Needlework as a Reflection of Changing Ideologies in the Era of Industrialization

One thing is for sure about this quarter in historical archaeology, I have learned a lot about how to keep a critical eye.

For my final project, I wanted to do some research about the evolution of knitting, as I am an avid knitter. Originally, I wanted to write an object biography about the way that knitting has changed, but it’s history is too long and consistent to show the change I wanted to.

After looking at the strong sources I was able to find, I realized that they all hovered around the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. They described issues of the distribution of labor, gender, and race, however, I noticed a glaring problem in the current research. Many sources included issues of labor and gender, or gender and race, or race and labor, but I could not find any sources that discussed all three.

I struggled with this for a long time. I knew it would propel my argument if I could find any studies or analyses that used that intersectional mindset. After hours of banging my head against the laptop, a sudden light shone down from the heavens. I realized that my research paper, my analysis, IS the juxtaposition that I’d been looking for.

In the end, my critical eye turned into a reflective lens, and I am thankful that I now have the tools to use both.

Snider’s Catsup – The Flavor of The Past

When looking at the historic bottles from a dump site used in the 19th and early 20th century, I identified one bottle specifically as a Catsup bottle. This bottle has many characteristics that identify it as a Catsup bottle. First
off, the finish, or mouth part, is what is referred to as a screw thread finish, which indicates the kind of cap that screws on and off, which is what a sauce bottle would have.

Another hint is the size and shape. The long neck, sloping shoulders, and carrying capacity looks very similar to a current ketchup bottle. The manufacture method, which can be determined by looking at the two vertical seams on the bottle, is indicative of a mouth-blown, two-part post mould. One can determine that is mouth blown because the seams don’t continue through to the finish.


And if all of this information isn’t convincing that this is a Catsup bottle, the maker’s mark on the bottom doesn’t hurt.

Snider’s Catsup. Advertisement. VintageAdBrowser. 2012. Accessed Feb 13, 2017.

When researching Snider’s Catsup bottles, I found an advertisement that shed light on how this product was marketed and used. The ad says hotels, clubs, restaurants, hotels, and even homes choose Snider’s Catsup. This shows a targeting towards mostly non-residential businesses. The advertisement also provides two recipes, which is something most people would now consider slightly odd for a sauce bottle. It also mentions Cincinnati, U.S.A, which is either indicative of where the bottles were made, or where the ad was marketed (I was not able to discern).

Overall, catsup/ketchup was, and still is, an important accessory to the American diet, as shown by it’s abundance in the historical and archaeological record.

Eternal Resting Places Marked by Familial Ties


When walking through the Cavalry Cemetery in Seattle, it is hard not to feel something slightly paranormal. Although I was not interrupted by any ghostlike figures, ephemerally passing through, I did sense a noticeable connection to history. Part of this connection came from the personality shown through the different grave markings, specifically when kin relationships were etched into the graves.

The kin relationships I discovered through our class collected data were Mother, Father, Wife, Husband, Daughter, Son, Grandmother, Sister, Brother, Granddaughter, and Aunt. The first thing I noticed was that certain female markers of identity were represented, but their male counterparts were not. For example, there was a grave marked with “Aunt”, but none with “Uncle”. This led me to assume this is because the relationships that women have in their lives are seen as much more essential to their identities, while male identities can be represented more often with just a name, or a type of quote.

I also noticed that grave markers that contained kin relationship markers tended to be slightly more elaborate than graves without kin relationships. I assume if a family wants to use their resources to purchase a grave with a familial connection etched in, they are also more likely to get a stone that is large and regal enough to occupy that etching. Although I assumed graves that had family markers on it would be more likely to have other sorts of quotes, I found that many graves only had one or two family identifiers, a name, and no other type of message written in.

If I had any doubts about the importance of kin relationships before visiting this cemetery, they were all kiboshed once I realized how may eternal resting places were forever marked with the role(s) they played in their family.

How to Survive the Test of Time: By Seattle’s Neptune Theatre



The Neptune 1929, Courtesy of Seattle Theatre Group

The Neptune Theatre, located on the corner of 45th and 13th ave in the University District, was built in 1921as part of a collection of neighborhood movie theaters owned by the Puritan Theatre Company. Its grandiose organ and accommodation for over 1,000 patrons earned it the reputation as the perfect place for a night out.

With the rapid rate of change in the film and entertainment industry, adaptation is crucial to survival. The Neptune changed ownership from the Puritan Theatre Group to Jensen von-Herberg Theatres, Evergreen State Amusement Corp., Sterling Theatres, Landmark Theatres, Landmark Theatres, and the current owners, the Seattle Theatre Group.

The Neptune 2011 Renovation, Courtesy of the Seattle Theatre Group

One short-coming I noticed with the resources I found was that, while I’m certain each new owner must have made some sort of change (cosmetic, technological, etc.), the only documented changes were more recent and large-scale, like the 2011 renovation that turned the Neptune from a movie theatre to a live, performance center. This lack of context made interpretation slightly tricky.


This assignment was good practice for “reading between the lines”. As a member of the present University District dwelling society, I know that is a cool place to be, especially because it has prevailed through many trying times in our nations economy. Coupling my knowledge as a citizen of the present with the historic documents available painted a picture of a hub for entertainment that has, despite all odds, withstood the test of time.

The Neptune, 1984, Courtesy of The Seattle Public Library

The Neptune, 2016, Courtesy of King County Department of Assessments




Can Recording Your Garbage For 1 Week Change How You See Yourself?

If analyzing a week’s worth of garbage has taught me anything, it’s that your garbage speaks. While I liked to imagine myself as a generally healthy eater, interrupted by the occasional unhealthy, convenient snack, I was smacked in the face with the reality that I have a generally unhealthy diet, interrupted with the occasional apple or salad. Recording my refuse also made me confront my very real, and previously ignored, coffee addiction (maybe a cup of coffee grounds a day is a touch excessive).

While my roommates chuckled at this slightly humiliating realizations, I discovered a deeper problem that I had not recognized in myself. This realization was that I am not prioritizing my health. If someone were to ask me if I would rather cook myself a healthy meal, or grab a quick burger for dinner every night, I would undoubtably prefer making myself dinner. If someone were to ask me whether I drink coffee for the flavor, or simply to keep myself going throughout a busy day, I would say I drink it out of necessity. Taking a good, hard look at my kitchen garbage made me realize that I don’t make the time to eat healthy or get enough sleep, something I probably never would have realized on my own.

The point of this anecdote is that being more conscious of the things we throw away can change our habits, whether they are dietary, environmental, or something completely unexpected. It’s easy to lie to ourselves about the things we do if we do them without thinking, but when we start to analyze our habits, we are confronted with the facts that have the potential to change how we see ourselves.

How Do We Preserve the Past?

During the Preserving the Past Together seminar last week, representatives from cultural resource management firms, government agencies, and tribal historic preservation offices gathered to discuss challenges, benefits, and ways to improve collaboration in the future. While listening to the poignant remarks on something as sensitive and important as handling and preserving indigenous culture, I, like most 19-year-old girls, found myself thinking about myself; how I could learn more, and how I could get my foot in the door.

Eventually, the conversation shifted to university interest, especially how the University of Washington could help. One way universities help is by creating interest in students as well as the general public. For instance, the Burke Museum (associated with UW) has an annual “Archaeology Day” where families and community members come to play games and learn about artifacts. Another point about universities was more curriculum based. According to some of the workshop speakers, UW should offer more classes and research opportunities based around local archaeology, instead of grooming students to specialize in other places of the world. This particularly spoke to me, as I have studied abroad in Spain, and strongly consider focusing in the archaeology of that region.

After this seminar, and some of the discussions we’ve had in class, I’m starting to wonder where I have the right to practice archaeology. Although I identify as an American, I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable digging and interpreting Native American artifacts, as it’s not my history to tell. Hopefully, with seminars like these, collaboration between archaeologists, universities and tribes will improve, giving a place for non-Native Americans to support tribes in their attempt to preserve the past.

“Preserving the Past Together”. Seminar, from College of Arts & Sciences, Office of Research, Anthropology Dept., Quaternary Research Center, wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House Academic Planning Committee, Burke Museum, and Simpson Center for Humanities, Seattle, January 12, 2017.

About Beatrice

From rugged beginnings navigating the Midwestern soup my parents elected to raise me in (soup ingredients including: Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota), to the rainy,

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetPatagonia-clad city of Seattle in which I now attend the University of Washington, one thing has remained unchanged- my love of finding dead things. I give credit mostly to the entertainment options, or lack there of, in Iowa. After all, scrutinizing my backyard for animal bones and turtle shells was more fun than trying to roll hay bails.

Once I started my undergraduate journey at UW, blindly sampling classes, I found myself in an Introduction to Archaeology class. This was the first time it dawned on me that my mildly creepy hobby could be a more than just a reason to keep my eyes glued to the ground on nature hikes. After this realization, I jetted off to Mallorca, Spain to participate in the Landscape, Encounters, and Identity Archaeology Project (LEIAP), which was equal parts excavation and survey. Upon my return to Seattle, I experienced archaeology withdrawals, so as any couple recovering from an untimely end would do, we got back together. I am now designing an exploratory research project involving macroscopic analysis of the handmade pottery sherds collected during survey.

When I’m not interrogating nature for dead things to admire, I enjoy equally wild activities like knitting, online shopping, and FaceTiming my pug, Franklin.  img_9641