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Author: Wendy Brisbine

Acquisitions Corner

Did you know the museum is in possession of a very impressive paperweight collection? Many of our paperweights belonged to Helen Myers Miller (daughter of F.E. and Alavesta Myers, and wife of T.W. Miller), and were donated by her daughter, Mary Miller Johnson.

A paperweight is a small, solid object heavy enough to place on top of papers to keep them from blowing away.  They were first produced in about 1845 in France and were collected as works of fine art. The market developed because they were high quality, small, and moderately priced. They became a popular gift item to be given to family or loved ones. Paperweights became a vehicle for showcasing the cutting edge of glass working techniques. There are estimated to be only about 20,000 glass paperweights to survive to this day. A limited number of them are available for sale through specialty dealers. Due to their beauty and rarity, they are the most sought after works of 19th century glass.

Of all the glass arts, paperweights are considered the most challenging, and they truly represent the highest achievement in this medium.  Their precision and grace are evident as you hold one in your hand and admire the changing magnification within the dome.

 

Acquisitions Corner

Over 500 items were donated to the ACHS over the past year. This requires a lot of time and work from our staff to make sure everything is documented and stored correctly. Our curator, Wendy Brisbine, has been diligently working through our collection to answer three basic questions: “What is it?”, “Where is it?”, and “Is it Safe?”. In addition, we are hard at work getting all of the items in our collection entered into our computer system with all the relevant details, including donor, description, and photos.

Recently, Wendy was visited by Steven and Ellen (Schlingman) Hughes. They had both been doing some cleaning out and wanted to donate things belonging to their respective fathers – both veterans and long-time residents of Ashland County. Steven’s father, Paul V. Hughes, was a bomber pilot based in England during WWII. Steven has in his possession a pocket bible his father carried during the war. In the margins of the pages, Paul wrote a detailed account of the days he spent during the war and the 30 missions he flew. The last entry is dated June 6, 1944, when he bombed the Normandy coast just 10 minutes before the D-Day invasion. His last comment was, “What a day to finish”. Steven is not quite ready to give this treasure to the museum, but has allowed us to scan and transcribe it for our veterans file in the research library. He has donated several of his father’s medals, including a WWII Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal, as well as insignia and paperwork relating to his father’s time in the service.

Ellen Hughes comes from a military family as well. Her father was Thomas E. Schlingman and he fought in the Korean War with the USMC. Her donation includes several mementos of her father’s time in the service, including a photograph scrapbook of Thomas and his war buddies. Included in the documents donated is a cardstock letter of appreciation from the President of Korea that was sent on the 50th anniversary of the end of the war to all who served. It is quite impressive.

We hope to incorporate some of these new items into our Veterans Exhibit in the Noonan House. Be sure to stop by and take a look!