Yesterday Sarah from Fewer And Better told us about The Laundress which is a line of cleaning products. They have a decent blog over there too covering how to care for your clothes. Worth a spin. Their products got a few endorsements here. I’ve never tried, but Sarah has and I trust her.
I got a lot of emails about Thomas Jennings, the first African American to get a US Patent. Mr. Jennings’ patent was for a process known as “Dry Scouring.” Today, dry scouring is what you call it when someone questions my use of the word “beneath.” In 1821, Dry Scouring was, in Mr. Jennings’ words, “… a method of Scouring Clothes, and Woolen Fabrics in general, so that they keep their original shape, and have the polish and appearance of new.” What exactly Dry Scouring was, though, is lost. In 1836 The US Patent and Trademark Office was relocating, and stored their patents in Washington’s Blodget’s Hotel. There was a fire, and the patents were lost. In that day, fire hoses were leather. And cracked in winter.
Mr. Jennings had his letter though, and was so proud of it he framed it and hung it over his bed. This was not his first success. Prior to his patent, Mr. Jennings owned and operated a very profitable clothing store in Manhattan. With the proceeds from that, and his patent, Mr. Jennings funded the start up Freedom’s Journal, the first African American owned and operated newspaper in the United States. From dry cleaning.
Mr. Jennings did other tremendous things with his dry cleaning money. His daughter, Elizabeth, was a school teacher in 1854 in New York. She was riding a whites-only horse-drawn streetcar. The conductor of same tried to throw her off. She refused, and wound up physically clinging to the car by the window. She wrote a letter about it that went viral, and Mr. Jennings hired a lawyer to litigate with the street car company. Mr. Jennings and Elizabeth won, the judge ruled that it was ‘unlawful to eject black people from public transportation so long as they were “sober, well behaved, and free from disease.” ‘ (Smithsonian Magazine). Jennings had an eye not just for clothes, but for talent as well – the lawyer he hired had a successful career himself, including on his resume’ a gig as President Of The United States (Chester A. Arthur).
I know Facebook isn’t everyone’s thing, but if you are on the fence, you should really check out the Ivy Style Group. It’s like walking into a club where everyone is talking about something you are interested in. Here is this week’s banner, where we feature some of our members:
Some discussion in the group about lapel pins. My rule about lapel pins is that if they represent an achievement, like military service or club membership (which is an achievement depending on the club) then have at it. Otherwise, unless you are related somehow to Capone, don’t.