Sat
21

Spring Cleaning: A Day of Experimental Archaeology & the Never-Ending War on Dust

Saturday, April 21, 2012

10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Cost: Free with purchase of regular house tours at 10:30, 12:00, 1:30 and 3:00

John Brown House Museum
52 Power Street
Providence, RI 02903

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Eighteenth and 21st centuries meet at the John Brown House Museum when RIHS Director of Collections Kirsten Hammerstrom and Registrar Dana Signe Munroe get the museum ready for spring in the 18th century manner.

Dressed in period-appropriate clothing, we will discover what it takes to make the John Brown House ready for spring. With buckets, cloths, and brooms, we will start with the formal parlor and demonstrate for visitors domestic work described in Hannah Glass’s “The Servants Directory, Improved, or, House-Keepers Companion,” published in 1762 and Susannah Whatman’s Housekeeping Book (1776-1800). These methods are surprisingly similar to today’s conservation cleaning methods outlined in the Manual of Housekeeping published by the National Trust of Britain.

Fortunately for our staff members, recently completed construction has provided them with a house full of dust ready for cleaning!