Pieces of History

Wooden travel trunk, 1870, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Wooden travel trunk, 1870, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

The Red Cross Canteen in Elmira: Fact and Fiction by Erin Doane, Curator
The Red Cross Canteen service in Elmira was established in early June of 1918.  Canteen volunteers served sandwiches, coffee, lemonade, cookies, candy, and even ice cream to soldiers passing through the city on troop trains. They also offered medical assistance to any sick soldiers on the trains.  In four months, 126,798 soldiers received hospitality from Canteen workers.  In a letter dated August 6, 1918, Captain Charles Talbot of the 157th Infantry expresses his gratitude by writing, “…we are grateful indeed and never shall forget your city or the sweet ladies of the Elmira Canteen.  Such hospitality makes a soldier love his country more and sends him away with a warm and tender feeling in his breast for the splendid womanhood of our country.”


And now for a bit of melodramatic historical fiction inspired by a Red Cross volunteer’s hat in the museum’s collection. (READ MORE)

The Red Cross Canteen in Elmira: Fact and Fiction by Erin Doane, Curator

The Red Cross Canteen service in Elmira was established in early June of 1918.  Canteen volunteers served sandwiches, coffee, lemonade, cookies, candy, and even ice cream to soldiers passing through the city on troop trains. They also offered medical assistance to any sick soldiers on the trains.  In four months, 126,798 soldiers received hospitality from Canteen workers.  In a letter dated August 6, 1918, Captain Charles Talbot of the 157th Infantry expresses his gratitude by writing, “…we are grateful indeed and never shall forget your city or the sweet ladies of the Elmira Canteen.  Such hospitality makes a soldier love his country more and sends him away with a warm and tender feeling in his breast for the splendid womanhood of our country.”

And now for a bit of melodramatic historical fiction inspired by a Red Cross volunteer’s hat in the museum’s collection. (READ MORE)

Cartes de visite of unidentified boy photographed by A.P. Hart of Elmira, 1860s, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Cartes de visite of unidentified boy photographed by A.P. Hart of Elmira, 1860s, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Silver coffee urn, 1869, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Silver coffee urn, 1869, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Paisley shawl, 1868, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Paisley shawl, 1868, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Rogers Group statue, Taking the Oath and Drawing Rations, 1866, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Rogers Group statue, Taking the Oath and Drawing Rations, 1866, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Chemung County at the World’s Fairs by Kelli Huggins, Education CoordinatorI had initially planned for this post to just discuss Elmirans at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876.  A lot of locals made contributions as presenters or architects and its a good story.  However, as I was researching, I realized how much great stuff we have from other World’s Fairs as well.  So I thought, “Ok, so I guess I’ll expand out to look at the Columbian and Pan-American exhibitions, too.”  And then I found even more great items, so now this blog will cover seven World’s Fairs and exhibitions up to New York in 1964 (read: this will have a ton of cool pictures!).
Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, May 10-November 10, 1876The Centennial Exhibition was the first American-hosted World’s Fair.  Planned to celebrate the United States’ 100th birthday, the fair was a huge production featuring exhibitors from around the world.  Approximately 10 million people attended, or about 20% of the United States’ population at that time.  Among those millions were quite a few Elmirans.  John Murdock represented Chemung County on the state Board of Centennial Managers. (READ MORE)

Chemung County at the World’s Fairs by Kelli Huggins, Education Coordinator

I had initially planned for this post to just discuss Elmirans at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876.  A lot of locals made contributions as presenters or architects and its a good story.  However, as I was researching, I realized how much great stuff we have from other World’s Fairs as well.  So I thought, “Ok, so I guess I’ll expand out to look at the Columbian and Pan-American exhibitions, too.”  And then I found even more great items, so now this blog will cover seven World’s Fairs and exhibitions up to New York in 1964 (read: this will have a ton of cool pictures!).

Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, May 10-November 10, 1876
The Centennial Exhibition was the first American-hosted World’s Fair.  Planned to celebrate the United States’ 100th birthday, the fair was a huge production featuring exhibitors from around the world.  Approximately 10 million people attended, or about 20% of the United States’ population at that time.  Among those millions were quite a few Elmirans.  John Murdock represented Chemung County on the state Board of Centennial Managers. (READ MORE)

Yarn winder, 1865, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Yarn winder, 1865, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Mourning badge worn for Abraham Lincoln, 1865, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Mourning badge worn for Abraham Lincoln, 1865, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Maple sap spout, 1864, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society

Maple sap spout, 1864, from the collection of the Chemung County Historical Society