Study of Material Culture in 18th-Century Midwest

Erica L. Blair

Abstract

18th-Century America in the Midwest is not a well-researched topic, and consequently it is not a well-understood part of American history. By researching inventories of the Baynton, Wharton and Morgan mercantile firm, we can gain a better understanding of this period and piece together an image of what life in the Midwest (specifically Southern Illinois) was like during the 18th-Century. My research includes identifying and defining objects, finding visual images of them by looking through paintings of 18th-century genre artists, and then rendering the objects through drawing. This way, researchers have more insight of every-day life of pre-Revolutionary Midwesterners.

 

Study of Material Culture in 18th-Century Midwest

18th-Century America in the Midwest is not a well-researched topic, and consequently it is not a well-understood part of American history. By researching inventories of the Baynton, Wharton and Morgan mercantile firm, we can gain a better understanding of this period and piece together an image of what life in the Midwest (specifically Southern Illinois) was like during the 18th-Century. My research includes identifying and defining objects, finding visual images of them by looking through paintings of 18th-century genre artists, and then rendering the objects through drawing. This way, researchers have more insight of every-day life of pre-Revolutionary Midwesterners.