You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2012.

Just over a year ago now, we started posting the Alphabetical Artifact List.  With the recently completed renovation, the R.S. Williams Negative Collection as well as other projects, this one was put to the side.  Today, we are picking it up, starting back at it with the letter G: for Gown!

The King Gown comes from the Rebekah Lodge which is an international service-oriented organization and a branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF).  It was initially designed as the female auxiliary of the IOOF, but now allows both female and male members.  The Strathroy branch was named the Lady Howard Lodge #321.

In the beginning, 1851, the Rebekah Lodge was designed especially for women, and its ceremony and lectures are based upon the characters of notable women in Biblical history. It is named for that woman of early Hebrew history whose kindness and hospitality to a humble and unknown stranger best portrayed the nobility and character of women.

This robe was worn during some of their fancier occasions such as award ceremonies.

The robe is made from red velvet with satin embellishments and accents.  The tasselled collar and the unique detailing on the buttons give this robe a sophisticated image, one popular with the high-class.

This robe has a fairly similar design to those that are worn at convocation ceremonies at universities and colleges today.

King Gown circa 1890

Tassel Detail

Rinsing the glass plate negatives in distilled water.

This past Friday, our Collections Assistant Crystal and our summer Intern Jordan started the long process of deep-cleaning the 3000 + glass plate negatives associated with the R.S. Williams Negative Collection.  We started with a trial of ten negatives, making sure to test a wide variety in case smudging occured or the emulsion started to flake.

The negatives were put into three different baths, being soaked for 10-15 seconds in each.  Gloves were worn to prevent finger prints and other natural oils from getting on the negatives.

The drying process was the most time consuming, taking over 8 hours.  Due to the long drying time, we will only be able to fully clean and package approximately 20 negatives per day due to lack of space in our drying racks.

Some of the negatives had what looks like red marker on the top, identifying who was in the picture.  The writing was monitored carefully as the negatives were soaked as to prevent fading and loss of information.

The description of each negative was taken, including a photograph before being treated with the wet cleaning process.  These descriptions will help to form a preliminary index for the collection.

All ten trial negatives drying.

About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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