Historians At Home: Anne Dealy

March 5th, 2021

During the first half of 2021 Historical Society staff are sharing on social media how we “curate” our own stories at home.  Next up,  our Director of Education and Public Information Anne Dealy.

1950s stove

I feel like a living historian interpreting the 1950s every time I use my stove. This c. 1959 Hotpoint came with our 1950 colonial revival house. We figured we’d replace it when it broke. Well, nearly 20 years later, it still works! I don’t know if it met the needs of the 1959 cook, but despite the quality construction, it has some serious drawbacks. It’s 39 inches wide, but has the oven and cooking surface of a 20-inch wide stove. The thermostat is off by at least 75 degrees, and I recently caught the broiling coil on a roasting thermometer and broke it. Although the range featured in this 1946 film is a Westinghouse, it’s very similar to mine.




Front and back cover to a 1968 Singer Zig Zag Sewing Machine


This is the manual from my 1968 cast iron sewing machine. My mother bought it used when I was a baby and made a few clothes for us as children. I learned to use it making Barbie clothes in the 1970s and early 80s. Like my stove, it is a workhorse. It weighs at least 50 pounds even though it was a “portable” machine. I used it to make my Taking Tea corset and my pandemic masks.




knicCChina cabinet filled with knacks and memorabilia


This cabinet came from my parents’ house. They got it used in the early 1970s, and it’s sat pretty much in this spot since my husband and I moved into our house. It’s the home for forgotten knick-knacks and memorabilia, like my Mike Weaver Drain Tile Museum bumper sticker. On top is the Seth Thomas Mantle clock that came to my mom from my grandmother and now reminds me of childhood every time it chimes.




Two tea cups, from my grandmother, a glass, a Napco figurine, a statue of the Holy Family, a bottle and a champagne flute


Inside my china cabinet are a variety of figurines and glassware from milestones in my life. This collection includes tea cups from my grandmother, a glass from a set we always used for eggnog during the holidays, a Napco figurine, a statue of the Holy Family, a bottle from my third grade performance in Rip Van Winkle, and the champagne flute from my senior ball.




A collection of unicorn figurines that are made from a variety of materials


One of my earliest collections was typical of an adolescent girl of my generation: unicorns. Once proudly displayed in my teenage bedroom, they’ve resided in the china cabinet for decades. Perhaps it is time for a deaccession meeting?




A collection of books by C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper and Lloyd Alexander



These books were an important part of my childhood. My parents had so many books that they were the biggest challenge of clearing out their house when my father died. I am only slightly better. I still read aloud to my son regularly, and we’ve read all of these and many more of my childhood favorites.






 A collection of glassware from Germany (mugs, glasses, and beer steins)


This collection came from the college year I spent in Germany. Being college and Germany, it includes lots of alcohol-related glassware. One is a beer mug received for participating in a Folksport Day—after a 10 kilometer hike we all got beer mugs. I don’t recall if it included beer.




Coaster adverting Bocksbeutel wine in Germany



This coaster is part of a collection I brought back from Germany. Bars and restaurants always had great coasters. I lived in Wurzburg, a wine region like the Finger Lakes, and this coaster celebrates the distinctive Bocksbeutel wine bottle used only for wines in this region. This tourism video shows the wine country there.


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