Week 8 AHM

Amber Kelley, Anthracite History Museum, 2017Another week has gone by here at the Anthracite Heritage Museum. An interesting part of my week at the museum was researching about the Sauquoit Silk Manufacturing Corporation. I conducted research on the Silk Manufacturing Building because of a donation given to the Museum of pictures of the Building along with other Sauquoit Buildings in Pennsylvania, a picture of the layout of one of the buildings, and a brass sign that displays the name of the company. The curator had me look into the history of the silk mill because it helps provide a reason to why the donated artifacts are important to the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s collection (of which the AHM is part). After my research in the museum’s archives and studying the donations, I have discovered that one of Sauquoit Silk Manufacturing Corporation’s buildings was in Scranton and located on 302 Fig Street. The other two buildings in Pennsylvania were located in West Bethlehem and Philadelphia. Additionally, the Sauquoit Silk Manufacturing Building in Scranton was built in 1876, which was the first silk mill factory in Scranton. Since the curator asked that I research mainly about the company’s corporate history, I discovered a few interesting facts. For instance, I found that the president of the company in the 1900s was Alex D. Stelle and before him Lewis R. Stelle, a relative of Alex D. Stelle, was president.

Also, during my research I came across other interesting facts about the company. I found that in the late 1800s to the turn of the 20th century Sauquoit Silk Manufacturing Corporation employed around 600 women; whose age spanned from 12 years old to 25. The wages the women would receive would be between 15 to 25 dollars per month. As the company expanded to having buildings in other locations in Pennsylvania and adding more sections to the building in Scranton, the number of employed women ran up to over 1000 women. Additionally, Sauquoit’s building in Scranton was the largest in the State, having 15 different sections total.

Another interesting part of my week at Anthracite Heritage Museum was helping the museum with ways to connect with the public. As part of the management area of a museum, the management individuals are concerned with getting closer to achieving the mission of the museum they work at. Thus, my boss gave me a job that is part of this process, which was to create a SurveyMonkey account for the museum and research other possible social media outlets the museum could use. After I did my research, I came up with a few ideas on possible social media outlets the museum could use. An idea I thought of is to make Facebook live videos of an event that occurs at the museum or an employee going around the exhibit when there are tours taking place. When I discuss this with my boss, maybe Facebook live videos will occur at the museum in the future. We shall see…

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