Archive for January, 2010

Cigar Ribbon Smoking Jacket

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

by Jill Holt, Curator of Textiles

Occasionally, we give behind the scene tours of our museum collection storage areas. The cigar ribbon smoking jacket is one of my favorite artifacts that I like to show visitors on these tours.

During the Victorian era, cigar smoking became a popular pastime for men. Many homes had a private drawing room where men would gather to smoke and visit. Men would don smoking jackets and smoking caps which absorbed the odor of the cigar smoke. During the late 1800s, cigar manufacturers bundled their products in batches of 25 or 50 cigars and tied the bundles with gold silk ribbons on which were printed the manufacturers’ names. Women who did fancy work and quilting found a purpose for these silk ribbons and created quilts, table runners, and smoking jackets from them.

The quilted smoking jacket in our collection is made from gold, yellow, and orange silk ribbons and features a shawl collar. We have several examples of the loose silk cigar ribbons in our collection as well. The vibrant colors of luxurious silk ribbons are transformed into an unusual and outstanding article of clothing, making it one of my personal favorites.

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Did You Know…

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

by William D. Welge, Research Division Director

That in the manuscript section of the Research Division is a small collection of the Tenth United States Infantry that contains a compilation of orders issued from the Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General’s Office out of Washington, D.C. dating from 1895 regarding individual soldiers being transferred from one post to another or other assignments. Many will involve troops either at Fort Sill, Indian Territory or Fort Reno, Oklahoma Territory. Each order is dated and the booklet has been indexed.

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