Scrimshaw. --Kate Johnson

Margaret, Mary E. Gale and T. Ordoñez. Indigo-Resist Prints from Eighteenth-Century America: Technology and Technique. In Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, Vol. 22, No. 1-2, 4-14 (2004).
Abstract available at Sage Journals Online.

Martin, Ann Smart. Buying into the World of Goods; Early Consumers in Backcountry, Virginia. Johns Hopkins Press, 2008. Martin's book is based upon the papers of merchant John Cooke.

Mayer, H. A. Belonging to the Army: Camp followers and the Military Community during the American Revolution. Ph.D. dissertation (College of William and Mary, 1990).

Mayer, Holly A. (Holly Ann). Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and Community During the American Revolution. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1996, ISBN: 1570033390. Softcover edition, 1999.

Mays, David, editor. The Disappointment, or, the Force of Credulity by Andrew Barton (Pseudonym of Thomas Forrest:) A Critical Edition of the First American Drama. Gainesville FL: The University Presses of Florida, 1976.
This ballad comedy was never performed, but is interesting in that it is based on a true story and the characters based on actual people who lived in Philadelphia in 1767. Many of them have accents that are distinct to their ethnicity. --Paul Dickfoss

McCalman, Iain (editor), Paul A. Pickering (editor) Historical Re-enactment: From Realism to the Affective Turn. Palgrave Macmillan, March 2, 2010, ISBN-10: 0230576125, ISBN-13: 978-0230576124.
From the publisher's website: "Explores how Historical Re-enactment seeks to portray the past in various forms, holding perhaps both a sensual and cognitive key to what it felt like to live in the past. Chapters engage with the philosophical and practical questions revolving around the vexed relationship between historical realism and affect."

McCarthy, Joann E. ??? Early American Homes magazine, April 1997, p. 45.
Contains instructions for floorcloths.

McClellan, Elisabeth. Historic Dress in America: 1607 to 1800.
[This book] was published 1904-1910. My copy is a 1969 reprint. It's an interesting book. Very well done for its time, in the antiquarian style a la Alice Morse Earle. But many things have been better researched since then. For example, McClellan depicts dated 18c wedding gowns which have irrefutably been remodeled, but she missed the fact that they were remodeled, so the gown as she shows it is not of the date she gives it. On the other hand, her primary source citations are useful, and can be tracked down. If I were using this book, (and I have), thats what I would do (and I did). McClellan is not a work to be accepted at face value any more. --Sharon Burnston

McCusker, John & Russell R. Menard. The Economy of British America, 1607–1789. Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1985.
See, e.g., a list of selected English fabric exports sent to British America in 1770, and their percents of total exports from England, on p. 284.

McMahon, Sarah F. A Comfortable Subsistence: The Changing Composition of Diet in Rural New England, 1620-1840. William and Mary Quarterly XLII, 1 (January 1985):26.
Article on widow's portions with much good information on types and quantities of food available, including change in diet over time.

Michel, Marianne Roland. Chardin. Thames & Hudson, 1996.
This is one of those 5 lb. oversize coffee table art books. --Dianne Tidy
Contains reproduction of The Convalescent's Meal.

Millward, Celia. Lost Vocabulary of Colonial Rhode Island In American Speech: 1600 the Present, Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Annual Proceedings, 1983, pp. 44-54. Ed., Peter Benes. Boston University, 1985.
Included is a list of "Technologically or Culturally Obsolete Terms" with a footnote containing "terms thus far unidentified." --Ticia Robak

Montgomery, Florence M. Textiles in America 1650–1870 : A dictionary based on original documents, prints and paintings, commercial records, American merchants' papers, shopkeepers' advertisements, and pattern books with original swatches of cloth. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1984.
Out of print, and secondhand copies are expensive. Try interlibrary loan. News flash, 15 July 2006: A senior editor at Norton's architecture and design books says "You'll be happy to hear that we have scheduled a reissue of the book, and it will be available in April 2007." It has returned to print, but buy your copy quick before it goes out of print again.
Wonderful book with tons of pictures of swatches. Not much primary documentation of how these fabrics were used, however. --Sue Felshin
For textiles themselves, my favorite is still [this book]. --Kate Johnson
I had to call Winterthur's catalog dept. today, and when the customer service person asked if there was anything else she could help me with, I asked if they every took suggestions. She said they weekly have to turn in a report of customer requests. So ... I asked if they would consider re-publishing both of the Florence Montgomery books, and this time, include a softback edition. Perhaps if they get enough requests ... <G> It can't hurt for us to try. --Betsy Packard

Montgomery, Florence M. Printed Textiles: English and American Cottons and Linens 1700-1850. Viking Press, 1970, ISBN 0670577227.

Moore, Christopher. The Loyalists: Revolution, Exile, Settlement (2nd edition). McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 1994.
This doesn't focus primarly on women, but it discusses various and sundry Loyalists, their trials and tribulations. --Kathleen Manneke

Moore, Peter N. World of Toil and Strife: Community Transformation in Backcountry South Carolina, 1750–1805. University of South Carolina Press (March 30, 2007), ISBN-10: 1570036667, ISBN-13: 978-1570036668.

Morrison, Venetia. The Art of George Stubbs. Quantum Books : London, 1989, ISBN 1-84013-073-3.
Contains "The Haymakers" (1794), "Haycarting" (1795), "Reapers" (1785).

Munhall, Edgar. Greuze the draftsman. London : Merrill ; New York : Frick Collection, 2002. 283 p. : ill. (some col.?); 30 cm., ISBN 185894158X. ISBN for a paperback edition (may or may not have same content): 1858941598.

Murdoch, Tessa (editor), Candace Briggs and Laurie Lindey (inventories transcribed by). Noble households : eighteenth-century inventories of great English houses : a tribute to John Cornforth. Cambridge, UK: John Adamson, 2006, ISBN 0952432250/9780952432258.

Myers, Albert Cook, ed. Sally Wister's Journal. Ferris & Leach, Philadelphia, 1902. Now available thru Applewood Books, Bedford, Mass.
Diary kept by a Philadelphia Quaker girl while sent to the countryside to avoid the war. Short, but a valuable insight into the attitudes and activities of a Quaker girl. Not an exact reproduction; typeset, and with no indication of whether spelling was modernized. --Sue Felshin

Nehring, Nancy. 50 Heirloom Buttons to Make. The Taunton Press, 1996. Taunton Press, Box 5506, Newtown CT 06470-5506.
I don't know if this book is still in print. FWIW, except for the Dorset, Leek and death's head buttons (I looked again; they do call it a death's head), the rest are all fancy Victorian-or-later. But the book is still interesting. It has basic instructions, materials sources, and intriguing button ideas for other periods, or even contemporary clothing, like for "real life". :-) --Sharon Burnston

Larry Nelson, Larry L. (Larry Lee). A Man of Distinction Among Them : Alexander McKee and the Ohio country frontier, 1754-1799. Kent, Ohio ; London, England : Kent State University Press, 1999.

Neumann, George C., & Kravic, Frank J. Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, 1975. Also assorted reprints.
P. 189, item 1: mitten in light brown wool, found in a clay bog next to buttons of the 23rd, 27th and 40th British regiments.

Neumann, George C. Early American Antique Country Furnishing. Legacy Press, 1988, ISBN-10: 0517661837, ISBN-13: 978-0517661833.

Nieuwhoff, Constance, Willem Diepraam, and Cas Oorthuys. The Costumes of Holland. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1985.
This book is one of the few books available in the English language that I've seen dealing with continental clothing worn by "the people". It's not a book for scholars wanting high style costuming. Most of it covers the 19th and 20th centuries but has some lovely and intriguing glimpses into the 18th century rural clothing of the Netherlands. The photographic demonstrations of women getting dressed are wonderful. One shows the process of putting on a cap that has 17 different layers! --Kate Emerson

Nissenbaum, Stephen. The Battle For Christmas. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, 381 pp., hardcover, ISBN 0-679-41223-9.
Discusses changes in the celebration of Christmas over time, in particular how it turned from the original highly pagan, rowdy, wassailing, reversal-of-class-roles public holiday into the modern quintessential private family holiday. The book is not restricted to the 18th century but does have a fair amount of information about it, mostly about the lack of celebrating Christmas in New England. An entire chapter deals with Christmas of the Antebellum South but I haven't read it yet, so I don't know if it goes back to the 18th century. --Sue Felshin

Nivelon, F. The Rudiments of Genteel Behavior. 1737. New Jersey : The King's Arms Press and Bindery (facsimile edition).
The first page begins with a sort of subtitle: "An Introduction to the Method of attaining a graceful Attitude, an agreeable Motion, an easy Air, and a genteel Behaviour."

Norton, Mary Beth. Liberty's Daughters, The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800. New York: Harper, 1980, ISBN 0-8014-8347-6.
"It was republished a few years ago by Cornell University in paperback."

Norton, Mary Beth. Getting to the Source -- Hetty Shepard, Dorothy Dudley, and Other Fictional Colonial Women I Have come to Know Altogether Too Well. Appeared in two parts in the Journal of Women's History, 1998(?).
This article unmasks the "primary source" status of these three sources, which are frauds!

Nylander, Jane C. Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860. New York: Knopf and Toronto: Random House, 1993, ISBN 0-394-54984-8. Yale University Press, 1994, ISBN: 0300059531.
Addresses many areas of life and history, including seasonal living, laundry, textile production and use, child rearing, community connections, the myth of self-sufficiency, development of 19c romantic notions of the 18c, etc., etc. An easy read, but many conclusions are only documented with one or two examples, and some statements are left entirely undocumented. Mostly 19c information, but still of interest from an 18c viewpoint, if primarily for documented examples rather than conclusions. Two terms used in the book (probably both 19c) that have been mentioned on 18cWoman are "tyers", which appear to be bibbed aprons or possibly pinafores, and "coolers", which are described as a child's loose garment with sleeves, a drawstring neckline, and no other fitting. --Sue Felshin

O'Neil II, James F. (compiler and editor). Their Bearing Is Noble and Proud: A Collection of narratives regarding the appearance of Native Americans from 1740-1785 Dayton: JTGS Publishing, 1995.

Palliser, Bury, Mrs. History of Lace, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1984, ISBN 0-486-24742-2. This is a reprint of the 4th edition, Scribner, New York, 1911.
As is fairly typical for 19th century works, this book is poorly documented and full of romantic stories of questionable accuracy. The author also displays preferences toward and against various cultural groups that bias her text and compromise her work. The book contains a glossary of types of lace, with many (poorly labeled) illustrations. It is useful as a jumping off point for tracking down further information, but I can't recommend it on its own. --Sue Felshin

Peakman, Julie. Lacivious Bodies: A sexual history of the eighteenth century. London: Atlantic Books, ISBN 1-84354-157-2.

Park, Edwards. To Bathe or Not to Bathe: Coming Clean in Colonial America. In Colonial Williamsburg, Fall (?) 2000.

Partridge, Virginia P. (Farmer's Museum, Cooperstown, NY). Techniques Found in 18th Century Floor Coverings in America. In Imported and Domestic Textiles in 18th Century America, proceedings of the Roundtable on Museum Textiles, The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., 1975, pp. 96 & ff.

Perkins, Elizabeth E. The Consumer Frontier: Household Consumption in Early Kentucky, The Journal of American History, Sept. 1991, pp. 486 - 510.

Peterson, Deborah J. The Common Pin. In ALHFAM Proceedings of the 2001 Conference & Annual Meeting, Williamsburg, VA, June 10-15, 2001 Volume XXIV. (Presented at William and Mary College, ALHFAM Annual Conference, June 10-15, 2001, Williamsburg, VA, as published in the above proceedings.)
Proceedings available from ALHFAM (The Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums). Also available from Past Masters in Early American Domestic Arts.

Phillips, Kevin. The Cousins' Wars. Basic Books, January 2000. ISBN: 0465013708.
Looks at the political themes that run through the English Civil War, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War.

Phillips, Ruth B. Trading Identities: The Souvenir in Native North American Art from the Northeast, 1700-1900. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1998.

Pickover, Clifford A., Ph.D. The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits: A True Medical Mystery. Prometheus Books, 2002, ISBN 1-57392-794-5.
About a woman who was claimed to have given birth to rabbits in the year 1726. Two Hogarth prints refer to this story, Cunicularii, or The Wise Men of Godalming in Consultation, 1726 (on the Web at William Hogarth's Realm) and Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism, 1762 (print 95 in the Dover Engravings by Hogarth and on the Web at Haley & Steele).

[no author]. Portraits of Martha. In The Early America Review, Vol. III No. 1, Winter 2000.
Four purported portraits of Martha Washington. The portraits shown are unlabeled as to artist, date, or origin, and are inaccurate, variously 19th century inventions and copies of earlier portraits; for a detailed discussion, see the 18cWoman archives circa February 24, 2000. These portraits are also in the related Early American Digital Library, where they are equally unattributed.

Potter-MacKinnon, Janice. While the Women Only Wept: Loyalist Refugee Women In Eastern Ontario. McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal & Kingston, 1993.

Prindle, Tara. Early Historic Accounts of Basket and Bag Weaving in the Northeast. 2004. <> (accessed May 26, 2005). In NativeTech: Native American Technology & Art, <>.

Pulliam, Deborah. The Mysterious Brewster Stocking. Ars Textrina #30, December 1998.

Pulliam, Deborah. Early Baby Stockings: The eighteenth century. Spin*Off Magazine Vol. XXI Number 4, Winter 1997.

Pulliam, Deborah. Knitted Stockings in Old England. Spin*Off Magazine Vol. XVI Number 4, Winter 1992.
In the photo on page 73, the second sock from the left very nicely illustrates decreases in a striped stocking. Beware, though -- one article is on "Socks for eighteenth-century re-enactment". Though the handspun, handknit stockings are the right length, they have several construction features that were developed later. --Carol Kocian

Purvis, Thomas L. Colonial America to 1763 The Almanacs of American Life, Facts on File project, 1999.

Purvis, Thomas L. Revolutionary America 1763–1800. The Almanacs of American Life, Facts on File project, 1999.

Queen, Sally. Textiles for Colonial Clothing. Q Graphics Production Company, 2000, ISBN #09658197-4-4.
Order online at,, or call toll free order number 888-266-7298 (US only) or 703-836-2407 (also, an order form is posted in the 18cWoman Files area). From the order form:
Did colonial Americans only wear homespun cloth? Was osnaburg that we used in our 1950s curtains the same as 18th century oznabrig? If you think our ancestors wore drab colors and boring clothes, check out the silk section!

Here is a hands-on approach to textiles used in colonial clothing. The modern textile samples give a feel to textiles in colonial America! For educators at all levels, this book de-mystifies the basics of textiles and clothing of early Americans in a practical way.

Has photos of jewelry-type stomachers, including a blue paste and silver stomacher in the shape of a bow, and an 18th-century engraving of a stomacher belonging to Mme du Barry that looks like it would have been nearly as big as the fabric stomacher it covered.

Rees, John U."The multitude of women ...": An Examination of the Numbers of Female Camp Followers With the Continental Army. In The Brigade Dispatch (Journal of the Brigade of the American Revolution) in three parts: Volume XXIII, no. 4 (Autumn 1992), 5–17; Volume XXIV, no. 1 (Winter 1993), 6-16; Volume XXIV, no. 2 (Spring 1993), 2-6. Reprinted in Minerva: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military, Volume XIV, no. 2 (Summer 1996). On the Web at RevWar'75.

Rees, John U."The proportion of Women which ought to be allowed...": An Overview of Continental Army Female Camp Followers. In The Continental Soldier (Journal of the Continental Line), vol. VIII, no. 3 (Spring 1995), 51-58. On the Web at RevWar'75.

Rezneck, Samuel. Unrecognized Patriots: The Jews in the American Revolution. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1975.

Reynolds, Graham (with the assistance of Katharine Baetjer). European Miiniatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Metropolitan Museum of art, publisher. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., distributor. 1996.

Ribeiro, Aileen. Dress in Eighteenth-Century Europe, 1715–1789. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

Riddle, John M. Eve's Herbs; A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1997.

Riffel, Melanie and Sophie Rouart. Toile de Jouy: printed textiles in the classic French style. London ; New York: Thames & Hudson, 2003, ISBN 0500511497.

Riley, Mara. Johnson, Cathy (illustrator). Whatever Shall I Wear?: A Guide to Assembling a Woman's Basic 18th Century Wardrobe. Excelsior Springs, MO: Graphics/Fine Arts Press, 2002, ISBN 0963158-7-3.
Part of the core costume library for people who are interested in the dress of common people.
Your best basic introduction to 18th century women's clothing. Finally the Distaff Sketchbook can be laid to its long-overdue rest!

Rogers, Gay Ann. An Illustrated History of Needlework Tools. Claremont, CA: Needlework Unlimited, 1983, ISBN 0-962223100-0-2; June, 1994, ISBN-10: 0962231002.
Describes knitting sheaths.
Pp. 53–57 describe chatelaines [18c term: equipages --SLF]. In the 1700's they were worn by women and men "as an all-purpose hanger or as a specialized holder for watches, seals, and expensive trifles." The specialized sewing chatelaine is "primarily a Victorian invention." By the late 19th century, they are usually for females, mostly sewing tools, and decorative. --Sherri Saines

Rose, Clare. Children's Clothes Since 1750. Printed in Great Britain by Courier International, Tiptree, Essex, for the publishers B. T. Batsford Limited, 4 Fitshardinge St., London W1H0AH, 1989, ISBN 0713457414.

Part of the core costume library for people who are interested in children's clothing.

Roth, Rodris. Tea Drinking in Eighteenth-Century America: Its Etiquette and Equipage. In Washington, DC: Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology, number 14, U.S. National Museum, Bulletin 225, Smithsonian Institution, 1961, pp. 61-91.

Roth, Rodris. Tea Drinking in Eighteenth-Century America: Its Etiquette and Equipage. In Material Life In America, 1600-1860, Robert Blair St. George, editor, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988, ISBN 1-55553-019-2 (hardcover), 1-55553-020-6 (paperback).
Updated version of earlier article of the same name in Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology. --Deborah Pulliam

Roth, Stacy F. Past Into Present. UNC Press, 1997.
A guidebook for people doing first-person at historic sites.

Rothstein, Natalie, editor. A Lady of Fashion: Barbara Johnson's Album of Styles and Fabrics. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, 1987.
Out of print.
I love [this book] (did that ever cost and arm and a leg!!) for looking at actual samples of available fabric. --Kate Johnson

Rothstein, Natalie. Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century in the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: With a Complete Catalogue, Victoria And Albert Museum, Bulfinch Press, 1990, ISBN 0821218123.

Rowe, Ann Pollard. Crewel Embroidered Bed Hangings in Old and New England. In the Boston Museum Bulletin, 1991.

Rutt, Richard. History of Hand Knitting. Interweave Pr, June 1989, hardcover, 248 pp., ISBN 0934026351. Interweave Press, May 1, 2003, hardcover, 256 pp., ISBN: 1931499373.
The old (out of print) copies have color pictures. The newer reprint has only black and white, I'm told. There are other books that talk about knitting history ... mostly they just quote Rutt, and mostly they take extant artifacts and make a modern pattern from them with only the 'flavor' of the original. --Colleen Humphreys

Saint-Aubin, Charles Germain de. L'art du brodeur. 1770. The title page reads "L'art du brodeur / Par M. de Saint-Aubin/Dessinateur du Roi / M DCC LXX".
Reproduction edition available. See [Scheuer & Maeder 1983].

Salmon, Marylynn. Women and the Law or Property in Early America. Univ. of NC Press, 1986.

Schaaphok, Ingrid. The Mythical "Bodice". In The Brigade Courier, the Brigade of the American Revolution, Nov-Dec 1999.

Scheuer, Nikki, translator and annotator. Maeder, Edward, editor. Art of the Embroiderer. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1983, ISBN 0-87587-110-0. Reproduction of L'art du brodeur [Saint-Aubin 1770]. The title page reads "Art of the Embroiderer / by Charles Germain de Saint-Aubin / Designer to the King / 1770 / Translated and Annotated by Nikki Scheuer / Los Angeles County Museum of Art".
This reproduction contains both the original French text and an English translation. Illustrated with examples from the collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Has engraved diagrams of embroidery patterns and equipment showing how work is done. Briefly mentions knotting, with a drawing of a thread with some knots in it; color plates from the LACMA show a couple of artifacts with knotting. Contains engraving of a tambour hook and frame. Limited in scope -- fancy court embroidery only -- but excellent on that topic, and the color plates, while few, are luscious. --Sue Felshin

Schoeser, Mary, Printed Handkerchiefs. Jolly & Barger, Rugby, England, 1988, Museum of London.

Schwartz, Laurens R. Jews and the American Revolution: Haym Salomon and Others. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1987.

Seale, William. Recreating the Historic House Interior. The American Association for State and Local History, 1979, ISBN 0-910050-32-5.

Seaver, James E. (James Everett), 1787-1827. A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison, Who Was Taken by the Indians, In the Year 1755, When Only About Twelve Years of Age, and Has Continued to Reside Amongst Them to the Present Time. Text on line at at Project Gutenberg.

Sebba, Anne. Samplers: Five Centuries of a Gentle Craft. NY: Thames and Hudson, 1979, ISBN 0-500-23300-4.

Shammas, Carole. How Self-Sufficient was Early America?. Journal of Interdisciplinary History, V. 13, 2 (Autumn 1982), pp. 247 - 272.

Shesgreen, Sean (editor). The Criers and Hawkers of London: Engravings and Drawings by Marcellus Larroon Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 1990, ISBN 0804715068.
Edited by Sean Shesgreen, with
Reproduces portions of Larroon's series of "Cries" in several versions, with commentary. Contains an introduction discussing the history of "cries", with some reproductions of earlier cries. The prints are generally 17th century or earlier, with 18th century prints being updated versions of earlier prints. Excellent source for the 17th century; less so for the 18th. Read the commentary for hints on how appropriate any given 18th c version is as documentation of fashions and habits of its own time, rather than earlier times. Cited as the source for The Fine Art of Lacing a Bodice. --Sue Felshin

Shields, David S. Civil Toungues & Polite Letters in British America. Instit. of Early Am. History & Culture, Williamsburg, U of NC Press, Chapel Hill, 1997.

Smellie, Dr. A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery. 1752. Facsimile print in 1974 by Scolar Press, 30 Great Russell St, London; and Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co., Inc, New York; on the occasion of the Twentieth British Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, London 1974.

Smith, Andrew F. The Tomato in America: Early History, Culture, and Cookery. University of South Carolina Press, 1994, ISBN: 1570030006.
The short version is, no, 18th century people didn't think tomatoes were poisonous; they just didn't much like eating them. If you want the long version, read this book. --Sue Felshin

Smith, Billy G. Death and Life in a Colonial immigrant City: A Demographic Analysis of Philadelphia. In Journal of Economic History, 37(4):863-89, 1977.

Smith, Charles Saumarez. 18th Century Decoration, Design and the Domestic Interior in England. Harry N Abrams, 1993, ISBN 0-8109-3255-5.
As the title suggests, its focus is 18th Century interiors, but as it is a "picture book" with text (388 ilustrations, 189 plates in full color), it relies on portraits and sketches to illustrate interior rooms of all types and of all classes of society. The dust jacket claims that some of the images have never before been reproduced. There is comment on the artists' "intent" in depicting the subjects, but since the author is concerned with the decor, unlike Anne Buck, he doesn't discuss the clothing. The reader can derive all sorts of information, however, from studying the many large and clear illustrations. The book includes some great portraits with caps displayed both front and back. --Joyce McDonald

Smith, Daniel Scott. Continuity and Discontinuity in Puritan Naming: Massachusetts, 1771. William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 51 (1994), 67-91.
Good source for popular given names in the region.

Smith, Kathleen B. ??? Early American Homes magazine, June, 1996, page 36.
Contains instructions for making bedhangings.
Quite good. --Sharon Burnston

Snap, J. Russell. John Stuart and the Struggle for Empire on the Southern Frontier. Louisiana State University Press, 1996.
Contains information on Indians (Native Americans) in the Southern campaign of the American Revolution.

Soltow, James H. The role of Williamsburg in the Virginia Economy, 1750 - 1775. William & Mary Qtrly, 3rd. Ser, Vol 15, No 4, pp. 467-482.

Sorge, Lynn (Dept. of Theatre/Costume Studies, Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, Nova Scotia). The Engineering of Stays and Hoops: Laying the Foundation for the Eighteenth Century Aesthetic, in Exquisite Dress: Women's Dress of the 18th Century, Tidy's Symposium papers, Winterthur Museum, Wilmington DE, April 1, 1995.
Contains information on transitional stays (rococo to Regency transition).

Spruill, Julia Cherry. Women's Life and Work in the Southern Colonies. W.W. Norton, 1972 (orig. publ. UNC Press, 1938). ISBN 0*393-31758-7.
I am partway through this book and so far it is one of the best books I have found on life in the south during the Colonial period. --Ginny Caraco

Starobinski, Jean, and Philippe Duboy (Contributor). Revolution in Fashion : European Clothing, 1715-1815. Kyoto Costume Institute. Abbeville Press, Inc., 1990, ISBN 1558590722.
Often referred to as "the Kyoto book". This book is out of print/out of stock.
There are 2 examples of jumps.
Page 36 shows jumps 7 petticoat, English, early 18th century. Jumps: linen w/ polychrome silk embroidery. The pictured jumps are tan & appear to be quilted. They are tied at the shoulders like stays, appear to be V-or U-necked, and are tied across the front with ribbons. They also appear to provide little or no support.
Page 75 shows a light blue quilted set(?) of jumps. English, mid 18th century. Jumps: silk with diamond-shaped quilting, fastened in front w/ buttons, back lacing, 8 peplum tabs. This one has shoulder seams sewn together. The front has horizontal tabs or tongues w/ the buttonholes in them. The garment is very fancy and quite beautiful. --Kathleen Norvell

Straeten, Judith (archivist, Brunschweig & Fils). Toiles de Jouy. Gibbs Smith, 2002, ISBN-10: 158685156X, ISBN-13: 978-1586851569.

Steckel, Richard H. Nutritional Status in the Colonial American Economy. William & Mary Qtrly, 3d Series, Vol., 56, No. 1, pp. 31-52.

Styles, John. Involuntary Consumers? Servants and Their Clothes in Eighteenth Century England. In Pasold Textile History, Volume 33, Number 1, May 2002.
This article provides a systematic examantion of servants clothing focusing on the account books of a Yorkshire manufacturer and his servants from the 1760s through 1790s. This is an extremely interesting article with a very systematic analyis of clothing purchased/yard goods/accessories/shoes/cloaks/stays, etc. I cannot say enough about the value of this article from many points of view, but especially if you are trying to portray a servant. --Hallie Larkin

Styles, John. The Dress of the People, 2007. Yale University Press, 2008, 448 pp., ISBN-10: 0300121199, ISBN-13: 978-0300121193.

Swan, Susan Burrows. Plain and Fancy: American Women and Their Needlework, 1650-1850. Austin, Texas : Curious Works Press, 1995, ISBN 0-9633331-3-5. First edition by Rutledge Books, 1977.
Illustrated with examples from the needlework collection at Winterthur Museum and elsewhere.
A readable text, a glossary and stitch diagrams in the back, plus photos by George Fistrovich which will make you itch to pick up a needle, and are sharp enough that you can count stitches! --Sharon Burnston
Contains picture of tambour hoop (p. 84) and embroidery frame (p. 170).

Swan, Susan Burrows. A Winterthur guide to American needlework. Crown Publishers, paperback, 1976.

Szasz, Margaret Connell. Indian Education in the American Colonies, 1607-1783. Originally published 1988. Reissued by Bison Books/University of Nebraska Press, 2007.
The reissue is is a republication, not a revision; after a brief chapter on colonial education, she surveys various colonial efforts to educate Native people in both the northeast and southeast. It is one of the foundational books, maybe the foundational book, on the topic. --Mary Svrjcek

Taunton, Nerylla. Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries. Antique Collectors' Club (June 1, 1997), ISBN: 1851492534.

Theobald, (Mary) Miley; photos by Dave Doody. Stuff and Nonsense: Myths That Should by Now Be History. On the Web at Colonial Williamsburg.

Toomer, Heather. Lace: A guide to identification of old lace types and techniques. London: B. T. Batsford Ltd, 1989.
Although it's organized by type of lace, not chronologically, if you leaf through it a few times you can get a very good idea of what types and styles were available and popular over time. Best for needle lace and bobbin lace, but there is a little bit of information on other forms. --Sue Felshin

Tozer, Jane, and Sarah Levitt. Fabric of Society : A Century of People and their Clothes 1770–1870. Laura Ashley, Powys, Wales 1983.
P. 51: "Printed linen bedgown, c. 1760–70" with photo of artifact.

Trestain, Eileen Jahnke. Dating Fabrics A Color guide 1800 - 1960. Paducah, Kentucky : American Quilter's Society, 1998, ISBN 0-89145-884-0.
[This book] is an excellent secondary source within the dates she covers. I would not use the information for 18th century clothing except general knowledge of printed cottons in the 19th and 20th century. (As it is produced by American Quilt Society it is slanted toward textiles in quilts, separating the scraps from their garments.) --Sally Queen

Tully, Mark. The Fine Art of Lacing a Bodice. In the NTWA Courier, November/December 1997.
Illustrates several ways to lace stays, taken from The Criers and Hawkers of London: Engravings and Drawings by Marcellus Larroon.

Turner, Katy. The Legacy of the Great Wheel. Mountain View, MO: Select Books, 1980.
Page 53 describes "spinning sticks".

Uglow, Jenny. The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England 1650-1750. Vintage Books, reissue edition, 1991, ISBN 0-679-73257-8. Univ. of North Carolina Press, November 1996, ISBN: 0807846236
A whole chapter on 'Travail' which deals with specifics such as incidence of travel during pregnancy and lactation.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. Vintage Books, reprint edition, 1991, ISBN 0679733760.
The diary is available on the Web.
Made into quite a good movie. --Sue Felshin

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Wheels, Looms, and the Gender Division of Labor in Eighteenth-Century New England. William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, V. 55, No. 1 (1998), pp. 3-38.
Discusses gender divisions in home textile manufacture.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth. Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. ISBN 0-679-44594-3.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Of Pens and Needles: Sources in Early American Women's History. The Journal of American History, June 1990, pp. 200-207.

Van Kirk, Sylvia. Many Tender Ties : Women in Fur-Trade Society, 1670-1870. Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer, 1980. ISBN 0-920486-06-1. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983, ISBN-10 0806118474, ISBN 13 978-0806118475. Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer, 1996, ISBN-10: 189623951X, ISBN-13: 978-1896239514.
Describes the changing role of women (Native, Metis, & European) in the Canadian fur trade. Available from as of March 2001 (University of Oklahoma Press).
A 'must' for anyone interested in portraying women associated with the Canadian fur trade. Has some basic description of costume, but is most valuable for explaining the social and economic roles of these women, often called 'country wives' (femmes du pays). --Angela Gottfred

Vining, Elizabeth Gray. The Virginia Exiles. Philadephia and New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1955.
Novel about Quakers exiled from Philadelphia to Virginia for the stated reason of refusing to swear an oath of loyalty. See also Thomas Gilpin's Exiles in Virginia.

Waller, Maureen. 1700: Scenes from London Life. British edition: Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2000. American edition: Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 2000.
It's a good read and there is even a really facinating print that shows how the mantua style was adapted into peasant clothing. --Mary "Firefly"

Walter, J. (sold by). Instructions for Cutting out Apparel for the Poor. London, 1789.
Instructions for making workbags on p. 37.

Ward, Barbara McLean. Women's Property and Family Continuity in Eighteenth Century Connecticut. In Early American Probate Inventories.

Ward, Matthew C. Breaking the Backcountry; The Seven Years War in Virginia, 1754-1765. University of Pittsburgh Press, ISBN 0-8229-4214-3.

Warwick, Edward; Pitz, Henry; Wychoff, Alexander. Early American Dress: The Colonial and Revolutionary Period. Reprint: Bonanza, New York, 1965.

Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Women's Clothes, 1600-1930. Faber and Faber, London, 1968.
Discussion of women's clothes era by era. Period illustrations. Quotes from period writings. Draughts of garment artifacts (to scale, but not on a graphed grid).
See comment at Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines.

Waugh, Norah. Corsets and Crinolines. London : B.T. Batsford, 1954.
Nora Waugh's research is sometimes flawed such as the half-boned red silk damask stays with the straps on backwards in Corsets and Crinolines. She should be used; but, verified. --Dianne Tidy

Weber, Caroline. Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. Hardcover edition: Henry Holt and Co., 2006, ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-7949-4, ISBN-10: 0-8050-7949-1. Paperback edition: Picador, 2007, ISBN-13: 978-0-312-42734-4, ISBN-10: 0-312-42734-4.

Weidert, Bonnie R. Tape Looms Past and Present. Printed by Image Printer, 543 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620.
It contains some wonderful Information and Instructions, and patterns to make tape. Documentation on the looms, plus patterns for making the some of the looms. --Cindy Gorin

Wells, Robert V. Facing the King of Terrors; Death and Society in an American Community 1750–1990. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
The community that the subtitle refers to is Schenectady, NY.

Werner, Alex. London Bodies. Museum of London, London, 1998.
Contains reproduction of City Shower.

Wertz, Richard W. and Dorothy C. Wertz. Lying-In: A History of Childbirth in America. New York: Free Press, 1977.
Review at JSTOR.

Whiting, Gertrude. Old Time Tools & Toys of Needlework. Dover Publications, 1973, ISBN 0486225178.
Examples [of knotting shuttles] may be found in [this book]. --Barbara Delorey
Misattributes a lucet as a thread winder and a tape loom as a "lace pleater".

Willan, Anne. Great Cooks and Their Recipes from Taillevent to Escoffier. Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1992, ISBN 0-8212-1922-7
On p. 98, contains reproduction of Balthasar Nebot's Covent Garden with St Paul's Church, 1737, in the Guildhall Art Gallery in London.

Wilson, Erica. Crewel Embroidery. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1962, SBN 684-10673-6.
The title page spread and introduction contain photographs of several 18th century crewel embroidered bed hangings, petticoats, and petticoat borders.

Wolf, Simon (1836-1923). The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Citizen [edited by Louis Edward Levy], with a new introduction by George Athan Billias. Boston: Gregg Press, 1972; first edition 1895.

Wolf, Stephanie Grauman. As Various as Their Lands: The Everyday Lives of Eighteenth-Century Americans. Harper Collins Publishers, 1993, ISBN 0-06-092537-x.
A carefully researched and useful book. In her chapter on Community Networks, on page 258, she states that in Philadelphia alone there were 18 organized denominations. --Deb Peterson
I too found "As Various as their Lands" to be a very well written book, and a useful addition to one's library. However, be warned that it is not footnoted. This makes it an "easier read", but, for us documentation junkies, having no footnotes is a bit frustrating. --Ingrid Schaaphok
Dr. Wolfe is not happy that Various isn't footnoted. She wrote it with footnotes but the publisher chose not to add them. Sigh. If anyone wishes to query her source on an item she is more than willing to give the source. Believe me if she doesn't have a source she doesn't use the information!
I have her email address, but will have to ask her permission to put it out here. I wouldn't want her to be swamped! Stevie is a very nice woman who is a professor at the Univ. of Delaware. Her work is wonderful and hearing her speak is fun too! --Deb Peterson

Woodmason, Charles. The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution: The Journal and Other Writings of Charles Woodmason, Anglican Itinerant. Richard J. Hooker, editor. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 1953.
Contains the paragraph on certain women in the South going without stays: "The Young Women have a most uncommon Practise, which I cannot break them off...".
LOTS of wonderful stuff in there, though his attitude as a rather uptight Anglican minister fresh from England is rather different from the Rev. Joseph Doddridge's, who grew up among his parishioners. Woodmason looks down on the people he serves, and has some very unkind things to say about them--still he observed well, and noted a great deal of interesting stuff... --Kate Johnson
To the best of my memory, he was in "upcountry" or western South Carolina, around Camden, when he was writing the bit of his diary that Kate quoted. I believe this area was still considered "frontier" at this time [...]. --Katie Caddell

Woodruff, Elvira. George Washington's Socks. Original edition out of print. Hardcover reprint: Econo-Clad Books, 1999, ISBN 0785701923. Softcover reprint: Apple, 1993, ISBN 0590440365.
This book takes a different approach to the 18th century from most historical novels, using time travel by contemporary kids as a way to bridge the gap to the 1770s. (I think it relies heavily on Fast's Crossing for its details of the Trenton battle.) --J. L. Bell

Wright, Merideth and Nancy Rexford (illustrator).

Everyday Dress of Rural America, 1783-1800 : with Instructions and Patterns. Dover, 1992.

Yentsch, Ann. A Chesapeake Family and Their Slaves: A Study in Historical Archaeology. Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN: 0521467306.

Young, Philip. Revolutionary Ladies: Being the surprising true histories of some forgotten American women--all beautiful, rich, and Loyalist--whose lives were shaped by scandal and turned upside down by the War for Independence. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.
This offers detailed studies of Lady Frances Wentworth, Elizabeth Loring, Margaret Moncrieffe, Peggy Shippen Arnold, Hannah Van Horne, Betsy Rogers, and others. All well-born Loyalists, some of them not only close to but totally involved in the conduct of the war. Several of their stories are foggy because of scandal, espionage, deliberate misremembering, romanticization, etc., which Young tries to cut through. --J. L. Bell


Chardin, Jean Siméon. The Attentive Nurse, probably 1738, according to the National Gallery of Art. According to Chardin by Michel, c. 1747, and called The Convalescent's Meal and also known as The Attentive Nurse.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Reproduced in Chardin by Michel.
Woman wears a pinkish apron with pinner, rather short; pin (probably, though theoretically could be thorn) visible in detail image. What is that tie at the back of her neck? Could she be wearing a kerchief over a cap? She appears to be wearing a bedgown. The top part just looks printed but the bottom part looks striped and printed; hard to tell if this is an artifact of the painting, the reproduction, or what. Her petticoat is striped rather interestingly. --Sue Felshin
The white piece showing in the back is the tail end of the long kerchief wrapped around her cap and then around her neck and tied in back. A side view of this method of wrapping appears in The Diligent Mother, c. 1740. In the sketch which pre-dates the painting, the kerchief is black, not white. The upper garment does appear to be a printed fabric; while the petticoat appears to be an irregular woven stripe. The stripes are orange, white, gray and golden yellow and are very similar to a stripe petticoat that Beth Gilgun wears. The nurse is also wearing heeled mules. --Dianne Tidy

Chardin, Jean Siméon. The Kitchen Maid. 1738.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Note interesting pattern on kerchief; see detail image. --Sue Felshin

Chardin, Jean Siméon. The House of Cards. c. 1735.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Note side curls similar to boy in Soap Bubbles. --Sue Felshin

Chardin, Jean Siméon. Soap Bubbles. Probably 1733/1734.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art.
One boy blows bubbles while another watches. Note side locks (see also The House of Cards) and open underarm seam on one boy, strange cap (see detail) on other. --Sue Felshin
The "smiling seam" on the sleeved waistcoat is very common on the middle century garment. Serves several purposes: allows for more ease in the closely fitting sleeve and also allows the garment to air the armpit...I have seen this on several silk sleeved waistcoats from this period. The underarm seam is finished separately on the waistcoat and on the lower sleeve between the two sleeve seams. The upper sleeve is sewn into the garment as usual. --Dianne Tidy
A "smiling seam" is used on the French soldier's small clothes, according to the regulation of, hm, '79, I think. --Sue Felshin

Chardin, Jean Siméon. The Young Governess. c. 1739.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art.
How do you like that ribbon on her cap, gold edged with red! (See detail.) Interesting cap on the child, too. (I'm guessing it's a boy.) --Sue Felshin
The two color ribbon, edged red on white also shows up on Saying Grace c. 1740. The little girl in the foreground wears the same style cap. I have seen silk embroidered versions of this child's cap in several collections; but surviving without the band. One that was heavily quilted (white linen or cotton) was recently sold at a local antique store (no, not in my price range!); but, I did get a good look at it before it was gone. --Dianne Tidy

Collier, Edward. A Trompe l'Oeil of Newspapers, Letters and Writing Implements on a Wooden Board, circa 1699. Available on the Web at the Tate Gallery.
Painting contains not only letters and writing implements but also a horn comb.

Copley, John Singleton. The Death of Major Pierson. 17??.
Original on display at the Tate Gallery in London, England. Reproduced in John Singleton Copley in America. Cropped image on Web at

Fragonard, Jean-Honori. La toilette (II). 1742.
On Web at, available via La Couturière Parisienne: The Rococo Menu: 18th Century Late Baroque and Rococo Fashion, 1740-1760.
This painting shows a woman gartering her stockings above the knee with pink ribbon. She has wrapped the ribbon around her knee at least twice. This would help to distribute the tension and allow her to tie the garters a little tighter than if she only wrapped them once around. She is wearing an open-fronted shift-like garment that appears to be a dressing jacket of some sort. A wide lacing appears across her bosom; this is presumably lacing across a stomacher -- this is 1742, after all. --Sue Felshin

Greuze, Jean-Baptiste. The Village Betrothal.
On the Web at the WebMuseum, Paris.
The bride, who wears an exceptionally wide and form fitting bib apron, does not appear to be wearing stays. Several women wear interesting caps. Good reproduction in 18th Century French Painting.

Greuze, Jean-Baptiste. The Spoiled Child.
On the Web at the CGFA.

Lancret, Nicolas. The Picnic after the Hunt. Probably c. 1740.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Two women wear riding habits. If this one isn't a riding habit with underpinnings, I don't know what is! --Sue Felshin
And again, notice that the jackets are worn open, disclosing the waistcoat. I rarely have found a painting in which the jacket is closed. --Barbara Delorey

Penny, Edward. City Shower At the London Museum. Reproduced in Johnson's Eighteenth Century London. Reproduced in Werner's London Bodies.
A servant twirling a mob is wearing a bib apron. This is the most solid example I know of of an adult, non-whore Englishwoman in a bib apron. That's one example out of hundreds of examples of non-bib aprons, so this one picture should not be used as license for reenactors of Englishwomen to wear bib aprons. This painting has been discussed on 18cWoman; check the archives on 31 Jan 2000, 6 Feb 2000, and 11-14 Mar 2000.

Piazzetta, Giovanni Battista. A Shepherd Family Resting 1740s.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art. This romanticized Italian idyll has little if anything to do with the American colonies, and probably just as little to do with the real Italy of that era, but it does remind me considerably of some reenactors' fanciful outfits: woman in off-shoulder, sleeveless bodice (?) and no cap, man in casual, open-fronted something-or-other. Perhaps this explains where they get those ideas. --Sue Felshin

Vanloo, Charles Amédée Philippe. The Magic Lantern. 1764.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Interesting kerchief on woman. Is she wearing a jacket with long sleeves that button or lace? (See detail.) I wish I knew how to dress my hair like hers! Child's frock appears to have stiffened bodice. --Sue Felshin

Vanloo, Charles Amédée Philippe. Soap Bubbles. 1764.
Available on the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Woman appears to have pinned cloth to bodice to catch bubbles; pins are fairly clearly visible in detail image.

Walton, Henry. Plucking the Turkey. Exhibited 1776.
Available on the Web at the Tate Gallery. Reproduced in Dress in Eighteenth Century England, p. 104. Reproduced in Paintings of the British Social Scene (full-page, color).
The woman appears to be wearing an English-style bedgown, but one can see by the lay of the grid of spots that it flares at the hips, rather than being square cut. Her apron is interesting for being a relatively large windowpane check. --Sue Felshin
I think she is wearing an English style bedgown (very similar to the pink one in the Stubbs Haymaker painting -- a painting which some people scoff at, but I am not one of them). It is a logwood lavender with white spots. Her blue and white check apron is indeed tied at the front. Her petticoat is a bluey-green linen. What I love is that you can see that she is wearing strapless stays because of the tell-tale line on her back. Janice Ryan cites this cap as one of the pictures on which she based her dormeuse cap pattern. --Nancy Watt

Walton, Henry. The Silver Age
In the collection of Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, accession no. B.1981.25.650.
In the Files area of the 18cWoman Web site.
Painting of young girl wearing bonnet and bibbed apron.


Sash, bloodstained, which George Washington received from the dying General Braddock in 1755.
On display at the Chicago Historical Society in "Treasures from Mt. Vernon" from Saturday, 29 Jan 2000 to ???; the sash is stretched over a large roll in the case so visitors could see "1709" woven in the center. A beautiful shade of red, more ruby than crimson. A very fine weave, appearing to be very stretchy. I don't do needle lace or even knit, but it seemed to my amateur eye that some type of loom would be necessary to achieve both the fineness and the width. The whole exhibit is wonderful, and well worth the trip. --Lynn M. Zidek
On the Web at Have Fun With George.
Pictured in illustration 67 of The Techniques of Sprang, Plaiting on Stretched Threads by Peter Collingwood.

Polonaise. Silk... Snowshill Manor, England. Dated 1770-1975.
Sketch and draught available on pp. ??-?? of Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1.

Sack gown. Cherry and white stripe silk with button front compère.
Sketch and draught available on pp. ??-?? of Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1. Color picture in The Art of Dress, Clothes and Society by Jane Ashelford.

Woodcut from The Progress of Man and Society. Thomas Bewick, 1791.
Reproduced in Kidwell's article Short Gowns.


William Hogarth (1697 - 1764). Haley & Steele. On line at
According to the site: "a comprehensive exhibition of early impressions of his work: the great sets - A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress, Marriage A La Mode, Beer Street and Gin Lane, The Four Times of Day, Four Prints of an Election; individual prints, including The Distressed Poet, Midnight Modern Conversation, The Gates of Calais, The March to Finchley, Southwark Fair, Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn; and many of the subscription tickets."

English Caricature Prints (1720-1820) Haley & Steele. On line at
According to the site: "Artists and engravers include: William Hogarth, Arthur Pond, George Townsend, James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, James Sayers, H. Bunbury, J. Kay, Robert Dighton, F. G. Byron, Isaac Cruikshank, Henry Kingsbury, J. Nixon, P. Roberts, George Cruikshank, William Charles, and many more! The collection consists of over 200 prints".

New York Footnotes: 18th Century Women's Shoes from the Costume Collection of the Museum of the City of New York, online exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. Barbara Parent, guest curator.
Exhibit of 30 or so pairs of women's shoes from 1740 to 1800, too fragile to be physically exhibited in the museum.



Colonial Williamsburg
The journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Web site:

The journal of The Costume Society. Index and recent back issues available.

Dress, the Journal of the Costume Society of America
Available in some libraries (also try interlibrary loan). Some back issues of Dress are available from the CSA at /
The Early America Review: A Journal of Fact and Opinion On the People, Issues and Events Of 18th Century America
A publication of Archiving Early America. On the Web at See also the related Early American Digital Library.
This journal is an unreliable source of information. For an example, see the article Portraits of Martha in the Winter 2000 edition. The portraits shown are unlabeled as to artist, date, or origin, and are inaccurate, variously 19th century inventions and copies of earlier portraits; for a detailed discussion, see the 18cWoman archives circa February 24, 2000. These portraits are also in the related Early American Digital Library, where they are equally unattributed.


On the Web at

The Museum of the City of New York.
On the Web at

The National Gallery of Art.
On the Web at

The Tate Gallery.
On the Web at


The Early American Digital Library, a part of the Archiving Early America collection.
This library is an unreliable source of information. For an example of its unreliability, see several unattributed portraits of Martha Washington, actually 19th century inventions or copies of early portraits, at; for a detailed discussion, see the 18cWoman archives circa February 24, 2000.

Other Collections

Archiving Early America,
From their mission statement: "Our main focus is primary source material from 18th Century America-- all displayed digitally. A unique array of original newspapers, maps and writings come to life on your screen just as they appeared to our forebears more than 200 years ago."
The site contains a library, the Early American Digital Library, a journal, The Early America Review, and assorted other contents.
This site is an unreliable source of information. For an example of its unreliability, see the entry in this source list for the article Portraits of Martha, Vol. III No. 1, Winter 2000.

The Costumer's Manifesto. On the Web at

La Couturière Parisienne. On the Web at

Pennsylvania Gazette. Available on line at
Paid subscription necessary; discount was at one point available for RevList members, later discontinued but can't hurt to ask.



Greuze, Jean-Baptiste. 1725-1805. French.
Greuze has a penchant for a certain pastoral type of painting for a sentimental market. The neckline as seen in The spoiled child and The Village Betrothal for instance is so emblematic of his work as to be almost an identifying characteristic. I think of his work as being similar to Francis Hayman's. He's not awful as a primary source, but I would never take his representation alone. --Nancy Watt
Collections of works: On the Web at the WebMuseum, Paris. On the Web at the CGFA.
Works cited here: The Village Betrothal.

Walton, Henry. English.
Henry Walton's paintings for the most part seem to be in private collections and therefore it is always good to get word if a new one is spotted as he is one of the best real-life painters of his era. --Nancy Watt
Works cited here: Plucking the Turkey, The Silver Age.

Other online lists of costume books

Copyright © Sue Felshin, 2000-2011. All Rights Reserved. Individuals' comments reprinted from 18cWoman with their permission.

Last modified 22 June 2011.