Friday, June 17, 2011

A Horseshoe Sign

One of our curators recently found this piece behind some large farming equipment in a wing of our storage facility and brought it out to get a better look. When I happened upon it on a walk-through of storage I was startled for two reasons: one, it was something I had never seen before; and two, it is a really cool piece of (probably local) folk art.

It is a sign probably dating to the early 20th century advertising the horseshoeing busines of C.V. Olmsted. The sign measures about 16 x 50 inches and the letters are made of cast-off and broken horseshoes. Very clever.

The problem is that we have no idea where it came from or when. It was found in the collection of The Farmers' Museum in 1973 without any record of its history or date of acquisition. This is a thankfully rare occurance today, but in the early days of the museum it was common for people to drop things off for the collection without leaving much in the way of documentation.

I imagine that, back then, perhaps it was felt that everyone knew who C.V. Olmsted was.

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