The special rotating exhibit April through June, in the barn at Allison-Antrim Museum, will be “Tablecloths and Tea Towels, Vintage and New.”
Summer picnics bring to mind the traditional red and white gingham checked tablecloth with the small flower or visiting grandma’s house with the oil cloth covering the farm-style kitchen table. Special occasions called for the fine linen, made in Ireland, to be spread on the Thanksgiving table, around which family gathered.
Table coverings have been used since the Middle Ages. Throughout the centuries, the most desirable fabrics have been linen, cotton, and silk. With the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s, bright colored dyes used in the weaving and printing of tablecloth material added a bit of cheeriness. In the next decade, during WWII, when everything was rationed, including dyes and material, tablecloths were printed with giant rollers. At the end of WWII, during the early baby-boomer era, the economy rebounded, and bright colors reappeared on the kitchen and family tablecloths. Linseed coated linen, known as oilcloth, was easy to keep clean and was inexpensive to replace. As manufacturing processes advanced during the late 1950s and early 1960s, companies discovered how to bond vinyl to cotton mesh, thereby producing a product still known as oilcloth. During the 1960s, the era of many changes, the fashionable use of tablecloths went by the wayside, exchanged for the more “modern” look of placemats.
Allison-Antrim Museum, 365 South Ridge Avenue, Greencastle, PA will host Afternoon Tea in the Barn on Sunday, May 1st between 1 pm and 4 pm.
Tea will be served in the center two bays of the reconstructed 1860’s barn. Tables will be set with vintage napkins and china. Sweet and savory treats will be served with gluten-free options, along with AAMI’s signature lavender green tea, and other teas, including decaf and herbal teas.
The cost per person is $5. Reservations are required by Friday, April 29 for seating beginning on the hour at 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm. Seating fills quickly so make your reservations early by calling 717-597-9325.
A 30 minute interview featuring:
Rusty Baker - Executive Director of PA Museums
Bonnie Shockey - President and CEO of Allison-Antrim Museum
Matthew Wedd - Executive Director of Conococheague Institute
Chris Cap - Host & Executive Director of Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs
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365 South Ridge Avenue, Greencastle, PA