Touring Rookwood Pottery with Cincinnati Heritage Programs

Author: Chris Dobbs, Copywriter/Editor Chances are, if you step into an old-enough house in Cincinnati, Ohio, it features Rookwood Pottery. Whether it’s a colorful pot passed down, a kitchen backsplash lined with avian tiles or a fireplace’s hearth, Rookwood Pottery has left its mark on Cincinnati’s – and the world’s – cupboards, homes and monuments. Rookwood Pottery was founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Storer. One of the first female-owned manufacturing companies in the United States, Rookwood set several early examples of what would be popular trends. It was one of the first ceramics companies to hire a chemist, Karl Langenbeck, who contributed to several popular glazes for decorative and everyday use. Its designs were also early examples of American Japonism, the study of Japanese art and style. Rookwood artist Kataro Shiayamadani’s work won the company the Grand Prize at the 1900 Paris Exposition, […]

[READ MORE]

[Carbon] Dating in the 21st Century

Author: Bob Genheimer, Curator of Archaeology As an archaeologist, one of the most frequent questions that I am asked is “how do you know how old something is?” There are many different answers to that question, mostly depending on what exactly we are trying to date. Knowing how old something is, even if the age is approximate, is important, because without controlling for time, archaeologists can say little about the culture they are studying. In general terms, archaeologists rely on two methods of dating – relative and absolute. As the name implies, relative dating relies on a known relationship between the object you want to date and other objects or features in the same or similar context. So, when we pick up a corner-notched spearpoint with a ground base, we know that it is Early Archaic (ca. 8000-6000 BC) in age because large numbers of […]

[READ MORE]

A 19th-Century Cincinnati-Manufactured Picture Exhibitor

Author: Scott Gampfer, Associate Vice President for Collections and Preservation Introduced to the United States from Europe in the late 1850s, the carte-de-visite or calling card photographic format soon became wildly popular. The small size and inexpensive nature of the card images brought them within reach of ordinary people. Since the images were printed from a glass plate negative, it was possible for customers to get as many copies of an image as desired. It also became popular to collect carte-de-visite images of celebrities and exotic or famous locales. So popular was demand for carte-de-visite images that the phenomenon was sometimes called “cartomania.” The idea of creating photographic albums also became popular, and suppliers sold albums specifically designed to hold cartes-de-visite. One inventor, Charles Robinson of Massachusetts, received a patent in April 1865 for a clever device that allowed the viewing of dozens of […]

[READ MORE]

The Fight for the Vote

For many years, women in this country were denied even the most basic constitutional rights. They could not speak publically, sign contracts, gain a formal education, successfully own property separate from husbands or fathers or retain custody of their own children.

[READ MORE]