Tag Archives: 1976

Celebrating the Bicentennial, a Few Years Early

In 1976 the United States celebrated the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.  Any American who remembers that year will tell you it was a very big deal.  And it wasn’t just that year.  People started getting ready for it in the early 70s.

A nice reader from Canada, Sarah, recently sent this U.S. Bicentennial scarf my way.  What makes it really interesting is that the label has the date on it.

Yes, there was a lot of money to be made on history, and it was best to get a headstart.

For those of you unfamiliar with US history (and I hope I’m referring to people outside of the US!)  I’ll identify some of the images.   In the center of the scarf, starting at the top you see Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress was meeting, and where the signing of the Declaration (and years later, also the US Constitution) took place.

Moving clockwise the big blue blob shows the five members of the committee that was in charge of writing the document.  The tall guy is Thomas Jefferson, who gets most of the credit.  Next is the brave and strong Minuteman, who stood his ground at Lexington:

Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

And to the left you see Washington Crossing the Delaware, which led to the Continental Army defeating a lot of holiday-happy Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey in December 1776.  Note the flag, which did not exist until well into 1777!

At the left is Paul Revere, who left Boston to warn the countryside that the British were coming.  Revere got lucky.  Two other guys made the trip that night, but few remember their names because they were not chosen by Longfellow to be in his famously inaccurate poem.

Skipping the drum, the next figure is Molly Pitcher, or  Mary Ludwig Hays, who followed her soldier husband into war (a common practice; someone had to do the laundry) .  In 1778 he was hit while firing his cannon, and Molly, who had been delivering pitchers of water to the fighters, took up his place at the weapon.  She was actually granted a pension by the state of Pennsylvania.

I’m not sure that that thing on the left is.  Any ideas?  The bell is the Liberty Bell, with its big crack.  Historians are pretty sure that the bell was not rung on July 4, 1776, but it may have been rung on the 8th when the document was publicly read.  The crack did not appear until some years later.

I came up empty on information about Selann, but if you want to see a thousand photos of Selena Gomez with a scarf around her neck, just google images “Selann scarf.”

The Banash label says the firm was founded in 1888, which does seem to be the case, as it was  located on Washington Street, Boston, as Banash and Kornfeld, Milliners.

My thanks to Sarah, who gave me this opportunity to put my history teacher’s hat back on for a little while.


Filed under Collecting, Curiosities, Novelty Prints

Diane Von Furstenberg for Vogue Patterns – 1976

First, let’s talk about prints.  There are some prints that you really don’t even need a label in order to identify them:  Lilly Pulitzer, Pucci, Liberty.  You might even add the 1970s knit prints designed by Diane von Furstenberg to go with her wrap dress and other simple designs.

In 1976, not only could you buy a DVF wrap dress, you could make the very same dress, using the pattern released by Vogue, and her official fabrics, which were produced by Cohama Fabric.  I love the idea of being able to actually buy the designer fabrics in one’s local fabric store.  Yes, I know you can buy Pulitzer and Liberty prints, but can you imagine there being an Oscar de la Renta and a Prada section in the fabric store?

An interesting thought, because there well may be a Prada section – sort of.  Miuccia Prada used at least five Lilly prints in her 2012 Resort collection.  (Start with #15. You can’t see the Lilly signatures, but they are there.  Prada also used Lilly prints in her menswear Spring/summer 2012 collection.)

I don’t know where Cohama produced this fabric, but I found it in one of the little textile producing towns that dotted the North Carolina landscape.  I love visiting the antique and thrift stores in this type of town because I’ve found some incredible textiles over the years.

There is not enough for a dress, but what about a wrap blouse?


Filed under Fashion Magazines, Sewing, Textiles