|Ladies' Aid Album - Week 24|
Can you see the clamp holding my block? These sewing birds were like a third hand and assisted the seamstress in holding the fabric taut with one hand so the other could stitch. Some were more elaborate than others and also held pincushions, emery balls or thimble and spool holders. Bird clamps date back to the early 18th century. At about the time of the Civil War, they were considered luxury items and young men presented them as gifts to their intended in the months before their wedding.
One of the largest collections of sewing birds in North America is at the Monmouth Museum in New Jersey. I think a field trip may be in order this summer.