Transferware Plate

Donated by Melvin and Lucille Ferguson

This transferware plate belonged to Hiram Hamilton and Ida May Lierly Tresner, who lived in the Round Mountain community east of Fayetteville. Their daughter, Laura Pearl Tresner Ferguson, recalled that the plate sat on the family dining table and was always used for serving crackers.

According to the Transferware Collectors Club website, “Transferware is the term givento pottery that has had a pattern applied by transferring the print from a copper plate to a specially sized paper and finally to the pottery body. While produced primarily on earthenware, transfer prints are also found on ironstone, porcelain and bone china.”

The plate was manufactured by Dunn Bennett & Company of England, a producer of stoneware items for the American market in the late 1880s and early 1900s. Shaftesbury is the pattern name.

Dun Bennett & Co. mark 

Tresner family, circa 1904. Back row, from left: Myrtle, Harvey, Orlando. Front row, from left: Ida May holding Tot, Laura Pearl, Hiram holding Jim. W. H. Albertson, photographer. Courtesy Melvin and Lucille Ferguson

Vegetable Dish

Donated by Willa Jean Tresner Crump

When Orlando Hudson “Orley” Tresner (1892-1980) and Virginia Ruth Chesser (abt. 1916-2000) married on November 29, 1934, they received this covered vegetable dish as a wedding present. The dish was made for export to the American market by J & G Meakin, Hanley, England.

Orley Tresner was from the Round Mountain community near Elkins in Washington County; Virginia Chesser was from the neighboring community of Baldwin.

Iroquois Beadwork Frame

Gertie Copening at Hindsville (Madison County), 1940s. Jim Vaughan Collection (S-96-126-3)

Donated by Jim Vaughan

This decorative frame belong to Gertie Copening (1881-1962) of Hindsville (Madison County). The message on the postcard in the frame reads, “May Christmas peace keep winter from the heart.”

The frame is an example of Iroquois raised beadwork, a tradition originated by the Iroquois in western New York in the late 1700s. The beadwork became popular in the 1800s, when frames, pincushions, needle cases, and other items were sold as souvenirs and keepsakes at fairs, exhibitions, Wild West shows, and other venues. Contemporary artists continue this tradition of beadwork today.

Delco Battery Jar

Donated by Truman Stamps

This Delco battery jar dates from the 1930s, before rural electrification came to the Ozarks. Many rural homes, farms, and small businesses produced their own electricity with a Delco-Light power system, which consisted of an engine powered by gasoline or kerosene, a generator, and a series of batteries. The batteries contained a corrosive mixture of acid and water and were stored in glass jars such as the one pictured here.

The Rural Electrification Administration was established in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was tasked with getting electricity to rural areas not served by public and private power companies. However, it was after World War II before many rural Arkansas Ozark families saw electricity brought to their homes and farms.

Flour Bin

Donated by John Robinson

This flour bin came from the Dave and Nina Cowan homeplace southeast of Greenland (Washington County). The ad is a page from the 1927 Sears catalog, showing a family proudly admiring their new kitchen cabinet complete with a flour bin much like the one owned by the Cowans. The ad describes an “easy-filling flour bin. Capacity, 50 pounds. Patented style lowering rods bring bin down to convenient level for filling. Has handy patent sifter.”