Summer Time= Recharging Teachers

I usually talk about my past teaching experiences in the blog posts; so I thought I would switch it up and talk a little about the work here in the museum. Since I will doing a good deal of editing and writing for our new website this month, I decide to just to a quick top five list. Continue reading

Being a Teacher- Part Two

Teaching in a museum setting is such a different experience than teaching in a school. As a museum educator I have a chance to work off of lesson plans,with no homework or tests, to grade. The students are there to have fun and most of the time they are excited to be out of the class room, even if they don’t always show it. So even on a bad museum day, it does not hold a candle to my first week of teaching. Continue reading

Not a Moment to Spare!


These two words sum up the schedule of our educators over the last few weeks. In April, the CHS Education Department served about 3,000 children, teachers, and parents through its educational programs. May is gearing up to be an even busier month for our department! So, please accept the following humorous photograph in lieu of a long blog post. Stay tuned for June (and summer vacation!)……

: Busy! Busy! Busy!

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Erin Strogoff is the Lead Museum Educator at the Connecticut Historical Society

Playing the Teaching Game

Quotap Desk CHSI teach by day and work with toys by night. If that opening did not give you a hint, yes I am a comic book fan. I’m always trying to figure out a way to bring that out in my teaching, whether is setting up my desk at work with fun action figures, or trying to work video games into a lesson plan, my most effective work usually has a part of me in it. Continue reading

Paul Robeson: Baritone, Activist and Renaissance Man

Although Paul Robeson was born in New Jersey, for twelve years he made Enfield, Connecticut his home. The baritone and radio singer was best known for his title role in “Othello” in the 1930s and 1940s, which he portrayed in various venues between London and New York. Robeson performed in numerous American plays and Hollywood films, including Borderline (1930), The Emperor Jones (1933), and Show Boat (1936). Robeson performed regularly at the Bushnell Memorial Theater, having sung in their first Concert Series in 1945 with such songs as “Deep River” and “Ritual Fire Dance”. Continue reading

The More They Change……

Toys have been around for as long as parents needed a way to distract and entertain their kids. From the bone toys of the Native Americans, to the wooden toys of the Colonists, to the action figures of today; their meanings have not changed, just the complexity, maybe. Continue reading

Giving Thanks!

It is that time of year (I can’t believe that November is already here) when everyone begins to think about the things that they are thankful for. I want to give a big thank-you to the following for making 2013 such a great year! Continue reading

The Colors of Fall!

Fall is my most favorite time of the year – slightly cooler weather, fairs and festivals serving delicious pumpkin and maple flavored treats, and the changing of leaves from green to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. If it were up to me, (and I know a lot of you will be happy that it is not), fall in New England would last all year! Continue reading

Stitches and seams

Do you remember Home Economics in school when you were younger? They don’t call it that any more, and boys are learning to sew and cook and girls can take shop, so I understand. I wish that had been true in the 1960s and 1970s while I was growing up. I still hammer like a girl.

When Mildred Ledgard, (born about 1910) attended Northwest School in Hartford about 1925 or so, she took a sewing class, and we have her sewing sample book. It puts me to shame when I think of my own sewing abilities! She has samples of flat felled seams,


Flat felled seam sample by Mildred Ledgard. Ms 101782.

Flat felled seam sample by Mildred Ledgard. Ms 101782.


blanket stitch and something called a catch stitch (the seam in the center),

Blanket and catch seams by Mildred Ledgard. Ms 101782

Blanket and catch seams by Mildred Ledgard. Ms 101782


Sample of gathering cloth with stitches by Mildred Ledyard. ms 101782

Sample of gathering cloth with stitches by Mildred Ledgard. Ms 101782

hem stitching,

Hem stitching sample by Mildred Ledgard. Ms 101782

Hem stitching sample by Mildred Ledgard. Ms 101782

and an over-sewn patch.

A patch seen from the "wrong" side of the fabric for better contrast. Ms 101782

A patch seen from the “wrong” side of the fabric for better contrast. Ms 101782

I think I was an adult when I learned what a flat felled seam was (think of the outside seam on your jeans), patches were ironed on, not sewn, and my hem stitch never looked like Mildred’s. But at least I can thread a needle and sew. In fact, if I have free time I like to quilt. My dear sister-in-law never learned to even sew on a button (but don’t let her know I told you). Good for my brother he had a mother and sister who could sew.

Mildred’s sewing sample book is available in the Research Center by asking for Ms 101782. Like many of the stories we collect, we don’t have the “rest of the story” about Mildred–did she marry, was she an accomplished sewer, did she have a career or a family? If anyone can shed light on Mildred, please let us know.

Let’s Go Huskies! Let’s Go Interns!

stephen blog 1Fall is the time when students of all ages head back to school. It is also the time of year when the CHS Education Department welcomes two new interns through a partnership program with the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. The interns from the program (this is our fifth year!) have earned their undergraduate degrees, completed their student-teaching requirements, and are 5th year students pursuing their Master Degree in Education. Continue reading