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Dedicated to the girls of the Mill River Button Company, ca. 1874

In putting together last November’s exhibit Northampton Unbuttoned: Dedicated to the Girls of the Mill River Button Company, ca. 1874, I was inspired by Historic Northampton’s rich and varied collections as evidence of working women’s lives in the second half of the 19th century. I studied the “plaid-clad” girls in daguerreotypes; examined articles of clothing…