History Galleries

History Galleries

Women’s Work, Women’s Wear 1890-1910



Several decades of acquiring central Missouri artifacts, textiles, photographs and personal mementos have produced permanent collections at the Boone County History & Culture Center, and whose individual items number in the tens of thousands. Many of the items in our collections date to the turn of the last century – the period between 1890 and 1910.

That late Victorian and early Edwardian era, and the period of time before America, Missouri and Boone County would find themselves identified as leaders in a more violent and closely-knitted world, was one of varying degrees of comfort or success for millions of Americans. Many Boone Countians were working in an age where many children stayed close to home, hearth and family – as did their mothers. Women, and mothers in particular, were for the most part, not yet part of the work force. It was also a time when “appearances” were quite important for the average middle-class family.

This exhibit aims to illustrate how very different the type of work women produced was then, when contrasted to the vastly expanded fields of work offered to women in 2018. The exhibit also aims to define the domestic life of a woman a little more than one hundred years ago. The exhibit utilized different themes, set in different areas of the Walters West History Gallery. They include Representing Family Success, Creating a Comfortable Home, Maintaining Appearances, Clothing Made at Home and Ready-Made and Food for the Family.

We welcome you to visit this exhibit between now and November, 2018. The Center is admission free (except for special events) and his open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m.

The Boone County Childhood exhibit




The Boone County Childhood exhibit opened November 2nd and it is already attracting kids ages two to ninety-two!  In the exhibit, they are seeing toys as old as the 1880s and as new as the 1980s.  The exhibit’s themes include “Seen but not Heard” featuring dolls, a rocking elephant, and furniture from the 19th century.   “Make Do or Do Without” is filled with homemade toys including a barn and farm equipment made by Edward Harper when he was just 13 years of age.

Richard Sorrels loaned his wonderful antique pedal cars and an Irish Mail scooter and they are starring attractions for sure.  Visitors will find a variety of winter sports equipment on the porch in “’Wintertime Fun.”  The “Just like Mommy, Just like Daddy” segment of the exhibit shows how girls and boys were prepared for their eventual roles when they grew up.  In “As Seen on Television” visitors can see how television impacted how toys were marketing to children.

When you visit the exhibit do be sure to look up at the colorful kites hung from the 30’ tall ceiling.   They were loaned by Carolyn Spier.  The exhibit also offers a couple of tables where big and little kids can color or put together a puzzle.  ‘Grownups’ will find themselves reminiscing about their childhood and children will likely want to get behind the velvet rope and grab a toy.  The exhibit runs through September of 2017.



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